Monthly Archives: September 2014

The Skeleton Twins

Just the other day, I mentioned in my review of the mediocre dysfunctional family dramedy This is Where I Leave You how difficult it is to deftly blend comic and dramatic elements successfully into a motion picture. The Skeleton Twins, another dysfunctional family drama starring former television stars, takes what could’ve been a bleak and […]

Land Ho!

The film opens on a black screen. We hear a vacuum cleaner loudly buzzing and whirring, and then cut to a man vacuuming a room. In the window, another man appears, and tries to get the vacuuming man’s attention. He continues cleaning his room. Finally, the man turns around, and his delighted reaction to his […]

This is Where I Leave You

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe this is a good movie, and it’s not just a complete mess. Maybe the bizarre tonal shifts between sophomoric comedy and dysfunctional family drama accentuate the film, and aren’t a distraction. When I watched the film the other night, the rest of the audience seemed to love the film. They howled […]

A Walk Among the Tombstones

Nobody can accuse this movie of not having an appropriate title. A Walk Among the Tombstones is just that, a bleak and dark journey. It’s an effective mystery, well-made and anchored by a strong Liam Neeson performance, but those looking for a simple action thriller should look elsewhere. Like the recent crime drama The Drop, […]

The Drop

It opens with a shot of the Brooklyn Bridge, as reflected from a mud puddle. It’s an evocative beginning, and the composition informs the audience that the view of New York life we’ll see in this film will not be pretty. On the soundtrack, Tom Hardy’s weary voice tells us, “there are places in my […]

Snowpiercer

             Snowpiercer is a big, bold, gloriously bizarre science-fiction film with brilliant characterizations and stunning action scenes. Directed by Joon-ho Bong, the visionary filmmaker who made The Host and Mother, it was absolutely one of the best movies of the summer. Although it only appeared in a handful of theaters […]

Dom Hemingway

Dom Hemingway has been in prison a long time. He kept his mouth shut, and did his stretch. Twelve years later, he’s out, and he feels he’s owed something for his silence. He won’t stop till he gets what’s his. It may be a cliche, but Dom Hemingway is the role that Jude Law was […]