Cutting Room for April 6

  • While theologians and atheists continue to spar over the existence of an eternal creator, The Reader can officially confirm that the devil is 100 percent real. The proof? Ashton Kutcher is teaming up with Justin Bieber in a romantic comedy. No, they won’t play each other’s love interests, as that would be too original and creative. Seriously, Brokeback-ing rom-coms with something like, I...

entered on 04/08/11 at 06:16 PM | read more »



Brontë-saurus

Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre gets around a lot.

I’m referring, of course, to the oft-told story of Jane Eyre. The chaste, highly moral character of Jane Eyre, created by Charlotte Brontë and first published in 1847, doesn’t get around at all; in fact, she yearns to be her own woman. But Jane’s story has legs — at least five film versions of Jane Eyre were released prior to 1930. Since then, dozens more...

entered on 04/06/11 at 06:59 PM | Comments (1) read more »


<p>Awesome, gob-smacking visuals make Sucker Punch worth seeing more than the story behind main character Baby Doll (played by Emily Browning). </p>
Rope-a-Dopey

Sucker Punch

The tagline for Sucker Punch is “You will be unprepared.” Eh, not so much. Every trailer for the film showed copious slow-motion sequences of girls clothed as if nerd fetishists established a global dress code. The near-dialogue-free previews gave little-to-no impression as to how the hell these seemingly disconnected visual sequences, ripped from a hardcore gamer’s wet dreams, possibly fit...

entered on 03/30/11 at 10:13 PM | read more »


Cutting Room for March 30

  • Although I don’t need an excuse to be overly communicative, the University of Nebraska at Omaha is giving me one the last week of April. The school will recognize it as “Communication Week,” and one of the cool happenings during this celebration of all things communicatively connected will take place at the Aksarben Cinema. On Tuesday, April 26 at 5:30 p.m., the theater will screen DuSable...

entered on 03/30/11 at 09:39 PM | read more »


<p>Things are not alright, alright, alright for McConaughey in the familiar but stylish The Lincoln Lawyer. </p>
L.A. Law

The Lincoln Lawyer

Based on the novel by Michael Connelly, The Lincoln Lawyer is one loud, swaggering showoff of a thriller. It is well-acted and decently written … but there's something about director Brad Furman's approach that invites us to ignore all of that and just revel in the surface excitement. Bursting at the seams with flashy photography, attractive people and the usual courtroom dramatics, this movie...

entered on 03/23/11 at 10:28 PM | read more »


Cutting Room for March 23

  • I think I accidentally mentally combined the two events that Film Streams at the Ruth Sokolof Theater (filmstreams.org) have planned for April 1 to June 16. They’re doing another installment of two film series: “Forever Young Family and Children’s Series” and “Great Directors.” But I’m pretty sure that kids won’t be rushing to see 8 1/2 and that Pete’s Dragon wasn’t a Fellini...

entered on 03/23/11 at 10:09 PM | read more »


<p>Sure, they look cute and cuddly here, but the animals followed by the filmmakers of The Last Lions assure that this is no Disney movie. </p>
Where’s Whoopi?

The Last Lions

Throaty and sleepy, Jeremy Irons begins his narration of the wildlife documentary The Last Lions as if awoken from a crumpet-induced nap. Any electricity that’s felt by once more having Irons’ voice laid atop images of lions is blunted by a delivery that sounds like Irons is auditioning for a British sex chat line. His dulcet tones seem at odds with a surprisingly riveting story of survival;...

entered on 03/22/11 at 09:41 PM | read more »


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The Babadook

A terrifying tale of an ooky pop-up book and motherly love.

GRADE
A


The Tale of Princess Kaguya

A water-colored take on a Japanese folktale that is prettier than it is interesting.

GRADE
B-


The Theory of Everything

"Out of this world" performances buoy a sub-par script.

GRADE
B+


Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Half of what promises to be an epic conclusion to a fabulous series.

GRADE
B+


Birdman

A delirously fun satirical send up of artistic pretension. 

GRADE
B+


The Overnighters

"The Grapes of Wrath" in documentary form set in North Dakota.

GRADE
A-


Interstellar

If this was humanity's last hope, give up.

GRADE
D


Nightcrawler

A condemnation of crime pornography with a chilling central character.

GRADE
A


No Big Bang

In 1965, Stephen Hawking wrote his first ground-breaking thesis and wed Jane Wilde. His paper argued that if a star can...

more »


Leni Riefen-stalling

On the one hand, any film subtitled “Part 1” is a naked cash grab. On the other hand, shut up and take my money, Hunger...

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Oopsie Genius

I know two things for sure: (1) Birdman aims to relentlessly drive home one singular point, one thoroughly expressed thesis...

more »


The Burden of Actual Christianity

Most praise for writer/director Jesse Moss’s documentary, The Overnighters, has rightly been focused on its Steinbeckian...

more »


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