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Wednesday, June 11 2014

‘Seven Samurai’ Spawned a Subgenre All of Its Own

Celebrating its 60th birthday this year, Akira Kurosawa's superb and influential Japanese adventure film is still as impressive as ever.


Tuesday, June 10 2014

‘Manakamana’: Mysteries of Time and Cable Cars

If the human cable car riders are aware of the camera and then forget it, are aware of the camera and address it, are aware of the camera and ignore it, what can goats manage?


It’s No Longer a Man’s World in ‘Ms. 45’

This bone-chilling story of a young, violated woman who has been pushed too far gets a much deserved re-release.


Monday, June 9 2014

Forget Boy Scout; Jack Ryan Is an Eagle Scout to the Extreme

In his latest incarnation, Jack Ryan is always the most observant, most competent, most morally upstanding guy in the room.


Friday, June 6 2014

‘Night Moves’ Is Kelly Reichardt’s Latest Portrait of Americans Lost

Political disaffection and engagement, personal dedication and distrust.


All Salvation is Temporary in ‘The Fault in Our Stars’

The Fault in Our Stars provides a showcase for the protagonist's honest openness, her capacity to radiate and inspire empathy.


There’s a ‘TINY’ Rebellion Going on in America

TINY: A Story About Living Small is a suitably modest documentary that explores whether home is really what you make it or if there’s a minimum size requirement.


Thursday, June 5 2014

‘Citizen Koch’ and the Enduring Effects of Citizens United

What happens when corporate and private monies are allowed to come into a public system of electioneering and propaganda?


Art and the Art of Sport in ‘This is Not a Ball’

This offers many individuals' stories of the game, the mechanics, the beauty, the promise and hope offered by soccer, but only a glimpse at the politics or the industry.


Taking the Art Out of ‘The Art of the Steal’

This rises somewhat above its heist flick clichés, due mostly to its stellar cast, but also the clever structure of the story, courtesy of writer/director Jonathan Sobol.


The Sentimental Pedagogy of ‘Good Morning, Miss Dove’

Miss Dove is the last of a "genteel" respectability in a world that's going to hell.


Wednesday, June 4 2014

Jame Cagney’s Reinvention in ‘Johnny Come Lately’

In this otherwise predictable film, James Cagney paved a path for future performers and the DIY ethic.


Francesco Rosi’s Odd Bout of Irrealism in ‘More Than a Miracle’

In More than a Miracle, we have no hope that the whole countryside must live happily ever after.


Tuesday, June 3 2014

‘The Freshman’ Is Remarkably, if Silently, Contemporary

The grand-daddy of college comedies, The Freshman makes a compelling case for the relevance of silent film.


‘Runaways’, Rebellion and Reissue

Aimed at younger viewers, this BFI period collection about runaways and tearaways manages a good mix of entertainment, education and social commentary.


Monday, June 2 2014

‘Korengal’: You Never Leave the Valley of Death Behind

If war makes for strong bonding and assertions of loyalty, it can also make for troubled aftermath, and that's the complicated focus of Korengal.


The Marx Brother’s ‘Love Happy’ Not So Happy Behind-the-Scenes Drama

Even a so-so Marx Brothers film is better than no Marx Brothers film, right?


Friday, May 30 2014

There’s a Lot of Runaway Bull in ‘A Million Ways to Die in the West’

For all of Seth MacFarlane's supposedly edgy humor, he's making the most conventional three-act hero's journey imaginable.


‘We Are the Best!
’: A Girls’ Punk Rock Band

All three young actresses are terrific, performing with the kind of unguarded, unaffected naturalism that sometimes seems unthinkable in American movies.


Alfred Hitchcock Would Get a Kick Out of ‘Non-Stop’

Liam Neeson's career reinvention continues as he becomes our generation's Cary Grant in the efficient, streamlined thriller Non-Stop.


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