Friday, August 29, 2014

Starred Up (2013) A Film by David Mackenzie

"What happens...when an inmate is too erratic, too antagonistic, too compulsively violent to even be controlled within the ostensibly restrictive environment of a prison? That’s the simple premise from which Starred Up mounts its startling, horrifying portrait of a U.K. criminal detention center." Full piece at In Review Online.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Damned (2014) A Film by Victor García

"From its first draw of blood onward, The Damned bolts down a foreseeable slasher-movie trajectory, laying on thick the dramatic irony while constantly inventing new reasons to punish its characters for old iniquities. Along the way, it emits fraudulent ripples of The Exorcist, Alien, The Ring, Evil Dead—hell, the film's even derivative of already derivative recent entries in the horror canon like Silent House." Full review now at Slant.

Abuse of Weakness (2013) A Film by Catherine Breillat

Tonight's the last night to check out Catherine Breillat's latest, Abuse of Weakness, in Boston. Therefore, I apologize for the late posting of this August 15th In Review Online piece on the film. If you're feeling adventurous tonight at 9:15 PM, this is the way to burn that youthful energy.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Mr. X (2014) A Film by Tessa Louise-Salomé

""Genius," "poet," "the essence of cinema," and "the shooting star of French cinema" constitute some of the high-flown terminology lobbed regularly into the ring in this auteurist documentary survey, a pretty clear sign that, whatever you think of Carax's cinema, he's now been officially and strategically asserted into the canon. No questions asked, please." My full review of Tessa Louise-Salomé's Mr. X, playing at NYC's Film Forum as part of a Leos Carax retrospective, is up now at Slant.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Slant Magazine Reviews

I started reviewing for Slant Magazine, which is exciting. It also has the possibly beneficial/possibly dubious side effect of airing my coverage through the Rotten Tomatoes opinion chamber and thus finally bolstering my lonely critic page on that site (only a three-year old review of Conan O'Brien Can't Stop for the now-defunct Boston Phoenix existed there previously). Apparently I agree with the "Tomatometer" 67% of the time, so do with that information as you will. Anyway, my first two Slant pieces are on Gabrielle and Louder than Words, two Triumph of the Human Spirit movies that mostly happen to suck. Expect anywhere from one to three reviews a month over there from me. Thanks, as always, for reading.