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

Reviews

Friday, November 14 2014

‘Rosewater’ Is Jon Stewart’s Ode to Hope

For all its desperation, Rosewater is also suffused with hope and even joy, a reminder that journalist Maziar Bahari is not forgotten.


‘Beyond the Lights’ Delivers What You Most Expect Out of a Melodrama

The conventions in Gina Prince-Bythewood's film are fully functioning, not so much challenged as fine-tuned, placing it safely in the camp of melodrama.


DOC NYC 2014: ‘Salad Days’ + ‘Happy Valley’

Both Salad Days and Happy Valley conclude leaving as many questions as they ask during their runtimes.


Melissa McCarthy Leads an All-Star Cast to Its Doom in ‘Tammy’

Don't be fooled by the pretty faces: Tammy is as bad as they come, a major flop that fails to show Melissa McCarthy and her cast's true talents.


Thursday, November 13 2014

DOC NYC 2014: ‘The Seven Five’ + ‘The Life and Mind of Mark DeFriest’

One of New York’s most crooked cops tells his story in an electric film, and a tragicomic story looks at the troubled life of Florida’s most dedicated prison escape artist.


DOC NYC 2014: ‘9-Man’

This documentary poses hard questions about how teams, communities, and identities are developed, and how assumptions shape expectations.


Scarred But Smarter: The Life ‘n’ Times of Drivin’ n’ Cryin’

An excellent documentary of a deserving band. Thirty years down a long road, the band is still driving with tears in their eyes and telling stories worth hearing.


Wednesday, November 12 2014

‘Virunga’ Tells the Sadly Familiar but Complicated Tale of Colonialism in the Congo

Director Orlando von Einsiedel comes under literal gunfire for documenting the colonial capitalist powers in the Congo, a reminder that sometimes the price for oil is blood.


Tuesday, November 11 2014

‘The Female Gaze’ Is a Collection of Films That Buck Male-Centric Cinematic Trends

The seven films in The Female Gaze offer an interesting look at the work of seven different female directors, each a welcome antidote to action-hero blockbusters and formulaic rom-coms.


Monday, November 10 2014

‘Houdini’ Explains the Tricks Before Showing the Magic

Film and magic have always been intertwined. Some works take advantage of the relationship, but Houdini does not.


Philip Seymour Hoffman Grappled With Broken Systems in His Final Roles

Both A Most Wanted Man and God's Pocket reminder us of how Hoffman always rose to the occasion of the role and drew our attention to the larger structures at play.


Friday, November 7 2014

‘Actress’ Explores What It Means to Play a Role

Actress allows Brandy Burre (The Wire) the screen space and time to make her own image -- or so it seems.


Christopher Nolan’s ‘Interstellar’ Does an Amazing Thing With Corn

This film lurches toward an Inception-ish crosscutting climax, but the rush is not so thrilling as the imagery and the meaning of the corn; humankind's sole remaining sustenance.


‘Leviathan’ Is a Schlocky Horror Take on Hitchcock

Leviathan plays like a cheap, schlocky, caffeine-hyped attempt at sci-fi Hitchcock, with a healthy dose of John Carpenter horror thrown in for good measure.


Thursday, November 6 2014

In ‘Joe’, Nicolas Cage Plays a Captivating Tragic Figure

Joe feels neither remarkable nor unremarkable, yet by its conclusion it holds the power to touch your sensibilities.


Wednesday, November 5 2014

‘Ilo Ilo’ Is Too Understated for Its Own Good

The debut feature from director Anthony Chen features strong performances, but its understated quality makes the film struggle to make a lasting impression.


Tuesday, November 4 2014

‘Hoax_Canular’ and the End of the World on the Internet

For all the stories about how isolated and asocial internet users can be, Hoax_Canular offers stories of imagining community, sharing truths and more.


‘A Million Ways to Die in the West’ Places Seth MacFarlane’s Ego Front and Center

Perhaps MacFarlane will learn from his experiences, but with any luck, he'll learn the biggest lesson of all: his talents are required behind the camera, not in front of it.


In ‘Maleficent’, Angelina Jolie Channels Shakespeare’s Richard III

Like the great antiheroes of history, Angelina Jolie's seductive performance as Maleficent gets you to root for her even as she commits acts of evil.


Monday, November 3 2014

‘Love Streams’ Is a Masterful Swan Song From One of America’s Great Artists

The once widely unavailable Love Streams gets a thorough Criterion reissue, a well-deserved feat for John Cassavetes' final masterpiece.


Now on PopMatters
Announcements
PM Picks

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.