Cutting Room for March 23

  • I think I accidentally mentally combined the two events that Film Streams at the Ruth Sokolof Theater (filmstreams.org) have planned for April 1 to June 16. They’re doing another installment of two film series: “Forever Young Family and Children’s Series” and “Great Directors.” But I’m pretty sure that kids won’t be rushing to see 8 1/2 and that Pete’s Dragon wasn’t a Fellini...

entered on 03/23/11 at 10:09 PM | read more »


<p>Sure, they look cute and cuddly here, but the animals followed by the filmmakers of The Last Lions assure that this is no Disney movie. </p>
Where’s Whoopi?

The Last Lions

Throaty and sleepy, Jeremy Irons begins his narration of the wildlife documentary The Last Lions as if awoken from a crumpet-induced nap. Any electricity that’s felt by once more having Irons’ voice laid atop images of lions is blunted by a delivery that sounds like Irons is auditioning for a British sex chat line. His dulcet tones seem at odds with a surprisingly riveting story of survival;...

entered on 03/22/11 at 09:41 PM | read more »


<p>Cedar Rapids is an ode to the salesman, something star Ed Helms (right) of “The Office” fame knows how to play well. </p>
What Happens in Iowa…

Cedar Rapids

Just as Glengarry Glen Ross was for real estate agents, director Miguel Arteta's Cedar Rapids is an ode to the desperate, lonely life of the insurance salesman. Of course, there are a lot more jokes here than in David Mamet’s play, but there’s no avoiding that big melancholic heart beating at the center. And the feeling of defeat is easily sensed around these lively, ordinary people as they...

entered on 03/16/11 at 04:16 PM | read more »


<p>Star Aaron Eckhart prepares himself to yell out “Get down!” or some other piece of the rampant incidental dialogue that hampers Battle: Los Angeles.  </p>
Black Hawk Clowns

Battle: Los Angeles

Amidst a sea of fallen comrades, facing almost certain death at the hands of an incomprehensible foe, Staff Sgt. Michael Nantz (Aaron Eckhart) gets inches from the face of Cpl. Jason Lockett (Cory Hardrict) and begins to bellow a five-minute rant without missing a single military cliché. Seemingly exhausted by covering every base from “good men died out there” to “Marines don’t quit,”...

entered on 03/16/11 at 04:14 PM | read more »


Cutting Room for March 9

  • Close friends of mine are afraid of birds. Those folks should prepare to be terrified, as Film Streams at the Ruth Sokolof Theater is taking your feathered nemeses one terrifying step further. Ghost Bird, a documentary about the discovery of the long-extinct ivory-billed woodpecker, should be intimidating to avian-phobes on title alone. On March 15, a collaboration with the Nebraska Chapter of...

entered on 03/11/11 at 10:58 PM | read more »



Pet Project

Rango

Citing the need to do a smaller film after his work on the bigger-than-life Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, director Gore Verbinski managed to once again rip Johnny Depp loose from Tim Burton’s greedy grasp in the hopes of creating a slightly goofy animated Western. With its painstakingly precise animation and a giant cast of vibrant characters, the film Rango turned into anything but a...

entered on 03/09/11 at 06:14 PM | read more »



Hats Entertainment

The Adjustment Bureau

Although he doesn’t get name-checked, the Almighty plays an invisible supporting role in The Adjustment Bureau, the first Philip K. Dick short story adaptation to morph from science-fiction to theology-fiction. Despite the illusion of crushing doom promoted by the dour, oppressive orchestral music in the trailers, writer/director George Nolfi’s fable is actually a sweetly simple,...

entered on 03/09/11 at 06:10 PM | read more »


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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 Trip to Italy

Another affable outing with two British comedians.

GRADE
B+


Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Still a fun place to visit, provided you're not a woman.

GRADE
C


The Giver

This adaptation of Lois Lowry's beloved award-winning classic will be none of those things.

GRADE
D


Boyhood

The only coming-of-age story anyone ever needs to make. 

GRADE
A+


Get Fassbent

So the whole time, Michael Fassbender wears this giant, papier-mache-style head and mumble-sings gibberish lyrics about...

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Fall? Oh, me!

I’ve reviewed movies professionally for more than a dozen years. The few weeks immediately surrounding the end of summer has...

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Bro-man Holiday

First things first: The Trip to Italy, the sequel to 2010’s surprise hit The Trip, may be the whitest movie ever made....

more »


Bleak and White

Celebrated narcissist and Freddy Krueger look-a-like Frank Miller gives the women he writes a plethora of career choices....

more »


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