You don’t have to be a fan of improv — often referred to as “the Irritating Art”, by me — to enjoy Mike Birbiglia‘s ensemble dramedy. Don’t Think Twice is very much grounded in that world of audience prompts and miming, and very much enthralled with its performative nuances and history, but the film also tells a more basic story about belatedly growing up and growing apart.More
In the hilarious 2001 stop-motion film Kokoa, we witness a series of wrestling matches featuring, in turn, a toad, a chameleon, a bird, and an iguana — with a crab referee and emceed by a Howard Cosell-like reptile.
Do I even need to go on about why you should watch Kokoa?More
Chess is not, shall we say, the most cinematic of games. But Mira Nair’s Queen of Katwe gamely tries to resolve this dilemma with compelling characters, a quietly heroic, underdog narrative, and a whole lot of Ugandan sensibilities and imagery. It mostly works.More
Twenty three years before Billy Idol crooned its title while disconcertingly staring at music video audiences, Eyes Without A Face was a horror masterpiece.More
The Love Witch is a two-hour MASH-note to bygone genre films, with the blindingly bright color palette of a late 60s cheapie and the stilted dialog to go with it. For producer/director/writer/editor/set and production and costume designer/non-harp-playing harp-music composer Anna Biller, it’s clearly a labor of love: there’s a handmade quality to every aspect of The Love Witch‘s pulp-horror stylings, and a witty, feminist self-awareness.More
On a blisteringly hot August day in 1966, Charles Whitman — a former Marine who’d killed his wife and mother the night before — climbed the the Main Building tower at the University of Texas with an arsenal of weapons and started shooting.More
More than 10 years separate Lucile Hadzihalilovic‘s Innocence and her 2015 Evolution, but the decade in between didn’t diminish the director’s poetic vision, resolute emphasis on slowness and children, and tone of generally creeping dread. If anything, Evolution ups the ante, swapping in an uncanny group of young boys at an unsettling seasside resort for Innocence‘s female ballerinas and mixing in a huge dose of body horror to boot.More
Train To Busan begins with the routine frustrations of a hapless truck driver: a dodgy checkpoint, impassive security forces, a collision with a deer that he registers as just one more irritation on a frustrating route.
When he drives off, still huffing and puffing about how nothing’s going right, we watch the deer twitchily reassemble itself, stand upright, and stare off into the distance with clouded eyes.More
My nominee for the most inexplicably overlooked film of 2016, or at least one of the more under-discussed, Pete’s Dragon is that rarest of things: a movie that captures the very feeling of childhood without pandering or talking down to its audience.More
For some of us, the very words “Keven Spacey stars as a real estate mogul reincarnated as a talking cat named Mr. Fuzzypants” inspire a kind of maniac glee. Bad-movie aficionados live for such moments, so the release of Nine Lives, now streaming on Amazon Prime, was like a gift from the gods.More