The ballad of Sam Peckinpah is written in blood

Sep 23, 2015

The ballad of Sam Peckinpah is written in blood

Over the years, the idea of so-called auteur filmmaking has become identified with a certain breed of art-house cinema. A short list of American auteurs would probably include directors such as Woody Allen, Wes Anderson and Paul Thomas Anderson — but not someone like ...

A mopey, dopey 'Twilight' for hipsters

Sep 23, 2015

A mopey, dopey 'Twilight' for hipsters

Part of the reason for the great financial crash of 2007 was bad lending practices. Basically, anything that walked through the door on two legs and not drooling would be given a home mortgage, regardless of the risk. It seems like such irrational behavior ...

Mumblecore arrives in Japan, a decade late

| Sep 16, 2015

Mumblecore arrives in Japan, a decade late

The closest thing American cinema has had to a movement in recent years has been the self-deprecatingly titled genre, mumblecore, made up of lo-fi independent films that incestuously share cast, crew and concerns. Take the insecurity and self-obsession of Woody Allen’s “Manhattan” mixed with ...

'St. Vincent' gets old, Bill Murray lives forever

Aug 26, 2015

'St. Vincent' gets old, Bill Murray lives forever

At this point in his career, Bill Murray has become such a master of translating his own bemusement into the amusement of his audience that you could probably put him in a 30-minute infomercial about crop futures and still get a few laughs. “Ladies ...

Animated antidotes to Pixar-Disney eye candy

Aug 19, 2015

Animated antidotes to Pixar-Disney eye candy

Children’s animated films, like just about everything else these days, are mostly created by a couple of mega-corporations. Some days it seems like the only animations out there are digitally rendered, hyperactive “Pix-ney” flicks filled with pop-culture wisecracks and supported by a $100 million ...

Julianne Moore shines as Alzheimer's patient in 'Still Alice'

Jun 25, 2015

Julianne Moore shines as Alzheimer's patient in 'Still Alice'

Flashback to 1995 when a new actress named Julianne Moore was beginning to get noticed for her work in the Todd Haynes film “Safe,” where she played an affluent Southern California suburbanite who becomes afflicted with a mysterious environmental illness. Some 20 years and ...

Why does the surrealism in Ryan Gosling's 'Lost River' fail?

May 27, 2015

Why does the surrealism in Ryan Gosling's 'Lost River' fail?

‘They flooded a bunch of towns when they dammed the river. That’s why they call this Lost River,” says Rat (Saoirse Ronan), a character in actor Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut, “Lost River.” “As soon as the last town was drowned, an evil spell was ...