The Perils of Political Cinema: The Interview Review

There’s a serious subject matter at hand in “The Interview–” a subject matter that the film doesn’t seem to take seriously. It’s a Western film attempting to satirize the internal horrors of North Korea and its leader Kim Jong-Un but that satire, for the most part, is absent.  Instead, “The Interview” is another Seth Rogan/James… Continue reading The Perils of Political Cinema: The Interview Review

Image is King: “Selma” Review

In crafting “Selma” director Ava DuVernay approaches the film with a specific technique in mind, namely the use of still-images, which is supplemented by her slow and powerful camera-work. It’s this use of the still-image that allows DuVernay to properly portray not only the racist political climate of the American south in the 1960s but… Continue reading Image is King: “Selma” Review

Marriage Meets Mystery: “Gone Girl” Review

In writing the script for “Gone Girl,” Gillian Flynn has simultaneously created two narratives wherein as one story unfolds, peeling itself back, the second narrative underneath is revealed. At its surface “Gone Girl” is a film about a man who’s wife goes missing and the subsequent drama that ensues–the police investigation, the media blitz, and… Continue reading Marriage Meets Mystery: “Gone Girl” Review

“The Boxtrolls” Review

Delightful, quirky, and despite its darker atmosphere, charming, “The Boxtrolls” is the latest 3D stop motion, animated film animation studio, Laika (“Coraline” and “ParaNorman”). Fans of studio Laika’s previous two films will be attracted by “The Boxtrolls” aesthetic but will still find something new and refreshing here. Based on Alan Snow’s novel “Here Be Monsters,”… Continue reading “The Boxtrolls” Review

The Limits of Satire: “Kingsman: The Secret Service” Review

Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman: The Secret Service is a spy film defined by its sense of meta-awareness and self-biting irony on the spy genre. Take for example one scene, where Galahad (Colin Firth), a knight of the service, is having dinner with Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson), who is the antagonist of the film. Galahad and… Continue reading The Limits of Satire: “Kingsman: The Secret Service” Review

News Made Thrilling: “Nightcrawler” Review

Robert Elswit–a Paul Thomas Anderson veteran–serves as director of photography and characterizes L.A. through several quick shots in the film’s opening. The images are fleeting yet remain long enough for Elswit to get the film’s atmosphere across. Nighttime L.A. is a haunting ground emphasized by its abandoned parks, desolate buildings, and streetlights which don’t emanate… Continue reading News Made Thrilling: “Nightcrawler” Review