Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

The Playlist

Review: 'Room 237' An Outstanding, Fascinating & Funny Exploration & Celebration Of 'The Shining'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • March 28, 2013 7:00 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Is "The Shining" just a horror movie about a guy who goes berserk in a hotel, or is it subversively about the history of American genocide? Why did Stanley Kubrick use cans of Calumet and Tang in the hotel's storeroom? Were these just random products, or were they each chosen and framed in the camera with a specific intent? And what's the deal with the Bill Watson? If you think you know "The Shining," guess again, as Rodney Ascher's outstanding "Room 237" goes down the rabbit hole of the meanings and interpretations of the horror classic, from the plausible to the outlandish.

Review: Quentin Dupieux's Latest Is More Enjoyably Weird Than 'Wrong'

  • By Kimber Myers
  • |
  • March 28, 2013 5:56 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Quentin Dupieux directs like David Lynch. On mushrooms. With a head injury. After reading a lot of Haruki Murakami. We promise we mean this in the best way possible, to both Dupieux and those struggling with traumatic brain injury. There are elements of the surrealist auteur's work in the off-kilter comedy "Wrong," from the sometimes dissonant, creepy score to the juxtaposition of the the mundane and the truly odd. But comparisons to the "Lost Highway" director aside, Dupieux is a filmmaker all his own whose mind clearly works in ways that most others' can't or won't. He embraces the weird with such glee and abandon, that it's hard not to shrug your shoulders, smile and join the group hug.

Review: 'The Host' Is A Dopey & Dull Sci-Fi Disaster

  • By Drew Taylor
  • |
  • March 28, 2013 3:21 PM
  • |
  • 20 Comments
Last fall saw the end of what appeared, for a little while at least, to be a seemingly endless series of "Twilight" films. The moony film series, based on a series of equally moony novels by Mormon housewife Stephenie Meyer, were torturously lengthy, poorly plotted trifles, the stuff of dime-store romance novels and late-night horror movies (although infused with questionable gender politics and bizarre mythology for all the monsters that simply chose to ignore or eschew their Judeo-Christian background or iconography, leaving them as little more than metaphorically empty mopes). They also made what leading economists describe as a "shit ton" of money.

Review: 'The Place Beyond The Pines' A Searing Tale Of Fathers, Sons & The Legacy Of Sins

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • March 28, 2013 11:50 AM
  • |
  • 16 Comments
Of all the films that premiered at TIFF last year, few arrived under such an air of mystery as Derek Cianfrance's "The Place Beyond The Pines." With only a couple of official images, but no posters or trailers, the tone and scope of the movie remained under wraps prior to its screening. Following "Blue Valentine," would the film be a similarly intimate and narrowly focused story or something completely different? The answer is that "The Place Beyond The Pines" is an ambitious epic that is cut from some of the same thematic tissue as Cianfrance's previous film, but expands the scope into a wondrously widescreen tale of fathers, sons and the legacy of sins that are passed down through the generations.

Review: 'White Elephant' Is A Predictable, But Well-Acted & Worthy Study Of The Buenos Aires Slums

  • By Christopher Schobert
  • |
  • March 27, 2013 7:56 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Pablo Trapero’s “White Elephant” is a smartly acted, beautifully scored, often bracingly directed film of good intentions and big ambition. Yet it can only be called a modest success, and, in light of how strong some of its individual elements are, even a slight disappointment. Word from Cannes, where the film premiered last May, was that writer/director Trapero’s study of two Catholic priests working in the slums of Buenos Aires never quite connects, and was probably the least successful of the Latin American films on display at the film festival. (It was no “No,” apparently.) That buzz was accurate, but that doesn’t make “White Elephant” without value. It just means Trapero stopped at second following a base hit that should have led to an easy triple.

Review: 'Mental' With Toni Collette Is A Watchable Farce That Could Do With Going A Bit More Nuts

  • By Jessica Kiang
  • |
  • March 27, 2013 7:43 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
“Mental” marks director P.J. Hogan’s (“My Best Friend’s Wedding,” “Confessions of a Shopaholic”) reunion with his “Muriel’s Wedding” star Toni Collette. The intervening years may have made them both older, but not necessarily wiser, as “Mental” seems content to rework the “Muriel’s Wedding” formula but with greater resources, like a now-established star and a supporting cast of notable Aussie actors (many of whom we had kind of forgotten were Australian) at its disposal. Both films take small-town Australia as their settings, both feature female characters marked by unpopularity and social inadequacy, and both are inspired by, and constantly reference, particular kitschy elements of pop culture -- ‘Muriel’ had Abba, "Mental" has “The Sound of Music.”

Review: 'G.I. Joe: Retaliation' Is No Masterpiece, But Popcorn Entertainment That Redeems The Series Somewhat

  • By Todd Gilchrist
  • |
  • March 27, 2013 12:56 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
Channing Tatum and Dwayne Johnson in G.I. Joe: Retaliation
It’s tough to say if I would be as generous with my praise of “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” if I weren’t such a big fan of its director, Jon M. Chu, but given the mechanical one-dimensionality of most big-budget franchise films, the sequel earns its critical bona fides simply by being made by a director who has sincere affection for the source material. Although its delay from the summer of 2012 to spring 2013 spawned rumors of a troubled production, extensive reshoots, and a last-minute effort to squeeze the now-hot Channing Tatum into more scenes, Chu’s follow-up is remarkably cohesive – a fun, sweeping and yet understated sequel that should whet the appetites of action fans without overdosing them on pop confectionaries before the summer buffet truly starts.

Review: 'Dorfman In Love' A Painful Comedy Not Worth Falling For

  • By Gabe Toro
  • |
  • March 22, 2013 12:31 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Though it seems unlikely, someone this weekend is going to be dragged to see “Dorfman In Love.” Forget about the film for a second: who is this person, and what have they done to deserve this? Is he or she bad? Isn’t there a cheaper way to dole out punishment then paying arthouse ticket prices for a movie that doesn’t even deliver on its basic premise at even a sitcom level? Why does the world hate this person? Do they owe thousands in back taxes? Did they accidentally back their car up and murder someone? Are they a Kardashian?
More: Review

Review: Chris O'Dowd Shines In The Otherwise Uneven 'The Sapphires'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • March 22, 2013 11:33 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Among the The Weinstein Company's acquisitions prior to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival was the largely unknown (until it was bought) Aussie musical/drama/comedy effort "The Sapphires." It's certainly easy to see why this easy-to-digest, feel-good movie earned their attention. With a slate last year that included "Lawless," "Django Unchained," "The Master" and "Killing Them Softly" they probably thought they could use a film that's guaranteed to have broad appeal, and that's something the first-time feature film from director Wayne Blair carries in spades. And it's largely thanks to the winning charm of unlikely leading man Chris O'Dowd.

Review: 'My Brother The Devil' A Fresh & Exciting Take On The Familiar Urban Crime Drama

  • By Joe Cunningham
  • |
  • March 21, 2013 7:56 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
British urban drama is fast becoming a crowded genre. It seems that every couple of months there’s a movie released depicting issues of drug abuse, violence and poverty in the council estates of one of London’s many recession hit suburbs. Well, in UK cinemas that is. Not many make it out of the country, and in fairness probably few deserve to. But Sally El Hosaini’s debut feature has managed that feat, and with good reason, as it’s one of the better examples of the genre.
More: Review

Email Updates

Recent Comments