Best X Ever

X-Men: Days of Future Past, directed by Bryan SingerI imagine the birth of X:Men: Days of Future Past was the result of blatantly cynical studio scheming. Some years ago a bunch of studio executives at Fox probably held a secret huddle to plot the future of the X-Men franchise. The trilogy--including the well-received X-Men (2000) and X2 (2003), and the widely-reviled X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) had been successful, though not spectacularly so, grossing $1.2 billion over three movies. … [Read more...]

Laughs and crazies in American Hustle

American Hustle, directed by David O. Russellby Elizabeth WhyteThere’s something about David O. Russell’s directing that makes all the characters in his films seem absolutely bonkers. American Hustle is no different. Russell has combined the big stars from his past two movies, Silver Linings Playbook (2012) and The Fighter (2010), to create a standout lineup, all of whom again deliver fantastic performances: Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, and Jennifer Lawrence. And, true to Ru … [Read more...]

Catching Fire, or, Why We Fight

Review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Directed by Francis LawrenceIt is distantly possible that you don’t know what The Hunger Games is. If, for example, you a) live in a cave, b) are not a teenage girl, c) think young adult fantasy fiction is not suitable mainstream entertainment or, d) all of the above. Barring that improbable combination, you’re probably familiar with Katniss Everdeen and her battle for survival in the annual Hunger Games held by the tyrannical Capitol to keep the res … [Read more...]