Film Topics

'Shin Godzilla': The metaphorical monster returns

Aug 3, 2016

'Shin Godzilla': The metaphorical monster returns

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Watching “Shin Godzilla,” Toho’s reboot of its signature monster series, I couldn’t help feeling sorry for the non-Japanese fans forced to read a blizzard of subtitles for this extremely talky and densely populated film, with a break every 10 minutes or so for Godzilla ...

'Truth': Ask no questions, hear no lies

Aug 3, 2016

'Truth': Ask no questions, hear no lies

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‘The truth is out there” is the tagline from sci-fi thriller TV series “The X-Files,” suggesting that perhaps all we had to do was find it and retrieve it like a lost frisbee. “Truth,” however, reveals that it’s never that simple. Based on the ...

'Dope': It's hard to kick the stereotyping habit

Jul 27, 2016

'Dope': It's hard to kick the stereotyping habit

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Growing up black in America inevitably means dealing with the stereotypes that the majority (white) culture places on you, and more than a few films have explored those tensions. With “Dope,” Nigerian-American writer-director Rick Famuyiwa takes it a step further and asks: What does ...

'While We're Young': Generation X, meet the millennials

Jul 20, 2016

'While We're Young': Generation X, meet the millennials

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Noah Baumbach (“Frances Ha,” “Greenberg”) examines the concept of youth in “While We’re Young” with a kind of clinical detachment. There’s no glorifying or romanticizing, and he certainly doesn’t seem too enamored by today’s Bright Young Things. Not that this comes as a surprise ...

'Trumbo': Shining over Hollywood's blacklist

Jul 20, 2016

'Trumbo': Shining over Hollywood's blacklist

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American conservatives are forever whinging about “liberal Hollywood,” but really they have only themselves to blame. When they were in the cultural ascendancy back in the 1940s-50s, they used their power — through groups such as the MPA (Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation ...

'Ishibumi': Tragic history set in stone

Jul 13, 2016

'Ishibumi': Tragic history set in stone

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An annual ritual on Japanese television on or around Aug. 6 is a number of special programs about the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Truth be told, after many years in this country I tune out more than I tune in. Just as ...

'Sing Street': 'I'm in a band' — it works every time

Jul 13, 2016

'Sing Street': 'I'm in a band' — it works every time

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Filmmaker and former frontman for the Irish band “The Frames” John Carney completes his ode-to-music trilogy with “Sing Street” — following the star-studded “Begin Again” in 2013 and the excellent but underrated “Once” in 2007. Carney’s stories have sold us the idea that the ...

'Amy': Remembering the star the right way

Jul 13, 2016

'Amy': Remembering the star the right way

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Back in 1969, John Lennon — then on his media-hounded honeymoon with Yoko Ono — penned “The Ballad of John and Yoko,” with the chorus, “The way things are going, they’re gonna crucify me.” It seems a bit over-the-top, until you recall how his ...