Browsing Tag


#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

The Equalizer 2 | Antoine Fuqua

July 20, 2018
The Equalizer 2

The Equalizer provided a perfectly serviceable delivery device for bloody violence. The 2014 film starred Denzel Washington as former C.I.A. assassin-turned-neighborhood do-gooder Robert McCall, who memorably carved up, blew up, dismembered, or otherwise mangled a dozen or so bad guys in a hardware store during the film’s climax, all guided by the mostly competent if unspectacular action hand of Washington’s longtime collaborator, Antoine Fuqua.…

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#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Baby Driver | Edgar Wright

June 27, 2017
Baby Driver

Fanboy darling Edgar Wright has certainly earned his reputation as a passionate pastiche artist and intricate stylist; his genre-infused films pair narratives of arrested male development with whiplash camerawork and razor-sharp editing. That skill and craftsmanship is fully on display in Baby Driver, but it’s undercut here by a trite screenplay and an overweening sense that the film’s twee brand of coolness, inextricably linked to a jukebox of pop songs, is somehow irresistible.…

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by Christopher Bourne Retrospective

Shinjuku Swan | Sion Sono

August 29, 2016

Shinjuku Swan, an adaptation of Ken Wakui’s manga series, finds director Sion Sono at his slickest, glossiest, and most impersonal. Set in the bustling titular section of Tokyo, specifically the Kabukicho red-light district, the film follows the travails of the bleached blond-maned Tatsuhiko (Go Ayano), who’s seen at the outset wandering Shinjuku with a rumbling stomach, a few coins in his pocket, and a massive chip on his shoulder. When Tatsuhiko gets in a fight with a bunch of guys…

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#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Spectre | Sam Mendes

November 3, 2015

Over the years the James Bond movies have fought to stay relevant in one way or another. Look at some of Roger Moore’s more amusingly ludicrous outings, a trip into vague blaxploitation territory in Live and Let Die, or reaching for some of that Star Wars glory with Moonraker. Or recall in Goldeneye M’s condemnation of newly-minted Bond Pierce Brosnan as “a sexist, misogynist dinosaur, a relic of the Cold War.” Each new iteration of the character promises to be more modern, more politically…

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by Luke Gorham Film

The Walk | Robert Zemeckis

November 1, 2015

Those who’ve seen James Marsh’s superior 2008 documentary Man on Wirewill be familiar with most of the narrative territory explored in Robert Zemeckis’s faithful recreation The Walk. Detailing the astonishing 1974 tightrope walk performed by Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) between the newly-constructed World Trade Center towers, Zemeckis’s film operates in three ready-made segments.…

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#KickingtheCanon by Tom Elrod Film

The Cable Guy | Ben Stiller

June 15, 2015

Though it’s not typically thought of as part of the Judd Apatow canon, The Cable Guy (which was co-written by an uncredited Apatow, who also produced, and directed by his friend Ben Stiller) nevertheless contains many of the same concerns of Apatow’s later comedies: grown men shaped (and warped) by pop culture, a great deal of anxiety about “growing up” and the role women play in that dynamic, and the ways in which male friendship offer a potentially destructive obstacle…

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by Matt Lynch Film

Aloha | Cameron Crowe

May 30, 2015
Aloha (2015)

It seems that Aloha, Cameron Crowe’s newest drama, is just him taking a mulligan on 2005’s widely (and somewhat unfairly) derided Elizabethtown. Both films feature a disgraced wunderkind returning to a community from which he’s become estranged in order to become emotionally rejuvenated with the help of a fiercely principled but alarmingly giddy ingenue. This time, rather than a failed prodigal son coming home for dad’s funeral, it’s Bradley Cooper as a defense contractor…

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by Matt Lynch Film

Fury | David Ayer

October 17, 2014

War in cinema is often treated either as a crucible upon which manhood is tested and goodness defended (Saving Private Ryan) or as a portrait of irrational human cruelty (Come and See). There’s a tendency in the way we view war films to try to retrieve something valuable from the experience of the horrors of war, even if it’s only to be once again reminded that it is hell. David Ayer’s Fury, about the weary crew of an American Sherman…

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by Ty Landis Film

The Equalizer | Antoine Fuqua

September 29, 2014

The last time director Antoine Fuqua and actor Denzel Washington teamed up, back in 2001, Washington ended up scoring a Best Actor Oscar trophy for delivering some of his best work as a manipulative and smooth-talking crooked cop in the urban thriller Training Day. Though Washington has continued to turn in solid-to-great performances since then, Fuqua has not been nearly as lucky professionally, becoming…

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