Much has already written about A.I.'s development: it was a pet project of the late Stanley Kubrick, who for years tried to get it made, without luck. You'd think he would have been able to just call up Steven Spielberg and ask, "Hey, could I have $100 million to do this?" but instead Spielberg waited for Kubrick to kick the… read more!
Movie Titles: A
I liked this film a lot more than I thought I would. First, I must confess to having a soft spot for Hugh Grant. I remember his earlier, less cutesy performances in such films as Lair of the White Worm and Remains of the Day and longed to see him do something more interesting than the stuttering, lovable token Brit… read more!
Longtime Omaha, Nebraska resident Warren Schmidt (Jack Nicholson) is an ordinary old man who, finding himself retired and widowed, discovers that he had only defined himself by his job and his marriage. With them gone, he fears his life is meaningless. Eventually he decides on an impromptu road trip out to Denver, ostensibly to revisit the places of his past,… read more!
When Ben Affleck and Matt Damon were shopping around their Good Will Hunting screenplay in the '90s, a good chunk of it had Damon's math genius on the run from the NSA. They ultimately cut the thriller elements out of the script, which allowed the story to focus on human drama. Years later, although Affleck didn't write The Accountant – one Bill Dubuque did that – it's… read more!
With its story set "in the near future", meaning at least 60-70 years from now, Ad Astra's protagonist is an astronaut named Roy McBride (Brad Pitt). After a mysterious space anomaly causes a global power surge that kills thousands of people across Earth, Roy is called into a top secret meeting at Space Command – think of it as NASA… read more!
When I saw Being John Malkovich, I felt like the movie was smarter than I was. I knew it was saying something about power, celebrity and identity, but I couldn't exactly figure out what. And usually when I don't get something, I suspect that there's genius at work. Well, here comes Adaptation, the second collaboration between director Jonze and writer… read more!
Imagine True Romance as directed by deadpan filmmaker Jim Jarmusch and starring an all-Japanese cast, and you'll have a good idea of what Adrenaline Drive is like. A shy, rather geeky young couple – a slacker rental car employee and a studious nurse – bump into each other, and into about $2 million of stolen Yakuza money. After a moment's… read more!
How you experience Adrift depends greatly on whether or not you catch the first minute of the film. For the first shot opens on a man's lifeless body sinking deep into the darkest depths of the ocean – surely he is beyond saving, if he's even still alive. The camera then rises up into the interior of a luxury sailboat,… read more!
I went to see this middling though likable coming of age story for two reasons: First, it got surprisingly strong reviews from critics across the board, announcing it as something special. Second, I've been a fan of costar Martin Starr ever since seeing him as Bill Haverchuck in the lamented Freaks & Geeks TV series. He hasn't found the fame… read more!
Allow me to wax nostalgic for a moment – not an unusual thing to do when discussing Tintin. For I discovered the beloved graphic novels when I was a wee lad visiting my grandparents in Norway. At the local general store – they really lived in the middle of nowhere, some 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle – I… read more!
At a rundown way station in a nondenominational afterlife, the recently deceased are told by a small group of case workers that each has three days to choose precisely one memory from his or her life to take into eternity. The staff then works with them to re-create those memories using rickety low-budget props on a shabby soundstage, and then the memories… read more!
The fantastic opening credits sequence to After Yang, which ingeniously introduces the film's main characters as they perform dance moves in a family-based, massive multiplayer version of Dance Dance Revolution, won't prepare you for the slow, meditative sci fi drama that follows: the second feature from Columbus writer/director/editor Kogonada. Adapting the short story Saying Goodbye to Yang, After Yang takes… read more!
I knew almost nothing about Aftersun going in, except that its story involves a father and daughter going on vacation and that its star Paul Mescal received a surprise Best Actor Oscar nomination. (That this and another small, little-seen English film called Living scored two of the five coveted Best Actor nominations for 2022 really says a lot about the… read more!
In the early nineties, Nick Broomfield set out to do a documentary on Aileen Wuornos, the first female serial killer on America's death row. He soon found that Aileen's murder trial was a circus of publicity, with greedy hangers-on, from police officers to her lover to her recently-adopted Christian "mother", all trying to sell her story to Hollywood. Broomfield instead… read more!
As light as its title, Air is an easygoing yet absorbing docudrama about how Nike coaxed a hot young basketball player named Michael Jordan over to their advertising roster and created the billion-selling Air Jordan sneaker in the process. The story opens in 1984, and if director/costar Affleck is heavy-handed with his opening montage of that year's events and his… read more!
A British oddity that finally won theatrical distribution after a year on the festival circuit, AKA is a rather ordinary story about a young con artist, but it's goosed by its novel visual style, in which the screen is divided into thirds, the entire film playing out across the three mini-screens. This gimmick is, happily, neither confusing nor pointless. Your… read more!
An old teacher of mine once said that if you were to dramatize a famous person's life (i.e. make a "biopic"), it would be most effective to stage your story on one day – preferably a critical day of that person's life – rather than try to recount the entire cradle-to-grave scope of their existence. That's a bit extreme, but… read more!
This film isn't really all about Lily Chou-Chou, a fictional Asian pop star with a rabid following to rival Björk's, but about two of her fans: a pair of junior high school boys in a depressed, semi-rural district in Japan. The story follows two years of the boys' lives and is divided into three sections: the first follows the growth… read more!
Though I disagree with reports that this is the best foreign film of the year, it is still quite a treat. A warning to sniggering hipsters: this is 100% pure, unironic melodrama. You get your shocking plot twists, your wild coincidences, your emotional outbursts. However, Almodóvar's tastes being what they are, it is a melodrama peopled by the likes of… read more!
Watching All Is Lost is a bit like reading an Ernest Hemingway or Jack London short story. In this literal one-man show, Robert Redford stars as a nameless protagonist (he's cheekily credited as "Our Man") who wakes up on his sailboat in the Indian Ocean one morning to find that a loose shipping container has severely damaged it, with seawater… read more!