Armageddon It?

Melancholia

Writer/director Lars von Trier hates earth and everyone on it. Don’t believe it? See Antichrist.

Maybe that’s why Melancholia, a film that eventually gets around to pondering the end of the world, feels a bit more like a fantasy than a nightmare. As one of his characters ponders the extinction of the planet, she sums it up in von Trier’s patented lyrical nihilistic minimalism, stating simply...

entered on 12/02/11 at 11:32 PM | read more »



Coma Cuckold

The Descendants

As far as settings go, Hawaii is about as far from the Omaha metro area as can be imagined. So in that sense, writer/director Alexander Payne has moved on. That said, his shuffle from America’s contiguous confines marks only a radical departure in terms of geography, as The Descendants is the exact type of muted semi-drama we’ve come to expect. Chock full of quirky quiet moments and populated...

entered on 11/28/11 at 06:13 PM | read more »



Hoover the Damned

J. Edgar

The holidays are here, which means Hollywood is busy unleashing their new batch of prestigious Oscar hopefuls. So it's not much of a surprise to find the great old guard, Clint Eastwood, already camped out at the theaters with J. Edgar, his latest in a stream of totally respectable, slightly distant and ultimately perplexing movies.

In it, Leonardo DiCaprio plays J. Edgar Hoover, the first...

entered on 11/19/11 at 04:34 AM | read more »



Shelter Skelter

Take Shelter

Writer/director Jeff Nichols’ Take Shelter is quiet…too quiet. It’s the kind of quiet that makes your collar shrink, the kind that makes you long for something, anything, even an apocalyptic event of global damnation to finally just happen. And believe it or not, that’s a compliment.

Take Shelter is part meditation on the mentally taxing responsibilities of a modern family man, complete with...

entered on 11/11/11 at 07:48 PM | read more »



Beat on the Bard

Anonymous

In what can only be explained as an embarrassing oversight, Anonymous was not released anonymously. This maniacally boring period drama was directed by none other than Roland Emmerich, helmer of Independence Day and 1998's Godzilla, and a member (alongside Michael Bay, Brett Ratner and others) of the "Fast Food Filmmakers Club."

This means that his movies are (usually) harmless fun, but not...

entered on 11/07/11 at 04:08 AM | read more »



Fear and Loathing Abroad

The Rum Diary

First, a confession: Although I'm familiar with the life and antics of renegade “gonzo” journalist Hunter S. Thompson, I've never actually read any of his work. It's an education gap I hope to correct soon, but in the meantime, at least I have The Rum Diary, the latest screen adaptation of a Thompson title and the latest characterization of the man by his longtime friend Johnny Depp.

In...

entered on 10/31/11 at 05:08 AM | read more »



Gay Straight Talk

Weekend

Even within sincere and skilled gay cinema, homosexuality is often explored as a social aberrant. “Coming out” stories may be legion, but it is far more difficult to find a quality gay love story that works as love story first and gay story second. Obviously, the fear is that something disingenuous happens in dropping sexuality to a supporting role, as though this relegation is automatically...

entered on 10/30/11 at 04:35 PM | read more »


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John Wick

You kill his dog, he kills a million people. You've been warned.

GRADE
B


Dear White People

The type of smart, ballsy satire that comes along all too rarely.

GRADE
A


Fury

War is hell, but this movie is just hella slow.

GRADE
C+


Dracula Untold

What if Dracula was a superhero?!

GRADE
C


Gone Girl

This thriller has many twists, the biggest of which is that it's kind of a satire.

GRADE
A


The Boxtrolls

A stop-motion romp with near-nekkid trolls and a cross-dressing villain.

GRADE
B-


The Skeleton Twins

A dramedy about suicide elevated by its stars.

GRADE
B


Frank

A band that has a lead singer with a fake head will win your heart.

GRADE
A-


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