V.27 No.7 | 2/15/2018
Have a Nice Day
Handcrafted crime film looks up at China from the animated gutter
Modern economic forces and old-fashioned crime collide in Liu Jian’s offbeat, Quentin-Tarantino-meets-Adult-Swim animation, Have a Nice Day.
V.27 No.6 | 2/8/2018
Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool
Wannabe actor meets faded star in romantic memoir
Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool is happy to serve out its time as a teary-eyed, tragic romance played out in the long shadows of Old Hollywood.
V.27 No.4 | 1/25/2018
In the Fade
Cross-cultural crime drama puts a match to modern European society
There is power in In the Fade, and much of it comes from actress Diane Kruger. She holds nothing back, letting the grief, pain and anger of her character spill out onto the screen in tears and blood. Even in moments of quietude and stillness, there’s a keening sadness to her performance. Pay closer attention and you’ll notice a lot of the hot button issues writer/director Fatih Akin folds into this deceptively simple story.
V.27 No.3 | 1/18/2018
Latest war movie proves Hollywood is still soldiering on
Those inclined to see a movie about the unquestioned heroism of American soldiers (and cannily employing the word “strong”) will like the patriotic dustup of 12 Strong just fine.
V.27 No.2 | 1/11/2018
Call Me By Your Name
Languid romance withers under the Tuscan sun
Stripped of its postcard beauty and its academic pretensions, Call Me By Your Name is little more than a soapy, overlong melodrama.
V.27 No.1 | 1/4/2018
Scanning Our Cinematic Future
What does the 2018 box office have in store?
Gazing into our crystal ball looking for signs of the year to come isn’t all that difficult when it comes to the movie industry. Hollywood has already mapped out the year’s biggest release dates.
V.26 No.51 | 12/21/2017
The Shape of Water
Peculiar romance finds the beating heart below the scaly surface of a misunderstood monster
Surrender to the sensual cinematic visuals and the humid air of sexual tension surrounding The Shape of Water and you’re sure to be swept up in its particular, peculiar tide.
V.26 No.50 | 12/14/2017
Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story
Hollywood documentary embraces beauty and brains
Hedy Lamarr, actress and inventor, gets the documentary biopic treatment she so sorely deserves with Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story.
V.26 No.49 | 12/7/2017
The Disaster Artist
Actor-director James Franco transforms into actor-director Tommy Wiseau
The Disaster Artist is both a hilarious comedy of errors and a touching love letter to Hollywood. Add to that The Disaster Artist’s meta-humorous “film within a film”/“good actors playing bad actors” japery, and you’ve got the makings of a cult film about making a cult film.
V.26 No.48 | 11/30/2017
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Crime doesn’t pay and neither does justice in pitch perfect comedy-drama
Between its corrosive sense of humor, its jaundiced look at small-town Americana and its cynicism about the entire concept of “justice,” Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri probably isn’t for mainstream audiences looking for a simple larf, but those attracted to interesting shadows will find a wealth of rewards here.
V.26 No.47 | 11/23/2017
Great Gerwig’s witty charm is undiluted in savvy coming-of-age comedy
With her newest, the coming-of-age semi-memoir Lady Bird, Gerwig steps fully behind the camera to write and direct, leaving the acting duties to others.
V.26 No.46 | 11/16/2017
Magic-minded documentary switches hands on audiences
Dealt follows Richard Turner, master of prestidigitation who doesn't let his lack of sight slow him down.
V.26 No.45 | 11/9/2017
The Divine Order
Vox pop as engine of reeducation
Swiss screenwriter-director Petra Volpe deftly illustrates the subversive power of communal coercion in the Swiss suffrage dramedy The Divine Order.
V.26 No.44 | 11/2/2017
The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Absurdist filmmaker scares up a new film
The Killing of a Sacred Deer looks gorgeous in its own grim, spare way and builds an air of tension and mystery, but lacks director Yorgos Lanthimos' usual deadpan sense of humor.