There’s a rich history of monster movies that use giant rampaging creatures as instruments of allegory as well as destruction. The first King Kong explored humanity’s contradictory desires to admire and destroy the natural world. The original Godzilla reshaped Japan’s World War II nuclear trauma into a terrifying vision of destruction. Nacho Vigalondo’s Colossal does the same; envisioning a monster as an expression of addicts’ uncontrollable inner demons. That idea is just about perfect; the execution of that idea, sadly, falls short.
Movie Reviews - Page 6
Sports metaphors seem particularly appropriate in a review of Mascots, so let’s start with this one: Does any comedy director have a deeper bench than Christopher Guest? Some of Guest’s most dependable stars didn’t show up for this film — Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara amongst them — but Mascots still delivers Jane Lynch, Parker Posey, Fred Willard, Chris O’Dowd, Ed Begley Jr., Bob Balaban, Don Lake, Michael Hitchcock, John Michael Higgins, and Jim Piddock (who also co-wrote the film with Guest). That’s before you add Guest himself, in a small role as Corky St. Clair (his character from Waiting for Guffman) plus newcomers like Zach Woods, Sarah Baker, and Susan Yeagley. There are an obscene number of funny people in this movie.
There’s no doubting Tom Ford has an impeccable eye. The fashion designer-cum-film director knows how to dress people, and in his second feature Nocturnal Animals, he wastes no opportunity to aestheticize the sadness and cynicism of his well dressed cast.
I’ve already heard one colleague refer to Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire, in which an arms deal goes wrong and escalates into an almost 90-minute-long shootout, as a kind of cinematic high-wire act. But high-wire acts don’t last 90 minutes; watching somebody balance on a wire for 90 minutes would get pretty boring if that’s all they were doing. There’s an audaciousness to Free Fire that’s self-defeating. Yes, Wheatley pulled off a feature-length gun battle. But the result is so monotonous that I ran out of patience long before the participants ran out of bullets.
Awards season may be underway with the official start of the Toronto Film Festival, but the fall of 2016 picks up right where summer left off with Antoine Fuqua’s ‘The Magnificent Seven,’ a loud and frenetic update of an old classic very few people were clamoring for. The question with any remake is why; why a new version and why one now? The movie just made its world premiere as the opening night film of TIFF 2016, and I still don’t have a satisfying answer to that question.
Even by the standards of a biopic about an incredibly famous man at the center of an incredibly famous real-life event there isn’t a ton of suspense in Sully. Everyone who was alive and conscious on January 15, 2009 remembers what happened that day, when Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger safely landed US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River after the plane was struck by birds during takeoff.(I certainly do; I’d just arrived at my condo for the Sundance Film Festival and watched the rescue efforts unfold on live television.)
Derek Cianfrance’s ‘The Light Between Oceans’ might be the most heartbreaking movie of the year. Cianfrance’s (‘Blue Valentine,’ ‘The Place Beyond the Pines’) latest looks at the many sides of grief and guilt, and how one’s joy may come at the expense of another’s pain.
As soon as I left the theater, still shaken from Elizabeth Wood’s ‘White Girl,’ I Googled the title of the film see what else the filmmaker has done. My finger must have slipped on the Google Search recommendations, as the results for “white girl wasted” popped up. I looked down at the Urban Dictionary definition highlighted at the top, a description that only just begins to capture the perilous, infantile destruction frequently found among, and willingly created by, a demographic often found at New York City bars and clubs.
What if Rutger Hauer’s relatively absurd, visually-impaired martial arts badass from Blind Fury was besieged by a home invasion in his reclusive Early Bird Special years? The answer is — to an extent — Don’t Breathe, a thriller that skews a little more toward The Collector than David Fincher’s underrated Panic Room. The latest effort from director Fede Alvarez (the Evil Dead remake) is a relentlessly intense cat-and-mouse game with a couple of hard lefts thrown into its twisted domestic labyrinth. It’s a nasty little piece of work that needs to be a bit more lean and slightly less mean.
In the thick of the Chicago summer of 1989 two people went on a first date, marking the beginning of one of history’s most famous couples. It was Barack and Michelle Obama’s first date. But the First Lady, then Michelle Robinson, a 25-year-old lawyer, was insistent it was only a meeting between colleagues.