Monday, October 21 2013
12 Years a Slave invites you to see all at once (and so, feel overwhelmed) and to grasp how trauma is incremental, molding expectations as it crushes souls.
Friday, October 18 2013
For all the expected bits about bodies punched and slammed, broken, shot, and slashed, Escape Plan also exploits the two very famous bodies at its center.
J.C. Chandor’s film is a surprisingly unsparing and rigorous piece of work, tinged with an unsentimental fatalism.
As mom holds a large gleaming knife over her infant, gooey little Carrie opens her eyes and re-seals her own terrible fate.
Thursday, October 17 2013
Julian Assange's mind becomes a landscape: an office space expands forever, desks and monitors stretch into the distance, each occupied by many, many Julians.
Tuesday, October 15 2013
Capturing the Friedmans resonates in multiple ways, posing questions about truth, evidence, storytelling, and the improprieties of legal systems.
Monday, October 14 2013
Jesus would never have had to think about what to say in this situation, the one where Jeremy Lin found himself, so briefly and vividly, last year.
Friday, October 11 2013
Kids' screams and the clanking of the ride machinery fill Jim's increasingly crowded head.
What's most worrying about Captain Phillips is its full-on celebration of the Navy's hugeness: repeated shots show helicopters, ships, and boats all over the little orange lifeboat, with all manner of surveillance by cameras, binoculars, and microphones to ensure the Navy's total control of each moment.
Thursday, October 10 2013
Free Spirits, this week's 30 for 30 film on ESPN, reveals the jazz that shaped the ABA's basketball game.
Tuesday, October 8 2013
This lurid and choppy morality tale is a pale copy of those Ben Mezrich books about Ivy League guys who get in over their heads by gambling.
Monday, October 7 2013
Again and again, adults in Valentine Road fail the children in their charge.
Friday, October 4 2013
As Let the Fire Burn opens with young survivor Michael Ward, so it also it returns to his deposition repeatedly, creating a rhythm, reconnecting the various pieces of the catastrophe with this child's story.
Thursday, October 3 2013
If the movie isn't an exercise per se, it is an exploration of what might be done, in and by movies, to convey or imagine an impossible experience.
Tuesday, October 1 2013
Don Jon is an anti-romantic comedy in that the genre's motions don't provide the expected emotional catharsis.
Monday, September 30 2013
Don’t Stop Believin’ explores the complexity of Arne Pinedal's position, in Journey and in a broader context that includes all kinds of expectations.
In showing that Lee has a reason, a whole set of reasons, Blue Caprice doesn't excuse or even explain how the sniper came to this place.
This won't teach kids much about adult relationships (Flint and Sam kiss once in a while, but she's his "friend" which, on second thought, might teach kids something about adults), but it has an unforced and appealing sweetness.
Friday, September 27 2013
Baggage Claim adorns the ancient rom-com formula with allusions to less backwards thinking, but plods ahead, anyway.
Christian makes it his mission to seek out another Jewish girlfriend, since, as he states more than once, "I never want to make another decision" for the rest of his life.