Blog Archives

Feist, Sandel, Singer, Stoller, West

In the Valley of Violence (Ti West, 2016). As an enthusiastic fan of Ti West’s early excursions into affectionately knowing spins on the horror genre, I had high hopes for his stab at the Western, the most venerable of Hollywood genres. In

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Posted in Film

The Unwatchables: Now You See Me 2

Like most erudite (or, if you prefer, snobbish) modern film fans, I’m always ready to spring forth to decry the practice of making all decisions about which projects see the light according to a strained equation about the likelihood of spinning

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Collet-Serra, Davis, Heisler, Levine, Lewis

Lion (Garth Davis, 2016). The feature debut from Garth Davis — who has major cred in my book for directing half of Jane Campion’s great Top of the Lake — looks like the same achingly earnest, self-consciously award-hungry cinema the

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Posted in Film

Baker, Black, Bloom and Stevens, Dieterle, Howard

Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds (Alexis Bloom and Fisher Stevens, 2016). This feather-light documentary is mostly valuable in its accidental ability to fulfill the the heartsick desire for affectionate remembrances of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds following

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Posted in Film

Now Playing: 20th Century Women

20th Century Women, the third feature from director Mike Mills, raids his own history in compelling fashion. He has employed this creative tactic before. Though Mills earned some praise for his debut, Thumbsucker, it was his sophomore effort, Beginners, that stirred more

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Posted in Film

Now Playing: Elle

Though I’m going to go ahead and follow my usual practice of typing out a bunch of words, I think the ideal way to evaluate the new film Elle is with an artfully constructed infographic. This helpful guide would take

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Posted in Film, television

Now Playing: Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures is just good enough that I wish it were better. The film, fictionalized from Margot Lee Shetterly’s recently released history book of the same name, digs into the sadly under-shared story of the African-American women who were centrally

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