Shut-In: “Room” review

Shut-In: “Room” review 0

Some movies must be applauded for attempting too much, while others simply induce exhaustion, thus delaying or altogether preventing the ovation. Such is the case with Lenny Abrahamson’s Room, the new Canadian-Irish drama that is based on the 2010 novel of the same name by Emma Donoghue (who also penned the script) and won the […]

Spectre as Spectacle: “Spectre” review

Spectre as Spectacle: “Spectre” review 0

For 148 minutes, Spectre is a consistently good time at the movies, mostly thanks to the velvet-smooth pacing (credit to editor Lee Smith), Sam Mendes’s controlled, wide compositions, and Daniel Craig’s enduring performance as Ian Fleming’s famed spy. There are many flaws to this picture, namely the scattershot themes, lack of character development and psychological […]

Ruthless Roth: On “The Green Inferno” and “Knock Knock”

Ruthless Roth: On “The Green Inferno” and “Knock Knock” 0

Last decade, Hostel filmmaker and enfant terrible Eli Roth emblazoned our minds with a striking cinematic image. The shot did not come from one of his directed movies, however, but a scenery-chewing performance in Quentin Tarantino’s 2009 Inglourious Basterds (one of QT’s truly masterful efforts – forget Django). Playing the ruthless Bear Jew in the revisionist war […]

Lord of the Flaws: “Ex Machina” review

Lord of the Flaws: “Ex Machina” review 0

Structurally, Ex Machina is a paradox: a movie that sets out to ask questions about scientific innovation only to become painfully obvious in its attempt to stay remote and ambiguous. It is a science fiction chamber piece, if you will, that offers only one resolution to its series of events. Unfortunately, this resolution is couched so […]

Truth Without a Focus: “True Story” review

Truth Without a Focus: “True Story” review 0

It is troubling when a movie with very fascinating subject matter is unable to find a focus. True Story, based on a startling memoir by journalist Michael Finkel, has the elements of a superb premise- you can see them levitating on screen- but it is a story that tries to hit too many thematic notes […]

O. Russell, Where Art Thou?: What’s missing in “Accidental Love”

O. Russell, Where Art Thou?: What’s missing in “Accidental Love” 0

A title like “Accidental Love” is, in itself, full admission that this film isn’t a bona fide work of writer-director David O. Russell. For a filmmaker responsible for eccentric titles like “Spanking the Monkey” (his debut) and “Flirting with Disaster” (okay, slightly aping the Molly Hatchet song there), it would seem quite out of character […]

“Robin Hood” Revisited

“Robin Hood” Revisited 0

In addition to the existing scripts from Disney and Sony, Deadline recently announced that a third Robin Hood project is in the works. The project, Robin Hood: Origins, is expected to be “a gritty version of the rogue do-gooder,” with Leonardo DiCaprio already signed on as producer.

Pulp Fiction For Grown-Ups: “Inherent Vice” Review

Pulp Fiction For Grown-Ups: “Inherent Vice” Review 0

One of the real curiosities of Paul Thomas Anderson’s pictures is their tendency to scale the heights of high art while at the same time remaining perfectly complacent with smutty, low-brow humor. In other words, Anderson’s works aim for intensified, all-caps drama, yet there is always this undercurrent of childlike (note I didn’t say “childish”, […]

My Groovy Top 10 Films of 2014

My Groovy Top 10 Films of 2014 0

10. Inherent Vice (dir. Paul Thomas Anderson) P.T. Anderson’s adaptation of Inherent Vice, much like Thomas Pynchon’s 2009 book, is not to be trusted or held accountable to “make sense”. What’s most remarkable about the film though is the maturity of Anderson’s craft – the tone a steady balance of screwball and serious, with a camera that […]