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Movies

May 2, 2012 11:00 PM

Kevin, the sullen-faced first child of wealthy parents, is a piece of work. As a baby, he screams so fiercely that his mother finds a jackhammer soothing.

Kevin, the sullen-faced first child of wealthy parents, is a piece of work. As a baby, he screams so fiercely that his mother finds a jackhammer soothing; as a toddler, he’s resistant to everything; as a teen, he’s destructive and aggressively surly. There’s nothing redeeming about the kid, but his father, Franklin (John C. Reilly), sees nothing wrong. It’s just how boys are, right? 

April 25, 2012 11:00 PM

As an archetypal resident of L.A.’s shadier streets, the Dude abides, a latter-day California Buddha in the Holy Temple of Slackerdom, plum mystic and stoned immaculate, a knocker of pins, drinker of Caucasians. “He’s the man for his time and place,” says the man in the cowboy hat, his purple baritone of a voice rumbling like warm milk in your stomach.

April 18, 2012 11:00 PM

Academic satire breathes a fairly rarified air, typically isolated to dodgy second novels or the untenured ravings of drunk grad students.

Academic satire breathes a fairly rarified air, typically isolated to dodgy second novels or the untenured ravings of drunk grad students. It seems diminishing, then, to classify director Joseph Cedar’s brilliant new movie, Footnote, as merely a jab at the pretensions of ivory tower intellectuals. Though this nearly perfect film does pick, hilariously, at the itchy nit of alienated highbrows — revealing how the fortress of academia also doubles as emotional hideout — it becomes in the end something more profound than the infinitesimal parody implied by its title.

April 18, 2012 11:00 PM

Once upon a time, there was a blonde girl in an alley, and she looked like easy prey for a hungry vampire. But that girl’s name was Buffy, and the vampire was totally wrong

Once upon a time, there was a blonde girl in an alley, and she looked like easy prey for a hungry vampire. But that girl’s name was Buffy, and the vampire was totally wrong

Once upon a time, and another time, and another time before that, there was a group of kids, and when they thought they were going to have a nice weekend in a cabin in the woods, they were totally wrong

April 11, 2012 11:00 PM
#MUTLIPLE#

HIS/HERS The POV from a P and V

Crazy Horse, opens Friday, April 13, at Bijou Cinemas

 

April 5, 2012 12:00 AM

Director Antony Cordier’s Four Lovers is a film that travels far beyond the borders of most comfort zones.

Director Antony Cordier’s Four Lovers is a film that travels far beyond the borders of most comfort zones. When Rachel (Marina Foïs) brings home new friends Vincent (Nicolas Duvauchelle) and his wife Teri (Élodie Bouchez) to have dinner with her and husband Franck (Roschdy Zem), there is distinct chemistry among the four. 

April 5, 2012 12:00 AM

Are we currently hung up on fairy tales, or is it just Snow White?

Are we currently hung up on fairy tales, or is it just Snow White? Once Upon a Time and Grimm carry the fairy-tale banner on television; on the big screen, Mirror Mirror  beats the upcoming Snow White and the Huntsman to the punch. Fairy tale retellings abound in novels and comics, plenty of them featuring the girl with white skin, red lips and ebony tresses.

March 29, 2012 12:00 AM

The Oscar-nominated Polish film In Darkness truly resides in darkness. There is the dank, flickering dimness of the sewer system where a small group of Polish Jews hides after their ghetto is murderously hollowed out by Nazis; there’s the looming shadow cast by the city worker upon whom this starving, hunted group is forced to place its tenuous trust; and overwhelming everything is the black hole of the Holocaust, extinguishing every glimmer of human hope.

March 29, 2012 12:00 AM

The Hunger Games is a solid piece of entertainment about kids being forced to kill other kids for the amusement of a corrupt elite.

THE HUNGER GAMES:  Directed by Gary Ross. Screenplay by Gary Ross, Billy Ray and Suzanne Collins, based on Collins’ novel. Cinematography, Tom Stern. Editors, Christopher S. Capp, Stephen Mirrione, Juliette Welfling. Music, James Newton Howard. Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Lenny Kravitz and Elizabeth Banks. Lionsgate, 2012. PG-13. 142 minutes.Three and a half stars.
March 22, 2012 12:00 AM

The way I see it, there are four types of movies: those good, those enjoyably bad, those so bad they are no longer enjoyable, and those so much worse than that they become enjoyable again. 

 THE ROOM: Written and Directed by Tommy Wiseau. Starring Tommy Wiseau, Greg Sestero, Juliette Danielle. Wiseau Films, 2003. R. 99 minutes. Five Stars.
March 15, 2012 12:00 AM

John Carter didn’t show up without baggage. That’s a nice way to say that for months, people have been talking more about the story (and money) around the movie than about the movie itself.

John Carter didn’t show up without baggage. That’s a nice way to say that for months, people have been talking more about the story (and money) around the movie than about the movie itself — a tactic that sometimes works out just fine (hello, Titantic) and sometimes doesn’t. When The New York Times is making Ishtar references while Monday-morning quarterbacking a film’s weekend take, it’s relatively safe to assume the pre-release gossip hits home.

March 8, 2012 12:00 AM

Very likely not coming any time soon, if ever, to a theater near you is a locally produced work-in-progress of guerilla moviemaking that might just qualify as the biggest farce and most extravagantly produced anti-event.

Very likely not coming any time soon, if ever, to a theater near you is a locally produced work-in-progress of guerilla moviemaking that might just qualify as the biggest farce and most extravagantly produced anti-event since Geraldo Rivera cracked open Al Capone’s vault to a big fart of dust.

March 8, 2012 12:00 AM

The first time I saw it, I tuned into the middle, on late night TV. A scene at the derelict mansion, Norma with her stilted grandiose expressions, the melancholy, ominous butler and William Holden, the straight man.

The first time I saw it, I tuned into the middle, on late night TV. A scene at the derelict mansion, Norma with her stilted grandiose expressions, the melancholy, ominous butler and William Holden, the straight man. It was surreal, came off like Abbot and Costello Meet Dracula, without Abbot and Costello. I was hooked. I got the title, turned it off and rented it the next day.

March 8, 2012 12:00 AM

George Clinton describes their music as “too black for white people, to white for black people,” and Circle Jerk singer Keith Morris says of their status, “If there’s twelve levels, they’re on the thirteenth level.”

George Clinton describes their music as “too black for white people, to white for black people,” and Circle Jerk singer Keith Morris says of their status, “If there’s twelve levels, they’re on the thirteenth level.”

February 23, 2012 12:00 AM

The end of the world has been depicted — repeatedly — in movies before. But 2011 wasn’t a time for grand heroics, for world saving and self-sacrifice. Instead, we got existential angst. Maybe that sounds a little grim, and sometimes it was.

“It’s the end of the world. Everyone dies. 
It’s rather important, really.” 
— Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s librarian, Rupert Giles

February 16, 2012 12:00 AM

If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front cuts from dramatic media footage, including the burning of a $12-million ski resort at Vail, Colo., and the arson at the University of Washington Center for Urban Horticulture, to the streets of New York City, where activist and ecosaboteur Daniel McGowan was living in 2005.

If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front cuts from dramatic media footage, including the burning of a $12-million ski resort at Vail, Colo., and the arson at the University of Washington Center for Urban Horticulture, to the streets of New York City, where activist and ecosaboteur Daniel McGowan was living in 2005.

February 16, 2012 12:00 AM

 

In 2007, Dee Rees wrote and directed a short film, Pariah, about a black teen in Brooklyn struggling to come to terms with her identity as a lesbian.

In 2007, Dee Rees wrote and directed a short film, Pariah, about a black teen in Brooklyn struggling to come to terms with her identity as a lesbian. Rees — who interned for Spike Lee’s 40 Acres program — went on to direct two more shorts before returning to the compelling drama of a teenaged protagonist who, in her search for sexual identity, shuffles through personas like masks at a costume ball.

February 9, 2012 12:00 AM

John Wayne, Audie Murphy, Tom Berenger, Sylvester Stallone — these were the “war heroes” in the movies I grew up watching. All of them portrayed brazen, fearless, patriotic characters in over-the-top flicks that defined the psyches of many American fighting men in service today, as well as Americans who’ve never seen war but love to watch war movies.

John Wayne, Audie Murphy, Tom Berenger, Sylvester Stallone — these were the “war heroes” in the movies I grew up watching. All of them portrayed brazen, fearless, patriotic characters in over-the-top flicks that defined the psyches of many American fighting men in service today, as well as Americans who’ve never seen war but love to watch war movies.

January 26, 2012 12:00 AM

It’s an odd thing to leave a movie screening feeling rather like you wish you’d read the story instead. David Cronenberg’s latest film — and his third with Viggo Mortensen, who disappears into the role of Sigmund Freud — is based on a play that’s based on a book, and somewhere in there is a story that gives the reader or viewer time to absorb the ideas and suggestions packed into the dialogue, to translate the glances and tensed shoulders into an embodiment of those ideas. 

A DANGEROUS METHOD: Directed by David Cronenberg. Screenplay by Christopher Hampton, based on his play The Talking Cure, based on the book A Most Dangerous Method by John Kerr. Cinematography, Peter Suschitzky. Editor, Ronald Sanders. Music, Howard Shore. Starring Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Vincent Cassel and Sarah Gadon. Sony Pictures Classics, 2011. R. 99 minutes. Three and a half Stars. 

January 19, 2012 12:00 AM

In 1995, a young, relatively unknown director by the name of Todd Haynes achieved the seemingly impossible: He turned a story about a mousy, middle-class woman suffering from multiple chemical sensitivity into an operatic work of minor tragedy. On its surface, Safe appears to be one of those flat, one-note “issue” movies that audiences feel morally obligated to see — a joyless civic duty.

SHAME: Directed by Steve McQueen. Screenplay by McQueen and Abi Morgan. Cinematography, Sean Bobbit. Editor, Joe Walker. Music, Harry Escott. Starring Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge Dale, Nicole Beharie, Alex Manette. Fox Searchlight Pictures, 2011. NC-17. 101 minutes. One Star.

January 12, 2012 12:00 AM

If you’ve seen your fill of obnoxious-rich-white-people movies for the month, year, decade, eon, you may want to take a pass on Carnage. The posters bill the film as “a new comedy of no manners,” but the laughs are fewer than that tagline might suggest.

CARNAGE: Directed by Roman Polanski. Screenplay by Polanski and Yasmina Reza, based on the play God of Carnage by Reza. Cinematography, Pawel Edelman. Editor, Hervé de Luze. Music, Alexandre Desplat. Starring Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, Jodie Foster and John C. Reilly. Sony Pictures Classics, 2011. R. 79 minutes. Two and a half stars.

January 5, 2012 12:00 AM

Prostitution, contrary to that infamous adage, is not the world’s oldest profession. The world’s oldest profession is the pinch — called sales by some, theft by others — of which prostitution is only a subset.

HOUSE OF PLEASURES (L’Apollonide (Souvenirs de la maison close)): Written and directed by Bertrand Bonello. Cinematography, Josée Deshaies. Editor, Fabrice Rouaud. Starring Jasmine Trinca, Hafsia Herzi, Alice Barnole, Iliana Zabeth, Noémie Lvovsky. IFC Films, 2011. R. 122 minutes. Four Stars.