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Entries in Reviews (614)

Saturday
Apr212018

Review: Lean on Pete

by Eric Blume

Andrew Haigh, the director of the new film Lean on Pete, is a major, major talent.  He pulled a career-best (and Oscar-nominated) performance from Charlotte Rampling in his last film 45 Years, made a splash a few years before that with the lovely two-hander Weekend, and his big HBO show Looking was for my money one of the best gay anythings ever made.

Haigh has a particular talent with actors, and also for establishing moments of quiet power within a story. What's more he trusts that that power is enough.  These talents are firmly on display in Lean on Pete, the story of 16 year-old Charley (Charlie Plummer) who finds himself completely alone alongside the eponymous, discarded quarterhorse...

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Wednesday
Apr042018

The Men in the High Castles

Jason Adams reviews Chappaquidick, new in theaters this Friday

"I am a collage of unaccounted for brushstrokes - I am all random." Those are among the last words spoken by Stockard Channing's character in Six Degrees of Separation as she flees another ritzy party, her sense of self in tatters. Who are we, just an assemblage of stories we tell ourselves, and others? Is there something in between the molecules, if you drill down deep enough, or does infinite digging render everything dug? When we get up and look at ourselves in the mirror in the morning, are our eyes showing us Fake News? The post-modern self is an existential crisis in overdrive, but at a certain point don't you have to just stop drilling and take stock of what you actually see? Where does the scrutinizing of facts end and the perversion of them begin? Who writes our histories?

On July 18th, 1969 in Chappaquiddick, Massachusetts, Ted Kennedy drove off a bridge and a 29-year-old woman named Mary Jo Kopechne died. What happened in the hours following that accident has been the subject of numerous books, not to mention many a feverish speculative daydream of right-leaning politicians and pundits. But it hasn't gotten the movie treatment until now with John Curran's Chappaquiddick, starring Jason Clarke as Kennedy and Kate Mara as Kopechne, out in theaters this Friday. Curran seeks to write that history...

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Monday
Apr022018

Stage Door: Broadway's Beach Vacations

by Dancin' Dan

It may be April, but New York City is once again covered in a blanket of snow in a winter that won't stop. But thankfully, Broadway is providing not one, but two beach vacations you can take for (slightly) less than a plane ticket to somewhere warm. Escape to Margaritaville and Spongebob Squarepants could not be more different on the surface (although both feature a volcanic explosion as an important plot point), but they do provide some pretty wonderful escapism for anyone longing for warmer climes...

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Saturday
Mar312018

Brief Takes: Unsane and Pacific Rim Uprising

by Nathaniel R

Unsane (Steven Soderbergh)
Synopsis: A disturbed young woman, who is institutionalized against her will, is convinced that a former stalker is one of her nurses.

Capsule: The queer community got there first. Although to be fair when isn't that the case? Soderbergh's iPhone shot movie is no aesthetic relevation like the trans iPhone classic Tangerine. Still, more filmmakers ought to try to make something as fast and cheap and spirited as this thriller inbetween pricier or weightier projects...

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Monday
Mar262018

Stage Door: Glenda Jackson in "Three Tall Women"

by Eric Blume

The Broadway revival of Edward Albee’s 1994 play Three Tall Women opens on Thursday. It stars Alison Pill, freshly Oscar nominated Laurie Metcalf, and two-time Oscar winner Glenda Jackson, who hasn’t been on an American stage in 32 years.  

Director Joe Mantello builds a stunning production.  Albee’s play, which won the Pulitzer Prize when it debuted off-Broadway in 1994, holds up beautifully, as all of his major plays do.  Albee writes in a theatrical, controlled, but go-for-broke language that soars in the way only the best theater can. Three Tall Women is a major play, like Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Seascape and The Zoo Story and A Delicate Balance and The Goat, Or Who is Sylvia?.  It’s mind-boggling when you think of this man’s contribution to the theater, and the deep and compelling issues and emotions he tackled during his long career.

rehearsing Three Tall Women

Act One of Three Tall Women deals with a rich, dying old woman (Jackson), her caretaker (Metcalf), and her legal representative (Pill)... 

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Sunday
Mar182018

Review: Love Simon

Stepping in briefly from vacation to celebrate Love, Simon. This review was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad.

Vanilla is a delicious flavor. Especially if you’re in the right mood for it. Loving vanilla doesn’t mean you can’t love more daring or less common flavors. But you deserve a good scoop of vanilla on occasion. The best thing that can be said of Love, Simon — and this is stronger praise than it sounds — is that it’s very vanilla. Imagine a cross between classic rom-coms like Sleepless in Seattle and Never Been Kissed and then just flip it a teensy-tiny bit until it’s gay. Not queer, mind you; we’re going for vanilla.

Love, Simon, the new film directed by gay TV power-producer Greg Berlanti (Flash, RiverdaleBrothers & Sisters, etcetera), is based on the novel “Simon vs. The Homo-Sapiens Agenda”. Though the novel’s title (I haven’t read it) suggests something less pro-heteronormativity, the film version is quite happy with assimilation. The only thing about Simon (Jurassic World’s Nick Robinson) that “reads” as gay or at all discomfited by his suburban nuclear family life is his inner monologue in which he tells us about his “huge-ass secret”...

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