Category Archives: theatrical

Interview: Under the Skin Writer-Director Jonathan Glazer

You may have heard that Under the Skin is an adaptation of Michel Faber’s 2000 novel. It is and it isn’t; at times the film strips away much of the book’s plot and details, leaving a very bare-bones abstraction. You may have heard that Under the Skin is the third feature film from writer-director Jonathan […]

Interview: Joe Director David Gordon Green and Star Tye Sheridan

Last August when I sat down with writer-director David Gordon Green to talk about his excellent existential comedy Prince Avalanche, I hijacked part of the interview to pry into his next project: an adaptation of the late Larry Brown’s 1991 novel Joe starring Nicolas Cage. Joe is now out in theaters. It follows Joe Ransom […]

Interview: Nick Frost, Star of Cuban Fury

British comic actor Nick Frost knows that he’s best known (especially in the States) for the “Three Flavours Cornetto” film genre-spoof trilogy he helped create and co-starred in with Simon Pegg and director Edgar Wright: 2004′s Shaun of the Dead (zombies), 2007′s Hot Fuzz (cops), and last year’s The World’s End (aliens). But that’s only […]

Interview: The Raid 2 Director Gareth Evans and Star Iko Uwais

In 2011, Welsh-born writer-director Gareth Evans dazzled the hard-core action-flick world with his second film, The Raid: Redemption. The high-energy, ultra-violent Indonesian-language crime film starred Iko Uwais as a Rama, a rookie cop, martial artist, and member of a task force invading a crime lord’s fortified high-rise apartment in Jakarta. Evans had discovered Uwais at […]

300: Rise of an Empire: The Half-Truths and Bloody Fog of Cartoon War

The moment you point out the howling historical inaccuracies and possibly harmful over-the-top fantasy violence in a piece of super-stylized hard-core war porn like 300: Rise of an Empire (or in its equally offensive predecessor 300), some pundit or punter with one hand in a bucket of bloody popcorn is going to whine, “You don’t […]

Shut the Robo-whining: The Remake Has Something on its Mind

There was no compelling reason to remake Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 RoboCop. And there’s no great reason anyone has to go see José Padilha’s 2014 remake. A healthy, happy, culturally fulfilled life can be easily led without it. Even those jonesing for a mid-winter hit of PG-13 sci-fi action violence can probably find suitable sustenance elsewhere. […]

Interview: Labor Day Author Joyce Maynard

Labor Day is the new romantic-convict (rom-con!) from writer-director Jason Reitman (Juno, Up in the Air, Young Adult), based on the 2009 novel by Joyce Maynard (To Die For, At Home In the World). Seen through the eyes of 13-year-old Henry (Gattlin Griffith), the film and novel tell the story of a Labor Day weekend […]

The Wolf of Wall Street: What’s So Funny About Greed, Ludes, and Unchecked Capitalism?

While watching Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street last month, I jotted in my notes: “Just try to write about this without mentioning Goodfellas”. So there’s that challenge already failed. After all, as everyone has noted, Wolf and 1990’s Goodfellas share quite a bit of cinematic and structural DNA, not just through the obvious […]

David O. Russell, American Hustler

A decade ago, directors David O. Russell and Paul Thomas Anderson’s artistic paths crossed streams. Anderson started out in the mid-‘90s dabbing at genre with the gritty down-and-out drama Hard Eight (aka Sydney) and then exploding into the full-blown backstage, “a star is porn” faux-musical Boogie Nights. Around the same time, Russell was grabbing critical […]

The Secret Life of Ben Stiller

There are a million reasons (about $100 million budgetary ones, to be exact) that I should hate Ben Stiller’s new adaptation of James Thurber’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, written by Steve Conrad and directed by and starring Stiller. For this latest update (following the 1947 Danny Kaye version), Walter Mitty (Stiller) is now […]

“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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