'The Revenant': Revenge is less sweet than bloody

Apr 20, 2016

'The Revenant': Revenge is less sweet than bloody

With last year’s “Birdman,” it became clear that director Alejandro G. Inarritu no longer just wanted to make good films, he aimed to make great ones. Every scene, every shot in that film seemed designed to surpass the conventional. Inarritu’s latest, “The Revenant”, shares ...

'Room': There is no room for spoilers

Apr 6, 2016

'Room': There is no room for spoilers

Anyone who’s ever spent some time hanging around hippies has probably heard the expression “You bought the ticket, you take the ride.” Meaning that if you’ve just gone down the psychedelic rabbit hole, there’s no coming back — at least for the next eight ...

'Banksy Does New York' and throws shade on the art world in the process

Mar 23, 2016

'Banksy Does New York' and throws shade on the art world in the process

Who is Banksy? The U.K.’s best-known-yet-unknown street artist/conceptual prankster was in the news again this month after researchers at Queen Mary University of London analyzed maps of Banksy’s wall works in London and Bristol to pinpoint a possible suspect. Excited headlines shouted as though ...

'The Decline of Western Civilization' is a punk masterpiece

Mar 16, 2016

'The Decline of Western Civilization' is a punk masterpiece

The Sex Pistols played their final gig at San Francisco’s Winterland in January 1978. About a year later, Sid Vicious died from an overdose, and so did punk rock — according to the music magazines. The Pistols’ chaotic tour of America, however, had dropped ...

The true cost of your iPhone is hard to stomach

Mar 2, 2016

The true cost of your iPhone is hard to stomach

‘Information should be free” was one of the mantras of the IT revolution, promising a new era of civic openness. But though the economy of “Big Tech” is largely based on its ability to harvest and monetize your personal information, corporations display no openness ...

'The Wrecking Crew' played the American soundtrack to the 1960s

Feb 17, 2016

'The Wrecking Crew' played the American soundtrack to the 1960s

The 2002 film “Standing in the Shadows of Motown” is a documentary about The Funk Brothers, an anonymous band of studio session musicians that defined the sound of classic 1960s soul music. Now we have “The Wrecking Crew,” a documentary about the West Coast ...

'Unbroken' opens in Tokyo with few complaints

| Feb 17, 2016

'Unbroken' opens in Tokyo with few complaints

In a small victory for freedom of speech, independent distributor Bitters End opened Angelina Jolie’s controversial World War II prison camp movie “Unbroken” at Shibuya’s Theatre Image Forum, and in the end there were no fascist sound trucks or other harassment — just a ...

An unforgiving look at 'Unbroken' in Japan

Feb 3, 2016

An unforgiving look at 'Unbroken' in Japan

Flashback to 1983: Director Nagisa Oshima’s “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence,” set during World War II in a Japanese-run POW camp in Java, is opening in theaters across Japan. It starred David Bowie with two huge local stars: comedian Beat Takeshi and musician Ryuichi Sakamoto. ...

Johnny Depp as a sociopathic crime lord in 'Black Mass'

Jan 27, 2016

Johnny Depp as a sociopathic crime lord in 'Black Mass'

‘Black Mass” may sound like a classic horror film featuring Vincent Price or Barbara Steele, but it’s actually a modern crime film about a gangster nicknamed “Whitey,” played by Johnny Depp. Confusing? Yes, even more so when you examine its promo photos of a ...