Audience expectations are killer. They will ruin you every time, which is often why the marketing has to work so hard to manage them. A little tease here, a little explanation there — just enough to get folks interested without… 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 ›
At this point in Liam Neeson’s career, the frequency of Taken-like stories he headlines has got to be purposeful. For one, Neeson makes for a damn fine action hero. His characters tend to be believable in their strength and skill,… 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 ›
16 years later, Michael Mann’s “Collateral” is as strong a neo-noir as ever. But does HDR improve or distract?
In the included commentary for Collateral, director Michael Mann comments that the film picks up in the third act of a standard film. He’s not wrong at all with this description as the audience is given a clue of location… Read More ›
The good intentions of dramatic thriller “Choir Girl” fall flat as the story devolves into a questionable savior fantasy.
Choir Girl sets up a story that begs to be told through pictures. Its protagonist, Eugene (Peter Flaherty), is a shy street photographer who hopes that his pictures will expose the hardships of everyday life in his neighborhood and, eventually,… 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 ›
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 ›
Nancy Springer’s “Enola Holmes Mysteries” is given the YA “Fleabag” treatment in Netflix’s playful “Enola Holmes.”
Since the first Sherlock Holmes story from author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was published in 1891, there have been countless iterations of the consulting detective in print, stage, and screen. Thanks to modern performances from Robert Downey Jr. (Sherlock Holmes),… 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 ›
A quiet film with fantastic suspense, “Wildland (Kød & blod)” is a different flavor of mafia movie. [Fantasia Film Festival]
Although the Fantasia International Film Festival was held virtually this year, it still featured an incredible lineup of wild and visceral films that celebrated everything gory and horrific. Many of the featured titles were loud and boastful with their colorful… Read More ›
Superhero stories are in vogue right now between the mass popularity of big screen films from Marvel and DC and the programs, primarily DC properties, which are all over television and the fact that many of the showrunners, producers, and… Read More ›
Bruce McDonald isn’t a director that a lot of people are going to be familiar with. Sure, he has credits to his name, but nothing that the average filmgoer will be able to recognize. However, the most famous movie in… Read More ›
There are many lies we tell ourselves. The one that impacts audiences the most is, “nothing good comes out in January.” Of course, there is anecdotal evidence people can pull from to support this claim, but it’s largely not true…. Read More ›
There’s something about first love that can be hard to quantify, even when looking back on it. The simultaneous excitement of being attracted to someone else, the endless internal questions trying to figure out what it means, the unyielding terror… Read More ›
Bloody mayhem, gangsters, and wisecracking bystanders are the tip of the iceberg in Guy Ritchie’s “The Gentlemen.”
When it comes to Guy Ritchie films, the mileage varies depending on where you were introduced. If you came in during the era of his early works, specifically his first two features Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) and… Read More ›