Top

blog

Stories

 

Carol Reed's The Third Man Remains Haunting After All These Years

Categories: Movies

ThirdMan1.jpg
Image via
Still from The Third Man
Carol Reed's The Third Man has straddled the line between high and low art for so long that it's hard -- no, impossible -- to watch it in innocence. One inevitably approaches the film under the influence of memory or nostalgia if you've seen it before, or under the long shadow of its reputation if you haven't.

More »

Adam Sandler Continues to Make Lazy Movies in Pixels

Categories: Movies

FILM565_Pixels3.jpg
© CTMG Inc.
Would you trust this crew to save the world? Evidently the White House does.
Pixels is a film that tries to do only one thing and does it about as well as might be expected. If you're interested in seeing some of the most popular video games of the 1980s (Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, Galaga) blown up to an enormous scale and moving about in 3-D (and don't feel that Wreck-It Ralph has already exhausted the appeal of such things), I can assure you that Pixels hits the spot.

More »

A Rosy Picture of Bipolar Disorder in Infinitely Polar Bear

Categories: Movies

FILM565_Polar.jpg
Seacia Pavao, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics
Infinitely Polar Bear.
A disconcertingly antic view of mental illness, Infinitely Polar Bear creates some serious cognitive dissonance: I very much enjoyed the film but felt a nagging guilt about my pleasure.

More »

Tommy Wiseau to Bring Cult Classic The Room to the Tivoli This Weekend - In Person!

Categories: Movies

GREENposter-TheRoom550.jpg
Wiseau-Films PERMISSION

The Room is considered by some to be the worst movie ever made. That doesn't mean it's hard to watch. In fact, it's so bad, you can't look away -- and its throngs of devoted fans, twelve years after the initial release, have only cemented its cult-classic status.

At midnight this Friday and Saturday, auteur Tommy Wiseau will appear in person at the Tivoli Theatre to screen the film and host Q&A sessions. Wiseau, who has cut his signature flowing black hair, recently defended his work in an interview with Riverfront Times -- and compared himself to Clint Eastwood.

More »

Doc Reveals Unfiltered Truth About Life in Mexico's Cartel Wars

Categories: Movies

FILM565cartellandLEDE.jpg
From Cartel Land, a film by Matthew Heineman
Autodefensas rally in Michoacán, Mexico.
I imagine that most people on this side of the U.S./Mexico border find the stories of drug smugglers and criminal gangs -- of corruption and vigilantism, mass graves and entire towns ruled by warlords -- unfathomable.

More »

Ant-Man Is a Formulaic Super-Hero Rom-Com, But with Laughs

Categories: Movies

antmanuncle565.jpg
© 2015 Marvel Studios/Disney Enterprises
Ant-Man awaits word on sequel: Uncle-Man.
One of the flaws of the comic-book movie in its current form is that it tries to be simultaneously original yet canonical while telling an interesting story in a formulaic manner. In the case of Marvel movies, attention must also be paid to the story as but a single piece of the jigsaw puzzle that its corporate owners pretentiously refer to as their "Universe." The ideal audience is the fanboy viewer who says, "Astonish me!" while simultaneously warning, "But don't deviate from the official version in any way."

More »

Nina Simone Doc Explores the Contradictions and Struggle of an American Original

Categories: Movies

misssimoneLEDE565.jpg
Courtesy of the Sundance Institute
The jazz great Nina Simone.
The musical career of jazz singer and pianist Nina Simone was -- like much of her life -- filled with contradictions. She rose to fame rather quickly -- she was 25 when her recording career took off -- but only began playing in clubs in order to finance her classical training. She was a revered figure in the 1960s, nearly as well known for her activism as for her music, but by the beginning of the 1970s she had disappeared from public life.

More »

Mr. Holmes Examines the Great Detective in Old Age

Categories: Movies

Film565HolmesLEDE.jpg
Giles Keyte Courtesy of Miramax and Roadside Attractions
Mr. Holmes gets at the elusive nature of truth in fiction.

Created in the Victorian era by Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes not only persists into the 21st century but is altogether ubiquitous, with manifold versions of the character appearing across every conceivable media. Whether updated to contemporary times in TV's Sherlock (with its acting power couple of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman) and Elementary (with Lucy Liu as a female Dr. Watson), or transformed into a wisecracking action hero by Robert Downey Jr. in Guy Ritchie's film franchise, Holmes seems infinitely malleable and persistently appealing -- a detective for all ages and audiences.



More »

Two Takes on Madame Bovary Don't Equal the Novel

Categories: Movies

FILM565GemmaBovery.jpg
Courtesy of Music Box Films
Hervé (Niels Schneider) and Gemma (Gemma Arterton) in Gemma Bovery.
First published 159 years ago, Flaubert's Madame Bovary is often considered the first modern novel, influencing and inspiring writers from Proust and Nabokov to Jean-Paul Sartre and Woody Allen. One might think that a story so intrinsically imbued with the concerns of the mid-nineteenth century would have long ago fallen into Great Books limbo -- more often cited than read. But one of the many achievements of Flaubert's novel, with its satirical contrast between urban life and provincialism, and a central character equaled only by Anna Karenina as literature's most tragic heroine, is its ability to remain contemporary.

More »

Without Their Mystery, the Minions Aren't as Interesting

Categories: Movies

minionslede565.jpg
Courtesy Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment
Scarlet Overkill turns the Minions into heroes.
I love the Minions. They made the perfect Despicable Me even loonier, and they were the only tolerable thing about the execrable Despicable Me 2. I seem to recall thinking after the first DM that they totally deserved their own movie. But I was wrong. Or, at least, the movie they've now gotten is not the movie they deserve. Turns out, the Minions are better off without a back-story. Their mystery was part of their charm. Their minion-ness is essential to their humor. And none of that is present here.


More »
Loading...