Gerd Oswald’s Crime of Passion is a warped film noir from 1957. It features a screenplay by Jo Eisinger and the cinematographer of Laura’s Joseph LaShelle. While some critics have questioned the noir qualifications of Crime of Passion, it’s safe to say that this number contains some sinister elements and contends with a twisting web […]Read more "Film Noir Friday: Crime of Passion (1957)"
Style is the name of the game for Guy Ritchie’s The Man from U.N.C.L.E., a flaring and cheeky take on the mid-1960s television series of the same name. The 2015 film has all the accoutrements of mid-1960s caricature, with the Ritchie and Lionel Wigram screenplay pushing the action with firm self-awareness.Read more "The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015)"
John Ford directs She Wore a Yellow Ribbon with a point to make about unity and the wisdom of elders. It’s kind of a scattered effort, offering up a meditation on some of the rituals of life in the United States Calvary just after the defeat of General Custer. Ford’s affection for the Calvary is […]Read more "Western Wednesday: She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)"
As the second film in a series, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials has its work cut out for it. It has to function as a bridge between 2014’s The Maze Runner and the upcoming Maze Runner: The Death Cure, but is also has to work on its own as a halfway entertaining picture. And it […]Read more "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015)"
A silly and gaudy Gothic romance run through a horror ringer, Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak is an ode to extravagant sets and unnerving settings. This 2015 motion picture doesn’t have a subtle bone in its body, but it doesn’t have to. Del Toro, together with his fellow screenwriter Matthew Robbins, has concocted a reeling […]Read more "Crimson Peak (2015)"
M. Night Shyamalan takes on the found footage genre with The Visit, a 2015 film that attempts to toy with juvenile fears and winds up twisting itself into a dippy pretzel. It is interesting to see the Sixth Sense director attempt to handle his business with a smaller budget, but he does little to avoid […]Read more "The Visit (2015)"
Directed by John Erick Dowdle, 2015’s No Escape is particularly ugly entertainment. This hot piece of garbage features a screenplay by the director and his brother Drew Dowdle and plays off some of the most common fears of the average Westerner, with a foreign country proving instinctively hostile to those of the fair-skinned variety.Read more "No Escape (2015)"
A pitiless portrait of the sordid side of Manhattan and the vile world of gossip columnists, Alexander Mackendrick’s Sweet Smell of Success is a scorching motion picture. The 1957 movie is just on the cusp of film noir, but James Wong Howe’s beautiful cinematography melds with Elmer Bernstein’s temperamental, frictional score to sink the audience […]Read more "Film Noir Friday: Sweet Smell of Success (1957)"
The sixth and final film of the Paranormal Activity series has come a long way from Oren Peli’s 2007 found footage horror and in a sense it was always going to be this way. Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension comes on the heels of 2014’s surprisingly decent Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones and attempts to […]Read more "Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension (2015)"
A scorching, patient, sometimes gruesome western, S. Craig Zahler’s Bone Tomahawk is a long slow ride behind the sun. The 2015 film was also written by Zahler, with cinematographer Benji Bakshi scanning the broad dry vistas with a lens that never shies away from the blood-and-guts reality. Along the way, Zahler effortlessly fuses elements of […]Read more "Western Wednesday: Bone Tomahawk (2015)"
Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies is a dignified and well-crafted motion picture based on the true story of a Cold War spy swap on the Glienicke Bridge in Germany. The 2015 thriller features a screenplay by Matt Charman as well as Joel and Ethan Coen, with Charman’s original idea coming after discovering a footnote about […]Read more "Bridge of Spies (2015)"
Featuring more models than a Taylor Swift video, The Transporter Refueled attempts to reboot the Jason Statham-led series that commenced in 2002. Unlike the lead-off Louis Leterrier and Cory Yuen-helmed flick, this 2015 fiasco is bereft of personality and jangles around like a tinny lump of Eurodance music.Read more "The Transporter Refueled (2015)"
The prolific Alex Gibney spares little in his Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, a documentary examination of the co-founder and chairman of Apple. The 2015 film examines the man who became a cultural icon with precision, leaving concerns of hagiography well off to the side. This is an incisive motion picture, although many […]Read more "Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine (2015)"
A callous and cold noir, Union Station is directed by Rudolph Maté and features a screenplay by The Big Heat scribe Sydney Boehm. The 1950 movie takes some serious risks for its time and endeavours to show the police as less than the helpful organization of most outings of the era. It’s not a seismic […]Read more "Film Noir Friday: Union Station (1950)"
A stirring and plucky ode to sports bravado, Ryan Coogler’s Creed both respects and reinvents the Rocky mythos. The 2015 picture earns its spot as it progresses, starting out as an earnest take on the original 1976 outing and working its way up the rankings by paying homage to every slice of boxing heaven before […]Read more "Creed (2015)"
Duccio Tessari helms A Pistol for Ringo, one of the more successful of the Italian westerns to follow the trail of Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars. This 1965 picture takes a hard turn from the strong, silent types depicted in many genre pictures, however, and it presents an upbeat and comedic character with more […]Read more "Western Wednesday: A Pistol for Ringo (1965)"
Apple product launches often look like church revivals, with pews full of the faithful stomping their feet and raising their hands to the consecrated debut of the next object of adulation. It makes sense, then, that Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs would be constructed of three segments taking place prior to the launches of the Macintosh, […]Read more "Steve Jobs (2015)"
Hell is murky and so is Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth, a 2015 film that is of course based on William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Macbeth. Tackling the Bard for the screen is always a bit of an event because it gives actors plenty of meat to chew on and provides for more than a few knowingly […]Read more "Macbeth (2015)"
Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight has the structure and pace of an old-school investigative thriller as it tells the story of the Boston Globe’s Spotlight team of investigative reporters and their uncovering of sexual abuse in the local Catholic Church. This 2015 film is about discovering and excavating the truth, even when it’s painful and could distress […]Read more "Spotlight (2015)"
Arizona’s Travis Mills put together his first feature production for his Running Wild Films in 2011 with The Big Something, a picture made over the course of 14 days with a budget of $2,000. After progressing through works like The Detective’s Lover and the sublime 2013 film The Men Who Robbed the Bank, Mills returns […]Read more "Durant’s Never Closes (2016)"