No hope superheroes

Posted in Movies with tags , , , , , on August 27, 2014 by Sarah

I get asked two questions a lot: 1) Does Marvel pay you for the good coverage, and 2) why is everything superheroes these days?

1) No.

2) Because the world is scary and we want to believe in heroes.

Why-So-Serious Continue reading

Calvary: Degrees of forgiveness and evil

Posted in Movies, Reviews with tags , , , , on August 26, 2014 by Sarah

calvary_posterJohn Michael McDonagh’s Calvary, the follow up to his stellar directorial debut The Guard, is not as funny as that buddy-cop parody, and is a hell of a lot more dark. Which is kind of saying something, because The Guard is already pretty dark. But where The Guard skates along the edge of the darkness and gallows humor that defines law enforcement officers the world over, Calvary lives in the darkness of the human soul, weighing the various kinds of crimes that can slowly rot someone from the inside out. It’s a deep film—sometimes a depressing one, sometimes a moving one—but overall Calvary is a methodical examination of 21st century spirituality and what it means to be evil or to forgive. Continue reading

The Trip to Italy: A comedy sequel that actually improves on the first

Posted in Movies, Reviews with tags , , , , , on August 25, 2014 by Sarah

trip_to_italy_posterIn 2011 I loved The Trip, the largely improvisational road trip comedy starring Steve Coogan (Philomena) and Rob Brydon (a bunch of British TV stuff). So I was primed to love the sequel, The Trip to Italy, now in limited release and available on demand. But even with a positive bias, here’s how much I like Italy: Even though Comcast was being a total cunt that was determined to ruin my viewing experience with constant outages, I STILL enjoyed my viewing experience. It’s funny, light but thoughtful, and—surprisingly, for a sequel—fresh. Continue reading

So I didn’t like Boyhood

Posted in Movies, Reviews with tags , , , , on August 7, 2014 by Sarah

Boyhood_posterAnd I know I am in a vastly overwhelmed minority on this one. Richard Linklater’s Boyhood is one of the best-reviewed films of the year, a likely shoo-in for serious awards contention, and represents the kind of ambitious filmmaking American cinema needs more of. And yet, I didn’t like it. I didn’t hate, but I did not enjoy this movie on any level other than the conceptual, and I’m actually really bummed out about it because I wanted to like it, so much. But I found it boring and unengaging, just a collection of “hey remember when” moments as opposed to actual introspection and exploration of what it means to grow up. Continue reading

Guardians of the Galaxy: Friendship is Magic

Posted in Movies, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on August 4, 2014 by Sarah

GotG_posterOnce upon a time, Guardians of the Galaxy was a big risk, a comic book property completely unheard of by general audiences—even more obscure than Iron Man was back in 2008—featuring a talking raccoon and a space ent as two of its main characters. However, director James Gunn (Super, Slither), who co-wrote the script along with Nicole Perlman, the first woman credited with writing a Marvel screenplay, proved the right kind of weird to ground the project. Guardians of the Galaxy is a splendid film—wonderful to look at, exciting to watch, in turns deeply funny and emotional. By some metrics, it’s the best Marvel movie yet; certainly it is the funniest and best-looking. Continue reading

Summer Movie Preview: August 2014

Posted in Movies, Previews with tags , , , , on July 31, 2014 by Sarah

August 1

Calvary

Irish writer/director John Michael McDonagh follows up his stellar feature-film debut, The Guard, with Calvary, the story of a priest (Brendan Gleeson) who must deal with the assholes in his parish after one of them threatens him during confession. Because The Guard was ostensibly a comedy and because Calvary co-stars Chris O’Dowd, a lot of people assumed this would be a comedy, but it’s actually a pretty dark, thoughtful exploration of Irish history and the awful ways people treat each other. I’ve been super into Irish cinema the last few years—they’re cranking out some genuinely good films and it’s worth your while to check them out.

Limited

Continue reading

Lucy: A dumb movie made by smart(?) people

Posted in Movies, Reviews with tags , , , , , , on July 29, 2014 by Sarah

Lucy_posterI don’t have terribly high expectations of writer/director Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, The Professional). He’s a stylish director capable of delivering slick action scenes, but his movies are always kind of undercooked, plot-wise. The Professional stands out as a movie that still hangs together today, though it does retain its share of weirdness, but generally, Luc Besson is a messy director. So it’s not a surprise that his latest, a techno-thriller starring Scarlett Johansson as the titular Lucy, is a messy movie. What is surprising is how very dumb Lucy is. Continue reading

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