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allied-screencomment-brad-pitt

Allied, the good, and the bad

A decent idea of a film, lacking a payoff
Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard
Directed by Robert Zemeckis

Oh, what, you want to talk about “Allied,” the film? Where’s the fun in that? Wouldn’t you rather talk about Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Marion Cotillard? Popcorn, please! Look in the mirror and be honest with yourself. Would you really rather go in-depth on the art direction? Twice Brad Pitt has made espionage movies about a spy married to a woman who might be an enemy out to betray him. ... more >

chris-pratt in magnificent-seven

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN

More seven than magnificent
Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt and Vincent D'Onofrio
Directed by Antoine Fuqua

Less a modern Western than an inside look at Hollywood’s fragile psychology, the film “The Magnificent Seven” is a lesson in the way that the movies think at the moment. It’s an encouraging thing, and a more honest historical assessment, to re-create an Old West posse with minorities in major roles. It’s another thing to be so perfectly, comically and distractingly fancied up with diversity that a ... more >

nerve-film-screencomment

NERVE, the best bad movie in a long time

The PokemonGo craze couldn't be more timely
Dave Franco, Emma Roberts and Emily Meade
Directed by Ari Schulman and Henry Joost

The best thing about “Nerve” is that it doesn’t care what you think of it. While it’s not a crazy surreal soup like “The Lobster,” it’s been awhile since I’ve seen a film that feels quite so free in its own skin. The new Emma Roberts film starts like “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and ends like “The Warriors” or “Escape from New York.| Its’ “The Hunger Games” as told by John Carpenter. “Nerve” is a ... more >

cafe-society-screencomment

Woody Allen’s “Cafe Society”

A great Allen vintage
Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg
Directed by Woody Allen

2016 is starting to shape up as the year of the love letter to Hollywood’s Golden Age. We started the year with the Coen Brothers's "Hail Caesar!," a kidnapping comedy set in a fictional fifties studio with million-dollar mermaids, crooning cowboys and blacklisted commie screenwriters. Still to come is Damien Chazelle’s musical "La La Land" with Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. Stuck in the middle is ... more >

money-monster-screencomment

“Money Monster”

Film was shown out of competition in Cannes
George Clooney and Julia Roberts
Directed by Jodie Foster

I liked "Money Monster," thought I'd that off the top. If that seems like an unusual or lame or unusually lame way to start a film review, that's fine. I wanted to state it firmly. Because there are things in the Jodie Foster-George Clooney political thriller that just made the rounds of the ongoing Cannes Festival that should go wrong. To start with, "Money Monster" quickly violates two of my ... more >

Everybody wants some !!

Solid but not quite explosive
Blake Jenner, Tyler Hoechlin and Ryan Guzman
Directed by Richard Linklater

Richard Linklater is uniquely qualified to make a film like EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!! By that, I mean he’s the fairly rare filmmaker who was a certifiable jock--both the quarterback and star pitcher for high school teams in Houston and Huntsville, Texas. A baseball scholarship helped pay for college. That perspective informs the athletes of his most famous film, DAZED AND CONFUSED (which, chances ... more >

BATMAN V SUPERMAN : DAWN OF JUSTICE

place
Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck and Jesse Eisenberg
Directed by Zack Snyder

On Monday night at the Alamo Drafthouse I caught a screening of GUN CRAZY, the influential low-budget 1949 B-movie starring Peggy Cummins and John Dall as a pair of bank-robbing lovers on the run. If you don’t know Dall, he was a Ben Affleck lookalike who starred in two minor classics in about eighteen months and then barely acted again—the other classic being Alfred Hitchcock’s ROPE. If you don’t ... more >