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 »


Purell Madness

Contagion

Not to advocate violence, but anybody who cannot control their coughing while publicly watching Contagion, a movie about super sniffles that nearly destroy humanity, is either too sick to be around others or desperate for negative attention — that is to say, they’re either sick or “sick.” You know who I’m talking about, people.

With that off my chest, director Steven Soderbergh (Oceans 11, 12...

entered on 09/12/11 at 07:08 PM | read more »


Muck of the Irish

The Guard

Writer/director John Michael McDonagh’s debut feature, The Guard, begins with a scene where a tired old Irish cop (Brendan Gleason) inspects the scene of a fatal car wreck, finds some LSD in one of the victim's pockets and pops it in his mouth before offering a cold, expletive-laden greeting to the day.

It's the sort of studied, exaggerated aggression that might have seemed anarchic and...

entered on 09/05/11 at 06:20 PM | read more »



French Fried Nerves

Point Blank

Sorry, Esperanto; À Bout Portant, which translates to the nearly Keanu-tastic Point Blank, is a reminder that action clichés are the true universal language. Writer/director Fred Cavayé puts a lightly French twist on such classics as “average guy at the wrong place and wrong time,” “pregnant wife held hostage,” “dirty cops are everywhere” and “only the hero’s bullets are accurate.” Aided by...

entered on 09/02/11 at 11:26 PM | read more »



Double Troubles

Another Earth

A slightly above-average human drama with a touch of “Twilight Zone” is a pretty fitting description for director Mike Cahill's new film, Another Earth. He, and co-writer and star Brit Marling, take a bit of science-fiction, use it as hard science-fact and put it alongside an intimate story about guilt, fate and second chances. It's an interesting approach that becomes frustratingly ambiguous...

entered on 08/29/11 at 04:02 PM | read more »



Bangers and Mash-Ups

Attack the Block

A sliver of the population, those weened on quirky, genre-bending flicks from the 80s and 90s, has been in withdrawal for decades. Stale remakes and overt nostalgia-grabs be damned! When will we again see horror, sci-fi, comedy and rebellious youth scrambled together in non-sanitized and exuberant fashion? Where is this generation’s Gremlins? Who is this decade’s John Carpenter? The answers are...

entered on 08/27/11 at 07:26 AM | read more »


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Nightcrawler

A condemnation of crime pornography with a chilling central character.

GRADE
A


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


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