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.
THE LOST CITY OF Z opens in the darkness of the jungle. Natives stand in silhouette outlined against fires burning in warning or in welcome. It’s a fitting start to James Gray’s suitably literate adaptation of David Grann’s book of the same name, telling the true story of the obsessions that drove British Major Percy… Read More »
TWILIGHT, the film version of Stephenie Meyer’s young adult novel, operates on two levels of fantasy, one traditional that speaks to many of the roiling and contradictory impulses that lurk in the collective subconscious of us all: to dominate, to fit in, to cheat death. It also speaks to the other irresistible impulses, roiling and… Read More »
THE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON is the second film version of the wildly popular “Twilight” series of books and is much less interesting than the first one. Where before there was the delight of Bella (Kristen Stewart) discovering that the deep dark secret that the brooding love of her life, Edward (Robert Pattinson) and his… Read More »
REMEMBER ME is a turgid excuse for a perceptive character study/romance that pins its hopes on a twist that is not so much a jolt as an affront. Not to give anything away, at least not more than the film itself in its opening moments, but suffice to say that the main action takes place… Read More »
WATER FOR ELEPHANTS, based on the novel of the same name by Sara Gruen, is a grand romantic daydream of a movie. Suffused as it is with a bitter edge of melancholy of lost souls scrabbling for a happiness that they believe to be right around the corner, it is saved from the excesses of… Read More »
The most persistent question about THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN 2 is why it is that the human character, the one adrift amid all the assorted vampires and werewolves, is the one who is the most engaging. That would be Charlie (Billy Burke), the father of the now undead Bella. In roughly 10 minutes of… Read More »