Sunday, May 8 2011
Michigan extras have to run for their lives as giant flying robots tried to kill them and buildings exploded around them. Trying to avoid being trampled by Transformers is easy compared to the bigger threat to Michigan’s film industry.
Tuesday, May 3 2011
Seth Rogen's idiosyncratic laugh colors both his film characters and his real-life persona. Like it or not, that laugh has a significant effect on how we watch his movies.
Sunday, April 24 2011
The unfamiliar will only find acceptance if it is expressed in familiar terms; thus, aliens "...may have bulbous heads and triangular eyes, speak in a chillingly robotic monotone or emit a strong stench of sulphur, but otherwise they look much like Tony Blair."
Tuesday, April 12 2011
The Cable Guy and I Love You Phillip Morris show what Jim Carrey is capable of when no one is watching.
Thursday, April 7 2011
Caught between two worlds, standing on a near-literal precipice with one foot in the African American experience, the other firmly in majority white culture, the protagonist of the passing film is confronted with an impossible choice: live in truth as a person of color or risk “passing” for white to gain societal advantage.
Wednesday, April 6 2011
Paris Benjamin is a working actor in Hollywood, a long way from her acting roots in France and the UK. Her recent experiences on the sets of TV series and films shine a spotlight on the US and European entertainment industry.
Monday, April 4 2011
New DVD provider RaroVideo USA is coming out of the gate with two lavish Criterion-worthy releases: The Clowns and the Fernando Di Leo Crime Collection. One is nominally "arty" and the other "lowdown", but the lines deserve to be blurred.
Wednesday, March 30 2011
The Fleischer Studios' Betty Boop cartoon Barnacle Bill embraces the pleasures of the perpetrator far more than the fate of the victim, where a cute cartoon pup gets to be a sexual predator and stoke our prurient interest in the 'joy of punishment'.
Thursday, March 24 2011
Hal Hartley's films bridged the world of art school vibes and workplace routines, elite snottiness and pedestrian punches, suburban angst and critical thinking finesse, and mixed-up politics and prolonged personality crises.
Monday, March 21 2011
As in real life, the TV news industry in Broadcast News looks less like a small pond and more like shark-infested waters.
Monday, March 14 2011
What makes Close Encounters of the Third Kind stand out to this day is that it isn’t the usual UFO tale of “us vs them”, like Spielberg’s later remake of War of the Worlds; rather, it's very much a story about Earthlings.
Sunday, March 13 2011
I Am Number Four, a PG-13 science-fiction-slash-teen-romance movie, is so faithful to the Twilight template that it could have been assembled by marketing software.
Sunday, February 13 2011
Punk is no vacuum, no airtight, sealed white music form. It's a repository of culture -- magnetized, manifold, and chock-full of merit – that was, and is, impacted by Jewish, black, and Southern experiences.
Thursday, February 10 2011
America Lost and Found: The BBS Story leaves no doubt that BBS Productions was one of the most important players in a cinematic revolution. These seven films make a case for keeping the canvas wide and the road open.
Wednesday, February 9 2011
Henry King's name isn't mentioned when critics start bringing up John Ford or Howard Hawks, and yet even his forgotten and little-seen works hold up better than many of his contemporaries.
Tuesday, February 8 2011
Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy is like his Evil Dead trilogy: the first entry is self-conscious, the second is more of a remake than a sequel, and the third is so different from the first two that it almost qualifies as a different genre.
Monday, January 31 2011
How do artists get their work done in other cities of the world? Where is it viable to live? It's probably silly to begin our investigation in New York. Just 30 years ago, New York was still opening its arms to the tired, poor, huddled masses of creatives. But now?
Sunday, January 23 2011
As is often the case with classics, what could have been a brilliantly updated film adaptation of The Scarlet Letter was consumed by the Hollywood machine that instead spits out a shallow and action-packed romp with a glossed-over ending.
Tuesday, January 18 2011
The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers TV series was after my time, and a passing glance at any given episode was enough to convince me that it was, well, 'stunted'. So why have I seen Power Rangers: the Movie five times?
Wednesday, January 5 2011
What’s black and white and blue all over? 2010’s finest films. Suffragette City investigates all of the major awards categories, offering up choices that are about as far a field from the Hollywood/Oscar PR machine as one can get!