'Passengers': Futuristic, but the same old fairy tale

/ Mar 22, 2017

'Passengers': Futuristic, but the same old fairy tale

A lot of feminists hate Morten Tyldum’s “Passengers,” and for good reasons. Though it’s set in a bright, high-tech future where luxury space travel is the norm, where women are concerned the story’s underlying sentiments hail straight from the Middle Ages. On the other ...

Taiwan: Where Japanese go to feel at home on vacation

Mar 18, 2017

Taiwan: Where Japanese go to feel at home on vacation

Asia is brimming with exciting travel destinations. Each country is like a world unto itself, with new languages and customs to learn, food to try and experiences to have. Like everyone else, Japanese take vacations for any number of reasons, but the majority seem ...

The unintentional causes of 'abandonment'

Mar 15, 2017

The unintentional causes of 'abandonment'

Six years have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent tsunami devastated the Tohoku region, leaving more than 18,000 people dead or missing, and triggering meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant that has left a deeply embedded mistrust of nuclear ...

'Sing': Pigs can't fly but they sure can sing

/ Mar 15, 2017

'Sing': Pigs can't fly but they sure can sing

‘Sing” is brought to us by Illumination Entertainment — the animation studio that brought the “Despicable Me” series and last year’s sleeper hit “The Secret Life of Pets.” In many ways it’s “La-La Land” with animals. In a color-filled, LA-like town inhabited by non-Homo ...

'River': sink, swim or keep running

/ Mar 8, 2017

'River': sink, swim or keep running

Up until about 10 years ago, being a white man in Southeast Asia meant you did pretty much what you pleased and damn the consequences, at least in the realm of fictional cinema. (See Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Beach.”) Often, the characters are thrown ...

'Voyage of Time': Terence Malick's 40-year dream

| Mar 8, 2017

'Voyage of Time': Terence Malick's 40-year dream

Filmmaker Terrence Malick is renowned for quirky brilliance, but the director of “Thin Red Line” and “The Tree of Life” is also notorious for his steadfast refusal to have anything to do with the press. Not even online statements or a 10-second Skype session. ...

The poverty of thought in our welfare systems

Mar 1, 2017

The poverty of thought in our welfare systems

Sometimes I want to look up from whatever I’m doing (usually when I’m staring at a screen) and send up a prayer of thanks that at 81 years old, filmmaker Ken Loach continues to be who he is. “I, Daniel Blake” (“Watashi wa, Daniel ...

'Trainwreck': Amy Schumer crashes onto our screens

/ Mar 1, 2017

'Trainwreck': Amy Schumer crashes onto our screens

A little over two hours — that’s how long the viewer must spend in the company of Amy Schumer as Amy in “Trainwreck,” for which she also wrote the screenplay. That’s a lot of Amy, as the “Amy, Amy, Amy!” of the Japanese title ...