Short and Swede

The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975

When recollecting on the volatile quest for racial equality in the United States during the late 1960s and early 1970s, the obvious first question that springs to mind is “What did Sweden think?” No? Must be just me then…

The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 may seek to answer a question nobody asked, but that doesn’t make it any less compelling. Director Göran Olsson has stitched together...

entered on 10/20/11 at 08:03 PM | read more »



Ice Station Zoiks!

The Thing

Most modern filmmakers prefer two-headed CGI alien-monsters over spooky atmospheric tension, assuming that too much atmosphere would leave today’s younger demographic texting “bored lol” until the theater was lit to daylight by their phones. Matthijs van Heijningen Jr, director of The Thing, is no exception. Although he has created a serviceable prequel to the 1982 John Carpenter flick of the...

entered on 10/17/11 at 06:46 PM | read more »



Kosher Dull Picture

Footloose

Goofy can be an art form, and silliness is sometimes a lubricant that can grease the squeaky wheels of joyful entertainment. Sadly, writer/director Craig Brewer’s remake of Footloose isn’t just goofy or silly; it’s also stupid…like, really stupid. Sure, no copies of the original film are stored in the Louvre, but that flick had some bizarre natural charisma that made it endearing. This version...

entered on 10/16/11 at 06:24 PM | read more »



Attack Lads

The Ides of March

A reminder: Bobbing for apples in a sports stadium urinal trough may be less vile than becoming a professional politician. If Aaron Sorkin’s sorely missed “West Wing” was a weekly fairy tale of governmental grace, The Ides of March is a campfire ghost story where every player is the bogeyman. Populated exclusively with characters only passingly familiar with the definition of integrity, the...

entered on 10/08/11 at 07:16 PM | read more »



Pinkie Gets Fingered

Brighton Rock

Although writer/director Rowan Joffe’s Brighton Rock, the second attempt at a big-screen adaptation of a 1938 Graham Greene novel, never introduces us to the parents of its sociopathic main character, it’s safe to assume they sucked at child rearing. Maybe genetics alone determined that their offspring would become a brain-bashing, knife-wielding savage, but naming him Pinkie Brown couldn’t...

entered on 10/03/11 at 03:41 AM | read more »



The Digital Diamond

Moneyball

“It's hard not to be romantic about baseball.” Or so drawls Billy Beane, the restless Oakland Athletics general manager depicted in “all caps” by Brad Pitt in Moneyball. It's a hard statement to deny, whether or not the phrase “America's pastime” even means anything in our always-connected, always-at-war modern age. That conflict—idyllic nostalgia versus cruel reality—is the secret core of this...

entered on 09/26/11 at 03:45 PM | read more »



The Bell of the Bawl

Bellflower

Bellflower wants badly to burn. It so yearns to catch fire that cinematographer Joel Hodge appears to have frequently smeared ash on the lens and scrambled the color palate, so that bright reds and oranges practically ignite the screen. Alas and alack, beyond a sizzlin’ visual look, Bellflower is less flame and more smoke … derivative, borderline misogynistic smoke. It feels dirty taking a...

entered on 09/24/11 at 12:23 AM | read more »


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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-


Obvious Child

Billed as a comedy, this is actually a sophisticated, empathetic look at a crucial issue.

GRADE
B+


The Signal

Crazy good and just plain crazy, this is indie sci-fi at its best!

GRADE
A+


Ping Pong Summer

Drowning in 1980s nostalgia, this deserves to be a cult hit.

GRADE
A-


22 Jump Street

A sequel no one could have expected to a movie nobody wanted.

GRADE
A-


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