The Moviegoer: Lost in the Cosmos, a Review of Gravity

gravity 2

Each week in The Moviegoer, Nick Olson examines new and upcoming films."So was I once myself a swinger of birches. And so I dream of going back to be. It's when I'm weary of considerations, And life is too much like a pathless wood Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs Broken across it, and one eye is weeping From a twig's having lashed across it open. I'd like to get away from earth awhile And then come back to it and begin over. May no fate willfully misunderstand … [Read more...]

The Moviegoer: A Riotously Funny, Sobering Alcoholypse

The World's End

Each week in The Moviegoer, Nick Olson examines new and upcoming films.The World's End charts its destination by beginning with Gary King (Simon Pegg) fondly recounting what he thinks are the good old days. Twenty years prior, Gary and four of his high school buddies—Peter (Eddie Marsan), Oliver (Martin Freeman), Steven (Paddy Considine), and Andy (Nick Frost)—began The Golden Mile, a notorious pub crawl featuring 12 pubs strewn across their hometown, Newton Haven. Thinking this teenage s … [Read more...]

The Moviegoer: Man of Steel in Awesome, if not Guiding, Beams of Light

Man of Steel

Each week in The Moviegoer, Nick Olson examines new and upcoming films.In Zack Snyder's Man of Steel, the name "Superman" is only uttered once or twice, and when he wears the caped suit, it's a muted--not blinding bright--red and blue. Some viewers will chalk up the details of Snyder's (and Goyer's and Nolan's) reimagination to another instance of "going gritty"--and I suppose there's something to that, particularly in the film's controversial, climactic scene--but the mixture of grey to … [Read more...]

The Moviegoer: Ride or Die? A Fast and Furious 6 Conversation

Fast and Furious 6 Conversation

Each week in The Moviegoer, Nick Olson examines new and upcoming films.Editor's Note: If you're worried about spoilers then this probably isn't the conversation you're looking for.A movie like Fast and Furious 6 deserves more than a review. It deserves a 3500 word email conversation. And I couldn’t think of anyone else I’d rather have that discussion with than my good buddy Chris Gaumer, who is a professor of creative writing, a driver of a 1998 Jeep Cherokee, and, most importantly, t … [Read more...]

The Moviegoer: The Colossal Vitality of Baz Luhrmann’s Great Gatsby Illusion

The Great Gatsby

Each week in The Moviegoer, Nick Olson examines new and upcoming films.I went into Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of The Great Gatsby with some reluctance. Luhrmann's penchant for superabundant style--made famous by Moulin Rouge, whose popularity still escapes me--could go one of two ways insofar as it is a competent filmic rendering of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel. Undoubtedly, Luhrmann's eccentric auterism could serve well both the source material's extravagant parties at Gatsby's … [Read more...]

The Moviegoer: Exorcising Iron Man’s Demons

Iron Man Three

Each week in The Moviegoer, Nick Olson examines new and upcoming films.Sometimes, amidst the explosions, one-liners, and frantic pace of our superhero movies, a memorably interesting image appears, however briefly. During my mostly entertaining two hours with Shane Black's Iron Man Three (why Three, by the way?), one such image is Tony Stark sitting on the couch beside his Mark XLII suit, staring off into the distance. Part of a particular sequence in rural Tennessee that is my favorite … [Read more...]

The Moviegoer: The Renovative View From Up on Poppy Hill

From Up on Poppy Hill

Each week in The Moviegoer, Nick Olson examines new and upcoming films.During an early scene in Gorō Miyazaki's From Up on Poppy Hill, our attention is directed to a high school in Yokohama, Japan. Poppy Hill tells the story of 16 year old Umi Matsuzaki who, in this particular scene, is sitting outside enjoying lunch with a couple of friends. Suddenly, the lunch is interrupted when, next door, a crowd of boys from the high school emerge dutifully from the Latin Quarter, an ancient, dusty bu … [Read more...]

The Moviegoer: Tracking the Legacy of Tragic Secrets in The Place Beyond the Pines

The Place Beyond the Pines

Each week in The Moviegoer, Nick Olson examines new and upcoming films.An essential image in Derek Cianfrance's latest film, The Place Beyond the Pines, is of roughened, local-star stuntman Luke Glanton (Ryan Gosling) sitting idly on his motorcycle at a traffic light intersection, looking up at the looming TrustCo Bank. It's one of the few pauses during the film's first hour, when Luke is often flashing like lightning across each scene. We're not exactly privy to what's running through … [Read more...]

The Moviegoer: Terrence Malick’s “To the Wonder” and Psalmic Yearning

To the Wonder

Each week in The Moviegoer, Nick Olson examines new and upcoming films.I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. [Psalm 143:6] Blessed God, Israel’s God, the one and only wonder-working God! Blessed always his blazing glory! All earth brims with his glory. Yes and Yes and Yes. [Psalm 72. 18-20] --- Near the beginning of Terrence Malick's To the Wonder, there's a scene in which Marina's (Olga Kurylenko) young daughter, Tatiana (Tatiana Ch … [Read more...]

The Moviegoer: This is [Not] a Film

This is Not a Film

Each week in The Moviegoer, Nick Olson examines new and upcoming films.Editor's Note: This is Not a Film is available via Netflix DVD service.One of Iran's acclaimed directors, Jafar Panahi, is arrested on March 1, 2010. Often critical of the Iranian government, Panahi is charged with collusion with the intent of committing crime against national security and of "propaganda against the Islamic Republic." Due to international outcry, he is released from prison after three months but … [Read more...]


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