Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

Reviews

Wednesday, October 1 2014

‘Ivory Tower’ Is a Scattered Look at an Important Topic

Andrew Rossi’s documentary Ivory Tower opts to generate heat rather than shed light on key issues in American higher education.


Tuesday, September 30 2014

‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’ Remains the Ultimate Revisionist Western 40 Years Later

It opens with images of mortality and ends with a monster’s operatic dance with a chain saw under a deathly, brooding Texas sun—it’s about America, man.


Monday, September 29 2014

You May Not Get It, But David Lynch Knows What He’s Doing in ‘Eraserhead’

It takes 89 minutes to watch David Lynch's Eraserhead, but it could take 89 years to figure out what the hell it was that you just saw.


Friday, September 26 2014

There’s No Horsing Around in ‘A Brony Tale’

A Brony Tale isn’t as fun as it should be, but it does manage to say a lot of interesting things about stereotypes and fandom.


Thursday, September 25 2014

‘The Stream’ Is a Deluge of References

Aching for the past dam(n)s The Stream.


Wednesday, September 24 2014

Fair Enough at the Very Least: ‘The Legend of Billie Jean: Fair Is Fair Edition’

One might believe in the "Legend" of Billie Jean Davy if the distributor cared a little more about extras.


Tuesday, September 23 2014

‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum’ Is a Charming Collection of Anachronisms

The classic farcical Sondheim musical springs to Blu-ray with all the hilarity of the classic movie, but only half the songs of the classic stage play.


‘Fear in the Night’ Speaks the Indecipherable Language of Noir

Noir, as a definitive term, is elusive and always out of reach, as are dreams. So what are we to do with Fear in the Night, a noir that traffics in dreams?


Monday, September 22 2014

‘Cesar Chavez’ Deifies Instead of Humanizes Its Hero

Too reverential for its own good, this film feels like a social studies class instead of a work of art.


‘All That Jazz’ Is Bob Fosse’s Cinematic Self-Flagellation

This excellent, entertaining, and accurate bio-pic of Bob Fosse's life and death was actually co-written and directed by Bob Fosse eight years before he died.


Thursday, September 18 2014

In ‘The Galapagos Affair’, Paradise Remains Stubbornly Absent

In this gripping true-crime story, an absurdist stew of petty tensions and quasi-Nietzschean dynamics rip apart the tiny colony of Europeans who settled one of the Galapagos islands in the '30s.


Mysterious Forces and Femme Fatales: ‘Out of the Past’

In Torneur's classic film, the femme fatale knows she's an object in a world of violent men she has no reason to respect.


Wednesday, September 17 2014

‘Queen Margot’ Is a History That Only Goes Downhill

Patrice Chéreau's multiple César winning film receives a lavish 20th anniversary edition from Cohen.


Tuesday, September 16 2014

Silly Sexual Politics Undermine ‘Operation Petticoat’

Silly sexual politics prevent this film from being a bona fide classic.


‘Circle the Wagen’ Prefers a Predetermined Map

Circle the Wagen begins with the end in mind, and suffers as a result.


Monday, September 15 2014

‘Godzilla’ Is Paint-By-Numbers Monster Movie Making

This reboot is a pretty pedestrian affair, managing to pull out all the tropes you've come to expect from monster movies without offering anything new.


Friday, September 12 2014

Wednesday, September 10 2014

‘Night Moves’ Depicts the Blindness and Violence of Ideology

Never once do Night Moves's three lead characters genuinely consider the ramifications of what they're doing. Naturally, they can't foresee their downfall.


Tuesday, September 9 2014

The Teachers Are the Children in ‘Words and Pictures’

The premise of the film is too silly to ring as true, but the palpable chemistry of Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche makes this an enjoyable trifle.


What Happens When You Don’t Want Your Kid?: ‘Proxy’

A slack conclusion can't totally detract from the twisty script, mannered performances, and uncommonly gorgeous direction that make Proxy, the must-see independent thriller of 2014 so far.


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