Browsing Tag

2014

by Ty Landis Film

Unbroken | Angelina Jolie

Comparable to reading a biography with informative chunks ripped out, leaving gaping holes aplenty in the narrative, Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken is little more than an incomplete and wholly misguided rendering of the fight of the human spirit. Chronicling the life of Louis “Louie” Zamperini…

December 29, 2014
by Carson Lund Film

Two Days, One Night | Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne

Many of the interactions in Two Days, One Night occur on opposite sides of doorways, liminal spaces echoing protagonist Sandra’s (Marion Cotillard) temporary suspension between employment and unemployment. In their new film, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne are fond of such uncomplicated visual correlatives for…

December 24, 2014
by Matt Lynch Film

Big Eyes | Tim Burton

During the 1960s, painter Margaret Keane’s artwork, largely depicting children with outlandishly large eyes, was sold under the name of her husband, Walter, who apparently exhibited all manner of unpleasant behavior in his attempts to coerce his wife into complying with his ruse. She…

December 24, 2014
by Veronika Ferdman Film

The Gambler | Rupert Wyatt

If you haven’t seen Karel Reisz’s 1974 The Gambler before seeing Rupert Wyatt’s new Mark Wahlberg-starring remake, don’t watch it in close proximity to the new version. Here is yet another classic case of an original that makes the flaws of the remake seem…

December 23, 2014
by Chris Mello Film

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb | Shawn Levy

Shawn Levy’s third Night at the Museum film immediately announces its most disconcerting element— its retrograde Orientalist bent—by opening with a 1934 archaeological excavation in Egypt, which, as is the case with most adventure-film flashback prologues of this kind, establishes a cursed object. In…

December 23, 2014
by 
Drew Hunt Film

Winter Sleep | Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Winter Sleep opens on the smoldering aftermath of a brushfire, gray smoke rising off the charred earth as the wind blows and birds coo in the background. It’s a serene and beautiful image, and knowing Ceylan, one expects it to linger…

December 19, 2014
by Chris Mello Film

Inherent Vice | Paul Thomas Anderson

Many consider Thomas Pynchon’s 2009 novel Inherent Vice to be a minor work; the New York Times’ review dubbed it “Pynchon Lite.” Choosing a seriocomic yarn about a perpetually weed-affected private dick as the source material for his seventh feature might have seemed like similarly…

December 17, 2014
by Carson Lund Film

Maidan | Sergei Loznitsa

It would be a mistake to overstate the similarities between the events presented in Sergei Loznitsa’s Maidan — a series of non-violent protests gone awry in Kiev, Ukraine, in 2013 — and the ugliness this year in Ferguson, Mo., but you would have to be blind not to…

December 12, 2014
by Matt Lynch Film

Exodus: Gods and Kings | Ridley Scott

The recent controversy over the casting of predominantly white actors in Middle Eastern roles in Exodus: Gods and Kings is, it turns out, the least of the film’s problems. Not even Ridley Scott’s prodigious skills as a visual stylist are enough to prevent Exodus:…

December 12, 2014
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