'Transcendence'

Jun 26, 2014

'Transcendence'

Has the digital backlash begun? Spike Jonze’s “Her” and Wally Pfister’s “Transcendence” both open this weekend, and while they’re very different films — one with a nerdy guy falling in love with his sultry-voiced operating system, the other a mind-bending thriller about uploading human ...

'Parkland'

Jun 26, 2014

'Parkland'

Oliver Stone threw just about every conspiracy theory regarding the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy into his 1991 film “JFK.” Peter Landesman’s “Parkland,” on the other hand, includes none of them. Based on journalist (and former Manson Family prosecutor) Vincent Bugliosi’s eyewitness ...

'The East'

Jun 26, 2014

'The East'

Director: Zal Batmanglij Language: English Brit Marling plays a corporate spy who goes deep undercover (i.e., Birkenstocks and no baths) with a shadowy eco-terrorist group. Her sympathies waver as she falls under the spell of the neo-Luddite group’s culty leader (Alexander Skarsgard), while continuing ...

Paul Haggis: Spinning reality into a web of fiction

Jun 19, 2014

Paul Haggis: Spinning reality into a web of fiction

“Today, too often, we’ve gotten used to telling the audience things in bold, in all-caps or underlined, and solving everything for everybody.” So says Paul Haggis, the screenwriter and director who won Oscars back-to-back with “Million Dollar Baby” in 2004 and “Crash” in 2005. ...

'Third Person'

Jun 19, 2014

'Third Person'

We meet Liam Neeson and Olivia Wilde — the two stars of “Third Person” — inside an upscale hotel in Paris.She knocks on the door to his room, and he seems pleased to see her…Or is he? They tease each other, blowing hot and ...

'300: Rise of an Empire'

Jun 19, 2014

'300: Rise of an Empire'

This may be little more than trashy B-movie material, but at least it’s not the hideous war-on-terror propaganda film that the first “300″ was, which had Spartans — warriors from a fascist state built on the back of mass slavery — yammering on about ...

Amateur (Ai Amateur)

Jun 19, 2014

Amateur (Ai Amateur)

Director: Various Language: English When “Pulp Fiction” was released in 1994, Quentin Tarantino overshadowed all other U.S. indie directors at the time. Hal Hartley’s “Amateur” — an offbeat thriller — was released that same year, and it’s an absolute gem. Isabelle Huppert stars as ...

The most important sci-fi film never made

Jun 12, 2014

The most important sci-fi film never made

Cinema is strewn with the ghosts of films unmade — projects that spent years in development, teetering on the brink of being greenlit before disappearing without a trace. And one such project became the stuff of legend: cult director Alejandro Jodorowsky’s planned adaptation of ...

'Noah'

Jun 12, 2014

'Noah'

Darren Aronofsky has been such a challenging, inventive filmmaker for so long that when I saw the trailers for “Noah,” I cringed. It looked like every other formulaic summer blockbuster rather than a film from the guy who brought us sentient refrigerators in “Requiem ...

'Jodorowsky's Dune'

Jun 12, 2014

'Jodorowsky's Dune'

Frank Pavich’s documentary, “Jodorowsky’s Dune,” explores director Alejandro Jodorowsky’s legendary attempt to adapt Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novel “Dune” to the big screen — one of cinema’s great what-ifs. The documentary covers the two years from the project’s inception to 1975, when it fell ...