Blackfish – Revealing Look at Orcas in Captivity

Official site for Blackfish, with screenings and info is here. Most of us don’t know what goes on behind the Sea World propaganda curtain. For over twenty years they’ve been selling the animal stunts at Sea World like it was Disneyland — they sell stuffed whales...
Posted On 15 Jul 2013

Fruitvale Station rises to rank among the best-reviewed films of the year

Kenneth Turan’s review in the LA Times is of one 7 perfect scores of 100 on Metacritic so far. Fruitvale Station is a portrait of a life cut short. Made with assurance and deep emotion, Fruitvale Station is more than a remarkable directing debut for 26-year-old Ryan...
Posted On 13 Jul 2013

Cannes Review: Payne’s America Unearthed Once Again in Nebraska

Across the wide, bleak expanse of Nebraska Alexander Payne cuts two charcoal figures — Will Forte and Bruce Dern. Nebraska is a name that stands alone. It’s the name of one of Bruce Springsteen’s best albums and it’s now the name of one of Alexander Payne’s best films. As...
Posted On 23 May 2013

Cannes Review: La Vie d’Adele (Blue is the Warmest Color)

The story of my festival-going life tends to be that I miss the one film that winds up on everyone’s lips. It’s some kind of uncanny anti-radar that never fails. This time though, I managed to catch one that had everyone buzzing to the extent that people were turned...

Cannes Review: As I Lay Dying

I don’t know when it happened exactly – maybe it was his non-performance hosting the Oscars – but the worm has definitely turned on the general enthusiasm for James Franco. For a while, everything he touched was a source of endless media fascination, but that’s pretty...

Cannes Review: Mack the Knife – Only God Forgives

Nicolas Winding Refn’s follow-up to Drive takes him farther away from traditional narrative and deeper into abstract expressionism. His painter’s eye makes Only God Forgives something beautiful to behold, awash in deep reds and geometric, carefully thought out shot compositions....
Posted On 22 May 2013

Cannes review. Taking a stand: Takashi Miike’s Shield of Straw

Audiences will go in to Shield of Straw hoping for something other than what director Takashi Miike has in mind, especially devotees of this director’s more violent, cult-horror style. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The worst thing a filmmaker can do is stagnate, relying...
Posted On 20 May 2013

Craig’s Take: Takashi Miike’s Shield of Straw

I’m going into each film here at the festival knowing as little in advance as I can possibly manage. I’m not even reading the official catalog entries so I wasn’t sure what exactly to expect from prolific Japanese director Takashi Miike. My only hope was that...

Cannes review: The Borgman Giveth, the Borgman Taketh Away

You have to appreciate a film festival that would put a movie as strange as Alex van Warmerdam’s Borgman in main competition. Though it often feels like the cast and director are making it up as they go along, it features memorable moments that are ultimately hard to shake....
Posted On 19 May 2013

Cannes review: A Man of Constant Sorrow – Inside Llewyn Davis

Those of us who know Bob Dylan’s story well can point to his profound influence on the folk music scene in Greenwich Village in the early sixties. What is remarkable is how Dylan had shaped his own unique style from an amalgam of folk singers of the time, borrowing what he needed...
Posted On 18 May 2013