Over the last few years in America there’s been a surge of “gun fu” films: The Matrix (1999), Equilibrium (2002), all the way up to the recent John Wick series. It’s not that the combination of martial arts and weaponry… Read More ›
In the spirit of past Walt Disney live action remakes or reimaginations such as Maleficent or Dumbo, comes Cruella, directed by Craig Gillespie (I, Tonya) and starring the talented Emma Stone (The Favourite), Emma Thompson (Love Actually), Mark Strong (Sherlock… Read More ›
As a child, I truly believed the pinnacle of horror was the Saw series. As someone who feared horror films up until age 13-ish, it was difficult for me to distinguish between something that was actually scary, and something that… 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 ›
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 ›