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Reviews

Friday, October 24 2014

‘The Battery’ Is a First Act in Search of a Plot

Amounting to one feature-length inciting incident, the low-budget zombie film The Battery will test the limits of even the most devoted horror fans’ patience.


Thursday, October 23 2014

‘Gorky Park’ Is a Cold War Film That Avoids National Stereotypes

This violent murder mystery is atypical among Cold War era films and stands up well today, but this Blu-ray could use a little more "special" in its "features".


Wednesday, October 22 2014

‘Ghost in the Shell 25th Anniversary Edition’ Is a Classic Anime Given Paltry Extras Treatment

Ghost in the Shell remains an excellent milestone in anime, but this barebones release is devoid of the extras that would truly make this edition special.


Tuesday, October 21 2014

‘Queen: Live at the Rainbow ‘74’: Still Killer Queen, After All These Years

Live at the Rainbow '74 doesn't contain all of Queen's biggest commercial hits, but features some of their heaviest rock from their amazing early days.


Monday, October 20 2014

‘Watchers of the Sky’ and the Full Cruelty of Consciousness

Brutality can take many forms, from war making to banking.


‘The Vincent Price Collection II’ Is a B-Movie Lover’s Dream

Vincent Price brought class to everything he did, a quality evident even in the B-movies of The Vincent Price Collection II.


The Waters Aren’t Choppy Enough in ‘Killer Fish’

There's hardly enough killer fish action in Killer Fish to keep the film afloat.


Friday, October 17 2014

‘The Book of Life’ Is a Boy-Band Approach to Moviemaking

The commercial approach of The Book of Life is to draw on a wide range of celebrities to craft an entertainment that just about anyone could like.


Michael Keaton and Edward Norton Square Off in ‘Birdman’

A onetime Hollywood superhero takes a stab at respectability by adapting Raymond Carver’s writings to Broadway in Iñárritu's hallucinogenic satire of the entertainment industry.


Thursday, October 16 2014

‘Lilting’ Is About the Ways We Assimilate

Lilting challenges what it means to assimilate into a culture, suggesting that blending in isn't necessary for shared experience.


‘The Essential Jacques Demy’ Captures the Director’s Breezy, Bluesy World

The Essential Jacques Demy provides an insightful look inside an auteur who may finally be getting the recognition he deserves.


Wednesday, October 15 2014

In ‘The Zero Theorem’, Terry Gilliam Is Still Looking for the Meaning of Life

Terry Gilliam's quest for life's biggest answers finds a new formulation in The Zero Theorem: perhaps, the film suggests, there is no meaning to it all.


‘Million Dollar Arm’ Is a Million Dollar Idea With a Ten-Cent Film Plot

Million Dollar Arm is a film that picked the wrong protagonist.


Tuesday, October 14 2014

The Bully at the Pulpit: ‘Elmer Gantry’

Richard Brooks's adaptation of Elmer Gantry lives and dies on Burt Lancaster's strangest, most unforgettable performance.


Monday, October 13 2014

‘Obvious Child’ Looks at Unplanned Pregnancy from a New Angle

Even when Obvious Child lacks interesting conflict, it still admirably presents women in a way atypical from mainstream cinema.


Saturday, October 11 2014

‘Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day’

Like most kids' movies, this one is less chaotic and inventive than it is predictable and reassuring.


Friday, October 10 2014

There’s Blood on the Drums in ‘Whiplash’

In Whiplash, all the visual and aural magic comes from Andrew's (Miles Teller) precise and jazzy drum solos.


Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall Chew Scenery in ‘The Judge’

A strong cast fights a losing battle against subpar material in this ramshackle drama.


There Are Lots of Bill Murray Bits in ‘St. Vincent’

Like any movie in the curmudgeon-mentors-a-child subgenre, St. Vincent draws some fine lines, between comedy and sentimentality, formula and, well, more formula.


Love in a Gilded Cage: ‘Blanche’

A master of visuals, Walerian Borowczyk's stunning recreation of medieval life presents a world which seems as real and defined as the space in our own living rooms.


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