Cutting Room for September 19

Every time someone uses film as a medium to push towards real social change, I feel all fluttery in my tummy; so it should come as no surprise how jacked I am for The Gender Reel Film Festival. The touring festival features films that focus on gender and transgender issues and will be at the Joslyn Art Museum on Oct 19 from 1:30-8 pm. How bad-ass and cool is a festival with the following...

entered on 09/19/14 at 11:55 AM | read more »



The Dies That Bind

The Skeleton Twins

“Hilarious!” say the trailers! “Really funny!” says the poster. “You are all sick people!” says me.

Yes, in parts, The Skeleton Twins is amusing. This is because stars Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig are incapable of being unfunny, especially when left alone together. But this is a movie that begins and ends with suicide attempts, contains an ongoing implosion of a marriage and explores whether one...

entered on 09/19/14 at 11:23 AM | read more »


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On Your Radar: Monsters: Dark Continent

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entered on 09/12/14 at 08:38 PM | read more »



Get Fassbent

Frank

So the whole time, Michael Fassbender wears this giant, papier-mache-style head and mumble-sings gibberish lyrics about things like snags in the carpet while other people play instruments they created out of things like toothbrushes. Welcome to Frank, a movie that is somehow nowhere near as pandemonium-inducingly insane as it sounds. In fact, it’s surprisingly sincere and legitimately sweet for a...

entered on 09/12/14 at 08:28 PM | read more »



Cutting Room for September 12

In an age of Kickstarted shenanigans and other tomfoolery, here comes some positive news: Dan Mirvish has made good on a 20-year-old promise. When his investors on Omaha (the movie) first backed his project, it had to seem like a bit of a longshot. No, these investors will not be retiring on this unexpected windfall. One of the checks I saw was for $8.14. But the thing about patrons of the arts...

entered on 09/12/14 at 12:03 PM | read more »



Fall? Oh, me!

I’ve reviewed movies professionally for more than a dozen years. The few weeks immediately surrounding the end of summer has always served as Hollywood’s trash heap. Only, unlike the talking one from “Fraggle Rock,” this trash heap doesn’t offer advice so much as waste hours of people’s lives so that mid-range stars can draw a paycheck.

This post-summer blah is the worst ever. How bad is it? The...

entered on 09/05/14 at 06:12 PM | read more »



Cutting Room for September 5

I hate it when people talk during movies. But I love it when people play symphonic music live in the theater while I watch a movie! What luck, Alloy Orchestra is returning to Film Streams’ Ruth Sokolof Theater for a live musical performance accompanying Dziga Vertov’s 1929 experimental film, Man with a Movie Camera. Tickets are $12 for general admission, $10 for students and only $8 for members....

entered on 09/05/14 at 05:39 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


No Big Bang

In 1965, Stephen Hawking wrote his first ground-breaking thesis and wed Jane Wilde. His paper argued that if a star can...

more »


Leni Riefen-stalling

On the one hand, any film subtitled “Part 1” is a naked cash grab. On the other hand, shut up and take my money, Hunger...

more »


Oopsie Genius

I know two things for sure: (1) Birdman aims to relentlessly drive home one singular point, one thoroughly expressed thesis...

more »


The Burden of Actual Christianity

Most praise for writer/director Jesse Moss’s documentary, The Overnighters, has rightly been focused on its Steinbeckian...

more »


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