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Discuss: Is Terrence Malick's 'To The Wonder' Another Profound Masterpiece Or A Parody Of His Worst Tendencies?

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • April 15, 2013 11:57 AM
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  • 36 Comments
Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, To The Wonder
The last movie that Roger Ebert reviewed was Terrence Malick's "To The Wonder," which seems appropriately fitting. "To the Wonder" is a movie of quiet contemplation, one where an Oscar-winning movie star like Ben Affleck is mostly found in stoic silence and conventional plot mechanics are either eschewed or completely ignored. It doesn't take on the cosmic dimension of his equally divisive "The Tree of Life," but "To the Wonder" does contemplate similarly big questions about humanity, the world and our place in it.

Recap: 'Veep' Returns With Lots Of Jokes, Little Characterization

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 14, 2013 10:30 PM
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  • 0 Comments
At this point you're either watching "Veep" to keep up with the endless one liners, in order to cherish the handful that make it through and result in a good belly laugh...or you're not. One complaint that we had following season one was that Armando Iannucci often put the gags in front of any kind of characterization, and he's not changing his game plan with season two. But if the season two opener is anything to go by, it results in another uneven mashup of sitcom setups in a show that always wants cut a slice through the absurd world that is DC politics.

Review: ‘Disconnect’ Is ‘Crash’ For The Web Era, And Even More Dismal Than That Sounds

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 12, 2013 2:39 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Many writers say they prefer not to start the writing process with a theme in mind – they simply let it emerge organically from their plot or characters. But then, plenty of films have gone the other way. The multi-strand, interconnected drama revolving around a particular subject or theme, like Steven Soderbergh’s take on the war on drugs in “Traffic,” or Paul Thomas Anderson’s examination of coincidence and happenstance in “Magnolia,” have proved particularly popular in recent years. And given that they garlanded financial and critical success, it makes sense that others have set out to follow in their footsteps.

Review: 'It's A Disaster' Is A Darkly Hilarious Apocalyptic Dramedy That's Anything But Disastrous

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • April 11, 2013 7:03 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Real time, one-setting films are a tricky feat to pull off, stumping even the most accomplished directors (have you seen “Carnage”?), but director Todd Berger does it with panache in his sophomore feature, a clever take on the apocalypse film, “It’s A Disaster.” Assembling a cast of eight actors in one house for a film that’s part relationship dramedy and part end-of-the-world movie, Berger keeps the setting fresh and the pace moving in a story that takes a humorous look at the problems, both epic and trivial, that threaten to ruin lives.

Review: 'This Ain't California' An Energetic Trip Into '80s German Skateboarding Culture & History

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 11, 2013 6:02 PM
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  • 0 Comments
The title really says it all. Far from Dogtown and Z-boys, the burgeoning west coast punk scene and the empty swimming pools that provided endless possibility, in Germany kids were bolting wheels to pieces of wood and seeing what would happen. And with a wall up separating East from West, a government that spied on its citizens and a chance to see the world a distant prospect, it would seem that a thriving subculture in the German Democratic Republic would be impossible. But, it's just the kind of fertile ground for discontent to manifest itself in bold ways, and "This Ain't California" is a docu-drama that captures it all with energy and style to spare.
More: Review

Review: Terrence Malick's 'To The Wonder' Is A Raw & Heartfelt Film Of Loss And Longing

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 10, 2013 6:37 PM
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  • 2 Comments
To The Wonder, Ben Affleck Rachel McAdams
For a man not known for being prolific, an eighteen-month gap between Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” (the filmmaker’s first film in five years) and his latest “To the Wonder” (which premiered at the Venice Film Festival last summer) isn’t just unprecedented, it’s positively mind-boggling, especially given the director is now in the midst of a pair of films, “Knight of Cups” and a still untitled effort set against the music scene.

Review: Tom Cruise Vehicle 'Oblivion' Is A Mostly Involving, Visually Spectacular Sci-Fi Epic

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 10, 2013 12:31 PM
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  • 21 Comments
Tom Cruise, Oblivion
Only a few years ago, big sci-fi action spectacles were confined pretty much to the summer months. But now, the season has crept out to the extent that it essentially lasts from the middle of February (see the release of "A Good Day To Die Hard" this year) to... pretty much the rest of the year, with barely a few weeks going by without a major tent-pole arriving. Even the once-barren month of April isn't safe anymore, with the arrival of "Oblivion," an expensive, visually lavish sci-fi picture top-lined by megastar Tom Cruise.

Review: '42' Admirably & Carefully Weaves Together The History Of Baseball & Civil Rights

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • April 10, 2013 10:04 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Destiny swings a big stick in Brian Helgeland's "42." It underlines every pivotal moment of Jackie Robinson's career captured in the two hour film, often working as baggage keeping the film earthbound, at times making it unnecessarily weighty. It's also probably the major reason why a number of mainstream critics will wag a finger at this unapologetic, old-fashioned hero yarn seemingly stitched from the similarly modest DNA of 1950's "The Jackie Robinson Story." What seems like a high fidelity to history is actually an acknowledgement and deep respect, the kind most modern filmmakers and viewers would likely find alien.

Review: Brandon Does David Proud, 'Antiviral' A Classic Cronenberg Freak Fest

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 9, 2013 6:21 PM
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  • 1 Comment
There is no doubt that no matter what Brandon Cronenberg decided to make as his first movie, the shadow of his father would loom large. So whether it just runs in the family, or if it was a calculated decision to do something audiences would expect from the Cronenberg mantle, full credit to Brandon for taking body horror to the next level with "Antiviral." While hardly perfect, it delivers the freak fest that fans of David have been missing for the past few years while establishing Brandon as a filmmaker with a bright future.

Review: Ken Loach's 'The Angels' Share' Is Slight, Sitcom-y & Suspense-Free

  • By Simon Abrams
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  • April 9, 2013 5:24 PM
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  • 3 Comments
The working class are a little funny in “The Angels’ Share,” English director Ken Loach’s new bluecollar comedy. “The Angels’ Share” is Loach’s (“Kes”) premiered at Cannes last year after his “The Wind That Shakes the Barley” won the 2006 Palme d’Or and both "Route Irish" and "Looking for Eric" played in competition in 2010 and 2009, respectively. Tonally, Loach’s latest is more of a piece with “Looking for Eric” than “Sweet Sixteen,” though all three films concern young people looking for a way to find a loophole and rise above their lousy social stations in life.

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