When The Matrix first came out in theatres in 1999, I saw it right away and walked out thinking, "Eh, I guess it was all right." Truth is, I didn't quite get it. I guess I was so lost in the flow of information that I didn't actually take the time to piece together just what it was about. So… read more!
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The most interesting thing I can tell you about The Matrix Revolutions is that I heard a rumor that co-creator Larry Wachowski is planning to have a sex change. Anyway, Revolutions picks up where The Matrix Reloaded leaves off, almost to the second, but if you missed the previous outing then I imagine you'd have no interest in hearing about… read more!
Another in a recent trend of low-budget, character-based chillers that have run the gamut from Willard to Dahmer, first-time writer/director McKee's May is a predictable movie about a disturbed young woman (Angela Bettis) whose obsessions with cutting, sewing, and the human body reach an inevitable convergence after she is spurned by a local hunk (Six Feet Under's Jeremy Sisto). Though… read more!
So far the most thoroughly entertaining new movie I've seen this year. This is a surprisingly intimate documentary about Rodney Bingenheimer, a gnomish, middle-aged fellow who, after growing up the neighborhood geek in Mountain View, California, took off for Hollywood during the '60s and became a central fixture of the LA music scene. Over the next four decades, Bingenheimer grew… read more!
Outside of Barbra Streisand, who hasn't made a movie in years, I can't name any female writer/director/stars currently working in America. Can you? So I was anxious that video/performance artist Miranda July's debut feature – starring herself as a struggling video/performance artist – wouldn't just be a vanity project. Thankfully, there's so much happening in this film that I could let go of my usual… read more!
Another one of those flicks I caught a few months late at the cheap theatre. Not being a big fan of Jim Carrey's physical antics, you can imagine I felt pretty strapped for entertainment during these, the really dead days of summer cinema. That said, I found myself sort of digging Me, Myself & Irene. Here Carrey's runaway mugging is… read more!
It's funny: when notable directors are at work, reviewers (myself among them) always refer to them as the true "authors" of their films; the writers are just hired guns. Yet on the odd occasion when the writer's name is better known than the director's, you can't help but talk more about the script than about how the movie was put… read more!
Melancholia's first 8 minutes are filled with a series of astoundingly beautiful, surreal tableaux of Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and child actor Cameron Spurr, filmed in super-slow-motion. They are among the most arresting images you will see on a screen in this or any year. But the film that follows is more typical divisive filmmaking from Danish provocateur Lars von… read more!
Grim film noir with a fascinating premise - a man on the hunt for his wife's killer suffers from an extreme case of short-term memory loss - and a fascinating structure - the film begins at the end and works backwards through a series of scenes, like Harold Pinter's Betrayal but with more twists. Leonard (Guy Pearce) has been suffering… read more!
George Clooney plays the protagonist of the title, a "clean-up man" at a high-powered New York law firm whose job is apparently to cover the butts of the firm's clients whenever one of them gets into personal trouble. His latest assignment: hush up one of the firm's own partners, Arthur Edens (Tom Wilkinson, fine as usual), who has gone off… read more!
Fans of wacky French director Jeunet, the man behind such mini-classics as Delicatessen and Amélie, know what to expect from his work at this point, and Micmacs doesn't disappoint. Although the film's first act is so whimsical that it nearly becomes too precious, this story about a man with a bullet lodged in his skull, who decides to get revenge… read more!
Woody Allen's love letter to Paris is a charming romantic comedy about a successful Hollywood screenwriter (Owen Wilson), insecure about his first novel, who is vacationing in the City of Light with his materialistic fiancee (Rachel McAdams) and her parents. Strolling alone through the streets at midnight, he is hailed by an old-fashioned automobile and promptly whisked off to the… read more!
Indie Stalwart Jeff Nichols, who's written and directed a series of dark, moody features (Mud, Take Shelter, Shotgun Stories), reteams with his regular star Michael Shannon for an ambitious film that blends standard family-on-the-run drama with bald-faced science fiction. The results are intriguing and original, if not totally successful. Midnight Special concerns an 8-year-old boy named Alton (Jaeden Lieberher) whose father (Shannon), along with an old… read more!
The third official film from Denmark's ballyhooed "Dogme 95" collective - a group of filmmakers dedicated to a cinematic "vow of chastity" in which they only shoot on location with handheld cameras, use no artificial lighting or post production sound, etc. - is the most mainstream of the bunch, and it's no great wonder: Kragh-Jacobsen is a veteran filmmaker and… read more!
Christopher Guest delivers another of his trademark mockumentaries about oddballs living on the fringes of the entertainment world, in this case a collection of corny 1960s folk musicians brought together for a reunion concert in Manhattan. Anybody who saw Guest's similarly-made Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show will recognize most of the returning ensemble, talented actors improvising their roles… read more!
Gus Van Sant's long-in-development biopic of Harvey Milk, the slain San Francisco supervisor and gay civil rights activist, finally comes to the big screen as a somewhat buttoned-down, mainstream Hollywood movie, showing little of the experimental character of the director's last four features (possibly the most interesting second act in an American filmmaker's career). Sean Penn is perfectly cast as… read more!
Flawlessly old-fashioned character drama about a struggling female boxer (Hilary Swank) and the grizzled old trainer (Eastwood) who reluctantly takes her under his wing. I don't have much to add to the praise that's already been heaped upon this film, but I definitely want to opine that I think this is the best thing Eastwood's ever helmed - though that's… read more!
Tom Cruise plays a cop in a future where murderers are caught before they can even commit the murder they're charged with. Steven Spielberg is behind the camera. With a great setup and such A-list talent, is Minority Report the "thinking man's action picture" that some critics have purported it to be? No. But it does have plenty of nifty… read more!
I've never been very interested in the Mission: Impossible film franchise, as I never watched the '60s TV series on which it is based and don't think much of Tom Cruise. I did check out the John Woo-directed second installment, which was okay, but essentially forgettable. So why did I see Ghost Protocol? One reason: Brad Bird. After knocking out… read more!
Or, Tom Cruise plays James Bond. The only major difference between the original Mission: Impossible TV series and the James Bond movies was that the IMF - Impossible Mission Force - was a team of spies, while Bond was a lone wolf. Not this time. Though assisted by the first film's only other returnee, Ving Rhames, Tom Terrific is basically… read more!