You can tell a lot about Morgan Spurlock’s take on the San Diego Comic Convention in Comic-Con Episode IV: A New Hope based on the way he tiptoes around the issue of just how marginalized comic books have become at the festival in recent years.
Conventional wisdom has it that more and more people attend Comic Con, which will celebrate its 52nd year anniversary later this year, for everything but comic books. Instead, people go to see the pilot episodes of shows like "The Walking Dead" and "Caprica" and clips and trailers from upcoming movies from people like Francis Ford Coppola and Eli Roth.
This weekend, Williamsburg's Nitehawk Cinema will screen two very different movies, one at midnight and one at noon. Both films concern questions of memory and nostalgia.
The two films in question are Dario Argento's Deep Red and John Hughes' Sixteen Candles, both of which are about the way we remove vital information from our memories in order to make the present more palatable.
Even if you’re one of the few moviegoers who goes to see Mirror Mirror because it was directed by Tarsem Singh (director of Immortals and the music video for R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion”), you’re bound to agree with Julia Roberts when she asks, “What is it with this kingdom?!”
The all-American, regular-Joe persona that Sylvester Stallone has honed over the last three and a half decades can be seen in its purest incarnation in Paradise Alley. Written and directed by Stallone, Paradise Alley shows the beginning stages of the Stallone character: the self-made mook, the hard-working local kid who made good.
Stepping into the lead role in a beloved franchise, especially of the Y.A. variety, is not for the faint-hearted. Everyone and their grandma will have an opinion on whether or not you are "right" for the part. Fans of such books as Twilight and The Hunger Games have a fierce sense of ownership over those characters, and may even think that they should be consulted over who gets to play what. Nothing escapes judgment.(1)
It's been suggested that Battle Royale, the 12-year-old film that screens at the Nitehawk Cinema this weekend, is a mature movie.
The occasion for this suggestion is the release of the surefire-blockbuster adaptation of The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins’s Young Adult sensation, of which Battle Royale is supposedly a grown-up version.(5)
Now, Forager, co-directed by Jason Cortlund and Julia Halperin, tells the story of a couple, Lucien (Jason Cortlund) and Regina (Tiffany Esteb), who survive by foraging for mushrooms in upstate New York and then selling said mushrooms to fancy restaurants in Manhattan.
are folks getting by? This year's selections in the annual New Directors/New Films series (March 21-April 1) provide a pretty potent picture of what one might call working-stiffery well beyond the comfy theaters at the Museum of Modern Art and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the event's co-presenters for some 41 years now.
Seeking Justice is the kind of bonehead entertainment that should be fun and stupid at the same time. Instead, it’s just witheringly stupid.
It stars a goateed Nicolas Cage as Will Gerard, the target of a shadowy vigilante group that kills criminals because of what they perceive as the inadequacies of the justice system. This concerns Will because his wife Laura (Mad Men’s January Jones) has just been raped, leaving him to wonder whether the guy who violated his wife will get away with it. So he decides … to seek justice.
You worry about 'The Kid With a Bike,' without knowing who the kid is, because that's what people do
In the opening scene of The Kid With a Bike, directed by the legendary Belgian brother-team Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, a 13-year-old boy (Thomas Doret) tries to call his father from a phone in an office as a man hovers over him. The father's phone has been disconnected.
There's a kernel of pathological fatalism at the heart of many of Polish filmmaker Andrzej Zulawski's high-strung dramas. Unlike the subdued, introverted dramas of contemporary filmmaker like Jerzy Skolimowski, the films of Zulawski (pronounced "Zhu-wahv-ski") are histrionically gloomy. There is no such thing as sublimated tension in a Zulawski film.(2)
The anticipatory doomsaying surrounding John Carter, the impassioned live-action adaptation by Wall-E director Andrew Stanton of Edgar Rice Burroughs’s A Princess of Mars, is pretty disheartening. There have been whole think pieces speculating about what will happen if the film stinks, how harshly we should judge it, how much stink are we in for, how much slack should we give such a lousy but original film, etc. But the thing is, John Carter’s pretty good, if you forget about all of that and just watch it.(5)
With a clutch of screenings, Film Forum makes a case for the switch from film to digital projection, and tries to soften the blow
"This is DCP," a set of screenings including such Film Forum perennials as The Red Shoes and Rear Window, was meant to encourage regulars that they wouldn't be losing anything with a switch to digital projection—the "DCP" stands for "Digital Cinema Package." This seems like precisely the kind of technological advancement that a venerable repertory house can be counted upon to stand against. Which explains the rather defensive language: "[W]e're more than ever committed to showing classic films on film," Film Forum reassures its patrons.(8)
Even by the standards of such Hal Ashby comedies as The Last Detail and Being There, Harold and Maude is exceptional.
Harold and Maude, which screens this weekend at the Landmark Sunshine, is a perfect example of what an artist like Ashby could do when given the chance to really cut loose and create just the right circumstances for success. You just need to rewatch Harold and Maude to know that, when he made the film, Ashby was an artist at the height of his self-confidence and creative powers.
As a sequel to Mid-August Lunch, screenwriter Gianni Di Gregorio’s winsome directorial debut, The Salt of Life is a charming and nuanced character study. At the same time, it’s a film that seems to suggest that it’s OK to be a dirty old man.