Bawler, Shotcaller

Maligned though they may be, the Oscars remain the most recognized celebrity back-patting contest and the best way to playfully gamble until March goes mad. As is our annual tradition, I will lay before you my picks for who will win and, more importantly, who should win, even though my track record is less Carnac the Magnificent and more Miss Cleo.

Best Actress

Will win: Viola Davis (The...

entered on 02/17/12 at 10:01 PM | read more »



See Eye, Eh

Safe House

Director Daniel Espinosa’s Safe House is a shaky-camera action orgy that has as much use for its female characters as it does for a tripod. It’s the sort of generic, bro-tastic movie that Denzel Washington has been sleepwalking through since way before Liam Neeson weaseled in on that game. As much as it resembles those horrifyingly sexist Dr. Pepper 10 commercials with its “no ladies allowed”...

entered on 02/13/12 at 01:07 AM | read more »



In Short Order

2012 Oscar-Nominated Shorts

Animated and live-action short films typically get about as much attention as soft-spoken and fact-based political discourse, until it’s time to fill out an Oscar ballot. Lucky for us, Film Streams at the Ruth Sokolof Theater (filmstreams.org) is continuing their glorious annual tradition by screening the tiny nuggets of awesome that were nominated this year. The magnificent art house also...

entered on 02/04/12 at 10:27 PM | read more »



Snow Action Movie

The Grey

Like a giant, shovel-nosed Irish caterpillar, Liam Neeson has emerged from his late-career cocoon as a crowd-pleasing, ass-kicking action-movie butterfly. This explains why the marketing team behind Neeson’s latest flick lied to our faces when they promised generic thrills n’ chills in The Grey. Oh sure, it’s exciting and all, but look beyond the computer-generated wolves and you’ll find a...

entered on 01/28/12 at 11:14 PM | read more »



Mute and Cute

The Artist

It’s fair to say that writer/director Michel Hazanavicius’ latest film, The Artist, is predicated entirely on a single gimmick. Oh yes, its overall conceit is a ruse, a con, a flim-flam sleight-of-hand designed to distract from a gossamer plot and startlingly unoriginal characters. And it pretty much works.

Since it first hit the festival circuit, this black-and-white silent film has been...

entered on 01/21/12 at 11:16 PM | read more »



Contrabland

Contraband

by Matt Lockwood

Let's see a show of hands: Who loves Marky Mark and his funky bunch of acting skills? Is it just my hand raised? I can't see..the lights are awfully dim in here.

Well, even if I am the only one, I have no shame and raise my hand high. In submission to my disorder, this afternoon I wandered out to my local cinema to enjoy a matinee showing of Contraband. The movie picks up...

entered on 01/14/12 at 09:19 PM | read more »



Picking at a Mole

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

You can tell that Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, an adaptation of the classic John le Carré novel, is a more accurate depiction of British espionage than James Bond films because instead of rippling abs and shaken martinis, it’s potbellies and comb-overs.  Set in the Cold War, director Tomas Alfredson’s film suggests all that stood between England and the Russkie menace were men who looked like...

entered on 01/14/12 at 09:06 PM | read more »


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The Trip to Italy

Another affable outing with two British comedians.

GRADE
B+


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


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