Fernando Rey and Tomas Milian in Sergio Corbucci's 'Compañeros'

Sergio Corbucci’s ‘Compañeros’ on Amazon Prime

Compañeros (1970) is an ironic title, but then as a spaghetti western—a genre steeped in mercenaries and con men and double crosses—it would have to be. Swedish gun runner Yodlaf (Franco Nero), in Mexico in the heat of the revolution to sell his weapons to the highest bidder, and hot-headed Mexican peasant turned revolutionary officer […]

Matteo Garrone's 'Gomorrah ' from Italy

‘Gomorrah’ – The real Italian mob on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Sundance Now

The signature image of Gomorrah (Italy, 2008), Matteo Garrone’s adaptation of Robert Saviano’s book about the dominance of organized crime in Naples and Caserta, is a pair of teenage boys running around a deserted beach in their underwear while shooting off automatic weapons. That’s as much glamour as you can expect from this portrait of […]

Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon in 'Inherent Vice,' Paul Thomas Anderson's loopy take on Thomas Pynchon's dope-infused private eye novel.

‘Inherent Vice’ on VOD

Inherent Vice (2014), Paul Thomas Anderson’s loopy take on Thomas Pynchon’s dope-infused private eye novel, earned Anderson an Oscar nomination for his ingenious screenplay adaptation and critical raves for the rich pageant of eccentrics and oddballs bouncing through 1970 Los Angeles with a post-sixties hangover. I never read Pynchon’s novel so I’ll take the word […]

Scarlett Johansson is 'Lucy' in Luc Besson's marvelously ridiculous action fantasy

Scarlett Johansson is ‘Lucy’ on VOD

Luc Besson and his France-based, internationally-savvy EuropaCorp studio are the salvation of the unpretentious, mid-budget, hyper-charged action movie in America. Usually Besson is content to co-write and produce the films, which have launched careers of such protégés as Louis Letterier (The Transporter), Pierre Morel (Taken), and Olivier Megaton (Colombiana), but he takes charge of Lucy […]