Thursday, April 10 2014
As the torture scenes in The Railway Man focus on waterboarding, you're reminded that Japanese waterboarders were executed by Allied victors, and may pause to ponder the current debate over American waterboarders.
The Hidden Fortress is more "accessible" and "entertaining" than Rashômon, but Kurosawa's artistry is ever present.
Wednesday, April 9 2014
Perfect Sisters establishes Sandra and Beth as archetypal caring, sharing sisters. They may look different, but they act as one.
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
As Goethe said, you can't leave civilization without being punished. You will be punished.
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
Skin doesn't make you sensitive or good or even human, it only makes you feel, physically. However, this alien, whose skin is not like yours, doesn't feel like you do.
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
Captain America: The Winter Soldier's Natasha shows up on time, stays on task, drives an awesome Corvette Stingray, and is ever ready to kick or cover anyone's ass.
The Retrieval weaves a complicated story of family, fear, and the hope for freedom during the Civil War.
The mirror image Donald Rumsfeld creates, his inverted similarity to the villain he mocks, would be comical if the effects of his and the administration's lies weren't so devastating and ongoing.
Even the fiercest non-believer will see a flash of the truly divine in this Cecil B. DeMille epic.
Thursday, April 3 2014
Anita: Speaking Truth to Power not only recalls a horrific instance of political partisanship, but also reveals that this instance was not aberrant, but a precursor of more to come.
Scene for scene, American Hustle may be most David O. Russell's most aesthetically pleasing film.
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
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.
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.
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
With shifting politics and social structures, increasing mobility and advancing technologies in mind, how has the idea of the teenager changed over time?
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.