The cast members of a tacky '80s sci fi TV show (somewhere between the '80s Buck Rogers and the original Star Trek series, in terms of both cheese factor and cult appeal) have found their careers floundering in the '90s, relying on embarrassing appearances at fan conventions just to pay the rent. Then a particularly odd collection of fans turns… read more!
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Game Night shares a lot of DNA with Horrible Bosses – not just in star Jason Bateman, but in directors John Francis Daley (the unexpected MVP of the Freaks and Geeks cast) and Jonathan Goldstein, who cowrote the earlier film. (Game Night itself was penned by Mark Perez, a screenwriter of no renown.) As such, the films are soulmates: dark comedies that… read more!
This long-awaited epic – Scorsese's 30-year quest to bring the story to the screen is well-known – arrives a year behind schedule (thanks to Miramax's post-9/11 squeamishness), but is none the worse for it. A bloody, baroque sprawl of a film, Gangs of New York examines a heretofore little-explored chapter in New York history: the early 1860s, where tensions between… read more!
Another entry in the "new wave" of ultra-stylish British crime movies of recent years, Gangster No. 1 is doubtlessly the bloodiest and most hallucinatory of the bunch. Learning that his old crime boss (David Thewlis) has just been released from jail after 30 years, gangland kingpin Malcolm McDowell looks back on his relationship with the well-dressed mentor he grew to… read more!
For many years, I thought the word disingenuous meant "not very clever". In fact it means "insincere and calculating". But it's a nuanced word, one that suggests not so much a liar as one who is bending over backwards trying to appear honest, and may even believe that he is being honest, but who is still just putting you on.… read more!
American indie that falls, stylistically, somewhere between Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven and Harmony Korine's Gummo, Green's debut effort about several adolescents in a post-industrial North Carolina town lacks the cohesiveness or sophistication of those earlier films. A would-be tone poem about guilt and heroism amongst a group of friends (mostly black, some white) after a tragic accident takes out… read more!
Possibly the most intentionally slow-moving film starring a top Hollywood actor ever made in America, Gerry marks Gus Van Sant's heralded return to offbeat, independent cinema, with Matt Damon and Casey Affleck his lone stars: two guys named Gerry who go for a hike in the desert, take a wrong turn, and find themselves hopelessly – truly hopelessly – lost.… read more!
This casually entertaining spin-off of the 2008 sleeper comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall pretty much does forget Sarah Marshall – and completely eradicates the memory of that film's lead character (Jason Segal) as well. Instead we get a glimpse into the life of Russell Brand's self-absorbed rock star character Aldous Snow. Quizzically, Jonah Hill, who also starred in Sarah Marshall as… read more!
Robert Duvall plays Felix Bush, a cantankerous hermit in a small town somewhere in the South, sometime during the 1930s. Staring his mortality in the face, Felix goes to the local funeral home (led by a strong Bill Murray, in character actor mode) and asks for what we would now call a "living wake" – that is, Felix wants a… read more!
That comedian Jordan Peele, late of Key & Peele, would choose horror for his directorial debut – he also wrote the screenplay – comes as a surprise. Yet it's only the first of many surprises in store in the weird, wild, and unpredictable Get Out. Daniel Kaluuya stars as Chris, a black New York photographer whose white girlfriend (Allison Williams) invites him to her parents' mansion upstate,… read more!
Forest Whitaker is Ghost Dog, an African-American hit man obsessed with adhering to the ancient code of the Samurai warrior. As such, he singularly devotes himself to his "master" Louie (John Tormey), your typical Mafia goombah. After 12 successful hits, Ghost Dog finally screws up when a young woman unexpectedly witnesses one. That the young woman happens to be the… read more!
This is a very strange and mysterious film, and I say the less you know about it going in, the better. But I will divulge this much: A Ghost Story concerns a young couple (Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara) who hear a bump in the night while asleep in their quiet little house. Something... happens, and we are soon introduced… read more!
After the success of his documentary about comic book artist Robert Crumb, Zwigoff turns again to the world of comics for his first fiction film, adapting Daniel Clowes' graphic novel Ghost World (Clowes cowrote the screenplay), which follows two directionless teenage girls (Thora Birch and Scarlett Johansson) during the summer after their high school graduation. The film mostly focuses on one of… read more!
An all-female Ghostbusters team is the one genuinely inspired thing about this remake of the 1984 blockbuster. (If you think this film was unnecessary, imagine how pointless and cynical it would have been had it starred Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, and Craig Robinson.) Seeing this movie 32 years after I caught the original Ghostbusters, the distaff casting brought into relief all the changes between then and now. Comedy has changed. Star… read more!
Supernatural hogwash about a Southern belle (Cate Blanchett) who's gifted with the ability to predict people's futures and see things that happen elsewhere. When she gets the feeling that a local debutante (Katie Holmes, who wins the prize for most gratuitous topless scene of 2000) has been murdered, all kinds of worms pop out of the can. This whodunnit thriller… read more!
Excellent if disturbing documentary about Patricia Douglas, a 20-year-old movie extra in 1937 who was hired to "entertain" at a rowdy convention of MGM studio salesmen, and wound up being raped by one of them. She defied conventions of the day and actually stood up and carried out a lawsuit against MGM, but in those days, the studios ran Los… read more!
This flagrantly weird account of a 1970s Australian girl's 15th birthday is decidedly not for everybody. What starts out as a cutesy, Wes Anderson-ish look at high school life (complete with the 4:3 screen ratio Anderson employed in The Grand Budapest Hotel) soon descends into a wild David Lynch-inspired nightmare – though to reveal that this lengthy, latter section of the film is "only a dream" is hardly a spoiler. The… read more!
Gorgeous comedy-drama about an eccentric knife thrower who saves a nymphomaniac from committing suicide and hires her as the new "target" for his act. Girl on the Bridge is the latest effort by my favorite French filmmaker, Patrice Leconte, and it's every bit as unique as his previous efforts (including Monsieur Hire, The Hairdresser's Husband and Ridicule – all highly… read more!
Let me just pull out the term "handsome production" right now. This movie is as sumptuous as they come. And it better be, as it's a drama about the great Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer, so audiences would practically demand that every shot look like one of the master's paintings. That's exactly what you get, thanks to the brilliant work of… read more!
Earnest silliness starring Russell Crowe as the rather obviously-named Maximus ("the great"), a fictional Spanish general in the ancient Roman Empire who, after leading Marcus Aurelius' army into victory, is chosen by Marcus to be his successor as Emperor of Rome. This doesn't sit well with Marcus' ambitious son Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), who smothers his father and, as his first… read more!