Monsters Vs. Illegal Aliens

DVD Discovery: Monsters

Don’t let the generic title of Monsters fool you — it’s really a pretty unique film. With an estimated budget of $800,000, which is the latte and donuts budget for most Hollywood movies, Monsters offers some surprisingly big-time special effects. But the real story behind the film’s creation is its super-cheap on-location guerilla shooting style, in which the film’s crew (one...

entered on 02/18/11 at 09:42 PM | read more »



Just Get it Over With

Just Go With It

Just Go With It is the latest Dennis Dugan–directed Adam Sandler vehicle. Standing at the ticket counter, the title reads more like a desperate plea for audience members. That probably isn't the case, since it was basically designed to make lots of money. But it’s such a benign and unnecessary movie that it's nice to imagine.

It takes a while to get to the meat of things, but the idea is...

entered on 02/16/11 at 09:49 PM | read more »



Less Than Some

Somewhere

Devoid of music or dialogue, the opening frames of Somewhere capture a sports car driving repeatedly in a circle for, like, a really long time before the car stops and an obvious douchebag exits the vehicle and stands there … for, like, a really long time. Had writer/director Sofia Coppola rolled credits immediately thereafter, the experience of Somewhere wouldn’t have changed an iota. The...

entered on 02/16/11 at 09:46 PM | read more »



Don’t Laugh at Tiny Projections

Oscar pleasure is usually reserved for grouches or award show addicts. As both, one of my favorite weekends has finally arrived: Film Streams at the Ruth Sokolof Theater (FilmStreams.org) presents its annual screening of the year’s Oscar-nominated short films. These proud members of the itty-bitty cine committee are pint-sized powerhouses proudly packaged together for ease-of-viewing on the big...

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



Heartbreak Motel

Blue Valentine

Last year’s indie relationship flicks mostly kept the mood light. Both Jack Goes Boating and Cyrus tempered their weighty moments with socially awkward central characters who were good for a tension-breaking chuckle. Viewers loved these characters at arm’s length, not because they weren’t real or wonderfully crafted, but because we like to think of ourselves as too sophisticated to make the...

entered on 02/01/11 at 11:10 PM | read more »



The Murderer’s Apprentice

The Mechanic

Things you’ll never hear: “I want to see that new Victorian-era romance starring Oscar-winner Jason Statham.” J-Stat is so synonymous with cinematic violence, someone should update the Wikipedia entry for “action movie” so it’s just a picture of his grimacing, bald cabeza covered in blood. In an ever-changing world, the only constant is Jason Statham’s movie murder spree.

The...

entered on 02/01/11 at 11:06 PM | read more »



Tchai-Kafka-sky’s Swan Lake

Black Swan

Director Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan is just your run-of-the-mill “girl haunted by doppelgangers while turning into a human/swan hybrid” ballet movie with elements of bisexual experimentation. In other words, writers Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz and John McLaughlin are a collective Dr. Frankenstein, standing over a creation that is part horror, part pure beauty. Firmly entrenched in...

entered on 01/29/11 at 04:32 AM | read more »


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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-


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-


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