Film Topics

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

May 11, 2016

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

by

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, ...

'Hero Mania': Japanese heroes are keeping it real

May 4, 2016

'Hero Mania': Japanese heroes are keeping it real

by

Why don’t Japanese audiences turn up in big numbers for Hollywood superhero movies? The rare success in Japan of the Spider-Man series suggests one answer: Japanese like superheroes just fine, as long as they’re flawed humans as well as heroic fighters for justice. Another ...

'Backtrack': Haunted by other people's pasts

May 4, 2016

'Backtrack': Haunted by other people's pasts

by

These days, according to a New York Times Opinionator article by Richard Brouillette (March 16, 2015), the psychotherapist’s job is on shifting ground. Doctors are now dealing less with relationships and family problems and treating more patients suffering from workplace trauma and financial stress. ...

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

May 4, 2016

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

by

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 ...

'Terraformars': Miike's life on Mars has its bugs

Apr 27, 2016

'Terraformars': Miike's life on Mars has its bugs

by

Now that voyages to Mars seem likely in the next generation or so, films about the red planet are moving beyond the “John Carter” (2012) space-opera stage. But for every reality-based “The Martian,” there is still a “Terraformars,” Takashi Miike’s latest extreme entertainment. The ...

'I Am a Hero': Japanese zombies pick up the pace

Apr 20, 2016

'I Am a Hero': Japanese zombies pick up the pace

by

Horror films here have traditionally featured vengeful female ghosts, but Japanese filmmakers do also take cues from Hollywood, where zombies have long flourished since George Romero’s seminal “Night of the Living Dead” (1968) and “Dawn of the Dead” (1978). Even so, Japanese zombie films, ...

'The Revenant': Revenge is less sweet than bloody

Apr 20, 2016

'The Revenant': Revenge is less sweet than bloody

by

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 ...