When it comes to those who identify as Jewish, theirs is a life of constant reminders of threat, peril, and near-extinction several times over. Trying to explain holidays, for instance, to my eldest but still-quite-young son, is to find a… Read More ›
Consider the logline for Choi Jae-hoon’s feature film directorial debut The Swordsman (Geom-gaek) for a moment: a blinded swordsman comes out of hiding when his daughter is kidnapped by slave traders. With this type of description, one would presume a… Read More ›
“Prisoners of the Ghostland” brings new meaning to the phrase “balls out” in its post-apocalyptic action/adventure tale. [Sundance Film Festival]
A nameless stranger. A damsel in distress. A suicide mission that no one but the best can handle. These three requirements appear in countless stories, from gunslinger westerns of the East to the samurai tales of the West, each possessing… Read More ›
The latest project from Mister Lister Films is at once existential and profound, while completely self-indulgent. In their balance, both of these can be true, combining into a film that’s as heartbreaking as it is hilarious. Conceived, developed, and shot… Read More ›
Books are a frequent source of mining in cinema. Sometimes their adaptations becomes something larger than possibly imagined (The Shawshank Redemption), while others support the notion that the imagination of the reader trumps anything celluloid can conjure (Artemis Fowl). Audiences… Read More ›
Originally slated for February 7th, 2020, the second-part of the Fengshen Cinematic Universe went into stasis until a brief theatrical rollout in October 2020. Now, though, nearly a year after it was to hit cinemaplexes, Jiang Ziya (also known as… Read More ›
Eco-disaster “Greenland” is a thrilling, emotionally engaging film that puts character over spectacle.
Every so often, Hollywood attempts to recreate the 1970s by releasing another high-concept disaster movie that vies to emulate the silly, yet thrilling fun of films like The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno, and Earthquake, putting high-profile, ensemble casts in… Read More ›
Documentarian Rodney Ascher’s “A Glitch in the Matrix” explores the mystery of Simulation Theory. [Sundance Film Festival]
It is no longer a question of imitation, nor duplication, nor even parody. It is a question of substituting the signs of the real for the real, that is to say of an operation of deterring every real process via… Read More ›
To quote Keanu Reeves, “I love movies.” While he has the joy of making them and watching them, I love them for their transportive abilities. They can move you through time to see a version of what has been, expel… Read More ›
Even in the Before Times, it was nearly impossible to see every film that was released in a given year. You can certainly try, but there’re bound to be a few that you miss either by choice or circumstance. This… Read More ›
Writer/director Ben Hozie’s “PVT Chat” demonstrates admirable skill, creativity, and resourcefulness despite other shortcomings.
From writer and director Ben Hozie, PVT Chat is a story of urban loneliness and isolation along with lust and obsession. Peter Vack acts in the role of Jack, an online gambler who feels internally empty and without any clear… Read More ›
Charming, well-crafted, and funny, Adam Stovall’s romance/horror mashup “A Ghost Waits” is a delightfully spooky good time.
Adam Stovall’s micro-budget flick, A Ghost Waits, makes a pretty convincing argument that romance and horror can work really well together. Stovall doesn’t simply juxtapose the genres or jump back and forth between sweet and horrific moments. Instead, he takes… Read More ›
Studio Ghibli’s Earwig and the Witch marks their 22nd feature film and their first 3D animated feature. Adapted from the 2011 novel by Diana Wynne Jones (the second film of theirs adapted from her books, the first being Howl’s Moving… Read More ›
Outside of a few unfortunate parallels to current events, “Rams” is a quaint comedy/drama with a delightful cast.
Director Jeremy Sims brings together the talents of Sam Neill, Michael Caton, and Miranda Richardson in Rams, his English-language remake of the 2015 Icelandic film, Hrútar. Rams centers around feuding brothers Colin and Les Grimurson (Neill and Caton, respectively), who… Read More ›
Psychological thriller “The Night” masters the familiar haunted hotel setting with technical excellence.
Kourosh Ahari’s psychological thriller, The Night, is a stellar example of a film that may not have the next best original ideas within its genre, but is so well done that it is nonetheless entertaining and worthwhile. Despite a handful… Read More ›
Beautiful, painful, hilarious, & uncomfortable, Sam Levinson’s “Malcolm & Marie” is a declarative statement of artistic talent.
It’s 1 a.m. and Malcolm (John David Washington) and Marie (Zendaya) return home from the premiere of Malcom’s film, a film which left the audience in tears and the critics raving. This should be a time of celebration for the… Read More ›
From my perspective, the purpose of a critic is to observe art, in this case film, and analyze it for what it does well and what it doesn’t. To some degree, this is objective as one considers the artist’s ability… Read More ›
If you’re familiar with Cameron Van Hoy, it may be because of his work as Eddie Alvarez in STARZ’s Crash or as Deputy Duke in the hilarious slasher-comedy Tragedy Girls (2017). With luck, thanks to his feature-length directorial debut Flinch,… Read More ›
According to the production notes accompanying my screener, writer/director Steven Kostanski (The Void) grew up wondering what it would be like to hang out with the iconic villains of his youth: Skeletor, Megatron, Cobra Commander, etc. As an adult, his… Read More ›