RANGO

3 Stars
Year Released: 2011
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 107 minutes

A film so committed (and respectful) to the western flubs by basing itself off another style…


Posted on March 4, 2011 by

I AM NUMBER FOUR

1.5 Stars
Year Released: 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 104 minutes

Perhaps it’s best that Caruso kept his hero locked down in high school. This film has the imaginative power of concrete walls and rows of lockers…


Posted on February 18, 2011 by

EDGAR G. ULMER’S STRANGE ILLUSION (1945) (DVD)

4 Stars
Year Released: 1945
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 87 minutes

Though saddled with the script’s fetish for Freud, Ulmer stylizes his thriller without sending it adrift. Like his other great films, “Strange Illusion” is a shaggy quickie that takes fine shape throughout…


Posted on February 17, 2011 by

SEASON OF THE WITCH

2 Stars
Year Released: 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 113 minutes

We need a serious suspension of disbelief to accept these two aging actors as faultless warriors in tip-top shape…


Posted on January 7, 2011 by

NIGHT CATCHES US

3 Stars
Year Released: 2010
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 90 minutes

Writer-director Tanya Hamilton has crafted an intriguing narrative even if she struggles to realize it onscreen…


Posted on December 24, 2010 by

SKYLINE

3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2010
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 110 minutes

“Skyline,” if not always successful, refashions the modern alien invasion motif as the hopeless siege that it should be…


Posted on November 26, 2010 by

TRUTH OR DARE? A CRITICAL MADNESS

2.5 Stars
Year Released: 2010
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 87 minutes

The cornball synthesizer score and hammy amateur performances will have thirtysomethings recalling fond, bygone viewings…


Posted on August 17, 2010 by

“I DON’T INTELLECTUALIZE IT TOO MUCH”: INTERVIEW WITH RYAN DUNN

Sitting down with Ryan Dunn, star of the television series “Jackass” and “Viva La Bam,” is like meeting up with an old high school buddy who’s kept the party alive ever since. Dunn talks about his new film, “Living Will,” and his career in television, movies, and everything in between…



Posted on June 9, 2010 by

NICHOLAS RAY’S BIGGER THAN LIFE: CRITERION COLLECTION (DVD)

2 Stars
Year Released: 2010
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 95 minutes

As far as the narrative goes, drop the “Reefer” and call this film “Cortisone Madness”…


Posted on April 21, 2010 by

MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW: CRITERION COLLECTION (DVD)

5 Stars
Year Released: 2010
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 92 minutes

The early Hollywood studio system loved to sensationalize. A property rooted in character would turn melodramatic for the populace, making true drama a rarity for the time. Leo McCarey’s “Make Way for Tomorrow” (1937) is this kind of rarity…


Posted on February 24, 2010 by

MEAT LOAF “BAT OUT OF HELL”: THE ORIGINAL TOUR (DVD)

3 Stars
Year Released: 2009
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 89 minutes

If there’s a purgatory for wedding haters, I’d guess that Meat Loaf’s “Bat Out of Hell” is on the soundtrack loop.


Posted on December 2, 2009 by

BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CINE: INTERVIEW WITH BRIGHT LIGHTS EDITOR GARY MORRIS

Having published a new anthology of interviews, Bright Lights Film Journal editor Gary Morris talks about film culture, online criticism, and the interview as a form of commentary…



Posted on November 30, 2009 by

FANTASTIC MR. FOX

1 Stars
Year Released: 2009
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 87 minutes

Critics galore are fawning over Wes Anderson’s move to animation. Why all the fuss? – the man’s been staging puppet shows for years.


Posted on November 25, 2009 by

THE GOLDEN AGE OF TELEVISION (1953-58): THE CRITERION COLLECTION SET

4 Stars
Year Released: 2009
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 127 minutes

The high-pressure environment of live television was described as “Summer Stock in an iron lung.” Perhaps the programs’ invigorating style required such energy.


Posted on November 24, 2009 by

PROMETHEUS TRIUMPHANT: A FUGUE IN THE KEY OF FLESH

3 Stars
Year Released: 2008
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 79 minutes

Shortchanging on plot, the film is still a fun celebration of a classical tradition.


Posted on November 19, 2009 by

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