News Tab

Category : Reviews

12-years

Quick Take on Jason Reitman’s Moving Labor Day

Read More

The love story is really what drives Jason Reitman’s beautifully rendered film Labor Day, which stars Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin, from the novel by Joyce Maynard. Structure is key to the whys and hows of the plot. It might baffle a few waiting to see the usual formula unfurl. The timeline in this film is especially important, which you will (hopefully) discover when you see it. Don’t go in…

Screen-Shot-2013-08-09-at-12.22.21-PM

Lee Daniels’ The Butler – Waiting for an Echo

Read More

“I would hurl words into this darkness and wait for an echo, and if an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight, to create a sense of the hunger for life that gnaws in us all.” ― Richard Wright, Black Boy It’s unsettling to watch the critics weigh in on Lee Daniels’ The Butler. It’s been clear from the outset…

Oscar Flashback: Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine and A Streetcar Named Desire

Read More

Now that Blue Jasmine has opened with the best premiere numbers of Woody Allen’s career, the film will be seriously considered for several Oscar nominations – Best Actress for sure, if not Best Picture. But there have been some rumblings in reviews and out of the mouths of well-placed New York film critics that it’s a modern-day update of A Streetcar Named Desire.  If Woody Allen had wanted to do…

blue-jasmine-cate-blanchett-alec-baldwin-andrew-dice-clay

Blue Jasmine – I Saw You Standing Alone…

Read More

The map of Woody’s New York tracked his own meandering transformation from outsider to insider. The finest of his east coast films rise as landmarks that climb ever higher on the city’s skyline marking his own ascent to Manhattan’s best addresses. He reached the peak of that exclusive plateau where he wanted to be — and then, after finally arriving, he left it. Now in Blue Jasmine he looks back…

orcas

Blackfish – Revealing Look at Orcas in Captivity

Read More

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 and tiny bursts of happiness to children. In Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s unforgettable new documentary Blackfish we come to know one whale, Tilikum, a giant, 4…

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

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

Read More

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 Coogler. It’s an outstanding film by any standard. Featuring a leap-to-stardom performance by Michael B. Jordan, “Fruitvale’s” demonstration of how effective understated, naturalistic…

nebraska-2-1024x576

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

Read More

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 Woody Grant prepares to check out for good, he is driven by the singular goal of cashing in on a Publisher’s…

warmest-color-620x259

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

Read More

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 away at the door of the next morning’s pick-up screening. La Vie d’Adele (Blue is the Warmest Color), Franco-Tunisian writer/director Abdellatif…

Cannes Review: As I Lay Dying

Cannes Review: As I Lay Dying

Read More

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 much over. No one I talked to here at Cannes going in was particularly excited about seeing his adaptation of William Faulkner’s challenging novel…

gosling

Cannes Review: Mack the Knife – Only God Forgives

Read More

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. But what it amounts to, in the end, is the careful work of a serial killer — not literally out there killing women but indulging in one bloody killing after…