Sept. 30, 2014

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Nerves and Blood

I wish I didn’t know 'In Secret' is based on 'Thérèse Raquin'

Ok One of the least pleasant activities any human can experience is the drudgery of reading Émile Zola’s Thérèse Raquin. Zola’s exploration of naturalism—a bleak worldview wherein characters are placed in...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 David Riedel

Rocket man, why couldn’t you just be a dud?

‘The Rocket’ is just OK

Ok The Rocket is getting raves everywhere—except here. What it lacks in creativity it makes up for in spirited performances. Plus, it has the novelty of taking place in Laos.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 David Riedel

Roll Me Away

A kid looks for freedom with the ‘12 O’Clock Boys’

Ok This documentary follows 13-year-old Pug and his fascination with the Baltimore dirt bike group the 12 O’Clock Boys (so named for the way a rider can make his bike almost vertical when performing wh

Wednesday, January 29, 2014 David Riedel

And the Worms Ate Into His Brain

It’s ‘Pink Floyd—The Wall’ on the big screen!

Ok Pink Floyd—The Wall is so specific—it depicts, in moving picture form, the story told in Pink Floyd’s 1979 double album The Wall—and so very misanthropic, it’s really only for the biggest fans.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014 David Riedel

Babies Killin’ Babies

It’s a ‘Battle Royale.’ Get me a chicken burrito!

Ok For all the praise it has received—and it’s worthy of that praise—there are things I’m hearing at the multiplex that needle me. No one is expecting audiences to enjoy it. And while movies are largely ab...

Wednesday, January 15, 2014 David Riedel

Be Selfish: Stay Away

'The Selfish Giant' is too much of a good bad thing

Ok In Oscar Wilde’s “The Selfish Giant” there’s a mean old giant who won’t let children play in his garden. Then—and this is all from long-dormant memory—a permanent winter settles in on his garden. ...

Wednesday, January 15, 2014 David Riedel

Actually, She’s Not Alive

The 'Her’ here is an operating system

Ok In the sort-of utopian not-too-distant future, men wear high-waisted pants and mustaches without irony. Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) falls in love with his operating system, Samantha.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014 David Riedel

Sing! But Hire a New Lyricist

'Enzo Avitabile Music Life' is a decent half-portrait

Ok Enzo Avitabile Music Life doesn’t feel like a finished film. It feels like 80 minutes of sort of compelling footage that’s missing the last 20 or so minutes that may make it vital.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014 David Riedel

I got your spoonful of sugar right here

‘Saving Mr. Banks’ is weightless, charming

Ok Walt Disney’s early animated movies considerably softened their source material. The witch in the Snow White fairy tale dies by dancing to death while wearing glowing hot iron shoes. In Carlo Collod

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 David Riedel

Promise You Won’t Helicopter, Parents

‘American Promise’ is fascinating, flawed

Ok American Promise is a muddled documentary that falls short but ultimately succeeds because of its fascinating subjects. The tale of two middle-class black children, Idris and his friend, Seun, who get...

Tuesday, December 10, 2013 David Riedel
 
 
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