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Thelma & Louise - A Tag Team Revisit

"I love how Thelma slips into a swimsuit in the middle of all this -- I imagine most criminals are this bad at being criminals, and it makes complete sense to me she still hasn't quite processed how screwed she and Louise are." -Marsha

 "This was a great read. I really liked your take on how Ridley Scott frames the actresses throughout this portion of the film." -Suzanne

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Entries in Reviews (374)

Monday
May232016

Review: The Nice Guys

It’s Eric, with thoughts on the new Gosling/Crowe comedy, The Nice Guys.   

I’ll bet this project looked amazing on paper.   Bring writer/director Shane Black back to the comic buddy picture world where he started with 1987’s Lethal Weapon.  Set the film in the disco-cool world of 1977 Los Angeles.  Hire two accomplished dramatic actors, Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe, to play the leads, two low-life losers on the fringe of detective work unexpectedly uniting to hunt for a girl involved in a series of murders in the porn industry.  Throw in a cute daughter for Gosling’s character for some sweetness.  

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Saturday
May142016

Cannes Review: Woody Allen's "Café Society"

This review was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad. It's reprinted here in a slightly expanded version...

Few things in life are as regular as Woody Allen movies. For the past 40 years or so they arrive exactly once a year. In recent years they generally premiere out of competition at Cannes and predictably reignite the endless cycle of media wars about Woody Allen.

The only thing irregular about the experience is the reviews, box office, and Oscars. For the past 10 years or so it’s been especially hard to predict. In that time he’s delivered critical and commercial Oscar winning hits that the media fawned over (Blue Jasmine, Midnight in Paris), well received films that didn’t quite crossover to that same extent (Match Point, Vicky Cristina Barcelona), critical flops that did surprisingly okay at the box office (To Rome With Love), trifles that people tolerated (Scoop), reanimated abandoned projects that everyone wished had stayed dead (Whatever Works), as well as a critical and commercial flop (You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger) and one that didn't actually seem to exist at all (Cassandra’s Dream).

In short (too late!) his films come with a lot of history and even more baggage.

His latest, Café Society, begins with very little literal baggage as a young optimistic man named Bobby (Jesse Eisenberg) leaves New York for Hollywood for reasons that don’t extend much beyond “trying something new.” [More...]

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Friday
May132016

Review: Love & Friendship

Anyone who’s seen a film by Whit Stillman knows him to be an accomplished social satirist, continuing the legacy of authors like Oscar Wilde, Dorothy Parker, and of course Jane Austen. In fact, the English writer is at the center of one the most sardonic exchanges in all of his films, when one of the characters expresses “I don't read novels. I prefer good literary criticism” when asked if he has read any of Austen’s works. Like the Romantic author, Stillman captures the wants, desires and fears of the haves as they desperately try to grab onto a world the have-nots are trying to infiltrate. In films like Metropolitan, Stillman wonders if the upper classes only let someone from a lower class to share their space as means of experimenting, or amusing them in their endless ennui. In Damsels in Distress he explores the notion of people constructing strict societal divisions in all aspects of their lives, such as in college. More...

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Tuesday
May102016

Top Ten: Sexiest Things in "A Bigger Splash"

In lieu of a full review for Luca Guadagnino's I Am Love follow up A Bigger Splash -- who can type with one hand -a hot and bothered top ten list.

THE SEXIEST THINGS IN "A BIGGER SPLASH" 

10. Reflective Sunglasses.
The great cinematographer Yorick Le Saux (look up his filmography. Seriously) makes full use of the reflections in everyone's glasses. We're staring at them, but what are they staring at in this voyeuristic vacation?

09. Tilda Whispering to Matthias
As the movie begins world famous rockstar Marianne Lane (Tilda Swinton) is on vocal rest, doctor's orders. Her visiting friend/ex lover Harry (Ralph Fiennes) and a daughter he didn't know he had until recently (Dakota Johnson) arrive in town unexpectedly and they're told she can't speak. It's not strictly true. Marianne reserves her whispering, which she's allowed, for her younger filmmaker boyfriend Paul (Matthias Schoenaerts). Secretive conspiratorial intimacy is a panty-dropper.

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Monday
May092016

Review: Avengers 3 aka "Captain America: Civil War"

This review was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad. It is reprinted here in a slightly expanded version.

Captain America and his man, the Winter Soldier

Poor Captain America. You know how it is. You’re frozen in a block of ice and when you wake up several decades later the world has gotten so complicated! Everyone you loved is dead except your 96 year old girlfriend with Alzheimers (Agent Peggy Carter) and your brainwashed homicidal boyfriend (Bucky/The Winter Soldier) who is totally ghosting you.

New friends are plentiful but also trouble. Either they have two faces (Black Widow/Agent 13) or they’re constantly vanishing for personal reasons (Thor/Hulk/Hawkeye) so you totally can’t rely on them.

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Thursday
May052016

The Family Fang 

Eric here, covering actor Jason Bateman’s second directorial feature, The Family Fang.  Or, as we lovers of actresses like to better position it, the new Nicole Kidman! Nathaniel covered it in brief from Toronto but now it's in limited release.

The Family Fang is a bit of a reunion picture for Kidman:  it’s written by her Rabbit Hole writer David Lindsay-Abaire and brought together by that film’s same producers.  While Rabbit Hole ranks among the finest in the astonishingly large canon of Great Kidman Performances, she doesn’t get to scale the same heights here, mostly due to the limitations of the story and script.

Kidman plays Annie, a flailing Hollywood actress who returns home to take care of her injured brother Baxter (Bateman), who is recouping with their estranged parents (Christopher Walken and Maryann Plunkett) after a freak accident.  We learn at the start of the picture that Annie and Baxter were used, from birth, as participants in their parents’ live, staged performance art pieces (Annie was Child A; Baxter, Child B).  The parents caught on in art circles as avant-garde pioneers in the 70s, and the film traces their reunion all these years later...

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Sunday
Apr242016

Review: A Hologram for the King

Eric here, with a review of the new Tom Tykwer film in theaters, A Hologram for the King, an adaptation of the best seller by Dave Eggers. It's the tale of a desperate American businessman near the end of his professional rope, who travels to Saudi Arabia to sell a holographic teleconference system to the king. 

While Tom Hanks isn’t at the peak of his popularity these days, he remains one of the biggest movie stars alive.  So it may feel surprising that this film is being released with very little publicity, dumped rather unceremoniously in “arthouse” cinemas...

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