Archive for category: Film Reviews

Film Review: ‘Good Kill’

21 May, 2015 (04:50) | by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

What does war become in the remote-control age of drone strikes and remote surveillance? That’s what Andrew Niccol ostensibly asks in Good Kill—a film we know, after watching a few minutes, is going to spin its impersonal military-speak title into bitter irony. There we see Major Tommy Egan (Ethan Hawke) destroying military targets in Afghanistan […]

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Film Review: ‘In the Name of My Daughter’

21 May, 2015 (04:44) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

As evidenced by the success of radio’s Serial and TV’s The Jinx (like anybody consumes things on radio or TV any more, amirite?), our collective taste for true-crime stories remains boundless. If murder is on the menu, so much the better. Which means that veteran filmmaker André Téchiné (The Girl on the Train) ought to […]

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Film Review: ‘Réalité’

21 May, 2015 (04:41) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

The films of Quentin Dupieux would’ve been a smash in the late ’60s and early ’70s, crammed as they are with surreal tricks and car tires that kill people and questions about how much of what we see is real, man. After the zany shenanigans of Rubber and Wrong, Dupieux takes on the moviemaking business […]

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Videophiled: ‘Day of the Outlaw’

20 May, 2015 (14:44) | by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Westerns | By: Sean Axmaker

Day of the Outlaw (Timeless, DVD), a 1959 western set in a snowbound mountain town on the high frontier, is one of the toughest, most tension-filled pictures from Andre de Toth, a studio filmmaker who could be counted on to bring a savage edge to his assignments. The town is already coiled like a spring […]

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‘Moonlighting’

16 May, 2015 (10:41) | by Richard T. Jameson, Film Reviews | By: Richard T. Jameson

[Originally printed in a February 1983 issue of The Weekly—which is to say, three years before they changed the paper’s name to Seattle Weekly. The film, ultrarare for decades, has just been released on Blu-ray in the United States.] Moonlighting is some kind of masterpiece. Masterpieces of any sort are always welcome, but not in […]

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Film Review: ‘Animals’

14 May, 2015 (04:36) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

He looks like a junkie, she doesn’t; but maybe that’s the point. Animals seeks to humanize the struggle of two lovers in the throes of addiction by depicting them as ordinary people who fell through the cracks. They drive an Oldsmobile, they go to the zoo, and every so often they run a scam or […]

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Videophiled: ‘Still Alice’

12 May, 2015 (23:47) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Still Alice (Sony, Blu-ray, DVD, VOD) – Julianne Moore won her first Academy Award (after four nominations since Boogie Nights in 1998) playing a renowned linguistics professor who is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and starts to experience her identity, her sense of self, slipping away. It’s the kind of performance that doesn’t just support […]

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Review: Love and Anarchy

12 May, 2015 (04:22) | by Claudia Gorbman, Film Reviews | By: Movietone News contributor

[Originally published in slightly different form in Movietone News 40, April 1975] In Love and Anarchy, Lina Wertmüller incorporates many things Fellinian—Rotunno’s gorgeous camerawork, Rota’s characteristic harmonies, thematic tidbits such as grotesques-made-lovable, prostitutes making music and selling their wares, and even an aging female character who pitiably begs her audience to respect her past stardom […]

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How It Is

11 May, 2015 (04:32) | by Peter Hogue, Essays, Film Reviews, Howard Hawks | By: Peter Hogue

[Originally published in Movietone News 40, April 1975] Only Angels Have Wings is one of Hawks’s “male adventurer” films, but it is also one of his comedies—and is perhaps best understood as such. It’s comedy in the sense that it has its share of wisecracks and a hint of slapstick—but also, and more importantly, in […]

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Film Review: ‘Far From the Madding Crowd’

7 May, 2015 (05:19) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Along with a great novelist’s assumed ability to peer into the human soul and all that, Thomas Hardy added two key obsessions: land and time. Hardy knew the soil of his English countryside, knew the trees and animals, and the way a footpath connects farms and destinies. He also knew how the turning of the […]

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Film Review: ‘Welcome to Me’

7 May, 2015 (05:16) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Beyond the valley of black comedy is a place where laughter and horror mingle freely. Here roams the original British version of The Office and the amazing Scorsese/De Niro King of Comedy (still one of Scorsese’s best, despite its low profile). It clicks only intermittently, but Welcome to Me is an attempt to inhabit this […]

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Film Review: ‘Lambert & Stamp’

7 May, 2015 (05:02) | by Sean Axmaker, Documentary, Film Reviews, Musicals | By: Sean Axmaker

You could be forgiven for assuming that Lambert and Stamp are some forgotten folk-rock duo of the Peter & Gordon variety. Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp were part of London’s ’60s rock scene, though not as performers but as managers, promoters, producers, and mentors. They helped transform a mod-favorite club band called The High Numbers […]

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Film Review: ‘Tangerines’

7 May, 2015 (05:00) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Small in scale and antiwar in subject, Tangerines is the kind of story that almost always gets called a fable. Most such projects can get gooey about how we’re really all brothers under the skin, and this one is no exception—it was one of this year’s Oscar nominees for Best Foreign Language Film, after all. […]

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Videophiled: Mike Leigh’s ‘Mr. Turner’

5 May, 2015 (18:28) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Mr. Turner (Sony, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD, VOD) – “When I look in a mirror, I see a gargoyle.” J.M.W. Turner, as created in the Mike Leigh’s film Mr. Turner and incarnated by Timothy Spall, is not what we imagine for a grand British artist. Burly, rough-hewn, with speech punctuated by grunts and snorts, he’s […]

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Film Review: ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’

30 April, 2015 (05:28) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews, Science Fiction | By: Robert Horton

The characters in current superhero movies must’ve grown up reading comic books. In Marvel’s run of blockbusters, Iron Man and Thor and the gang (well, maybe not Captain America) are steeped in cultural references; they know all the clichés of pulp fiction, even as they embody them. Aware of the absurdity of wearing tights and […]

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