Movie Reviews and Interviews by Andrea Chase
Smart, but never stuffy, Andrea Chase takes no prisoners when reviewing films. In interviews, she draws out filmmakers by asking the questions others don’t think of, but wish they had. New insights, unexpected revelations, and a wry sense of humor set this interview series apart.
It is a mantra that I have repeated at least once a day for many, many years now. Technology is our friend, but it is not our >good< friend. While my invocation of that is generally limited to computers, pay-stations, and the notorious aggravations of the voice-mail maze, SKYSCRAPER, the latest action flick from Dwayne Johnson, takes it to a whole new level while also sending a love letter to the low-tech reliability, magic even, of duct tape.
This fiercely iconoclastic western uses many tropes from that cinematic genre, from the classics of John Ford to the more recent idioms of Sergio Leone, but the references are merely window dressing. Part comedy, part tragedy, part feminist manifesto, and all engrossing, it subverts expectations at every turn while delivering a film that refuses to be pigeonholed.
As the documentary THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS opens, Bobby Shafran, one of the eponymous strangers, notes that the story he’s about to tell is unbelievable. And it is. But the way that Tim Wardle’s dark meditation on good intentions gone very wrong unfolds, the story of how the three identical triplets separated at birth found each other at the age of 19, is the least of it.