V.28 No.34 | 8/22/2019
Ready or Not
Devilish black comedy is a real killer
With its mix of old and new, familiar and unexpected, silly and shocking, Ready or Not ends up as an audaciously unconventional exercise in genre cinema that plays out like The Texas Chain Saw Massacre as penned by Agatha Christie.
V.28 No.33 | 8/15/2019
Blinded by the Light
Springsteen-inspired “musical” tries to mix realism and romance
If you’re predisposed to the music of Bruce Springsteen or have a weakness for feel-good movies about scrappy Brits lifted out of their socioeconomic stresses by a little song and dance, Blinded by the Light will have you singing along in no time.
V.28 No.32 | 8/8/2019
Them That Follow
Backwoods melodrama slithers along slowly
Them That Follow's script feels generally underwritten, giving slight motivation to the various changes in character and ticking off the story beats in the rote manner of a cautionary after-school melodrama.
V.28 No.31 | 8/1/2019
The Sword of Trust
Tiny indie comedy keeps mumblecore alive
The Sword of Trust is quirky and amusing and has just a tiny bit to say about human beings learning to trust one another. Viewers longing for the loose, improvisational indie films of the early 2000s will feel right at home.
V.28 No.30 | 7/25/2019
Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love
Musical documentary ponders the inspirational power of love
It’s the simple idea of two people finding one another and loving each other through time and tide that gives Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love its deepest, most heartfelt impact.
V.28 No.29 | 7/18/2019
The Art of Self-Defense
Violent comedy finds humor in the hypermasculine
Twenty years ago Fight Club taught us the dangerous, contusion-filled consequences of toxic masculinity. Fifteen years ago, Napoleon Dynamite encouraged us to root for alienated dorks. Now the blackly comic indie film The Art of Self-Defense comes along to serve as the seemingly ill-conceived but somehow harmonious love child of those two cult favorites.
V.28 No.28 | 7/11/2019
The Fall of the American Empire
Canadian crime caper gets philosophical by following the money
Though it doesn’t go for all-out laughs, it’s hard not to be amused by the situations and characters in the brainy socioeconomic thriller, The Fall of the American Empire.
V.28 No.27 | 7/4/2019
Spider-Man: Far From Home
Marvel Universe swings on (while clinging to the past)
Marvel Cinematic Universe has offered up a postscript to the one-two punch that was Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame in the form of Spider-Man: Far From Home. If you like Marvel movies, you’ll like this latest Spider-Man outing. Simple as that.
V.28 No.26 | 6/27/2019
courtesy Greenwich Entertainment
The Folk in California
Echo In The Canyon: The rise and influence of folk rock in America
Echo In The Canyon is a lovingly detailed examination of the ’60s counterculture and inter-band collaboration and inspiration.
V.28 No.25 | 6/20/2019
The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Fresh-voiced debut dramedy places setting above all
The Last Black Man in San Francisco levies plenty of criticisms against the City by the Bay but, and because, it is also deeply steeped in a love for the place.
V.28 No.24 | 6/13/2019
All Is True
Shakespeare retires to the country in Kenneth Branagh’s speculative biopic
The new biopic All Is True posits a speculative reason for our lack of information about William Shakespeare's life: He intentionally vanished from public life based on an untimely tragedy, general world-weariness and a dark family secret.
Enjoy Patrick Mehaffy's short films, the InterPlanetary Festival and Awakenings. And the ¡Cine Magnífico! submission deadline is at hand.
V.28 No.23 | 6/6/2019
Dazzling fashion industry documentary needs to take a step back and remove one accessory
Ironically, by trying to do too much—something the minimalist Mr. Halston certainly never strove for in his clean, modern designs—Halston falls into the same trap as virtually all documentary biopics.
V.28 No.22 | 5/30/2019
Olivier Assayas’ latest French dramedy is more interested in conversation than sex
Not every viewer will stay tuned in through this film’s talky back-and-forth. Those looking for smart, adult conversation (with a wink and a nod toward European sexual mores), however, will find themselves well served by the fiction of Non-Fiction.
V.28 No.21 | 5/23/2019
Independent Indian romance favors simple interaction over lavish affairs
Those who require hearts, flowers and elaborate musical numbers in their romantic films probably won’t be satisfied by Photograph, but patient viewers sick of overly scripted rom-coms and the unrealistic expectations put upon the characters therein should be happy to drink in this film’s subtle moments of simple human interaction.