Perhaps it was inevitable that the 2010 box-office success of Alice in Wonderland would yield a follow-up, but Alice Through the Looking Glass is really more of a remake than a sequel. Despite technically working from different source material — Lewis Carroll wrote two Alice books in the early 19th century — the hollow new […]Read More
There are worse fates than being single for the rest of your life.
You could be single for the rest of your life after being unwillingly transformed, not by Kafkaesque metamorphosis but by the sharp and sterile tools of surgery, into the animal of your choice. Most choose dogs, but you could opt for the lobster, whose positive attributes include longevity and blue blood — very aristocratic.
That’s the delightfully surreal premise of The Lobster, as original as anything you’re likely to see at the movies this year.Read More
Whit Stillman might have been Jane Austen in a past life. Or at least, if he lived 200 years ago, the two would have surely been friends. Perhaps that’s why Love and Friendship — a period piece based on an Austen comedy of romantic scheming among British aristocrats in the early 18th century — felt […]Read More
During the opening titles, The Nice Guys tells us that it’s set in Los Angeles in 1977, but such information is superfluous when every frame of this violent action-comedy is overflowing with period nostalgia. From wild hair and wardrobe choices, to vintage cars, to once-trendy landmarks, the film captures its setting with considerable flair. That […]Read More
The fifth edition of the Oak Cliff Film Festival will feature the Texas premieres of 14 feature films, along with screenings of a handful of classics (Terrence Malick’s Badlands among them) and performances by national bands, most notably the transcendentally noisy New York act A Place To Bury Strangers. The festival revealed its full lineup and schedule today, filling in […]Read More
A trailer released this morning gives us our first look at director Ang Lee’s adaptation of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, the acclaimed novel by Dallas author Ben Fountain.
Newcomer Joe Alwyn stars as Billy Lynn, a young soldier whose squad, after surviving a heated firefight in Iraq, is taken on a stateside propaganda tour, including a pit stop at the Cowboys’ stadium for the Thanksgiving Day game. Kristen Stewart is Lynn’s sister, while Vin Diesel and Garrett Hedlund play some of his fellow soldiers. Chris Tucker is a Hollywood producer trying to turn their wartime heroics into a movie. Steve Martin plays Cowboys owner Norm Oglesby, a more villainous version of Jerry Jones.Read More
There’s an unintentional similarity between the thriller Money Monster and the greedy Wall Street executives it seeks to satirize — both will gladly take your money while offering little payoff. Indeed, there’s not much incentive for either monetary or emotional investment in this working-class revenge saga that wraps a critique of the contemporary financial system […]Read More
High-Rise opens with a near-feral Tom Hiddleston spit roasting a dog’s paw in the ruined innards of an apartment building, a savage statement of intent and a warning shot for the considerable mayhem to come.
English director Ben Wheatley (A Field in England) goes to stylistic and narrative extremes in adapting the 1975 novel by the transgressive science fiction soothsayer J.G. Ballard. The book’s satirical elements don’t always make the smoothest translation to the screen, but Wheatley brings his own ferocious vision to Ballard’s parable of a society tearing itself apart.Read More
Any movie that begins by declaring its aim to tell the true story of “the most romantic figure in the recent history of mathematics” has set for itself one hell of a challenge.
In The Man Who Knew Infinity we hear many declarations about the inherent truth and beauty to be found in advanced equations — even that all the numbers, letters, and symbols we see scrawled on chalkboards and scraps of paper reveal the “thoughts of God.” Writer-director Matt Brown wants us to be inspired by the obsessive, passionate genius for math displayed by Ramanujan (Dev Patel), but he never finds a way to cinematically communicate what made this man’s ideas so special. We get to see smart people reacting as if they are, and that’s supposed to be good enough.Read More
We’ve seen instances of parents frustrated that their adult children refuse to grow up. But The Family Fang offers a role reversal. This offbeat dysfunctional family saga sidesteps clichés with its tale of adult children trying to escape the past — specifically, a family legacy of practical jokes that straddled the line between performance art […]Read More