The second film in the young adult dystopian series ups the ante and improves upon the first in every way, thanks to director Francis Lawrence who takes charge of the franchise here.
Incoherent, absurd, confused, and strangely fascinating, this bizarre adventure is Grimm fairy tale, Gothic thriller, twisted film noir, wacked-out madhouse melodrama, modern video game, and cheesecake spectacle directed with pulp and fantasy imagery overkill.
Into the Wild (2007), Sean Penn’s adaptation of Jon Krakauer’s non-fiction book, is a bracing cinematic plunge into the odyssey of Christopher McCandless. The real-life young man fled a middle-class life of what he perceived to be the compromises and corruptions of the material world to embark on an “Alaskan Adventure,” a quest of self-reliance […]
The Neon Demon (2016) – “I can’t sing, I can’t dance, I can’t write… no real talent. But I’m pretty, and I can make money off pretty.” We first meet Jesse (Elle Fanning), a 16-year-old girl from Middle America looking to leverage her youth and innocent beauty into a modeling career in Los Angeles, made […]
Donnie Darko (2001) – Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal) is an otherwise normal rebellious, angry kid who slumps and frumps his way through the confusion of his life. He just happens to have a little more confusion than the most of us, much of it caused by visitations from a demonic looking six-foot rabbit named Frank […]
The Hatfields and the McCoys turned the most famous family feud in American history into a personal war right out of a Shakespeare tragedy. The names themselves have become an instant cliché understood by everyone, even while the actual history behind it was forgotten in all the satirical appropriations of the story for movies and […]
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 […]
Happy 2016. Here are a few of the recent arrivals on Netflix, Amazon, and the rest of the streaming and VOD services. Netflix Keira Knightley is the headstrong and feisty Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, the 2005 adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel of love, class and social convention. Matthew Macfadyen is the starchy […]
Richard Gere produces as well as stars in Time Out of Mind (2014) as George, a homeless and quite possibly mentally ill man in Manhattan getting lost in the bureaucratic maze of social services while bouncing from shelter to shelter in an effort to find some stability. Clearly the subject matter compels him—Gere’s activism is […]