One comes to a Shane Black film with high hopes. They are not always rewarded, but when he comes through with films like KISS KISS BANG BANG, or the criminally underappreciated THE GOOD GUYS, the results are quirky, clever, and delightfully original. If you haven’t seen them, choose either, or both, instead of THE PREDATOR.… Read More »
With A SIMPLE FAVOR, Paul Feig takes a very dark turn into neo-noir by way of a deliciously wicked social satire. There’s nary a hard-boiled detective in sight, but at the center of the film’s mystery, there is an enigmatic femme fatale to rival any from the golden age of that genre. The humor, courtesy… Read More »
The decline and fall of franchises is a phenomenon that is all too common, and yet still heartbreaking in its own way. For every James Bond or Star Wars, there are countless other series that started strong, usually with a film that was a one-off, the success of which led to studio bean-counters to push… Read More »
There is much that is very right with THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME. There is also much that is very wrong with it. It makes for an irksome cinematic experience in which one finds oneself rooting for the flick to pull itself together before the final credits. Spoiler alert, it doesn’t happen. The kitschy-coo title… Read More »
BLINDSPOTTING is a contemporary fable told in dynamic syncopation and unexpected compassion as it uncovers the farce and tragedy of an Oakland in transition.
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 only thing wrong with HEREDITY is that is bound to spawn increasingly inferior installments in a new franchise that is as inevitable as its protagonists’ descent into madness. That aside, this deeply disturbing horror film does not need the supernatural in order to worm its way into the darkest recesses of your psyche where… Read More »
Click here to listen to the interview with Bart Layton. At a pivotal moment in Bart Layton’s emotionally charged AMERICAN ANIMALS, a character looks out of the car in which he is riding and sees the real person on whom he is based staring back at him as the car glides by. It’s not a… Read More »
BEIRUT opens before the Lebanese Civil War with U.S. diplomat Mason Skiles (Jon Hamm), on the last good day of his life, using a brilliant analogy to explain the political situation in Lebanon to his party guests in that eponymous city. Even the way the guests have arranged themselves, as Skiles put it: Christians on… Read More »
For me, the single most disconcerting image in a Steven Soderbergh film is from CONTAGION. It’s not a panorama of people dying from the pandemic that threatens to end civilization as we know it, instead it’s the silent, dispassionately clinical shot of Gwyneth Paltrow’s head being autopsied. There are people I know who reference the… Read More »