Archives for November 2012

Holy Motors (2012)

As Holy Motors begins, a sleepwalker leans against his bedroom wall, upon which a forest is painted.Or might it be a real forest after all?The sleeper — played by filmmaker Leos Carax — moves into it, like Lucy stepping into Narnia, where he finds a strange movie theater and a catatonic audience.Here comes an ancient dog — both magnificent and menacing — stalking down the theater aisle. Perhaps he’s a portent of the death of cinema in the age of digital media. Perhaps he’s Carax himse … [Read more...]

Look! Wes Anderson Winners, Over the Rhine, James Bond, “Anna Karenina,” “Lincoln,” Twitter, Wim Wenders, Aimee Mann, Scott Derrickson, Sara Zarr, and “The Kid With a Bike”

Look!These links caught my attention today, for one reason or another.Check back later. I may add more look-worthy links as the day goes on. … [Read more...]

Tiger, Tiger, Burning Blight: The Problem With Pi-ety

If A. O. Scott's description of Ang Lee's movie Life of Pi is accurate, then he's confirming my suspicions about the hollowness of the narrative's heart. That is to say, he's assuring me that the movie preserves the fundamental wishy-washiness of the book's core ideas. … [Read more...]

35 Years Ago Today, Strange Lights Filled the Sky

Today's anniversary nearly slipped past me. But then a tweet from actor Richard Dreyfuss caught my eye... … [Read more...]

Leaving the Country?

I wish these words would be read from pulpits, on radio programs, on television, and at dinner tables across America. Because they are true, timely, and, if we listen, perhaps transformative. … [Read more...]

Father-Figuring It Out: “Margaret,” “Moonrise Kingdom,” and More

What does Moonrise Kingdom have in common with The Master, Sinister, Beasts of the Southern Wild, and Margaret? … [Read more...]

Skyfall (2012)

For all of the talk of Sam Mendes’ first James Bond movie — Skyfall — being a “substantial” Bond movie, its real strengths are aesthetic, not literary. This, the twenty-third movie about the hero if Ian Fleming’s spy novels, is typically predictable, full of been-there-done-that plot twists, and standard issue action-hero revelations.But genre pictures are all about the “how.” And Skyfall’s “how” is top-notch in several ways. … [Read more...]

Lincoln (2012)

If you admire Abraham Lincoln, if you rate Daniel Day-Lewis as a great actor, and if Steven Spielberg movies are major events in your moviegoing life, then you, like me, have found it difficult to wait for Spielberg's new film, Lincoln. Who wouldn't want to see the actor who starred in My Left Foot and The Last of the Mohicans, who inspired us as Gerry Conlon (In the Name of the Father) and disturbed us as Daniel Plainview (There Will Be Blood) work with the director of Schindler's List to bring … [Read more...]

The Loneliest Planet (2011)

The biggest scare. The most compelling adult relationship. The most memorable journey. This year, for this moviegoer, all three of these things exist in the same film: The Loneliest Planet.Julia Loktev's movie, her second narrative feature but the first one I've seen, wrecked a perfectly good Saturday morning. The pages of my open notebook remained blank; my uncertainty in every scene kept me from looking away for a moment.And while I would not say that I find the movie satisfying, I do … [Read more...]

Flight (2012)

Robert Zemeckis's Flight is the gunshot that starts the 2012 Oscar Race.It has a big performance by Denzel Washington, one of the last old-fashioned movie stars. It spells out big, important, popular Oscar Season themes on banners across the big-screen. It has it all: Heroism, romance, comedy, garish supporting performances! It talks about faith a lot. It has a flashy performance by an up-and-coming actress as a junkie who, thank God, remains easy on the eyes throughout. And it ends with a … [Read more...]