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Wednesday, July 30 2014

‘Fallen City’ and Life, as It Is, After the Earthquake

None of the answers in Fallen City seem simple, as the film offers three stories of survivors after the 2008 earthquake in Beichuan.


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

‘Love Child’ Crosses the Line Between Real Life and Virtual Life

The parents of the dead child declared that online gaming impaired their judgment, their comprehension, their fundamental life skills.


‘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.


Friday, July 25 2014

Scarlett Johansson Gets Goopy in ‘Lucy’

This might be as close to a point as Lucy can get, the essential illogic of movies, of illusion, of delusion.


The Glory of ‘Hercules’ and the Glory of Dwayne Johnson

Sweating and bleeding, swinging maces and destroying architecture, Hercules imposes his will by way of his body, the legend becoming a truth in spite of itself.


Woody Allen’s ‘Magic in the Moonlight’ Considers the Value of Illusion

Stanley rejects the very notion of an afterlife, bitterly noting, like so many Woody Allen characters before him, that our current existence is all we get.


Thursday, July 24 2014

‘The Newburgh Sting’ Has Us Wondering, Is the FBI Thwarting or Conjuring Terrorism?

The plot these would-be terrorists conjure is as preposterous as any you'd find in a bad action movie.


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

‘30 for 30: Slaying the Badger’: Shenanigans at the 1986 Tour de France

Slaying the Badger constructs an exciting, sometimes troubling story of competition and deceit, focused on the 1986 Tour de France.


‘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.


Music Brings New Life to the Elderly in ‘Alive Inside’

The film's best argument for the positive effects of music is made in images of individuals' vivid, apparently immediate responses.


Friday, July 18 2014

Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel Act Out for ‘Sex Tape’

Sex Tape demonstrates that it's very hard to do a funny movie about the difficulty of maintaining a successful marriage.


‘The Purge: Anarchy’ Takes Aim at the One Percent

The absurd extremes of this story have an expansive quality that leaves acres of room to explore its moral, political, and socioeconomic possibilities. But it doesn't.


‘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

‘The Congress’ Is Ari Folman’s Ode to Cinema

While The Congress suggests the entertainment industry is dystopian, its own rich strangeness offers a utopian corrective.


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

‘Broken Heart Land’ Heartbreakingly Tells of the Harm Done by Intolerance

Norman, Oklahoma serves as a haven for both tolerance and intolerance. This contradiction comes to trouble the parents of Zack Harrington, who killed himself in 2010.


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