Posted in: Review

Inside Out

When the Pixar team is firing on all cylinders, the resulting films are state-of-the-art and revolutionary, both in terms of the visual immersion and the emotional experience. A great Pixar film is a masterpiece of complexity, using the boundless possibilities of both animated filmmaking and fantasy storytelling to tap directly into the hearts and minds […]

Posted in: Review

Burying the Ex

Films like Gremlins and The Howling established Joe Dante as a beloved bender of genre, mixing fun with freaky to create entertaining and endearing onscreen fantasies. Burying the Ex, the director’s second feature in the last decade, makes strained attempts at wit and weirdness, never fusing the opposing tones into a satisfying whole. Numerous references […]

Posted in: Review

Manglehorn

For all its attempts to heavily overcomplicate both its narrative and its aesthetic, Manglehorn sure is simplistic and bland. In spite of the wistful philosophizing narration layered over every other scene and a heavy-handed visual approach that laboriously carries the film from one scene to the next, this is just another movie about a sad […]

Posted in: Review

The Overnight

In the Woody Allen film Sleeper, a scientist informs Allen that his brain will be electronically simplified and Allen responds, “My brain? That’s my second favorite organ.” In defense of Woody Allen, why shouldn’t the penis take precedence over the brain? After all, it is an organ good at multi-tasking, has the ability to express itself, […]

Posted in: Review

Eden

A baggy, dead-end story of a Parisian garage DJ straining for Peter Pan agelessness, Eden bumps along with all the live-for-tonight randomness of its characters’ twilight habits. That is, until the bill comes due in a somber final act that belies much of the ecstasy- and champagne-fueled exaltation and romance that came before. One could […]

Posted in: Review

Dope

Get ready for ’90s nostalgia, non-grunge edition. While the late Kurt Cobain is being lamented for his disturbed genius in the recent doc Montage of Heck, the era’s other cultural trappings (clothes, music, etc.) are making an equally strong comeback. No more is this more obvious than in Dope, a new dramatic comedy from writer/director […]

Posted in: Review

Me & Earl & The Dying Girl

Most filmmakers claim to avoid genre contrivance. Their movie isn’t your “typical” tearjerker or action romp. Instead, they argue for such words as “revisionist” and “reinvention” and think the audience will believe their carnival barker pronouncements. Of course, in the end, we see Rambo in every remade hero, Love Story in every tale of unrequited […]

Posted in: Review

Jimmy’s Hall

Wearing a big progressive heart on its union-made sleeve, Jimmy’s Hall could easily have been a carefree lark about good times and toothless rebellion, if it had been directed by somebody besides Ken Loach. Another filmmaker, one without a political vertebrae to speak of, could have conjured up a piece of twee Irish fun that […]

Posted in: Commentary

The 10 Best Films About Dinosaurs

They’re our first fascination, their images filling our preschool and kindergarten minds with the kind of “what if” worship that only something this scientifically fanciful can produce. As time goes on, we lose our love of these prehistoric placeholders, instead finding our minds manufacturing monsters much more meaningful to our daily lives. Still, dinosaurs are […]

Posted in: Review

Spy

At some point, audiences will tire of Melissa McCarthy. With all comics, male or female, their reign as funny person du jour eventually ends. It’s a bit depressing when you think about it — a once famous face, known for their ability to make people laugh, suddenly becomes a stale, stunted presence. It’s happened to […]

Posted in: Review

Entourage

If the question of what would happen to the big-dreaming boys from Queens occupied you for one minute after Entourage finished its eighth season in 2011, then Entourage the movie might be your kind of superfluous entertainment. If not, then stay far, far away. After all, this is not a film so much as it is […]

Posted in: Review

The Marvel Cinematic Universe Is Evil and Needs to Die

Marvel Studios has, for the past several years, been carrying out one of the most ambitious projects ever attempted in cinema. Under the direction of studio president Kevin Feige, they have been attempting to replicate the interconnectedness of their comics via the “Marvel Cinematic Universe,” or MCU. The original idea was simple, yet brilliant: produce a slew of superhero movies that […]