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 »



High School Confidential

Young Adult

Even if you don't feel you really know the main character in Jason Reitman's Young Adult, you've probably seen her. Maybe at the grocery story, or in a gas station. She's obviously very pretty, even though she's disheveled, with baggy sweatpants on, and remnants of last night's makeup visible behind the grimace and the big sunglasses.

In this movie, Charlize Theron plays one such girl. And...

entered on 12/28/11 at 05:01 AM | read more »


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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

The epic conclusion to the most epic of epics.

GRADE
A-


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


Happy, Little Clouded

Actual human beings made The Tale of Princess Kaguya, and you can tell. A water-colored rebuke of the robots who...

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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...

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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...

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Oopsie Genius

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

more »


Cutting Room for December 12

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Cutting Room for November 21

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