Category Archives: theatrical

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 […]

Maleficent: Witches Be Crazy

Last summer, upon surviving The Lone Ranger, I felt I’d finally come to some sort of Zen-like epiphany about these giant Disney marketing events masquerading as “movies”: They aren’t really films at all; not in any classic sense of what cinema is, what it means. My weary separate peace with these packaged, pre-sold, cross-promoted, brand-leveraged, […]

Interview: Cold in July Writer-director Jim Mickle

Last fall I chatted with writer-director Jim Mickle about his cannibal-family horror film We Are What We Are. As we discussed the style of that film, Mickle (who comes off incredibly nice and intellectually and artistically curious) mentioned that his next film was set in the ’80s and had a very different, more neon, visual […]

Interview: For No Good Reason Director Charlie Paul and Producer Lucy Paul

Most Americans know English artist Ralph Steadman through the splatter-mad satiric illustrations he did for Hunter S. Thompson’s books and articles, most famously 1971′s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. That was certainly the case with me when I attended a Steadman (splatter) signing in London in 1986. But from there I came to love […]

Interview: Blue Ruin Writer-director Jeremy Saulnier

At a time when we’re about to be overrun for the season by loud, dumb, nonsensical, pointless action bloat at the box office, a small, quiet, brutal film like Blue Ruin reminds us why genre still matters. Funded in party by Kickstarter, Blue Ruin shows how something as simple and familiar as a rural revenge […]

Interview: John Turturro, Writer-director-star of Fading Gigolo

As an actor, John Turturro grabbed attention in the ’90s in films by Spike Lee (Do the Right Thing, Mo’ Better Blues, Jungle Fever, Clockers, He Got Game, Girl 6, Summer of Sam, She Hate Me, and Miracle at St. Anna) and the Coen Brothers (Miller’s Crossing, Barton Fink, The Big Lebowski, and O Brother, […]

Interview: Locke Writer-director Steven Knight

There’s always the danger with reductionist film making that sticking with a single character and/or  location–as in films like Castaway, Phone Booth, and Buried–will come off as more of a stunt than an actual film. That’s certainly not the case in writer-director Steven Knight’s new film Locke, starring Tom Hardy as Ivan Locke, an ordinary […]

Interview: Walking with the Enemy Stars Jonas Armstrong and Simon Dutton

Drawing on the real-life WWII heroics of Pinchas Tibor Rosenbaum, Walking with the Enemy tells the story of Elek (Jonas Armstrong), a young Hungarian Jew who, in the final months of the war, donned an SS uniform and posed as a German officer in order to save hundreds of Jews in Budapest. Working from his […]

“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