“Get busy livin’ or get busy dying.” One of the more famous phrases in cinema history and originally uttered by Tim Robbins’s Andy Dufresne, the only innocent man in all of Shawshank Prison, is more often recalled as said by… Read More ›
Styled like a documentary, dramatic fiction “Dark Blood” feels like watching the spiritual obliteration of innocence.
Few films have shaken me quite like Harold Trompetero’s Dark Blood has. Uncut Gems (2019) left me vibrating from anxiety; If Anything Happens I Love You (2020) left me stunned, silently crying over the credits; Violet (2021) left me raw,… Read More ›
Absent special features to enhance it, Guy Ritchie’s “Wrath of Man” remains a solid experience on a rewatch.
May 2021 saw the release of a new Guy Ritchie-directed thriller, Wrath of Man, with actor Jason Statham in the lead role. It’s the first time this duo had worked together since 2005’s Revolver and both offer some of their… Read More ›
Director Samuel Fuller’s Cold War noir “Pickup on South Street” is one of the latest films restored for The Criterion Collection.
The line between politics and art is often fine, if not entirely overlapped. This is most obvious in stories from Marvel Comics’s X-Men, a series exploring the ultimate minority group trying to make peace against great xenophobia. In a similar… Read More ›
Writer/director Guy Ritchie last dazzled audiences (or, at least this reviewer) with the fairly up-tempo 2019 Matthew McConaughey crime-thriller-comedy The Gentlemen. A film which, despite a few faults, reminded audiences how much of a good time they can have exploring… Read More ›
According to the press notes for Call for Dreams, Israeli director Ran Slavin started the project in pursuit of a “new cinematic form.” Slavin began with the idea to collect dreams from strangers that he could use as inspiration for… Read More ›
SXSW 2021 has come and gone, offering accredited press a dizzying array of opportunities in which to indulge. While the Elements of Madness coverage team wrote a hearty portion of reviews, there were far more films worth seeing than we… Read More ›
When one looks back on a director’s early works, you can usually see the beginnings of whatever will become their signature POV or narrative approach. In The Land of Lost Angels is the first feature film from writer/director Bishrel Mashbat,… Read More ›
By the end of Akira Kurosawa’s 1949 detective drama, Stray Dog, there is not a character that escapes the fray without rolling around in the mud, figuratively and literally. Every decision has consequences, and every action has a reaction. Some, more… 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 ›
Some argue that a town only truly comes to life once the sun has set. That’s when the things hiding from sunlight feel more comfortable to come out, stretch their legs, and roam the streets freely; when those who strive… Read More ›
Bring home Jim Jarmusch’s philosophical warrior tale “Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai,” now available from Criterion.
Originally released in 1999, writer/director Jim Jarmusch’s Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai is the latest film to receive the Criterion treatment. The film is a rare oddity in that is very much of its period, yet is absolutely… Read More ›
Indie drama “Take Out Girl” delivers a thoughtful meal, not a dissatisfying snack. [Indie Memphis Film Festival]
There are many paths to success. Even one generation ago, that meant going to school, getting a job, and working there until retirement. On that path at that time, a single income was typically enough to provide for an average… Read More ›
There’s a brief line said by T.I.’s Lorenzo “Cousin” Bass that contains more than just a slight meaning to the context of the moment in which it’s said. Cousin is speaking to the four leads — Blink (Shameik Moore), Miracle… Read More ›
With turns in Ip Man 3 (2015), Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018), and Master Z: Ip Man Legacy (2018), Max Zhang is slowly becoming recognizable in the stateside martial arts community. His movements are fast, his skill precise, and his presence… Read More ›
Inequities of man are met with protests. Some agree and the voices get louder, some disagree and tell them how to protest. Then lives are lost unnecessarily and protesters get angry, taking to the streets to confront their government. To… Read More ›
Observe the birth of the modern police procedural in Jules Dassin’s “The Naked City,” restored via the Criterion Collection.
From modern programs like Lucifer, The Flash, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Blue Bloods to more classic ones like Law and Order, The Mod Squad, and Hill Street Blues, each of these procedural variants owe their existence in large part to the… Read More ›
Now available via the Criterion Collection, director Jules Dassin’s “Brute Force” remains as explosive an indictment of prison reform today as in 1947.
Released June 30th, 1947, Jules Dassin’s (Rififi) Brute Force opened and took audiences and critics by storm. The film, a prison break picture, would startle and terrify as it depicted life inside prisons as one of moral decay, not because… Read More ›
“The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum” explores the price of turning a blind eye to yellow journalism and government surveillance
How often do you read or see something that excites you, titillates you, and perhaps even angers you? As we grow ever closer to a presidential election, it seems almost daily that such an occurrence happens. Articles, photos, and videos… Read More ›