Aug. 27, 2014

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A Good Priest, a Bad Town

'Calvary' is good but not quite great

Ok Father James sits in a confessional. An unseen man enters the box and says, “The first time I tasted semen I was 7 years old.” Thus begins Calvary, writer-director John Michael McDonagh’s pitch-black come...

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 David Riedel

This Must Be the Place

'Drunktown’s Finest' has flaws but succeeds

Ok The three characters have disparate narratives that come together in ways that are overly contrived, but that doesn’t blunt Drunktown’s Finest's overall effectiveness.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 David Riedel

Witches and Dum-Dums

'Witching & Bitching' is outrageous

Ok You know, the time is just about right for an insane Spanish-language horror comedy. And what do you know? Here comes Witching & Bitching, which is about as insane as horror comedies come.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 David Riedel

A Life Less Ordinary

'Violette' is difficult but rewarding

Ok  If you can get through the first 30 minutes of Violette, you’ll be rewarded with another 105 minutes of much of the same self-hatred and sexual obsession, but it somehow becomes more palatable.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 David Riedel

The 1-percent Solution

Citizen Koch is angry agitprop

Ok Citizen Koch takes aim at Citizens United, Americans for Prosperity, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, and billionaires Charles and David Koch.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 David Riedel

Let Him Die in Peace

'Lullaby' has problems but still jerks some tears

Ok Lullaby has lots of problems. For one thing, it can’t get a handle on the comedy in it, though it’s most certainly a drama.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014 David Riedel

Fear and Loathing in a Documentary

‘For No Good Reason’ goes skin-deep on Ralph Steadman

Ok Ralph Steadman seems like a nice, ordinary guy—at least as he’s presented in For No Good Reason—who, through satire, happens to get to the guts of his subjects in a way that is real, complete and uncompro...

Tuesday, June 3, 2014 David Riedel

Bored. Disaffected. Whatevs.

'Palo Alto' is a solid debut for Gia Coppola

Ok Based on James Franco’s story collection, Palo Alto follows high schoolers as they are alternately bored, neglected, overwhelmed and drugged out.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014 David Riedel

A Brief Encounter With a Stranger on a Train

'Just a Sigh' breathes heavily, but quietly

Ok Alix and Doug make their way from Calais back to Paris via train. Each is going through existential crises. They part ways. Except they don’t, because we know what happens with strangers on trains, right?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014 David Riedel

Twists, Turns and Killin’

'Cold in July' is good, gritty stuff

Ok Cold in July is a stark, gritty production and a powerful example of what happens when the screenplay is one step ahead of the audience.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014 David Riedel
 
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