Scarlett Johansson is a Monster: Under the Skin

under-the-skin-under_the_skin_stills-193711_rgb

Feel free to eavesdrop as I argue with myself upon exiting the theater after seeing Jonathan Glazer's* troubling new sci-fi horror film Under the Skin. But it's a spoiler-ish conversation... … [Read more...]

Noah (2014): Part Two of a Two-Part Commentary

NOAH

[This is Part 2 of Looking Closer's Noah review. Part One was posted yesterday.]Here's another story.Once upon a time, two total strangers — one a mother and a teacher with a background in business; the other a writer, editor, and film critic — became friends after she invited him to join an online discussion of his book about film. They were both Christians. And they met at an arts-and-faith gathering called Hutchmoot in Nashville. They both agreed that they wanted to work together on so … [Read more...]

Noah (2014): Part One of A Two-Part Commentary

Noah tries to take cover from the flood of wrathful judgment cast by quick-to-anger, presumptuous, unmerciful religious moviegoers.

Once upon a time there was a 13-year-old boy named Darren. He wrote a poem about Noah's Ark for his seventh-grade teacher, Vera Fried. Something about that story stirred up a passion within him. It wouldn't go away.Darren would grow up to become a filmmaker who wrestled with heavy questions. Each of his films would focus on characters who went to extremes in order to achieve a kind of transcendence. They would careen between moments of glory and moments of madness.First, there was Pi, ab … [Read more...]

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

grand budapest 2

Wes Anderson's new movie [New Anderson Movie] has arrived! And while reviews are almost all very positive, they differ dramatically in how they think it compares to the rest of the movies in Anderson's oeuvre.I'll get to my thoughts about [New Anderson Movie] in a while. But first...Moviegoer 1 calls [New Anderson Movie] "a masterpiece — the most 'Andersonian' movie yet! You can see pieces of all of his previous films here, like he was building to this one all along!"Moviegoer 2 di … [Read more...]

The Great Beauty (2013)

The Great Beauty3

The Great Beauty. You have to have some ambition to give a movie a title like that.And Paolo Sorrentino has ambition. Huge ambition. Maybe a little too much.I've just seen The Great Beauty on the big screen, and I'm still a little bit drunk on its imagery. Turns out that the title is entirely appropriate for so many reasons. Sorrentino's camera-eyes are as wide open to glory as Terrence Malick's. (This film seems as heavily influenced by The New World and The Tree of Life as it so … [Read more...]

Now You Can Watch the Zany Adventure Movie That America Missed

Adele_et_la_Bete

Looking for an escape? Searching for an exciting, hilarious, fun adventure film for the whole family?I highly recommend Luc Besson's The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec. Globe-trotting adventure, over-the-top comedy, extravagant costumes, Egyptian tomb-raiding, and a rampaging pterodactyl... this movie has all of that and more.And it just arrived on Netflix. … [Read more...]

The LEGO Movie (2014)

Emmett and Friends

Skeptical? No, I was downright cynical.A big screen movie about plastic building blocks? Give me a break. This has got to be the hardest evidence yet of Hollywood's imaginative bankruptcy. "Okay, Blockbuster Movie Council, what are your new ideas?" "Well, we've made movies about bestselling pregnancy guides. We've made movies about the game of Battleship and and the Pirates ride at Disneyland. What are the best-selling toys in the world?" "Let's make a movie about LEGOs! Kids will line up … [Read more...]

Overstreet’s Favorite Films: 2013

This-is-Martin-Bonner-windshield shot

In short, a conversation between a counselor and a recently paroled prisoner in a Las Vegas diner made a much bigger impression on this moviegoer than any comic book hero showdown, any fantasy roller-coaster ride, or any special-effects extravaganza in outer space.It was a year characterized by box-office-busting exhibitions of excess. Consider the bloated, ludicrous, and unapologetically unfaithful ruination of The Hobbit; the Superman movie in which the "hero" contributed to massive … [Read more...]

Her (2013): An All-Thumbs Review

The Lonely Guy: Joaquin Phoenix is Theodore Twombly in "Her."

This review of Spike Jonze's film Her is Part Four of the new fiction series I call All Thumbs Video.The series concerns a small cast of characters, friends who talk about movies in one of Earth's last video stores — All Thumbs, a shop named in honor of Roger Ebert. They're members of "Sight Club," a club that watches films in theaters or in the store's private viewing room and then reconvenes the next day to discuss what they've experienced.In the first installment, They argued about Ter … [Read more...]

12 Years a Slave (2013)

12 Years a Slave 4

Next month marks the 20th anniversary of Schindler's List. In July we reached the 15-year mark for  Saving Private Ryan. Those two films stand out in my moviegoing memory as landmark "event films" about America — films that inspired what the news media likes to call "a national discussion" about important chapters in historical horror.Both films were, in their own way, horror movies. But as painful as it was to watch them, the suffering that we experienced was not degrading or exploitative — … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X