Posted in: Review

Spark: A Burning Man Story

Even back in 2012, the annual Burning Man gathering (organizers prefer not to call it a “festival”) was experiencing serious growing pains, and the event has only gotten bigger and more unwieldy since then. It’s also gotten much more famous and influential, and the 2013 documentary Spark: A Burning Man Story provides an interesting snapshot of […]

Posted in: Review

On the Rocks

Sofia Coppola may have downgraded her ambitions with her seventh feature, On the Rocks, but that doesn’t mean she’s come close to selling out. A gentle comedy about the rocky relationship between a father and daughter, On the Rocks feels like a personal story, and there’s a temptation to search for a reflection of Coppola’s relationship […]

Posted in: Review

Possessor

David Cronenberg hasn’t made a movie since 2014’s Maps to the Stars, but his son Brandon has taken up his legacy of calculated, disturbing body horror in the intervening years. Brandon Cronenberg’s new film Possessor feels very much like the kind of movie his dad would have made, while also forging its own distinct path. […]

Posted in: Review

Antebellum

For its first 40 minutes or so, Antebellum is virtually indistinguishable from a standard historical drama about the Civil War-era South. On a cotton plantation somewhere in the South, there are cruel masters who berate and abuse the slaves, while the slaves conspire in hushed whispers with each other to plan an escape that may […]

Posted in: Review

The Personal History of David Copperfield

It’s unlikely that anyone would ever characterize a Charles Dickens novel as breezy, but that’s exactly the impression that comes from Armando Iannucci’s Dickens adaptation The Personal History of David Copperfield. Iannucci and co-writer Simon Blackwell attempt to include as much of Dickens’ 800-plus-page novel as possible into a two-hour film, turning the sprawling epic […]

Posted in: Review

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

The Eurovision Song Contest is inherently goofy, which proves to be a problem for the attempt to parody it in Netflix original movie Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. The annual event features countries across Europe (and beyond) competing with original songs performed in over-the-top production numbers, and it’s a celebration of unabashedly […]

Posted in: Review

In Bright Axiom

It’s entirely possible (and even likely) that quite a lot of the material in Spencer McCall’s documentary In Bright Axiom is complete hokum. The movie itself is a chronicle of hokum, documenting the performance art project and alternate reality game known as Latitude, created by Bay Area artist and entrepreneur Jeff Hull. Hull’s work was […]

Posted in: Commentary

Interview: Soundwave Director Dylan Narang

Writer-director Dylan Narang came to the film business by way of a stint in military counter-intelligence and an MBA from Georgetown, before attending film school at Chapman University and making his feature debut with the 2016 horror movie All I Need. His latest film is the sci-fi thriller Soundwave, starring Hunter Doohan as Ben Boyles, […]

Posted in: Review

Soundwave

Movie characters should know by now not to invent world-changing devices in their home workshops, because it’s only going to lead to them being chased by nefarious government or corporate agents. That’s exactly what happens to Ben Boyles (Hunter Doohan) in the scrappy low-budget sci-fi movie Soundwave, which makes the most of its simple premise […]

Posted in: Review

Bad Education

Cory Finley’s 2017 debut feature Thoroughbreds was a strikingly original vision from the playwright-turned-filmmaker, but for his follow-up, Finley steps back a bit, working from someone else’s screenplay adapting a magazine article about real-life events. Bad Education is clever and funny and very well-acted, but it’s not the kind of bold artistic statement that puts […]