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AVENGING SURVEILLANCE Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Wow. The Avengers movies just get bigger, better, smarter and more relevant with each one. So much so, I might have to start calling this the best genre franchise ever. The series has gone a long way toward dismantling the stereotype that "comic …
UNFUN, UNPLEASANT, UNEROTIC Wednesday, April 2, 2014
In a cinematic environment in which women were depicted as fully rounded human beings with a wide range of sexual expression available to them without judgment, Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac would still be a disgusting, degrading portrait of a …
RIGHT THIS WAY Wednesday, March 26, 2014
In late 2012, director Wes Anderson had a specific image in his mind for the character of Zero Moustafa, a young lobby boy of some fictional and fantastical concoction of Middle Eastern descent. Given that, it's entirely unsurprising that Tony …
THE STYLE IS ENOUGH Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Your stay at The Grand Budapest Hotel might not be emotionally fulfilling. You might even find some of the rooms uninviting. Yet, in typical Wes Anderson fashion, its impeccable design and je ne sais quoi will win you over. In fact, you may even …
NOT BAD ENOUGH Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Though I think it really wants to be, Bad Words just isn't all that bad. Not really. Oh, it tries. Jason Bateman's Guy Trilby is a mean-spirited, grade-A prick. And he's got more than a few perfectly timed insults and dirty tricks waiting to be …
The Most Dangerous Puppet Wednesday, March 19, 2014
In the annals of Hollywood, no puppet has seen more success on the big screen than Kermit the Frog, though many have tried. Punch was unable to make the transition from street theater to the silver screen in the 1920s, and the arrival of sound was …
The Lovely Vampires Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Irish writer/director Neil Jordan is probably best known to American viewing audiences for The Crying Game, which won him an Oscar for Best Screenplay in 1992, and for the expensive Hollywood version …
A Mysterious, Sensual Prism Wednesday, March 12, 2014
The word "Felliniesque" is tossed around 
too liberally. Films given that label often contain some of the fantastical elements of Italian director Federico Fellini's works but little of the quality. The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza in its …
In the Driver's Seat Wednesday, March 12, 2014
It takes a sizeable sack of balls for a car-chase movie like Need for Speed to feature an early scene in which characters are gathered at a drive-in watching Bullitt. The 1968 Steve McQueen cop drama featured one of the most legendary car chases in …
A World with Pyramids Wednesday, March 12, 2014
There is a point in Hayao Miyazaki's lusciously animated biopic in which a character tells Jirô Horikoshi, the film's protagonist, that, all things being equal, he prefers "a world with pyramids." The implication is, of course, that even though the …