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Entries in Reviews (614)

Tuesday
May012018

Tribeca: Mary Kay Place leads "Diane"

Tribeca has ended but we have a few more movies to talk about. Here's by Jason Adams with a movie to keep your eye out for...

Why is it so hard to describe why Kent Jones' Diane works so well? Twice just after seeing it I stumbled trying to do so. Just laying down the plot is insufficienct. It's about an older woman in a small town whose son is a drug addict and whose cousin is sick with cancer. But that makes it sound like something Lifetime coughed up. So you've gotta start with Diane herself. Veteran character actress Mary Kay Place plays her, and already you can feel it. The no-nonsense lived-in vibe of it. The wood grain. Just keep going from there...

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Tuesday
May012018

Avengers: Infinity War Part One

This article was originally published in Nathaniel's intermittent column at Towleroad

NOTE: THE FOLLOWING THOUGHTS ARE FREE OF SPOILERS (THE MOVIE HAVING JUST OPENED) EXCEPT FOR THE MOVIE’S OPENING BATTLE AND A VAGUE SPOILER ABOUT THE GENERAL NATURE / IMPERMANENCE OF SUPERHERO DEATHS WITHIN THIS GENRE. IF YOU'D LIKE WE CAN DISCUSS IN MORE SPOILERY DETAIL A WEEK OR TWO FROM NOW. LET US KNOW.

If gloves make a big fashion comeback, blame Thanos. The alien destroyer has been haunting the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes (aka The Avengers) from the sidelines (aka the post credits sequences) for a full decade of moviegoing. He's been on the hunt for the six “Infinity Stones,” (aka the Tesseract, The Aether, etc...) to decorate and power his universe-controlling glove (aka the “Infinity Gauntlet”). Sorry for all those ‘also known as’ asides but there are so many names to keep track of!

Consider, though it’s much less difficult if you don’t, that most of the six Infinity Stones have gone by at least two different names within the last decade’s worth of Marvel movies. We'll cite just one example since it’s crucial to the story.

The most familiar gem from the previous movies is “The Mind Stone”.  When last we checked in with our heroes it was sitting all lovely and golden on the broadly handsome expanse of The Vision’s Paul-Bettany shaped forehead… but it didn’t start there...

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Monday
Apr302018

"We the Animals" coming in August

by Murtada

 

It’s hard to describe what We the Animals is about. It’s easier to tell you how I felt after seeing it. It’s akin to a recalling a hazy memory, one that you don’t quite recall but sharply and clearly remember how it made you feel. I felt elated, moved, joyful, sad and knowing I saw a fantastic film that I won’t soon forget.

We the Animals is a coming of age tale about three brothers. It is also about the summer (or year or years --time is an unclear element) that changed one boy’s life and his relationships with his two older brothers and their parents forever. The story flirts with magical realism while staying grounded in the economic desperation of industrial upstate New York. It’s a queer story about the secrets we hold so close that they are bound to either destroy us or set us free... 

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Tuesday
Apr242018

"Duck Butter" and "O.G." - Star Vehicles for Unexpected Stars

by Murtada

Tribeca is such a wide-ranging film festival that it's hard to pin its personality down. But perhaps the best type of film it regularly offers is the star vehicle for non-stars. We're talking great actors who get to take the center of a movie (for a change) and give it their all, reminding audiences of their big talent.

In O.G. reliable supporting player Jeffrey Wright (Westworld) headlines as a prison inmate navigating the last few weeks of a 25 year sentence. Understandably he’s nervous about life on the outside particularly when he’s forced to deal with the victim of his crime. Life inside also gets complicated when he tries to mentor a young inmate just starting a prison sentence as long as his. Wright is in almost every frame of O.G. and it's a true showcase for his considerable talent. If your love for Wright started with his towering portrayal of Belize in Angels in America, (which won him the Tony in 1994 and the Emmy in 2004), then this is the movie part you've been waiting years for him to receive...

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Tuesday
Apr242018

Tribeca 2018: Sebastián Lelio's "Disobedience"

by Jason Adams

Movies are hard on people who leave. Homecomings are where it's at - the triumphant reestablishment of the family unit over adversity. Those who go away were mistaken. They were selfish. They were only looking out for themselves. Disobedience is about a woman who leaves. And it's about her homecoming, but one fraught with error - one we'll see slowly unravel as a ruse; not at all what it seems. 

Ronit (Rachel Weisz) is a photographer in New York who gets a message that her father in London has died. She flies back for the burial, and as she does we see she comes from an Orthodox Jewish community and her father was a beloved Rabbi - slowly, the black hats close in around her. And from under them suddenly a friendly face - Dovid (Alessandro Nivola), and soon after his wife Esti (Rachel McAdams). These three clearly have history. These early scenes are thick with unspoken things - the trio move slowly through quiet spaces, sorting themselves into place...

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Sunday
Apr222018

Tribeca 2018: Obey

by Jason Adams

A pack of teenagers walk towards the camera in the opening shot of Obey - goofing off, sex talk, up to no good. Before you know it one of them has smashed a car window - improbably the window-smasher, all seemingly eight feet tall of him, doesn't even register at first. Leon (Marcus Rutherford) is all long limbs but vanishing into the periphery at the same time. A wallflower on skinny stalks, he's too big not to notice, and yet.

Leon uses those long limbs to awkwardly straddle a socio-economic divide from the dingy flats of no-rent London towards a more stable ground - he is trying, and failing, at upward mobility. There's a great small scene in the center of the film where he goes job-hunting on an unthought-through lark - he just randomly walks into the middle of an office and asks a man sitting at his computer for work. It doesn't go well.

Obey is smart enough to not play this as a joke...

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