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Monday, August 11 2014

Many Faces of Lady Whirlwind: ‘The Angela Mao Ying Collection’

Angela Mao is wholesome and badass, a personality that, when brought to her fight scenes, immediately marks her as a star—although the scripts she was given don't often give her the chance to maximize that stardom.


Friday, August 8 2014

‘Need for Speed’ Is About the Thrill of the Ride, Not the Script

Besides just lavishing attention on the cars, director Scott Waugh loves placing them in the context of other, classic driving movies, from Bullitt to American Graffiti.


Thursday, August 7 2014

The Golden Woods of ‘Without Warning’ Can’t Kick the Camp

"It was a sci-fi and we could ham it up, so we did—and it was great,” Tarah Nutter says about Without Warning. While "ham it up" fits the film, "great" is less apt.


Wednesday, August 6 2014

Killer Choreography Consumes the ‘Ong Bak Trilogy’

Tony Jaa still has a long way to go before he becomes a household name, but as this box set proves, he's well on his way—and may just be able to afford an acting lesson or two as well.


Tuesday, August 5 2014

‘Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me’ Invites the Viewer to Drink Up a Vibrant Life

Watching Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, the primary impression left is that Stritch had many more stories to tell.


Friday, August 1 2014

‘Slander’ Airs Out the Dirty Laundry of the Genteel ‘50’s

Slander hasn't dated much at all; it still engages the viewer with something harsh and sordid under its veneer of '50s gentility.


Wednesday, July 30 2014

Have Our ‘Hearts and Minds’ Really Changed?

There are lessons aplenty about Vietnam in Hearts and Minds—it's a shame we still haven’t learned them.


Tuesday, July 29 2014

In ‘The Big Chill’, Cynicism is the Illusion

Never heavy-handed in its response to Reagan's "Morning in America", The Big Chill shows loss, defeat and grief while still being funny.


Monday, July 28 2014

‘Maidentrip’ Is a Journey Across the Sea and Into Adulthood

Laura Dekker was born to be a sailor, a fact she proves in her successful solo sail around the world in Maidentrip.


Wednesday, July 23 2014

Disney and Spike Lee Unite in ‘The Spike Lee Joint Collection’

Even with some dips in quality, these four movies represent part of a remarkable run; you can feel all of them strive for masterpiece status.


Tuesday, July 22 2014

‘Scanners’ Still Has the Power to Blow Your Mind

Three decades later, Scanners is still a head-popping good time.


Monday, July 21 2014

The Editor as Auteur in ‘A Fever in the Blood’ and ‘Wall of Noise’

Despite their flaws, A Fever in the Blood and Wall of Noise reveal the crucial role of the film editor.


Friday, July 18 2014

‘Ace in the Hole’ Points its Finger at the Audience

Billy Wilder spares no one—not even the viewer—in this scathing satire of American culture.


Thursday, July 17 2014

In ‘Overlord’, Someone’s Gotta Go First

Stuart Cooper's World War II drama Overlord easily deserves a place among the great anti-war films.


Wednesday, July 16 2014

‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ Is Elliptic and Suggestive

Peter Weir's Picnic at Hanging Rock, now in a sterling Criterion edition, remains lovely to look at and difficult to fully comprehend.


Tuesday, July 15 2014

Mysterious Aliens and Inscrutable Humans: ‘Under the Skin’

The simple yet transformative hat-trick of Under the Skin is that it is the humans who are alien.


Friday, July 11 2014

‘Southern Comfort’ Is Populated By Tropes

Walter Hill's talkiest action film boasts one of his best stories, but isn't the forgotten classic one might hope for.


Thursday, July 10 2014

In ‘A Hard Day’s Night’, Trifle Becomes Transcendent

Silly plot aside, the real attraction to A Hard Day’s Night is the music and the way it is presented.


Wednesday, July 9 2014

‘Quadrophenia: Live In London’ Proves That the Four Sides of the Who Are Still Alive and Well

For any a fan of The Who’s “Maximum R&B” music, this is as close to being there as you can possibly get without a time machine and a hefty ticket charge.


Monday, July 7 2014

A Tree Grows in Stoningham: ‘All That Heaven Allows’

There’s no scenery chewing in All That Heaven Allows, just very eloquent décor.


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