Posted in: by Robert Horton, Contributors, Film Reviews

Review: Logan Lucky

The Logan brothers list their family’s dismal relationship to luck, ticking through some of the calamities that have befallen the clan. One piece of evidence is “Uncle Stickley’s electrocution,” a colorful citation. Who was this Uncle Stickley? How did he get electrocuted? Why was he named Stickley? These questions remain unanswered and Uncle Stickley is never referred to again. Part of the pleasure of Steven Soderbergh’s Logan Lucky is its flair for throwaway lines and little character beats. This movie does not aspire to greatness or significance; being extremely clever and thoroughly competent is the goal here.

The film borrows the shape of Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven series in its devotion to the old formula of the heist picture. But the setting is the opposite: Instead of sophisticated thieves plotting to knock over a Las Vegas casino, the conspirators here are a bumbling collection of blue-collar West Virginians whose dubious plan is to rob Charlotte Motor Raceway during a NASCAR event.

Continue reading at Seattle Weekly

Posted in: by Andrew Wright, Contributors, Film Reviews

Review: American Honey

American Honey, the first movie set in the States by British filmmaker Andrea Arnold (Red Road, Fish Tank), finds the director working with some fairly ludicrous self-imposed hindrances: a largely untrained cast, Shia LaBeouf at his most methody-bedraggled, and a nearly three-hour running time. That she makes these all meld together beautifully feels like some kind of weird alchemy, really.

Continue reading at The Stranger

Posted in: by Kathleen Murphy, Contributors, Film Reviews

‘Jack & Diane’: Languid love story

Don’t be looking for any link to John Mellencamp’s anthem about angsty Heartland lovers here. This movie’s Jack and Diane are urban teens of the same sex, blitzed by true love the instant their eyes meet. That muffled implosion sets off nearly two hours of soulful staring and sporadic, barely audible small talk. Nursing bruised psyches, these kids are behaviorally as limp as rag dolls, but their “passion” manifests in hot horror-movie images. And, oh yes, every once in a while something like a werewolf crashes the party. Monster aside, this languid Romeo and Juliet love story lacks a pulse. Devoid of energy and direction, “Jack & Diane” settles for faux-naïf posturing and arty color design.

Juno Temple

Diane’s a wide-eyed British waif vacationing in New York with her aunt, prior to enrolling in a French school of fashion design. Crowned by a tangled blond mane, she’s the picture of whimsy in a self-designed, ultra-cute, quirky A-line dress accessorized by colorful knee-high stockings and clunky sneakers. She might be a retro-etching of Alice in Wonderland. It’s hard to tell Diane’s age, since her face seems to have frozen in an expression of childlike, or maybe lobotomized, melancholy. She acts like she was born yesterday.

A little girl lost in the city, Diane runs into Jack, a street-smart Huckleberry Finn. Long-limbed and boyish, her dark curly hair cropped short, Jack skateboards around town in a ragged man’s shirt and sleeveless T, grieving for a brother who died of a broken heart — and maybe looking to follow in his footsteps. As Diane, Juno Temple is so limpid, so boneless, she’s more sad-eyed Keene print than real live girl. But Riley Keough’s Jack at least has an engaging muscularity. Mobile and androgynously arresting, her face is capable of more than one expression. Her passion for Diane may be under wraps, like everything else in the movie, but it’s as binding as an umbilical cord.

Continue reading at MSN Entertainment