'Hail, Caesar!': The Coen brothers miss a few pins

May 11, 2016

'Hail, Caesar!': The Coen brothers miss a few pins

The Coen Brothers have always been critical darlings, but their 17th film, the 1950s Hollywood-set comedy “Hail, Caesar!” has shown an unusually wide gap between critical raves and tepid audience response. This despite a star-studded cast that includes George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Josh Brolin, ...

'Victoria': One girl, one city, one take, one dud

May 4, 2016

'Victoria': One girl, one city, one take, one dud

Shortly after finishing a column the other day where I focused on Oscar-winning cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki and the beauty and power of his long single-take shots, I sat down to watch arty suspense flick “Victoria,” which was shot entirely in one take. If films ...

Lubezki achieves the extraordinary long shot

Apr 20, 2016

Lubezki achieves the extraordinary long shot

At this year’s Oscars, while everyone was fuming about the academy’s lack of diversity, few bothered to notice an incredible achievement: Mexican cameraman Emmanuel Lubezki, also known by his nickname “Chivo,” became the first person ever to win three Oscars in a row for ...

'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 ...