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Reviews

Tuesday, August 19 2014

‘Hercules’ Lives in the Netherworld of Good Enough

Hercules is a Disney animated film that shows the studio riding the wave of its '90's renaissance, but not reaching the heights of earlier classics.


Monday, August 18 2014

‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks’ Is a Restored Classic Ready to Be Rediscovered

This film is entertaining and fun, while maintaining an emotional component throughout, making it a classic Disney film rightfully getting its due in this restored master.


Friday, August 15 2014

‘Dinosaur 13’: Finding and Losing the World’s Most Complete T-Rex

Dinosaur 13 traces the emotional and legal dilemmas emerging with the discovery of a T-Rex called Sue.


‘A Five Star Life’: Finding Beauty in Hotels and Homes

A Five Star Life challenges the dichotomies of stasis and movement, and of mobility and being tethered down.


‘The Giver’: Another Day, Another YA Dystopia

The Giver is too much like today's other YA dystopias, but without a cool girl at its center.


Love Is Fetishistic in ‘The Face of Love’

The Face of Love is a case of a compelling story that ended up in the wrong movie.


Thursday, August 14 2014

Think College Sports Fans are Crazy? Watch ‘SEC Storied: The Stars Are Aligned’

The stars' descriptions of game day rituals suggest that what looks crazy to a non-fan is utterly acceptable, non-news, to fans. And they know who they are.


‘Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers’ Is a Flat Reimagining

Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers tries to do too much, and in its efforts to be action-packed, funny, contemporary, and still tell a classic story, it becomes muddled.


Tuesday, August 12 2014

Brendan Gleeson Plays a Sort of Johnny Cash of the Soul in ‘Calvary’

John Michael McDonagh’s caustic passion play pits one stolid cleric against the whole filthy universe of base humanity, which demands he atone for the sins of the Catholic Church.


‘Fifi Howls from Happiness’: In Thrall to Iranian Artist Bahman Mohassess

Brilliant, loving, and as intensely political as any of Bahman Mohassess' works, this film celebrates connection as much as it reveals isolation, dedication and outrage.


‘Amen’ Is What Political Cinema Is All About

Troublesome though the implications of Amen are, it is nonetheless a fine example of Costa-Gavras at his most incendiary.


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

‘The Dog’ from ’ Dog Day Afternoon’ Would Do It All Over Again, Hell Ya

This documentary follows John Wojtowicz's story, including the fears and fantasies fueling the Brooklyn bank robbery that would later become the basis for Dog Day Afternoon.


Helen Mirren Is Redoubtable Again in ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’

Snooty and autocratic in a stereotypical way, Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren) provokes a battle filled with charming montage sequences.


‘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

In ‘What If’, Another Adorable Couple Plays with Refrigerator Poetry

When the first scene in a movie has someone arranging refrigerator poetry, it's already out of ideas.


Scandinavian Film Festival L.A. 2014

Sweden may be the 800-lb gorilla of Northern European cinema, but its neighbors have come on strong.


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

‘Web Junkie’ Reveals How China Re-Programs Its Internet Addicts

The question of reality -- what it might be, for whom -- swirls at the center this terrific and shrewdly provocative documentary set inside the Daxing Boot Camp.


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.


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