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 »



Fact and Diction

The King's Speech

Remarkably unremarkable and tonally mundane, director Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech was seemingly genetically engineered by a mad scientist named Juan Tan-Oscar. Quasi-historical and wholly predictable, the film would have been dismissible as icky chum for suit-wearing Academy sharks were it not for Geoffrey Rush and Colin Firth. Their tête á têtes are more frosty diction than Frost/Nixon...

entered on 01/26/11 at 06:12 PM | read more »



Falling in Lust

No Strings Attached

Director Ivan Reitman is best known for ridiculous, male-dominated comedies like Ghostbusters and Stripes, but his latest, No Strings Attached, is like a romantic-comedy masterclass. Not that it’s a masterpiece of the genre, but it so expertly strikes all the right nerves that it’s still a little irresistible.

One drunken night and one impulsive morning are all it takes to bring former...

entered on 01/26/11 at 03:42 PM | read more »



DVD Discovery: Mama’s Family

DVD Discovery: Animal Kingdom

Let’s give it up for the ladies. Once the purview of mustachioed men with Italian last names, the “cops and crooks” movie genre has flung open the doors to the clubhouse. Last year gave us several films in the genre with strong female leads instead of damsel-in-distress love interests. Playing an Aussie-accented version of The Godmother in the under-appreciated Animal Kingdom, Jacki Weaver...

entered on 01/26/11 at 03:31 PM | read more »



Flaming Pants, Burning Loins

I Love You Philip Morris

Jim Carrey has no damn luck.

I Love You Philip Morris is a darkly comic, gay Catch Me If You Can, the central role in which requires rapid fluctuation from slapstick pratfalls to wrestling with AIDS. It’s exactly the type of part that scores formerly big-time actors their marquee award nomination. If the film weren’t tonally disjointed, had more genuine romance and didn’t use a...

entered on 01/19/11 at 04:49 PM | read more »



Slight Sting

The Green Hornet

There should be no doubt that director Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) is a genius; unfortunately, his 3D action/comedy spectacle, The Green Hornet, isn’t. It’s really more of a by-the-book bro-mantic comedy at heart, which is no surprise since it was written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (Superbad). Still, it is an interesting step taken by an interesting director and...

entered on 01/19/11 at 04:44 PM | read more »



DVD Discovery: Lie Space

DVD Discovery: Catfish

Although 2010 won’t go down as The Greatest Year of Filmmaking Ever, it is becoming more and more notable as The Year that Documentaries Blew Our Minds. The latest evidence supporting this assertion is Catfish, a compelling and timely documentary that is nearly impossible to describe without spoiling it for everyone.

Freshly released on DVD, Catfish tells the story of a young New York City...

entered on 01/19/11 at 04:13 PM | read more »


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The Babadook

A terrifying tale of an ooky pop-up book and motherly love.

GRADE
A


The Tale of Princess Kaguya

A water-colored take on a Japanese folktale that is prettier than it is interesting.

GRADE
B-


The Theory of Everything

"Out of this world" performances buoy a sub-par script.

GRADE
B+


Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Half of what promises to be an epic conclusion to a fabulous series.

GRADE
B+


Birdman

A delirously fun satirical send up of artistic pretension. 

GRADE
B+


The Overnighters

"The Grapes of Wrath" in documentary form set in North Dakota.

GRADE
A-


Interstellar

If this was humanity's last hope, give up.

GRADE
D


Nightcrawler

A condemnation of crime pornography with a chilling central character.

GRADE
A


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