Katie Aselton's "Black Rock" attempts to put a feminist spin on the predominantly male slasher film subgenre but apart from having a female director, what sets "Black Rock" apart from other slasher films?
Is it the fact that Lake Bell and Aselton spend much of the final act nude? Is it the fact that the film is seemingly improvised? Is it the fact that the bad guys are the army buddies of the former classmate one of the film's central…
"Aftershock" is pretty much the complete opposite of "The Impossible". While the latter mines supposed inspirational moments from the disaster of a tsunami, Nicolàs Lopez's "Aftershock" mines cynicism and dark humor out of the story of a group of people trying to survive an Earthquake while out on the town in Chile. Oh and there's also a tsunami.... And escaped prisoners!
Personally I prefer cynicism to false sentimentality any day of the week so I quite liked "Aftershock", even if…
Essentially what would happen if John Cassavetes and Robert Altman made a movie together, Adam Christian Clark's "Caroline and Jackie" is a brilliant, maddening work of cinema, an easy successor to Cassavetes' infamous woman gone crazy classic "A Woman Under the Influence". Only here it's TWO women under the influence.
Featuring overlapping naturalistic dialogue and long takes, the film tells of sisters Caroline and Jackie.
Caroline is played by Marguerite Moreau from "Wet Hot American Summer" and Jackie is played…
I think I just saw the most divisive film of 2013 so far with the Keanu Reeves vehicle "generation Um..." (Yes, that's the title. The title is awful). And that's saying something in a year of such divisive films as "Stoker", "Upstream Color","Spring Breakers", "To the Wonder" and "The Place Beyond the Pines".
While I personally kinda liked the movie (it's not perfect but I'm a sucker for movies about aimless "young" people), most critics will most likely rip it…
Electrick Children (Director: Rebecca Thomas)
I saw "Electrick Children" at HIFF 2012!
Rebecca Thomas' "Electrick Children", a film that's already a hit in the UK (where it will be released to DVD in 2 weeks), is a weird combination of "Martha Marcy May Marlene" and "Juno" and stars MMMM co-star Julia Garner in the lead role as Rachel Angela McKnight, a 15-year old fundamentalist Mormon girl in 1996 who discovers a cassette tape and listens to music for the…
First Things First: "Beautiful Creatures" is not "Twilight". In fact, the fact that there have been 5 "Twilight" movies and (most likely) only 1 "Beautiful Creatures" movie makes me sick to my stomach because, while "Beautiful Creatures" might not be the greatest movie ever, it's miles above "Twilight", which is awful.... So awful.
I really liked the first 20 minutes of "Beautiful Creatures", which is before it becomes a supernatural romance with visuals that owe more of a debt to…
I saw Rick Alverson's "The Comedy" at BAMcinemaFEST 2012!
Rick Alverson's new film "The Comedy" is a very strange film.
Part character study of a deeply disturbed white male, part "Jackass" meets "Borat" practical joke, all filtered through the lens of Lars Von Trier's "The Idiots".
The film has been compared to Fellini's "La Dolce Vita" (a film Alverson says he has never seen) but "The Idiots" just seems to make more sense to me.
What's funny is that the…
I recently watched Bradley Rust Gray's "Jack and Diane" and it's one of the oddest movies I've ever seen. I'm still processing it.
It will probably be forever known as "that Lesbian Werewolf movie" but I must warn people that the werewolf stuff is used as a metaphor and takes up about 2 minutes of the movie.
At it's core, "Jack and Diane" is a vague, almost-Mumblecorian love story between two teenage girls: butch Jack (Riley Keough) and feminine Diane…
I saw "Nobody Walks" at BAMcinemaFEST 2012!
Despite it's mumblecorish roots, writer/director Ry Russo-Young ("You Won't Miss Me", one of my favorite movies of the last few years) and writer Lena Dunham ("Tiny Furniture", "Girls") have stayed away from most of the elements that make mumblecore films mumblecore films with their collaboration "Nobody Walks" which has name actors like John Krasinski ("The Office"), Olivia Thirlby ("The Wackness", "Juno"), India Ennenga ("Treme" and the great under-seen film "The Last International Playboy")…
There are a lot of problems with Julian Farino's "The Oranges".
For one, it's obviously trying to be a less satirically biting version of "American Beauty" but it just doesn't work.
Also, it feels very cable TV sitcom to me, like a lesser Showtime comedy series. And that makes sense as Farino worked on 2 HBO shows: "Entourage" and "How to Make it in America".
So unless you've really been dying for a movie where Dr. House (Hugh Laurie) has…
"Kill List" director Ben Wheatley's new flick "Sightseers" has been heavily praised but the darkly comic spree killer thriller is not as good as "Kill List".
Alice Lowe and Steve Oram play an unhinged couple who go on a caravan trip/romantic getaway and (this is not really a spoiler) wind up on a killing spree.
Featuring very, very dry humor and a keen sense of dread, the film does work but "Kill List" was a near-masterpiece (and like the 2nd movie I ever reviewed on Letterboxd!) and "Sightseers" is just quite good.
Not great, not a near/masterpiece.... Just quite good.
I saw Josh Radnor's "Liberal Arts" at BAMcinemaFEST 2012!
Towards the middle of Josh Radnor's sophomore film, "Liberal Arts", Elizabeth Olsen's character tells Radnor's character why she enjoys reading "those vampire romance books" (IE. "The Twilight Saga").
She pretty much says they are fun, stupid and go down easy.
Even though "Liberal Arts" aims to be high art, the same could be said about this film too.
Too bad it's so pretentious and self-important.
That's not to say "Liberal Arts"…