Black Hawk Clowns

Amidst a sea of fallen comrades, facing almost certain death at the hands of an incomprehensible foe, Staff Sgt. Michael Nantz (Aaron Eckhart) gets inches from the face of Cpl. Jason Lockett (Cory Hardrict) and begins to bellow a five-minute rant without missing a single military cliché. Seemingly exhausted by covering every base from “good […]

Read More…

Hats Entertainment

Although he doesn’t get name-checked, the Almighty plays an invisible supporting role in The Adjustment Bureau , the first Philip K. Dick short story adaptation to morph from science-fiction to theology-fiction. Despite the illusion of crushing doom promoted by the dour, oppressive orchestral music in the trailers, writer/director George Nolfi’s fable is actually a sweetly […]

Read More…

Death and Debt

Set in a dismal-looking Barcelona and following a character with amazingly bad luck, Biutiful slathers on the misery like few other movies do. But misery is nothing new for its director, Alejandro González Iñárritu, the man behind several other bleak pictures, including Amores Perros and 21 Grams . Biutiful is a big movie that’s slightly […]

Read More…

Monsters Vs. Illegal Aliens

Don’t let the generic title of Monsters fool you — it’s really a pretty unique film. With an estimated budget of $800,000, which is the latte and donuts budget for most Hollywood movies, Monsters offers some surprisingly big-time special effects. But the real story behind the film’s creation is its super-cheap on-location guerilla shooting style, […]

Read More…

Fact and Diction

Remarkably unremarkable and tonally mundane, director Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech was seemingly genetically engineered by a mad scientist named Juan Tan-Oscar. Quasi-historical and wholly predictable, the film would have been dismissible as icky chum for suit-wearing Academy sharks were it not for Geoffrey Rush and Colin Firth. Their tête á têtes are more frosty […]

Read More…

Down on the Farm

French-born director Claire Denis grew up in Africa, and her latest film, White Material, is her first set on that continent since her 1988 debut Chocolat . Since ’88, Denis has become probably the greatest French filmmaker currently working, and White Material is an example of her observational, often dreamlike style at its peak. Somewhere […]

Read More…

Femi-Nun Side

Creating a film about a medieval nun (especially one without the words “naughty,” “nasty” or “naked” preceding it) is likely a form of cinematic suicide. The 18-25 male demographic would much rather watch one of Angelina Jolie’s gun-toting incarnations — preferably the one that wears hot pants. German writer/director Margarethe von Trotta has never cared […]

Read More…

Under the Influence

As its title states, love is just one of many brain-altering ingredients present in director Edward Zwick’s Love and Other Drugs . The film is set in the world of pharmaceutical sales in the mid-’90s, so besides a little pot and plenty of beer, we’re also among Prozac, Zoloft and the debut of Viagra. Jamie […]

Read More…