Into the Woods: 'mashed up Brothers Grimm and hammy performances'

Mar 4, 2015

Into the Woods: 'mashed up Brothers Grimm and hammy performances'

The fairy-tale reboot trend continues with “Into the Woods,” Disney’s big-screen version of the Stephen Sondheim musical that debuted on Broadway in 1987. Set in and around a creepy forest that looks like a leftover “Harry Potter” stage, “Into the Woods” mashes up a ...

Frank

Mar 4, 2015

Frank

Director: Leonard Abrahamson Language: English Michael Fassbender stars in this funny but sad portrait of cult musician Frank Sidebottom, aka real-life Manchester musician/performance artist Chris Sievey. The film contrasts Frank’s creative intensity with his band’s completely uninspired careerist keyboard player, Jon (Domhnall Gleeson). It’s ...

Toumast: 'riding camels or machine-gun mounted pickup trucks'

Feb 25, 2015

Toumast: 'riding camels or machine-gun mounted pickup trucks'

In the Sahara — spread across the countries of Mali, Niger, and Algeria — live a traditionally nomadic tribe known as the Tuareg. Maybe the easiest way to describe them is as desert Gypsies, because like Gypsies (also known as Roma), the Tuareg make ...

Good People: 'really bad money and a really lame script'

Feb 25, 2015

Good People: 'really bad money and a really lame script'

James Franco and Kate Hudson star as Tom and Anna Wright, an American couple trying to start their lives over in London by renovating an old house they inherited. Funds are short, and when their dodgy basement-dwelling tenant dies of an overdose and they ...

Path of Blood

Feb 25, 2015

Path of Blood

Director: Eric Power Language: Japanese (subtitles in English) “South Park” meets “Yojimbo” as directed by “Kill Bill”-era Quentin Tarantino? If that all sounds a bit mad, well, rest assured — it is. “Path of Blood” is an animated film made entirely by director Eric ...

A long, painful look into the whirlpools of World War II

Feb 18, 2015

A long, painful look into the whirlpools of World War II

The 1985 Holocaust documentary “Shoah,” directed by Claude Lanzmann — screening until Mar. 6 at Tokyo’s Theatre Image Forum — feels more like evidence than cinema. At 9½ hours, and filled with straight-to-the-camera testimony from concentration camp survivors, Nazi guards and many other eyewitnesses, ...

Predestination: 'trippy tale of transgender time travel'

Feb 18, 2015

Predestination: 'trippy tale of transgender time travel'

A guy walks into a bar . . . no, seriously, that is the premise for the new sci-fi film “Predestination,” a rather faithful adaptation of Robert A. Heinlein’s 1960 short story “All You Zombies.” The film opens with Ethan Hawke as a cop ...

Fifty Shades: Uncovered

Feb 18, 2015

Fifty Shades: Uncovered

Director: Sonia Anderson Language: English “Fifty Shades: Uncovered” is a documentary that explores the wider cultural impact of the “Fifty Shades of Grey” novels. Not since “Deep Throat” in 1972 has a pornographic work won such widespread popularity. Director Sonia Anderson talks to people ...