Author Archives: Locke Peterseim

Tomorrowland: If You Don’t Like This Movie, You’ll Kill Our Future

Disney’s Tomorrowland—directed by Brad Bird, written by Damon Lindelof, and starring George Clooney—is a plea for a New Frontier of imagination; for positivity in the face of seemingly overwhelming negativity, fear, and pessimism. It is that rare giant, tent-pole summer blockbuster that asks—nay, begs—us to set aside the doom and gloom of disaster movies and […]

Our Burning Skull: The Dark, Brutal Ritual of Mad Max: Fury Road

Mention the Movie Summer of ’82 around fan boys of a certain age, and you’ll be met with a mix of ecstatic exhortations and hushed reverence. Quickly someone will begin reciting the litany, the ode to what is considered the Greatest Geek Summer Ever: Blade Runner, E.T., Poltergeist, Conan the Barbarian, Rocky III, Tron, Fast […]

A Furious Affair: My Strange Affection for This Very Strange Franchise

Last year I spent a considerable amount of time, mental energy, and words (so many words) going after big, dumb, bloated, ridiculous action franchises like Transformers and even Guardians of the Galaxy, a film I genuinely enjoy, but can’t help but see in the context of the ever-growing Marvel/Disney Empire that seeks to dominate the […]

Interview: Maps to the Stars Screenwriter Bruce Wagner

For over two decades, novelist and screenwriter Bruce Wagner–writing from Los Angeles, the epicenter of “corrosive” pop-culture excess–has been using Hollywood and our celebrity culture not so much as satirical grist but as a doorway toward greater spiritual understanding. Think of it as seeking Nirvana by passing through the hottest flames of Kardashian Hell. Wagner’s […]

Interview: Red Army Writer-director Gabe Polsky

These days, Russia and the West seem to be more at odds than any time since the end of the Cold War. Which makes Gabe Polsky’s terrific new documentary Red Army all the more relevant and fascinating. No, it’ not (directly) about the actual Soviet-era military, and yes, it’s about hockey, and no, you don’t need […]

Interview: Black Sea Director Kevin MacDonald

The old saw that January is a new-movie wasteland, a dumping ground for studio rejects and misfires, is slowly eroding. Sure, in January the crap-to-cream ratio is still tilted toward crap, as any scan of the Cineplex marquee attests. But each year there seem to be a few more small, genre gems–well-made little films that probably would […]

My Not-So-Shameful Love of Wahlberg’s The Gambler Remake

Every now and then, killing time before a screening, some of us Chicago critics will try in vain to plan a sort of group Underdog Movie Marathon/Series. (I was going to say “sleepover,” but those implications are too horrifying to comprehend). The idea is that each critic shows a film they genuinely love—not ironically as […]

A Mouse Goes Into the Woods and…

I do struggle with my sometimes unreasonable hatred of Disney. My seething loathing for the Mouse does not come easy. I wrestle, almost daily it seems, with what often feels like an irrational, petty, personally embittered war on a media conglomerate that apparently provides so much happiness, and joy to so many people, including many […]

Interview: The Gambler Director Rupert Wyatt

I went into The Gambler with every bit of trepidation you’re probably feeling right now as you look at that poster: “Eh, Mark Wahlberg? Gambling movie? Remake?” But I found this new version of The Gambler, sharply written by William Monahan (based on James Toback’s original 1974 script) and vividly directed by Rupert Wyatt (The Escapist, […]

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Battle of the Battles for the Battle

Trust me, I well know that books are not movies and movies are not books—I’m fully aware of (and fascinated by) the differences in how the two mediums tell stories and create meaning and experience. And I also know that in this age of Internet tribalism, Hel hath no impotent, squealing fury like a fan […]

“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
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