Aug. 29, 2014

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Low Rollers

Casino Jack lacks rage and invites pity

Movie Reviews Surely no offense to Anne Hathaway and James Franco was intended when some bloggers revived the idea that Kevin Spacey ought to host next year’s Oscars. It might not be a bad idea. After all, he’s p...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 Jonathan Kiefer

Wet Dog Smell

Red Riding Hood has big teeth, but no bite

Movie Reviews Red Riding Hood is a real Bavarian cream dream, existing in a soundstage Expressionist/Freudian forest where the trees sprout thick, jutting thorns, haystacks bloom with bright blue petals, and pure snow exists...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 Aaron Mesh

Adjusting the Reel

The Adjustment Bureau can’t see the forest for the plot

Movie Reviews The Adjustment Bureau may have put so much time and energy into the star-studded cameos that open the film that it forgot to pay attention to the real meat of the matter. This conceptual thriller centers on amb...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011 Felicia Feaster

Gray Matter

And Everything Is Going Fine explores Spalding Gray’s corpus, not mind

Movie Reviews Steven Soderbergh’s new film does not ask: But who was Spalding Gray, really? That’s a nonstarter, if only because the act of asking is best left to Gray himself.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011 Jonathan Kiefer

Hat Trick

The Illusionist paints a magical picture

Movie Reviews Sight unseen, there may be some misunderstandings about The Illusionist. This animated Oscar nominee should not be confused with the Edward Norton and Paul Giamatti 2006 period piece of the same name, although ...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011 Jonathan Kiefer

Brass Tacks

Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench trumpets firm fundamentals

Movie Reviews Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench is a jazz-inflected song-and-dance musical about the minor-key vicissitudes of urban romance. What a good idea for a movie, we might think at first, as if it were just a matter ...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011 Jonathan Kiefer

Big Bad Blue

Blue Valentine doesn’t (have to) keep it real

Movie Reviews Blue Valentine is preceded by the automatic buzz of indie golden-boy director Derek Cianfrance who returned from documentaries to narrative features, with a film reportedly a dozen years in the making.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011 Jonathan Kiefer

Far Trek

The Way Back takes the scenic route

Movie Reviews Imagine this: It’s Poland in 1940. Under duress of unspecified torture, a young guy’s wife rats him out to cruel Soviet authorities, who call him a spy and send him to the gulag. For a while, the gu...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 Jonathan Kiefer

Omnibore’s Dilemma

The Dilemma has no plans to solve itself

Movie Reviews It takes a special kind of mainstream mush to waste Vince Vaughn, Kevin James, Winona Ryder, Jennifer Connelly and your money all at once. Screenwriter Alan Loeb and director Ron Howard have found the formula. ...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 Jonathan Kiefer

Grand Furnishings

Tiny Furniture celebrates the little things

Movie Reviews Should the academy care to inaugurate a new award category this year, for Achievement in Being So Much Less Annoying Than We Expected Given All the Hype, and then fail to bestow it upon Lena Dunham for her film...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 Jonathan Kiefer
 
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