BORGMAN: Movie Review


American filmmakers just don't do weird and disturbing like European, Asian, or, heck, any other region of filmmakers. Borgman, written and directed by Dutch filmmaker Alex van Warmerdam, is one of those weird, disturbing films that's more mentally than physically unsettling. If you're inclined to think along these directions, it felt like a good conversation partner with the far-less-weird Calvary, particularly around themes of theology and religion and their place and role in a post- … [Read more...]

The Drop: Movie Review

The Drop Movie (3)

It's rare that I go see a film based solely on one actor. There are actors that I really like, but the type of movie might keep me away. I'd watch Tom Hardy eat soup. His latest film, The Drop, is a good one made even better by yet another profound performance, which is crucial because he is the linchpin in a morally complex narrative. … [Read more...]

Summer Silliness: Sharknado 2 & Black Jesus


I never thought I’d say this, but thank God for cable television. As a Basic Cable family, we hold on to the Box because it lets us watch Comedy Central, Rachel Maddow, and the occasional broadcast for my hometown sports teams, the Reds and the Bengals. Most of the rest is wall-to-wall reality TV – nothing but “Redneck Vacation” and “Pawn Stars” as far as the eye can see.But something about the summer makes Cable throw caution to the wind, and the result is some pretty ridiculously wonderful … [Read more...]

A Match Made in Heaven…Even If It Looks Like Hell


Last week, I had the good fortune to interview Brendan Gleeson and John Michael McDonagh around the release of their film, Calvary. Unfortunately, I didn't get to speak to them at the same time, so I've tried to blend them together into something of a conversation. There are big spoilers throughout, so if you care about that stuff, check it out after you see the film. You can also read my review of the film here. … [Read more...]

The Good and the Reviled

Kelly Reilly and Brendan Gleeson in Calvary

For the initiated the title of writer/director John Michael McDonagh's (The Guard) second film, Calvary, will inevitably conjure up thoughts about Jesus' crucifixion, sin, and atonement. It's fitting as larger-than-life themes of sacrifice, atonement, and good and evil form the backbone of this story about a reviled Irish priest and a member of his flock hell-bent on killing him. … [Read more...]

Inter-Species Peacekeeping


I was just as surprised as everyone else by the success of 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The latest installment of the franchise, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, had more to live up to and, thankfully, hits every note with perfect special effects, a smart script, and a thought-provoking narrative. … [Read more...]

Long Train Runnin’


I thought I had seen the best action-adventure sci-fi film of the summer in Edge of Tomorrow. It's good, but not as wildly imaginative as Bong Joon-Ho's first English-language film, Snowpiercer, which plays like Metropolis on rails with humor and better action sequences. … [Read more...]

If At First You Don’t Succeed…


It's hard to believe that Edge of Tomorrow didn't fare better at the box office over the weekend. I know The Fault in Our Stars was a big draw, but Edge is one of the best blockbuster action films of the summer. I'm anticipating, unlike Godzilla, that it will benefit from strong word of mouth in upcoming weeks. … [Read more...]