Entries filed in: 'Reviews'

‘Green’ means go see it

Posted by · 9:17 am · June 15th, 2011

It didn’t really hit me how excited I (still) was for “Green Lantern” until the lights dimmed and the green hit the screen. It can’t be understated how much of a long-time-coming type of thing this is, a theatrical version of such a vast cosmic comic book creation. And given the mechanics of the world, […]

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Super h8ed it

Posted by · 11:14 am · June 6th, 2011

Where to begin on “Super 8?” It’s so clearly the kind of film directors tend to make, unmolested, after a major hit, the kind where someone really needed to be pulling the strings and smoothing the edges and seeing the forest through the trees. “But I’m J.J. f***ing Abrams.” (I’m sure he’s a splendid chap.) […]

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POST-CANNES: “Martha Marcy May Marlene” (****)

Posted by · 5:28 pm · May 27th, 2011

[Apologies for leaving my Cannes coverage in limbo as I unwound in Paris before returning to London housekeeping. A handful of films from my festival viewing roster are still owed some discussion in grouped capsule form, and I’ll get to those this weekend — hey, the films aren’t going anywhere, so why stick to the […]

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Diving back into ‘The Tree of Life’ (SPOILERS)

Posted by · 1:51 pm · May 27th, 2011

If you’ve been fortunate enough to catch Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” in its limited release already, don’t forget to tell us your thoughts in the reactions thread. I’ve written about the film at length once (during a lunch break at jury duty downtown after sleeping on it). Guy reviewed it in full out […]

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REVIEW: “Drive” (****)

Posted by · 8:40 pm · May 22nd, 2011

Cannes Film Festival It’s not often that opening credits as hideous as the ones in “Drive” — hot-pink cursive squiggles of the kind favored these days only by nail bars in suburban strip malls — are a reassuring omen for the film to come. But Nicolas Winding Refn’s beautiful, bolt-from-the-blue genre trip is a kind […]

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SHORT TAKE: “The Skin I Live In” (***)

Posted by · 8:24 am · May 21st, 2011

Cannes Film Festival Pedro Almodóvar’s new feature opens with a pause: a beautiful young woman holds a tricky yoga position, her already fine-lathed physique vacuumed into a nude body stocking, stretched across a couch like a pale side of meat hung out for curing. So so taut, so fragile, it seems a simple tap on […]

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REVIEW: “Melancholia” (***1/2)

Posted by · 5:32 am · May 19th, 2011

Cannes Film Festival It’s the end of the world as we know it, and Lars von Trier feels fine. Well, not “fine,” exactly: he feels as despairing and sceptical and faithless as he usually does, but that’s clearly where he’s comfortable, and where his creative faculties thrive most actively. They’re certainly in rude health in […]

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CANNES: ‘The Kid With a Bike,’ ‘House of Tolerance,’ ‘Michael,’ ‘Footnote’

Posted by · 11:42 am · May 17th, 2011

Perhaps lulled by the twin effects of the Côte d’Azur sun and copious amounts of cheap rosé between screenings, I’ve fallen behind somewhat on the reviewing front — but lest you think I’ve only seen one film a day before heading back to the swimming pool at Villa Romance, it’s time for a bit of a Competition […]

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REVIEW: “The Tree of Life” (***)

Posted by · 4:51 am · May 16th, 2011

Cannes Film Festival Landscape has always been character in the films of Terrence Malick. The even, rolling fields of “Days of Heaven,” the sweatily green hill ladders of “The Thin Red Line,” even the dry-toast mesa of “Badlands”: all expansive, overwhelming environments that dictate the behavior of the films’ human occupants through sheer force of […]

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SHORT TAKE: “The Artist” (***1/2)

Posted by · 8:00 am · May 15th, 2011

Cannes Film Festival “Please be silent behind the screen,” requests a sign in the cinema where silent movie star Georges Valentin’s latest work is screening, near the beginning of “The Artist,” Michel Hazanavicius’ semi-sweet paean to pre-talkie cinema. It’s a witty clue as to how Hazanavicius is going to run the ship in his own […]

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On painful ‘Tides’

Posted by · 10:55 am · May 14th, 2011

Guy was balancing two options in Cannes this morning: Take in the press screening of Rob Marshall’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” or catch up on some much-needed rest. Given that I had already suffered the experience, I suggested he spare himself the 130-odd minutes of anguish and, I don’t know, lie in […]

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CANNES: ‘Polisse,’ ‘Habemus Papam’

Posted by · 9:10 am · May 14th, 2011

“Polisse” (***) That the title for “Polisse” reportedly derives from writer-director-star Maïwenn’s misspelling of the word “police” aptly summarises both the charms and weaknesses of her third feature, a garrulous, chaotic, intermittently hot-wired ensemble soap braiding the personal and professional lives of officers in the Paris police department’s Child Protection Unit.No doubt the product of […]

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SHORT TAKE: “Restless” (*1/2)

Posted by · 6:53 pm · May 13th, 2011

Cannes Film Festival Un Certain Regard “What can you say about a 25 year-old girl who died?” Written by Erich Segal before being plaintively voiced by Ryan O’Neal, this presumably rhetorical question is the opening gambit of “Love Story,” the simple but phenomenally successful weeper in which a young couple’s relationship is prematurely halted when […]

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REVIEW: “We Need to Talk About Kevin” (****)

Posted by · 6:10 pm · May 12th, 2011

Cannes Film Festival Lionel Shriver’s 2003 bestseller “We Need to Talk About Kevin” is a rare pop novel indeed: a nippy, low-comfort social essay that lures readers into messily untied arguments on topical subject matter the talk-show circuit would have far less trouble resolving. It might have made for a cluttered, stentorian film about things, […]

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SHORT TAKE: “Sleeping Beauty” (***1/2)

Posted by · 5:02 pm · May 11th, 2011

Cannes Film Festival “My vagina is not a temple.” So says terse, inscrutable college student Lucy, her dry conviction belying an edgeless china-doll face, immediately after being told (instructed, even) otherwise by an employer with a less-than-honorable stake in the matter. It’s a loaded line, one that reveals she knows much more than her elders […]

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REVIEW: “Midnight in Paris” (**1/2)

Posted by · 8:30 am · May 11th, 2011

Cannes Film Festival Opening Night “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.” Nobody actually quotes L.P. Hartley in “Midnight in Paris,” Woody Allen’s often charming if largely over-explicated ode to the healing and deceiving properties of nostalgia. If they don’t, however, that could just be because a spring breeze stole the […]

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REVIEW: “Thor” (***)

Posted by · 10:49 am · April 30th, 2011

As superheroes go—and go they do, with alarming frequency, at the cape-wearers’ convention that the multiplex has become in recent years—Thor, or at least the Marvel-authored Artist Formerly Known As Norse God Thor, is more super than most. Where most beloved superheroes are humans (at least ostensibly so) who grow into their superhuman powers as […]

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BERLIN: Béla Tarr and Golden Bear favorites

Posted by · 7:47 pm · February 18th, 2011

The Berlinale competition drew to a close this morning, with Joshua Marston’s “The Forgiveness of Blood” — more on that in a final roundup this weekend — wrapping up a selection that’s been a typically mixed bag for the festival. Healthy critical argument has flared up over a number of titles — including lone Asian […]

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