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Thursday, April 10 2014

Colin Firth Is a Haunted WWII Veteran in ‘The Railway Man’

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.


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

Abigail Breslin and Georgie Henley are Murderous Girls in ‘Perfect Sisters’

Perfect Sisters establishes Sandra and Beth as archetypal caring, sharing sisters. They may look different, but they act as one.


‘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 Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden’ Is More than a Little Disturbing

As Goethe said, you can't leave civilization without being punished. You will be punished.


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

Scarlett Johansson Visits Our Planet in ‘Under the Skin’

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.


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

It Can’t Be Easy to Be the Girl in the Marvel Universe

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’: Bounty Hunting During the Civil War

The Retrieval weaves a complicated story of family, fear, and the hope for freedom during the Civil War.


The Perennial Puzzle That Is Donald Rumsfeld

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.


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

How Did a Lie Became a ‘Truth’ in the Anita Hill / Clarence Thomas Hearings?

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.


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

What Is ‘Teenage’?

With shifting politics and social structures, increasing mobility and advancing technologies in mind, how has the idea of the teenager changed over time?


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.


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