Cutting Room for October 5

  • If you feel something churning in your stomach, it may not be nausea but nostalgia, as for the 31st time Bruce Crawford is celebrating classic cinema. American Graffiti, a film George Lucas made back when he cared about making good films, will ring in its 40th anniversary at the Joslyn Art Museum’s Witherspoon Hall at 7 pm on Friday Nov 2. Tickets are 20 bucks and are available at all Hy-Vee...

entered on 10/05/12 at 09:24 PM | read more »



Margarine-al Humor

Butter

In the wake of a Presidential debate that was almost fact-free on one side and nearly lifeless on the other, smearing Butter on one’s eyes seemed like a good option for poll junkies. This allegedly politically charged ensemble comedy promised a send-up of campaign rhetoric, a no-holds-barred takedown of our no-holds-barred electoral system and a scantily-clad Olivia Wilde. One out of three...

entered on 10/05/12 at 09:20 PM | read more »



“Glee” Clubbed

Pitch Perfect

At the point where the fist pump from The Breakfast Club becomes a plot point, shortly after a near-mute Asian girl who ate her own twin in the womb makes snow angels in another girl’s vomit, Pitch Perfect moves from “cult classic” to “recommended for any human who likes funny.” Toss in the nonchalant itty-bitty beauty of Anna Kendrick, and it doesn’t matter how many cliches you overstuff this...

entered on 09/29/12 at 03:49 AM | read more »


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Cutting Room for September 28

  • In what is fast becoming an annual fall tradition less likely to give you diabetes than trick or treating, Film Streams (filmstreams.org) is once more bringing The Alloy Orchestra to perform a live score to the 1925 horror classic The Phantom of the Opera on Friday, Oct 12 at 7 pm. There is nothing more atmospheric than having live music played during a silent horror film, other than...

entered on 09/28/12 at 07:55 PM | read more »



R2D2 and the AARP

Robot & Frank

First things first: although she’s only eight years younger than him, nobody will accept that Susan Sarandon would want to kiss Frank Langella on his mouth parts. That premise requires a bigger suspension of disbelief than the rest of Robot & Frank, which presumes the world now has robotic versions of Mr. Belvedere.

Writer Christopher D. Ford and director Jake Schreier have composed a quiet...

entered on 09/28/12 at 06:40 PM | read more »



Circular Logic

Looper

Writer/director Rian Johnson is fantastic at making pretty good movies. 2005’s Brick was a slyly conceived yarn that took 1940s private dick dialogue and plot and affixed it to a modern high-school setting, with middling effect.  2008’s The Brothers Bloom was a nearly great con man movie without a great con anywhere in it. And now comes Looper, Johnson’s first foray into sci-fi and bigger...

entered on 09/28/12 at 04:25 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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