2015 is a banner year for Amy Schumer: as her TV show gathers even more mainstream popularity, she also makes her debut as a big-screen leading lady – in a movie she wrote herself, no less. Too bad Trainwreck, despite its charms, is such a formulaic romantic comedy. Hitting all the marks in this moribund genre, Trainwreck has Schumer playing Amy, one of those only-in-the-movies New… read more!
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Writer-director Malick's highly-anticipated fifth feature opens like an experimental film, with an abstract series of sights and sounds giving us the following information: A couple (father Brad Pitt, mother Jessica Chastain) learns that their 19-year-old son has died. Years later, one of their two surviving sons has grown up to be a successful businessman (Sean Penn), still questioning the loss… read more!
A Tour de France rider is kidnapped by gangsters, and his teensy grandmother and obese dog set out across the ocean from Paris to a Gallic fantasy of mid-century New York to rescue him. Along the way she enlists the aid of the titular triplets, former vaudeville dance hall singing stars who have aged into frog-eating, batty old hags. A… read more!
Witty staging of a somewhat obscure 18th century farce by French playwright Marivaux. A surprisingly well-versed Mira Sorvino stars as a princess who dons the disguise of a man in order to infiltrate the estate of her enemies, an influential philosopher (Ben Kingsley) and his scientist sister (Fiona Shaw), and entice Kingsley's ward (Jay Rodan), who's the actual heir to… read more!
English actress Emily Watson plays Chicago goofball Trixie Zurbo, who works as a house detective at some unnamed coastal casino town (actually Vancouver) and encounters various shady types as she digs up a murder mystery. The "mystery" in question is so completely uninvolving that I won't go into it; as with most of Alan Rudolph's films, Trixie isn't about the… read more!
For a wussy little art film snob like me, going to see Tropic Thunder - a big, loud, foul-mouthed action comedy about egotistical Hollywood actors fighting Southeast Asian drug lords during a film shoot gone wrong - is as out of character as my attending a football game. And I've never been to a football game. So why exactly did… read more!
The Coens' remake of the 1969 John Wayne classic - allegedly hewing closer to Charles Portis' 1968 novel (which I haven't read) than the original - is a visually stunning Western, peppered with the brothers' trademark sadistic violence and gallows humor but otherwise remarkably mainstream and, shall we say, un-Coen-like. You probably know the story by now: In 1870s Arkansas,… read more!
Outside of his derelict Johannesburg township, a young hoodlum nicknamed Tsotsi ("Thug") carjacks a wealthy black woman and later discovers to his surprise that her infant son is still in the back seat of her car. And no sooner than you can say the words "redemption tale", Tsotsi, now forced to care for the baby, begins to re-evaluate his violent… read more!
This satire about how network TV shows are created works mainly because it doesn't feel like a satire. There's nothing here that is over the top. Of course there have already been a ton of Hollywood movies that spoof Hollywood, and The TV Set doesn't add much new to this mini-genre, but it's smart, well-acted and doesn't hit a single… read more!
Although Michael Polish is credited as the sole director here, it's fairly obvious that he made this picture in tandem with his identical twin, Mark Polish. The two, in fact, play a pair of reclusive conjoined (or so-called "Siamese") twins, renting a room in a shabby hotel as they try to track down the birth mother who abandoned them years… read more!