About Andrew Collins

The Legend of Tarzan fails to build on the myth

Review of The Legend of Tarzan, Directed by David YatesBefore any discussion of The Legend of Tarzan can begin, we must first make one thing clear: it isn’t a Disney film. Expectations should therefore be adjusted accordingly (which means downwards).Legend tells the story of Tarzan in reflection, almost like a sequel, except rather than building on a prior film it relies on flashbacks and the audience’s familiarity with Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Tarzan of the Apes. This time around, Tarzan’s vi … [Read more...]

The Meddler: Interview with Lorene Scafaria

Review of The Meddler, Directed by Lorene ScafariaOn one level, “The Meddler” is simply a warm-hearted indie comedy about a meddling widow. For writer and director Lorene Scafaria, however, it is the product of one of the most difficult experiences of her life. The film is a fictionalized autobiography based heavily on her own experience of losing her father and the family struggles that follow. But while “The Meddler” starts from a place of loss and alienation - the passing of a father and a h … [Read more...]

Last Days in the Desert offers portrait of Jesus the man

Review of Last Days in the Desert, Directed by Rodrigo GarcíaSPOILERSIf there’s one thing writer and director Rodrigo García’s “Last Days in the Desert” is not, it’s preachy. Simple in scope and setting, the film tells an extra-biblical story of Jesus’s encounter with an isolated family during his 40 days of fasting and temptation in the wilderness. Here we find a portrait of Jesus as man qua man – probably too much of a man for most Christians’ tastes. This Jesus (played compellingly by … [Read more...]

Miles Ahead paints a complex but uninspiring portrait

 Review of Miles Ahead, Directed by Don Cheadle Miles Ahead is a biopic predicated on an important assumption: it assumes that the audience already likes Miles Davis (Don Cheadle) and has a profound respect and admiration for him as an artist. Set during his fabled five-year absence from the music scene (and from public life, for that matter), the film, written and directed by Cheadle, offers a window into Miles Davis the man. Through this window we see Miles in a two-day … [Read more...]

Eddie the Eagle takes flight, but doesn’t quite soar

Review of Eddie the Eagle, Directed by Dexter FletcherEddie the Eagle tells the story of “Eddie” Edwards (Taron Egerton), the British Olympic ski-jumper of the 1988 Calgary games who fulfilled his lifelong dream of competing in the Olympic games. As is the case with many biopics, the story is heavily fictionalized. It is the film’s retelling of the story of Eddie the Eagle that I aim to critique here.As a character, you can’t help but love Eddie – the nerdy, chaste, teetotaler who always … [Read more...]

The Gods of Egypt aren’t that impressive

 Review of Gods of Egypt, Directed by Alex Proyas Myth can be powerful, wondrous, beautiful, and insightful, but not when it feels like a videogame set in a universe where hieroglyphs meet all the gratuitous glitz and glamour of Trump Tower. The “gods” of Egypt in this world literally bleed gold. They have interchangeable power-ups and abilities like perfect vision, flight, and demon-repelling bracelets, which can be activated, seemingly, at the flip of a switch. And they sp … [Read more...]

INTERVIEW: 60 Minutes journalists in pursuit of “Truth”

Based on Interview with James Vanderbilt, Writer and Director of TruthCBS made headlines last week when it turned down a multimillion dollar ad buy from Sony Pictures on behalf of the film “Truth,” the freshman directing effort by screenwriter James Vanderbilt.That’s because “Truth” is based on a book of the same name by former 60 Minutes producer Mary Mapes. The story recounts (from her perspective) the events leading up to and following the disastrous “60 Minutes” report by famed CBS an … [Read more...]

Labyrinth of Lies powerfully confronts the silence of postwar Germany

Review of Labyrinth of Lies, Directed by Giulio RicciarelliThere’s a sense in which Labyrinth of Lies strikes me as the German equivalent of “All The President’s Men” – at least in terms of the place the story occupies in its dramatic documentation of a defining national scandal. Writer and director Giulio Ricciarelli’s latest work tells the story of Johann Radmann, a young public prosecutor in the 1960s whose investigations into the murders committed by German soldiers at Auschwitz pricked t … [Read more...]

The Intern hits us right in the millennial feels

Review of The Intern, Directed by Nancy MeyersIt started to drag at the end, but otherwise I loved “The Intern.” I didn’t love it because it’s a first-rate piece of cinema. Like MySpace and Napster and virtually everything you did on Twitter today, I suspect it will be forgotten pretty quickly. I loved it because it hit me right in the Millennial “feels.” To quote one of its Buzzfeed-curated characters: “I’m kind of in love with it.”Yes, just like Polaroids and skinny ties, I’m kind of in … [Read more...]

Wilson’s “Writers to Read” is a pretty solid guide

Review of Writers to Read by Douglas WilsonDouglas Wilson’s latest book has the one most important attribute for a book of its nature: it’s short. With great writers out there like the nine he lists, it’s hardly worth your time to read about them when you could be, you know, actually reading G.K. Chesterton, H.L. Mencken, P.G. Wodehouse, T.S. Eliot, J.R.R. Tolkin, C.S. Lewis,  R.F. Capon, Marilyn Robinson, or N.D. Wilson. That’s where the real experience and joy comes from – who needs critics … [Read more...]