Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

The Playlist

Review: 'The Purge: Anarchy' Starring Frank Grillo

  • By Gabe Toro
  • |
  • July 17, 2014 9:03 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
The Purge: Anarchy
It doesn't take a thinking person more than ten seconds to poke holes in the premise of “The Purge." It also doesn't take one to see the seductive hook of the material: Americans acting upon some sort of birthright to behave like animals, to let loose the chains of propriety and savagely end each other. “The Purge: Anarchy” takes place in 2023, and the surprise isn't that the American dream has become, “Fend for yourself, leave others behind.” No, the surprise is in why this sentiment necessitates the film taking place nine years in the future.

Review: 'Sex Tape' Starring Cameron Diaz And Jason Segel

  • By Drew Taylor
  • |
  • July 16, 2014 2:56 PM
  • |
  • 2 Comments
Sex Tape
As far as weird on-screen sexual scenarios go, Cameron Diaz has had her fair share. After all, she is the only actress in the history of the medium to have styled her hair with male ejaculate ("There's Something About Mary"), been involved in some kind of weird old timey abortion ("Gangs of New York") and, well, f*cked a car ("The Counselor"). So it's not much of a surprise that she'd be involved in a movie like "Sex Tape," a ribald comedy about a suburban couple (Jason Segel as her husband) who make a homemade porno and then promptly lose it -- leading to a madcap scramble to retrieve the video, maintain their privacy, and continue a life of relative upper middle class normalcy. What is surprising, however, is how bland "Sex Tape" is. On the scale of on-screen Cameron Diaz sexual outrageousness, it's pretty tepid.

Review: Mike Cahill's 'I Origins' Starring Michael Pitt & Brit Marling

  • By Rodrigo Perez
  • |
  • July 16, 2014 12:10 PM
  • |
  • 4 Comments
I Origins
2011, the year of actress Brit Marling, also introduced the world of cinema to two promising filmmakers: “The Sound Of My Voice” director Zal Batmanglij and “Another Earth” filmmaker Mike Cahill. Marling starred and co-wrote both heady and high concept indie efforts and her rocket soon took off. Fox Searchlight picked up both films and Batmanglij was soon making his intriguing follow-up “The East.” Skeptics were a little less convinced about “Another Earth,” which featured an admittedly excellent concept but was sometimes limited by its budget and presentation in execution. However, those that sensed great promise should be thrilled to see it fulfilled in “I Origins,” Cahill’s powerful follow-up.

Review: 'Heatstroke' Starring Stephen Dorff And Maisie Williams

  • By Gabe Toro
  • |
  • July 15, 2014 7:00 PM
  • |
  • 2 Comments
Heatstroke
The sun bears down on the characters in “Heatstroke," a new suspense thriller set in the African desert. At first it feels like an inspired location, a way to provide color to a familiar hide-and-seek chase actioner. But as the film goes on, the sun almost seems as if it's burning its own location, bearing down on its characters as a constant, unspoken judge. It's the sun who is going to reveal a hiding space, the sun who is going to keep water out of reach. It's the sun that will provide constant reminder of regret for the mistakes characters make.

Karlovy Vary Review: Multiple Venice Winner ‘Still Life’ Starring Eddie Marsan

  • By Jessica Kiang
  • |
  • July 14, 2014 6:29 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Still Life
Not wishing to start off on a total downer, let us say that for much of its running time, “Still Life” is just about bearable. Now that’s partly because, catching up with the four-time Venice award-winner [drops to knees, bellows “Why?” at the heavens] at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, we had started off well-disposed toward it. Not only did the Uberto Pasolini film (not to be confused with the 2006 Jia Zhang-ke film of the same name which also won at Venice) trail those laurels, but lead Eddie Marsan had just picked up Best Actor in a British Film in Edinburgh, and anyway, Marsan is one of our very favorite character actors, so the chance to see him take on such an inarguably central role was enticing. But only too soon the film wore our goodwill down to a tiny nub, with maudlin moment piling on mawkish turn, drenched in a minor-key Rachel Portman score so twee and sentimentalized that the obvious comparison would be an insult to syrup.

Karlovy Vary Review: Concert Movie ‘Björk: Biophilia Live’

  • By Jessica Kiang
  • |
  • July 14, 2014 12:01 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Bjork: Biophilia Live
For better or worse, we do approach any new project from impish Icelandic enchantress Björk with an expectation of weird. And it’s an expectation that her Biophilia album and concert tour, of which this film is a record, clearly delivered on. Prologued by a David Attenborough voiceover, it's really an exhilarating, sometimes mystifying extended riff on one major theme: we are on the brink of a revolution that exists at the creative nexus of nature, music and technology.

Recap: ‘The Leftovers,’ Season 1, Episode 3, ‘Two Boats And A Helicopter’

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • July 13, 2014 11:00 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
The Leftovers
With just two episodes so far, Damon Lindelof’s “The Leftovers” has already laid out a strong handful of mysteries, the central one being what exactly happened on October 14th that caused 2% of the world’s population to vanish. But as Lindelof has been stressing since even the show first aired, that instigating event is not the hook of the series. “If that’s why you’re watching the show, don’t watch the show,” Lindelof recently said. And as I’ve stressed over the past two recaps, “The Leftovers” is about the characters and consequences, and no better is this exemplified than in this week’s “Two Boats And A Helicopter,” which rewardingly breaks the format.

Karlovy Vary Review: Beautiful, Atmospheric Debut ‘Violent’ From Canadian Musician Andrew Huculiak

  • By Jessica Kiang
  • |
  • July 11, 2014 12:01 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Violent
On the surface, there’s no real reason why “Violent,” the debut feature film from Canadian director Andrew Huculiak, should be set so specifically in Norway, and be led by a Norwegian actress whose dialogue and voiced-over thoughts are also in Norwegian. But as the film draws you in, or rather quietly casts its heady spell of sound and atmosphere around you, that eccentric choice begins to make a compelling kind of sense. Not only does Huculiak’s outsider’s eye give rise to some extraordinary cinematography (via DP, editor and co-writer Joseph Schweers), of Norway’s countryside, towns and cities, but thematically too it feels like, standing at this deliberate remove, the filmmakers can more easily shift between subjective, intimate moments and the broader, ontological themes they illustrate.

Review: 'Rage' Starring Nicolas Cage, Peter Stormare & Danny Glover

  • By Nikola Grozdanovic
  • |
  • July 11, 2014 11:05 AM
  • |
  • 3 Comments
Rage
If, for whatever reason, you find yourself in an argument with someone who is desperately trying to convince you that Nicolas Cage has returned to form with his brilliant performance in David Gordon Green’s “Joe," you’ll be able to shut them up thanks to Paco Cabezas. They can bring up all sorts of scenes as valid evidence of Cage’s buried talents, unearthed by his performance as Green’s titular protagonist, but you’ll only need one word for a comeback and it will be checkmate—“Rage."

Review: Ron Howard's Concert Documentary 'Made In America' Featuring Jay Z

  • By Drew Taylor
  • |
  • July 11, 2014 10:02 AM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
Made In America
The Made in America Festival is a two-day music festival that began in 2012 in Philadelphia and the visionary behind it is Jay Z, the rapper and entrepreneur who was, at least back then, in the process of stretching his multimedia empire far beyond rap albums. Instead of selling out arenas, he was buying them. And Made in America seemed like the perfect example of the kind of things Jay Z was now attempting; the hip hop equivalent of diversifying your portfolio. But there was also something deeply personal about the Made in America Festival, and the metaphoric component of the project's inception is explored artfully in Ron Howard's gripping new documentary entitled, appropriately enough, "Made in America."

Email Updates

Recent Comments