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Friday, February 27 2015

‘The Lazarus Effect’ Is an 88 Minute Excuse for Exposition

Because The Lazarus Effect takes so long getting to the supposedly scary stuff, we have to stay focused on either the characters or the content, and both fail.


‘Focus’ Is a Romantic Comedy With Dimension

This Will Smith vehicle is witty, brash Hollywood entertainment that's sexy, smart, and on the whole, successful.


‘Maps to the Stars’ Brings Back Some Classic Cronenberg Horror

While not in the vein of Cronenberg's classic body horror thrillers, the bleak showbiz satire Maps to the Stars could well be a horror film after all.


‘Lucy’ Entertains Despite Its Stupid Science

Lucy's idea of science is akin to a stoner complaining about how math doesn't really exist, but it does have an audacity that many sci-fi thrillers in the present day lack.


Thursday, February 26 2015

‘Bluebird’ Makes for a Thoughtful Examination of Distraction

Every character in Bluebird reminds us of how we might deliberately distract ourselves, in ways that simultaneously buffer and generate pain.


Death and Childhood Hover Over Guy Maddin’s ‘My Winnipeg’

The comic mythologizing of Winnipeg becomes conflated with an urge for Maddin to mythologize himself.


Wednesday, February 25 2015

‘Más Negro Que La Noche’ Is the Rare Remake That Trounces the Original

This Mexican horror remake evokes the mood, atmosphere and acting of the classic era of horror.


Tuesday, February 24 2015

‘Big Hero 6’ Bursts at the Seams With Emotion

Big Hero 6 demonstrates how Disney does animated storytelling like no other.


Monday, February 23 2015

Ringo Starr Becomes a Stoner Cro-Magnon in ‘Caveman’

There are many surprises to be found in Caveman, not the least of which is that it is not a complete waste of time.


Friday, February 20 2015

In ‘McFarland, USA’, Sports Victory Vanquishes Prejudice

Although the "Great White Hope" overtones are troubling, McFarland, USA trumps the racism of its antagonists with sports team-building.


‘Still Alice’ Is the Story of a Mind in Search for Words and Self

Julianne Moore's luminous performance as a woman with early onset Alzheimer's reveals how the disease makes it difficult to find oneself.


‘Hot Tub Time Machine 2’ Is an Exercise in Stunted Scatology

Hot Tub Time Machine 2 will be clever only to those who never outgrew hearing their first dirty joke at summer camp.


‘The Palm Beach Story’ and the Comedy of Patriarchy

In pure madcap fashion, Preston Sturges' wartime comedy depicts just how absurd the constraints on women are in a patriarchal society.


Thursday, February 19 2015

Mauritania’s First Academy Award Nominee ‘Timbuktu’ Examines Missing Motives

Timbuktu shows how the most intense religious conflicts are often fought without much reason or thought.


‘The Haunting of Black Wood’ Contains No Haunting Whatsoever

The issue with this ostensible haunting in Black Wood is not a paucity of dollars in the budget, but rather of tension, drama, and ideas.


Wednesday, February 18 2015

John Boorman Revisits the British Empire With ‘Queen and Country’

While John Boorman doesn't transform the genre here as he did in Hope and Glory, he does give Queen and Country more bite than the usual soft-focus waltz down memory lane.


‘Jimi: All Is by My Side’ Is a Portrait of an Artist Without His Art

Where Jimi Hendrix’s music is a fireworks display, this film is rather grey and lifeless.


Tuesday, February 17 2015

‘The Theory of Everything’ Needs More Jane Hawking

Felicity Jones' remarkable performance can't save The Theory of Everything, in large part because the film doesn't fully commit to her own point of view.


Monday, February 16 2015

‘La Belle Captive’ Is a Beautiful Nightmare

Part murder-mystery, part erotic fever dream, La Belle Captive is a sumptuous nightmare.


Friday, February 13 2015

‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ Pushes the Spy Spoof Only So Far

Kingsman is a cut above the usual winter flicks, but it's also flummoxed by its inability to maintain it subversive tone.


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