Posted in: Review

Roger Ebert, Revisited: An Interview with “Life Itself” Director Steve James

For a long time, Steve James has been best known to the general public as the director of Hoop Dreams. It may be time to alter that description. James’s latest film is Life Itself, the new, uplifting documentary of the late, great film critic Roger Ebert. Loosely based on his titular 2011 memoir. James filmed […]

Posted in: Review

What We Learned: Five Critics Recall Lessons Absorbed from 2013’s Movies

Yes, 2013 was a wonderful year for movies, but it was — as always — one that offered a world of knowledge, both convential and surprising. What did we learn at the movies last year? Your lesson commences below.  Chris Barsanti Google Maps means that, in Los Angeles at least, even the least intelligent teenager […]

Posted in: Commentary

Will Success Spoil What We Love About Rose Byrne?

Rose Byrne, the classically beautiful 34-year-old Australian, does not mind being called a character actor. “Oh gosh, my favorite actors are essentially character actors,” says Byrne when asked if she minds that designation. “That’s really how I’ve seen myself for a long time. I’m far more interested in doing that than whether that character happens […]

Posted in: Review

Beyond the SeaWorld: An Interview with Gabriela Cowperthwaite and John Hargrove of “Blackfish”

Using the 2010 death of veteran SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau as its narrative base, the documentary Blackfish proceeds to examine the water park’s pathetic treatment of killer whales, including Tilikum, the beloved creature that killed Brancheau during a show. “I don’t want people to walk away terrorized,” says Gabriela Cowperthwaite, the film’s director. She also […]

Posted in: Review

You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get: An Interview with “Koch” Director Neil Barsky

Regardless of whether the camera was on or off, former New York mayor Ed Koch talked politics, says Neil Barsky, director of the documentary Koch. That says everything. Koch, who ran New York from 1978 to 1989, adored the attention and understood the theatrics behind politics, but couldn’t find the off switch. The lights were […]

Posted in: Review

Worst Movie Ever? I Spit On Your Grave

Welcome to the first installment of “Worst Movie Ever?,” where every month we’ll examine a universally panned movie to determine if merit lies in its critically deposited scorn. With the recent passing of Roger Ebert, this first choice, Meir Zarchi’s I Spit on Your Grave (originally titled Day of the Woman) is fitting. The great […]