Contrabland

Contraband

by Matt Lockwood

Let's see a show of hands: Who loves Marky Mark and his funky bunch of acting skills? Is it just my hand raised? I can't see..the lights are awfully dim in here.

Well, even if I am the only one, I have no shame and raise my hand high. In submission to my disorder, this afternoon I wandered out to my local cinema to enjoy a matinee showing of Contraband. The movie picks up...

entered on 01/14/12 at 09:19 PM | read more »



Picking at a Mole

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

You can tell that Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, an adaptation of the classic John le Carré novel, is a more accurate depiction of British espionage than James Bond films because instead of rippling abs and shaken martinis, it’s potbellies and comb-overs.  Set in the Cold War, director Tomas Alfredson’s film suggests all that stood between England and the Russkie menace were men who looked like...

entered on 01/14/12 at 09:06 PM | read more »


<p>  Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos</p>
Cutting Room for January 11

  • It’s like my grandmother always said, “Recognition is nice, but cold, hard cash is even better. Get yours.” Nana rolled hard. I guess Film Streams (filmstreams.org) doesn’t have to worry much about that advice, as they were not only recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts, that acknowledgement came in the form of a $20,000 grant to help support the theater’s repertory series. And...

entered on 01/11/12 at 01:51 PM | read more »



Modern Times

Playtime

Whenever I'm asked what my favorite film is, Jacques Tati's Playtime is the title I blurt out. And when all's said and done, that's for one simple reason: there's just no other movie experience like it.

Playtime is a lot of things. It's a virtually wordless movie that's inconceivable without its sounds. A razor-sharp reproach of reckless modernization, delivered almost invisibly, with a touch...

entered on 01/11/12 at 04:40 AM | read more »



Pedestrian Equestrian

War Horse

Steven Spielberg is an unrepentant schmaltz addict, and War Horse may represent his biggest binge to date. Crammed with comforting cliches and overstuffed with sentiment, this lifelessly dangling chunk of Oscar bait feels purely calculated to prey on the emotionally vulnerable. The rest of us calloused souls are forced to endure a pretty looking but ultimately shallow journey of a...

entered on 01/09/12 at 01:47 AM | read more »


Cutting Room for January 4

  • My excitement for Thor 2 has declined from “Odin’s beard” to “Loki’s muttonchops,” as Patty Jenkins has been taken from the director’s seat. Thus, instead of getting to see what a talented female filmmaker may do with a big budget sequel, we get to see what Alan Taylor, director of some episodes of “Game of Thrones,” can predictably do. Word has it that Natalie Portman, or Natpo as I call...

entered on 01/04/12 at 11:18 AM | read more »


<p>  The Hobbit</p>
Cutting Room for December 28

  • For those who get giddy at being teased, this was a heck of a week for teaser trailers. Not only did The Dark Knight Rises finally lift up its proverbial skirt to show us a hint of its knickers, but The Hobbit also gave us a delightful peek and a wink. Early reactions to both have been wildly positive, with the former getting a few sparse complaints regarding the voice used by Tom Hardy as...

entered on 12/28/11 at 01:52 PM | read more »


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Dear White People

The type of smart, ballsy satire that comes along all too rarely.

GRADE
A



War is hell, but this movie is just hella slow.

GRADE


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


Frank

A band that has a lead singer with a fake head will win your heart.

GRADE
A-


The Adventures of Super Vlad

Left out of the superhero movie party every other studio is throwing, Universal made the ballsy decision to turn Dracula...

more »


Everyone is Awful

Warning to newly engaged couples: Do not see Gone Girl, a movie that makes marriage look like The Hunger Games with slightly...

more »


Swimming in the Laika

From Ray Harryhausen’s Medusa to Henry Selick’s Jack Skellington, stop-motion animation is just frickin’ cool, yo. Maybe...

more »


The Dies That Bind

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

Yes, in parts, The...

more »


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