Reviews > Film

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.


Thursday, May 29 2014

‘The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne’: A Jewel Thief Remains Elusive

The film can't grant you access to what's true or what's not, it can't actually tell Doris Payne's incredible story; it can only observe her as everyone else does, guessing at how and what she might mean.


Wednesday, May 28 2014

‘The Front Man’: He’s a Rock Star in His Own Way

The story of Jim Wood's (Loaded Poets) experience and evolving desires is transformed into its own sort of art.


There Are Not Lessons in ‘Tanta Agua’ So Much As Cold Hard Truths

What begins as a vacation from hell transforms into the story of a father attempting to reach into his daughter's world before he loses her.


‘Mr. Magoo: The Theatrical Collection’ Is an Animation Lover’s Dream

There was a time when the approach to animation was “less is more”, and it worked very well, indeed.


Tuesday, May 27 2014

‘Horses of God’: From Poverty to Martyrdom

This film begins in Sidi Moumen, a shantytown outside of Casablanca. Our protagonist sees only horizons of loss and regret, from which he sees no escape.


Friday, May 23 2014

‘Stand Clear of the Closing Doors’: Lost on the New York Subway

The film uses the New York subway as metaphor, as young Ricky's journey provides a parallel to his family's: they search for him as they find each other.


‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ Embodies a Forever War

In the beginning of this film, it seems the war between humans and mutants has come to its logical end.


‘The Selfish Giant’ Is Oscar Wilde Re-Imagined

Clio Barnard's vision of the terrenely paradise described by Oscar Wilde has less to do with romanticism and everything to do with escapism.


Wednesday, May 21 2014

‘God Loves Uganda’ Is a Timely Exposé, but It’s Also Unimpressive Cinema

God Loves Uganda exists to educate and enrage; it paints a clear portrait of good versus evil.


Tuesday, May 20 2014

‘9-Man’, the Chinese Version of Volleyball, Will Put Rocks in Your Elbows and Knees

The game of 9-Man offers identity, connections with a past and a sense of belonging in a place where survival and success are often premised on assimilation.


‘Vampire Academy’: It’s Just About High School

Some of the seams of the vampire / teenager connection are starting to show.


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