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Wednesday, April 9 2014

‘The Artist and the Model’ and the Need for Passion

Fernando Trueba has experimented with so many genres that it's obvious he's yet to determine his own cinematic identity.


Tuesday, April 8 2014

The Pressure Cooker of ‘August: Osage County’ Explodes with Talent

During a brittle August, the battle for familial control flares when Barbara confronts her iron-willed mother in the aftermath of a family crisis. If only they didn’t have to be so loud about it.


Monday, April 7 2014

It May Be Titled ‘The Hobbit’, But It’s All About the Dragon

A shapeshifter, gigantic spiders, and a barrel-battle escape create exhilarating suspense in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, but best of all is a deliciously devious incendiary beast.


Friday, April 4 2014

The Lavish ‘Samson and Delilah’ Is Even More So in Blu-ray

Even the fiercest non-believer will see a flash of the truly divine in this Cecil B. DeMille epic.


Thursday, April 3 2014

At It’s Worst, ‘American Hustle’ Is a Rollicking Comedy

Scene for scene, American Hustle may be most David O. Russell's most aesthetically pleasing film.


‘Return to Nuke ‘Em High, Vol. 1’ Proves that When Bad Is Bad, It’s Just Bad

There's a big difference between being intentionally ridiculous and coming out hilariously self-aware and being intentionally ridiculous and succeeding in being bad.


Wednesday, April 2 2014

How Did ‘Frozen’ Become so Popular?

Now the highest grossing animated film in history, there's no denying a certain appeal to Disney's Frozen. That doesn't make it a quality film, though.


‘Saving Mr. Banks’ Comes with a Perfect Spoonful of Charm

Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson are a joy to watch in Saving Mr. Banks, a sweet but worthwhile Disney film about the making of Mary Poppins.


‘The Big Melt’ Puts Flesh Onto the Memories of Sheffield’s Steel Industry

Pulp's Jarvis Cocker and director Martin Wallace join forces to breathe new vibrancy into a living history of glowing foundries, smoking chimneys and toiling men.


Tuesday, April 1 2014

Ron Burgundy and the Sorry State of Journalism

I didn't expect Anchorman 2 to be something the first Anchorman was not at all: a relevant, and dare I even say intelligent, satire on the state of news reporting in the US.


Monday, March 31 2014

While ‘Beneath’ Brings the Nails to the Story, It Forgets the Hammer

Beneath has the tools to be a good horror flick: stranded teens; the decline of judgment in the face of terror; severed limbs; lots of blood.


Thursday, March 27 2014

‘George Washington’ Is the Artful Debut of a Visionary Filmmaker

David Gordon Green favors the elliptical over the literal and is more concerned with establishing atmosphere. Words spoken are less important than words omitted.


Wednesday, March 26 2014

The Chilling Effect of Noh Theater on Akira Kurosawa’s ‘Throne of Blood’

Throne of Blood plays with Noh's frightening incongruity, its delicacy of movement expressing mortifyingly indelicate actions, as when Washizu and Asaji deflate like punctured blow-up dolls as they resolve themselves to treason.


‘Inside No. 9’ Is a Bit Like a Box of Chocolates, Albeit One Full of Dark, Bitter Sweets

Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton turn down the grotesque but amp up the insidious mixture of morbid comedy and genuine creepiness for this series of stand-alone tales.


Tuesday, March 25 2014

The Embers of the MOVE Bombing Still Smolder

To some, the FBI's handling of MOVE screamed of the Attica prison riot; to others, it was more like the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, if you will.


No One Really Sweats in ‘Swerve’, but They Glisten

The title of writer/director Craig Lahiff's Swerve is both predictably metaphorical and assertively literal, but the film itself is merely a road to nowhere.


Monday, March 24 2014

Sex & Drugs & Stocks ‘n’ Blow

The Wolf of Wall Street becomes a frightening morality play wherein the morals worth celebrating or demonizing depend entirely upon the viewer.


Friday, March 21 2014

Eric Clapton After the Collapse of Cream

This unauthorized documentary offers a unique look at one of Eric Clapton's most fertile eras, but is light on the words of Clapton himself.


Thursday, March 20 2014

‘In Fear’ Gets Off to a Scary Start, At Least

In Fear is moderately successful in illustrating the randomness of violence.


‘Monsters: The Complete Series’ Is a Boon for Nostalgia Buffs

The monsters in Monsters look laughable, but if you're a fan of the show already, you probably won't care.


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