Film Topics

Terraformars: Miike's life on Mars has its bugs

Apr 27, 2016

Terraformars: Miike's life on Mars has its bugs

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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

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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

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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 ...

Okita keeps every hair in place

Apr 13, 2016

Okita keeps every hair in place

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Millions of Japanese have come from the countryside to find their fortunes in Tokyo, with most arriving in the postwar boom when jobs were everywhere and the future looked bright. But many, like the punk rocker hero of Shuichi Okita’s offbeat, warm-hearted family comedy ...

Youth: Sorrentino gets extra sentimental

Apr 13, 2016

Youth: Sorrentino gets extra sentimental

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“I don’t want to read any more of it, write any more of it, I don’t even want to talk about it anymore,” said the novelist Philip Roth in 2012, as he announced his retirement from literature. “I’m tired of all that work. I’m ...

'Lowlife Love': The shady love of the film industry

Apr 6, 2016

'Lowlife Love': The shady love of the film industry

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According to Eiren (Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan), 581 Japanese films were released domestically last year, many of which were low-budget productions shown in small numbers of theaters. Beneath these films “officially” recognized by Eiren is a substratum of straight-to-DVD fare. And at ...

'Cop Car': Joy-riding with dire consequences

Apr 6, 2016

'Cop Car': Joy-riding with dire consequences

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Do you smell the Bacon? You should: The smoke from the griddle is all over the place in this sweaty-palm inducing neo-noir by Jon Watts (who is slated to direct the next “Spiderman”). Kevin Bacon stars as a scary mustachioed bad cop who gives new ...

'Room': There is no room for spoilers

Apr 6, 2016

'Room': There is no room for spoilers

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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 ...