Archive for category: Film Reviews

Film Review: ‘The Homesman’

26 November, 2014 (05:20) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews, Westerns | By: Robert Horton

Tommy Lee Jones, as actor and director, clearly cares a lot about the Western. Is there an audience that cares with him? The once-dominant genre has declined so steeply since the 1970s that each new one is an event, and Jones has become one of the few people still riding herd on the form. (Though […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

Film Review: ‘Horrible Bosses 2′

26 November, 2014 (05:16) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews, Westerns | By: Robert Horton

Maybe the bar wasn’t set especially high, but let’s not dampen the rare, humble pleasure of declaring that a sequel is better than the original. Horrible Bosses 2 is looser and funnier than its 2011 predecessor; and if its R-rated comedy misses as often as it hits, at least the timing is there. The first […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

Film Review: ‘V/H/S: Viral’

26 November, 2014 (05:13) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews, Horror | By: Robert Horton

The third installment of the V/H/S horror-anthology series has just one decent segment in it. And by “decent,” I mean unhealthy and outrageous and fantastically bizarre. Like its predecessors, V/H/S: Viral rolls out spooky stories that appear to be found footage. Therefore, as with most examples of this form, we see many laborious reasons for […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

Videophiled: Joe Sarno’s ‘Dirty Movie’ and ‘What is Cinema?’

26 November, 2014 (00:37) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Documentary, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

A Life in Dirty Movies (Film Movement, DVD) – The work of Joe Sarno is little known outside of cinephile and cult cinema circles, and not widely seen even among cineastes. That’s because he, with the support and collaboration of his wife Peggy, made his low-budget explorations of adult sexuality within the confines of the […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

Videophiled: Mohammad Rasoulof’s ‘Manuscripts Don’t Burn’

25 November, 2014 (14:23) | by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

What’s most startling about Mohammad Rasoulof’s 2013 Iranian thriller Manuscripts Don’t Burn (Kino Lorber, DVD, Netflix) is its audacity. Iranian filmmakers have a history of couching its criticisms of life in Iran in metaphor. This film puts its portrait of authoritarian oppression out in the open. We open on a contract murder that plays like […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

Out of the Past: ‘Pather Panchali’

24 November, 2014 (09:22) | by Alan Williams, Film Reviews | By: Alan Williams

[Originally published in Movietone News 49, April 1976] The camera looks up at a rooftop and balcony where we see an Indian woman, clearly upper-class from her dress, intently examining a piece of pottery. She calls out, “Who’s there?” and then looks up, off screen right. Cut to a longer shot, tracking backwards right to […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

Film Review: ‘Force Majeure’

21 November, 2014 (09:32) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

In the opening scene of Force Majeure, a family poses for a resort photographer as they begin their skiing vacation in the Alps. Everybody acts happy, and the pictures look really cute. From that point on, this movie does everything in its power to ruin that image. But this Swedish film isn’t predictable about how […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

Film Review: ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1′

21 November, 2014 (09:27) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Suzanne Collins wrote the “Hunger Games” as a trilogy of books, but Hollywood is getting four movies out of it. It worked for “Twilight” and “Harry Potter,” so here’s the first half of the finale — hope you like cliffhangers. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 is the full mouthful of a title. Shell-shocked warrior […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

Videophiled Classics: Otto Preminger’s ‘Bunny Lake is Missing’

20 November, 2014 (09:54) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Bunny Lake Is Missing (Twilight Time, Blu-ray) – In the late 1950s and early 1960s, no American director melded classic Hollywood style and cool modern European elegance better than producer/director Otto Preminger. His handsome films are celebrations of introspection and stylistic remove and his best work defined not by heroes and villains but complex, flawed, […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

Review: Supervixens

19 November, 2014 (09:07) | by Richard T. Jameson, Film Reviews | By: Richard T. Jameson

[Originally published in Movietone News 42, July 1975] My experience of Russ Meyer films has been less than encyclopedic (Finders Keepers Lovers Weepers, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, The Seven Minutes), so I can’t state authoritatively just what breakthroughs SuperVixens may represent in his oeuvre. Complete frontal nudity was not featured in the others […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

Videophiled: ‘The Wind Rises’ for Hayao Miyazaki’s swan song

18 November, 2014 (09:58) | Animation, Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

The Wind Rises (Disney, Blu-ray, VOD) – Hayao Miyazaki is a national treasure in Japan, the director of beloved animated features and a filmmaker dedicated to preserving the art of hand-drawn animation. The Wind Rises, which was released in 2013 and earned an Oscar nomination as Best Animated Feature, was a passion project for the […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

Review: Lenny

16 November, 2014 (10:19) | by Rick Hermann, Film Reviews | By: Rick Hermann

[Originally published in Movietone News 42, July 1975] I came away from Lenny with the vague notion that the documentary angle employed by Fosse as a structural device facilitating the necessary chronological jumps through Bruce’s career never quite worked in the manner he had intended it to. Roaming through the mystique-tinged Xanadu of Lenny’s life […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

Film Review: ‘Camp X-Ray’

14 November, 2014 (09:39) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

The best thing about Camp X-Ray is its almost palpable depiction of futility: Inside the featureless hallways of the prison at Guantanamo, guards make their constant rounds, peering through each cell-door window every few seconds, moving in circles around the rooms. Soldiers compare their dismal work to their forefathers’ heroic duty in World War II, […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

Videophiled Classic: ‘Fedora’ – Billy Wilder’s memorial for old Hollywood

13 November, 2014 (14:14) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Editor

Fedora (Olive, Blu-ray, DVD) opens with a moment right out of Anna Karenina: a woman throws herself in front of an oncoming train, a steam engine puffing out white clouds against the night sky. A grand, glorious, powerfully melodramatic suicide right out of a glamorous tragic Hollywood romance. It’s a fitting in many ways, but […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

Film Review: ‘Rosewater’

13 November, 2014 (05:32) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Is irony a saving grace? Jon Stewart surely thinks so. He uses irony to channel his clear-eyed political fury on The Daily Show, and he’s directed a feature film that suggests irony is the only thing standing between us and madness. Rosewater is the reason Stewart disappeared from his late-night gig in the summer of […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email