Bleak and White

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Celebrated narcissist and Freddy Krueger look-a-like Frank Miller gives the women he writes a plethora of career choices. They can be prostitutes, strippers, bondage-wearing murderers or corpses. Some get to be all of those! Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is part entertaining cartoon noir, part violently fetishized relationship revenge fantasy. The first part is recommendable; the second part is...

entered on 08/22/14 at 12:43 PM | read more »



Take It Back

The Giver

Fail gloriously, if you must fail. Go down swinging for the fences, punchdrunk and confident you’re making something truly awesome that people will love, even if it winds up a steaming pile of poodoo we mock. I respect the noble fool, the proud creator of disaster who clearly put everything into a creative vision beloved by only himself. I have no respect for the people who made The Giver, a...

entered on 08/15/14 at 12:52 PM | read more »



Cinéma Very Tame

Boyhood

A few quick confessions: Because we now have cameras, modern photorealistic paintings have always been, at best, modestly captivating to me. Similarly, most films considered “fictional cinéma vérité” have struck me as dull navel-gazing. Where’s the great art in replicating something a compelling documentary can, by its very nature, do better? Maybe it’s my latent rage that documentaries never get...

entered on 08/10/14 at 05:55 PM | read more »



Grade A-Holes

Guardians of the Galaxy

The proliferation of comic book movies has reached its cultural apex, so thoroughly dominating the box office and public consciousness that a backlash was practically invited. While the public plays Oliver Twist, wallets open and begging for more, those who critically engage cinema have begun the “tsk, tsk”-ing and the “poo-poo”-ing. Guardians of the Galaxy is a feast for the former and a...

entered on 08/01/14 at 09:57 AM | read more »



Lucy Goosey

Lucy

It doesn’t work this way with people, but there’s a level of confident stupidity a movie can display that makes it endearing. Lucy is that kind of stupid. Cocksure and confidently, it swaggers around, daring you to question any of the unimaginable number of scientific inaccuracies it hurls. You can practically hear writer/director Luc Besson just off screen whispering, “What are you gonna do,...

entered on 07/25/14 at 01:59 PM | read more »



Fuzzy Focus

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Time has whittled mainstream memory of the original late 1960s/early 1970s Planet of the Apes franchise down to an image of Charlton Heston’s clenched fist and the Statue of Liberty tanning her torchy top half on the beach. However, the original series was actually quite subversive and fascinating. It was compelling science fiction that occasionally skinny dipped in psychedelic waters.

With Dawn...

entered on 07/18/14 at 12:56 PM | read more »



“We’re Not a Girl Band”

We Are the Best

Punk was always as much about the mentality as the sound, as much about rebellion for rebellion’s sake as it was disorganized noise.  We Are the Best (Vi är bast) sports a cocksure swagger in its title alone, and rightfully so. It is a boisterous rejoinder to the usual simplistic, tame depiction of adolescent girls. Writer/director Lukas Moodysson has made a movie that isn’t just infused with...

entered on 07/11/14 at 01:11 PM | read more »


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Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Still a fun place to visit, provided you're not a woman.

GRADE
C


The Giver

This adaptation of Lois Lowry's beloved award-winning classic will be none of those things.

GRADE
D


Boyhood

The only coming-of-age story anyone ever needs to make. 

GRADE
A+


Guardians of the Galaxy

A gleeful space opera that is as visually stunning as it is hilarious.

GRADE
A


Lucy

A girl ingests a drug that makes her God. For real.

GRADE
C+


Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Those damned apes are back and anything but dirty.

GRADE
B+


We Are the Best

Set in Stockholm in 1982, this is punk rock female adolescence at its finest.

GRADE
A


Snowpiercer

Awesome, literal class warfare on a train that holds the only humans that survived the new ice age.

GRADE
A-


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