Fuzzy Focus

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Time has whittled mainstream memory of the original late 1960s/early 1970s Planet of the Apes franchise down to an image of Charlton Heston’s clenched fist and the Statue of Liberty tanning her torchy top half on the beach. However, the original series was actually quite subversive and fascinating. It was compelling science fiction that occasionally skinny dipped in psychedelic waters.

With Dawn...

entered on 07/18/14 at 12:56 PM | read more »



“We’re Not a Girl Band”

We Are the Best

Punk was always as much about the mentality as the sound, as much about rebellion for rebellion’s sake as it was disorganized noise.  We Are the Best (Vi är bast) sports a cocksure swagger in its title alone, and rightfully so. It is a boisterous rejoinder to the usual simplistic, tame depiction of adolescent girls. Writer/director Lukas Moodysson has made a movie that isn’t just infused with...

entered on 07/11/14 at 01:11 PM | read more »



Ice, Ice Maybe

Snowpiercer

I’m not saying that the impoverished are going to grab axes and violently murder the wealthy elite. But I’m also not NOT saying that…

Writer/director Joon-ho Bong’s Snowpiercer does what the sci-fi genre does better than any other cinematic medium: examines modern life by asking a surreal “what if.” The “what if” in this case being a metaphorical examination of the redistribution of wealth and...

entered on 07/03/14 at 11:48 AM | read more »



Not So Fast, Rick Santorum

Obvious Child

I do not have a uterus. If I understand biology, I never will. So the issue of abortion has remained at arm’s length from me. This isn’t to say I have no empathy or opinion regarding America’s hottest of hot button issues, only that I realize it’s located under the heading “women’s health” for a reason. As Roger Ebert famously said, “Movies are like a machine that generates empathy.” If Rog were...

entered on 06/27/14 at 08:49 PM | read more »



Freaky Frequency

The Signal

For a movie reviewer, having a favorite genre kinda feels like a parent having a favorite child; oh, they totally do, they’re just not supposed to talk about it. Well just like your mom told your sister when you were out of earshot, if all other genres were out of the room, I’d totally tell indie sci-fi that it’s my favorite. Basically, I admit that I was at least half in the tank for The Signal...

entered on 06/20/14 at 08:39 PM | read more »



Bad Meaning Good

Ping Pong Summer

The popularity of Napoleon Dynamite never really made sense. With its “special” characters and nonsensical elements, the film’s inexplicable popularity and elevation to cult classic status always felt unearned. Ping Pong Summer is the movie that Napoleon Dynamite wants to be when it grows up. It is smart, endearing, quotable, nostalgia-inducing and odd in the best possible ways. In an age when it...

entered on 06/16/14 at 10:49 AM | read more »



Strike 5 and I’m Out

Hollywood still stubbornly refuses to make a blockbuster flick about the College World Series, despite my repeated emails proposing When Metal Bats Go Ding. They have, however, repeatedly drank from the well of America’s pastime, with scores of movies about baseball (92% of which feature Kevin Costner). Here is the definitive top 5 baseball movies ever made. And you can trust me on that because...

entered on 06/16/14 at 09:29 AM | read more »


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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Those damned apes are back and anything but dirty.

GRADE
B+


We Are the Best

Set in Stockholm in 1982, this is punk rock female adolescence at its finest.

GRADE
A


Snowpiercer

Awesome, literal class warfare on a train that holds the only humans that survived the new ice age.

GRADE
A-


Obvious Child

Billed as a comedy, this is actually a sophisticated, empathetic look at a crucial issue.

GRADE
B+


The Signal

Crazy good and just plain crazy, this is indie sci-fi at its best!

GRADE
A+


Ping Pong Summer

Drowning in 1980s nostalgia, this deserves to be a cult hit.

GRADE
A-


22 Jump Street

A sequel no one could have expected to a movie nobody wanted.

GRADE
A-


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