Monthly Archives: April, 2013

Pain & Gain: No.

After three (going on four) Transformers movies for “kids,” we’re back to being buffeted and beaten down by director Michael Bay’s R-rated adolescent id (last seen popping up its leering, lurid, head in 2003’s repugnant Bad Boys II). Bay’s Pain & Gain tells (as we’re repeatedly reminded by “ironic” title cards) the true story of […]

Oblivion: Of Cruise and Nothingness

Ah, the tyranny of “cool ideas.” Any young, imaginative genre fan (be it of sci-fi, Westerns, crime, or romance) no doubt had school notebooks festooned with doodles and descriptions of ideas birthed along the lines of, “Wouldn’t it be really, wicked-awesome, cool, gnarly if…,” followed by descriptions and drawings of Ligers and their ilk. Written […]

Spring Breakers Forever

Like many, at first I dismissed Harmony Korine’s 1995 screenplay for Larry Clark’s Kids and his 1997 directorial debut Gummo (as well as the follow ups Julian Donkey Boy and Trash Humpers) as sordid shock mongering; his fascination with the degenerate behavior of the bungled and the botched coming off as risible hipster sneering. But as […]

Interview: The Place Beyond the Pines Writer-director Derek Cianfrance

In 2011, writer-director Derek Cianfrance’s feature-film debut Blue Valentine, about a marriage in collapse, grabbed the attention of film lovers who appreciate powerful, perhaps even brutal emotional honesty. For his follow up, Cianfrance has reteamed with his Valentine star Ryan Gosling, plus Bradley Cooper, Ray Liotta, Eva Mendes, and go-to character actor Ben Mendelsohn, to […]

“While all the other arts were born naked, [film], the youngest, has been born fully-clothed. It can say everything before it has anything to say. It is as if the savage tribe, instead of finding two bars of iron to play with, had found scattering the seashore fiddles, flutes, saxophones, trumpets, grand pianos by Erhard and Bechstein, and had begun with incredible energy, but without knowing a note of music, to hammer and thump upon them all at the same time.”

--Virginia Woolf