Category Archives: theatrical

Gone Girl, Gone

Heading to the press screening of David Fincher’s Gone Girl, I was, as usual, running late. But as I rushed from bus to cab to dashing down crowded Chicago streets, I reassured myself that even if I was five minutes late, I had a pretty good sense of what I’d miss in that opening: a […]

Interview: Kill the Messenger Director Michael Cuesta

In 1996 the San Jose Mercury News published (in print and on the nascent World Wide Web) a series of investigative articles entitled “Dark Alliance” by journalist Gary Webb. In the articles, Webb stated that in the ’80s the CIA not only supported cocaine smuggling out of Nicaragua in order to fund its clandestine war […]

Interview: The Guest Star Dan Stevens, Writer Simon Barrett, and Director Adam Wingard

A few years ago, director Adam Wingard and his creative partner, writer Simon Barrett began intriguing horror fans with low-fi, often deftly deconstructive and ironic films like the mumblecore serial-killer flick A Horrible Way to Die, the V/H/S horror anthologies, and last year’s terrific You’re Next. While part of the mumblecore film un-movement with pals […]

The Skeleton Twins: (Sad) Funny Bones

The Skeleton Twins feels so clichéd “indie” that it almost folds over into meta. That’s not entirely a bad thing—at least we’ve reached the point where delicately essayed indie-feelin’ films about human people not wearing superhero costumes or trying to blow each other up are created and appreciated often enough to be criticized for familiar […]

Interview: Love is Strange Writer-director Ira Sachs

At first blush, Love is Strange, independent writer and director Ira Sachs’ sixth feature, feels Woody-Allen familiar: Gentle piano music plays; a nattily dressed couple (Alfred Molina’s George and John Lithgow’s Ben) lovingly bicker; and diverse but attractive characters gather to sing songs in a perfectly appointed New York apartment. But Love is Strange quickly […]

Who Guards Against the Guardians of the Galaxy?

Let’s be clear at the start: I enjoyed The Guardians of the Galaxy. Quite a bit, thank you. I had much of the good-times happy smiles with it, and I laughed a whole lot, often heartily and with great joy. It’s a totally entertaining lark (with a bit of heart), and if you like fizzy, […]

Interview: I Origins Writer-director Mike Cahill and Star Michael Pitt

Three years ago, writer-director Mike Cahill and his collaborator, writer-actress Brit Marling, helped lead a new sub-genre of science fiction with their breakout film Another Earth: intensely thoughtful and intelligent, smaller-budget films that aren’t afraid to raise complicated existential issues. Cahill’s sophomore feature I Origins may have a somewhat larger budget and more expansive locales […]

Transformers 4 is the Greatest Film Ever Made About 21st Century America

No, I’m not being facetious. This isn’t winking satire. I’m stone cold Steve Austin serious: Transformers: Age of Extinction is quite possibly the single most important cinematic document so far about how America fever dreams itself into continued existence in the 21st Century. For the most part, critics have been baffled and stymied by Michael […]

Interview: Third Person Writer-director Paul Haggis

Paul Haggis spent two decades in the trenches writing for sit-coms like Diff’rent Strokes, One Day at a Time, Who’s the Boss, and Facts of Life and TV dramas such as LA Law, thirtysomething, and Walker Texas Ranger. But ten years ago, Haggis broke out big as a film writer, with back-to-back Best Original Screenplay […]

Edge of Tomorrow: Cruise, Again and Again

I once reveled in mocking and deriding Tom Cruise for the obvious reasons: the shallow All-American Super-Jock swagger; the intense self-deprecatingly positivity; the mish-mash of film choices from soggily pretentious Oscar-lickers (Born on the Fourth of July, Rain Man, The Last Samurai) to cloying, image polishers (A Few Good Men, Jerry McGuire) to silly popcorn […]

“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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