Posted in: Review

From Up on Poppy Hill

From Up on Poppy Hill, the latest animated transmission from the out-world known as Studio Ghibli, shows Goro Miyazaki working in the same medium but in a wholly different timbre than his promising debut, Tales from Earthsea. Here, he has switched from imaginative myth-maker to chronicler of memory and nostalgia extremist, as his latest relays […]

Posted in: Review

The Contrarian: I Want the Kathryn Bigelow Who Made Point Break Back

There’s a scene in Point Break in which the Ex-Presidents reveal to Johnny Utah (remember how there’s a character in this named Johnny Utah?) that they’re not robbing banks for the money. No, no, no my friend. Only Republicans rob banks for money. We rob banks to put our finger in the eye of The […]

Posted in: Review

The Sapphires

War-torn Vietnam, circa 1968, sounds like an offbeat location for a sassy, uplifting musical comedy. But then again, almost everything about Wayne Blair’s The Sapphires would qualify as “offbeat,” which is part of the crowd-pleaser’s numerous charms. Based on true events (which also inspired a stage production back in 2004), The Sapphires starts in rural […]

Posted in: Review

Reality (2013)

The Italy of Matteo Garrone’s Reality signifies the moral bankruptcy and delirium of Silvio Berlusconi’s government-as-game-show regime in a way that is both bitterly comical and frustrating in its shortsightedness. Seen through the eyes of fish-market owner and low-tier swindler Luciano (Aniello Arena), Naples, once the classical setting of such tremendous works as Vittorio De […]

Posted in: Review

Love and Honor

Graciously gathering the last three or four decades of the most impersonal and forgettable Vietnam films into one wet beer-belch of counter-culture signifiers and don’t-tread-on-me rhetoric, Danny Mooney’s Love and Honor is clearly the product of a group of filmmakers who are utterly disinterested with war. Tomcat Pvt. Mickey Wright (Liam Hemsworth) and his high-strung […]

Posted in: Review

Admission

Modern rom-coms and Ivy League schools actually have a lot in common.  They’re both vestigial organs from a bygone age when men were Wiffenpoofs and women married typewriter salesmen after high school (or else mooned over their English professors at Sarah Lawrence).  They’re also mutually indistinguishable from one another, even while they remain convinced of their perfect singularness with a certitude […]