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Thursday, April 17 2014

‘King of the Hill’ Is a Touching, Sweet Story and Quite Unlike Later Soderbergh Films

This is a fascinating glimpse into an exploratory, identity-forming period before even Soderbergh himself seemed to have a handle on his erratic muse.


It’s Not Easy, ‘Being Ginger’

Kermit the Frog may have said it’s not easy being green, but this entertaining documentary shows that it’s sure not easy being a ginger, either.


Wednesday, April 16 2014

Boundaries Are All Fictions in Godard’s “Breathless”

Even now, after countless reviews and essays, it's easy to be captivated by the way Godard obfuscates our expectations for cinematic art.


Women with Rare Intellectual Authority Form ‘The Bletchley Circle’

The resourcefulness and fearlessness of these women is a highlight in a series so well-written and well-acted.


Tuesday, April 15 2014

‘The Making of a Lady’ Is a Fine Portrait of Mystery and Misdirection

There is only one place to find the social acuity of Jane Austen and the inquisitive intrigue of Alfred Hitchcock, and that is in a Frances Hodgson Burnett story.


Monday, April 14 2014

A Hands-Off Approach Goes a Long Way in ‘Philomena’

The direction is solid but not overbearing, the score subtle and light, the entire affair very nicely cushioned around Coogan and Dench's performances, and the film is all the more effective because of it.


Friday, April 11 2014

Before ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ Begins, Flicker Alley Is Delivering the Goods

The greatness of Flicker Alley’s 2014 Blu-ray release of the 1923 film The Hunchback of Notre Dame is evident even before the disc is slid into the player.


Thursday, April 10 2014

A General, a Princess and Two Greedy, Dim-Witted Peasants

The Hidden Fortress is more "accessible" and "entertaining" than Rashômon, but Kurosawa's artistry is ever present.


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.


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