As a trenchant examination of the roots, expression, and consequences of toxic masculinity, THE ART OF SELF DEFENSE has no peers. As a black comedy told with a straight face and a tone of conviction, it is a first rate guilty pleasure. Any film that can draw guffaws as a small child is gently choked… Read More »
There is a theological bent to Woody Allen’s CAFÉ SOCIETY. It’s there in the constant bickering between the hero’s parents about whether or not a relative has a Jewish-shaped head. And, furthermore, if he doesn’t, how can he be a proper Jew? Such questions are a Midrash on the actual story, which concerns a young… Read More »
The best caper films keep us guessing even while we’re watching the caper in progress. In that way, NOW YOU SEE ME 2 succeeds admirably. The return of the The Horsemen, a band of underground magicians dedicated to truth, justice, and outsmarting everyone around them, including each other, provides several set pieces that are fine… Read More »
LOUDER THAN BOMBS begins with a perfect picture of family love. Jonah (Jesse Eisenberg) is marveling at his newborn as his wife Amy, (Megan Ketch) looks on beaming. Jonah is beaming, too, and he is aghast that he has forgotten to bring his wife the food she had requested when she discovered that the hospital tray… Read More »
For most of BATMAN V SUPERMAN’s bloviated pretension, I was merely bored. This half-baked idea studded with ponderous pronouncements, shockingly sedate action sequences, and the simulacrum of serious philosophical inquiry plodded along, weighed down by an overstuffed plot and an underdeveloped narrative. But when we arrived at a meticulous recreation of the deposition from the… Read More »
There is a bold sense of anarchy to AMERICAN ULTRA that is as unrepentant as it is unpredictable.
RIO is as bright, fun, and dramatic as the Brazilian Carnivale where its final chase takes place. The animated musical as a whole is one exhilarating race to restore a bird to his human companion, thwart an evil gang of bird smugglers, and make sure that love conquers all. Eventually. The bird is Blu (Jesse… Read More »
NOW YOU SEE ME begins with a giddy sense of mischief and ends with a contrivance that bespeaks the desperation of failing to plan for a proper ending. In between, it quietly devolves from slam-bang fun to barely coherent as four magicians lead the FBI and a debunker on a merry chase through ancient mysticism… Read More »