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Tuesday, July 1 2014

Going ‘Up the Junction’ to Get Down with the Common People

Despite being set in London's Swinging Sixties, Up the Junction comes across just as apropos of America's here and now.


The Pleasure Seekers’ Have All the Cars, Clothes, and Guys That Money Can Buy

These adventurous women only wear some kind of underwear or nightie in front of the windows for that funny little peeping tom across the courtyard.


Monday, June 30 2014

‘Il Sorpasso’ Makes for a Luxurious Summer Treat

Dino Risi is able to turn this odd couple’s story into a film that’s socially and emotionally intelligent -- and entertaining.


‘Bang! Bang! You’re Dead’ Gives Us a Wry Twist on the Wrong Man Theme

Tony Randall comes across like a star for the little screen overwhelmed by the Big Screen, a Felix Unger-type trying out unsuccessfully for Her Majesty’s Service.


Friday, June 27 2014

You Can’t Know the Answer in ‘Enemy’

Director Denis Villeneuve's most successful film to date is a baffling mood piece, a puzzle designed with no solution.


‘Desire Me’ Leaves Much to Be Desired, Unless You Look at It through a Noir Lens

This is apparently the first major Hollywood film to have no director credit, because nobody wanted to claim it. Yet it deserves reconsideration.


Thursday, June 26 2014

‘L’eclisse’ Is Beautifully Made, but Boring as Hell

L’eclisse is a highly regarded work of European modernism that is pretty to look at, interesting to think about, and grueling to watch unfold.


The Sophistication, Charm and Murders in ‘Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries’

The mysteries are consistently smart and well done, but it's the relationships between the characters that really make the show.


Wednesday, June 25 2014

Kiarostami’s ‘Like Somone in Love’ Is Like Something Beautiful

Iranian master Abbas Kiarostami doubles-down on familiar themes in this film, with varying results.


‘The First World War: The Complete Series’ Is an Outstanding Primer on This Multi-Faceted Conflict

Often overshadowed by the World War II 20 years later, the Great War remains, in many sad ways, the yardstick for futility, pointlessness and waste.


Tuesday, June 24 2014

In ‘300: Rise of Empire’ We See How Xerxes Became That Bald, Pierced Badass

If 300 is the cinematic equivalent of a video game, then 300: Rise of an Empire, is at water level: murky, awkward and not nearly as fun.


‘Winter’s Tale’ Is Blinded by the Light

The love story should be at the heart of this film, but it instead gets caught up in the supernatural elements.


Monday, June 23 2014

‘The Nutty Professor’, or, The Strange Case of Dr. Kelp and Mr. Love

Jerry Lewis' update of the Jekyll and Hyde story into the case of a nerd and his stallion alter-ego is still excellent after 50 years.


‘Brazil With Monty Python’s Michael Palin’ Isn’t the Brazil You’re Thinking of

This BBC series is a nice way to learn some things about the world's fifth largest country, which is hosting the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.


Friday, June 20 2014

‘Cry Danger’ Is Simple Noir Elegance

Olive Films' reissue of the 1951 Cry Danger is as no-frills as the old school film itself.


‘The Monkey’s Paw’ Is Not a Bad Little Film

This low-budget thriller manages a few creepy moments.


Thursday, June 19 2014

‘Lone Survivor’ Is a Formidable Piece of Storytelling

Both a visceral and heartbreaking experience, Lone Survivor honors truth through fiction in a way that is both rare and haunting.


There is One Clever Moment in ‘Bushido Man: Seven Deadly Battles’

This kung fu film is all over the place with food, nunchucks, guns and a lot of scratch your head moments.


Wednesday, June 18 2014

In ‘The Lego Movie’ We All Happily Exceed the Recommended Age Limit

There’s a dualist philosophy here between following instructions and letting creativity reign.


Wes Anderson and His Weird Ways Are Quite Apparent in ‘The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou’

Wes Anderson's strange and surreal film, now in a Criterion Blu-ray, has never looked or sounded better. But is this just another Anderson weird?


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