Film

March 23, 2015

★★★½ Chappie is the story of the first ever sentient robot created in a weapons factory in South Africa. It follows engineer Dion (Dev Patel) as he creates Chappie, the Artificial Intelligence (AI), and then attempts to raise the robot. However, his progress is impeded by his envious colleague Vincent (Hugh Jackman) and Johannesburg gangsters […]

March 15, 2015

★★★★ “God is a ruthless bitch.”—Cheryl Strayed Of all the comments Strayed (Reese Witherspoon) leaves in the register books that mark her journey along California’s Pacific Crest Trail, this is the only original one. The rest are apt but ever-so-slightly twee remarks that span pretty much everyone from Shakespeare to Joni Mitchell. Strayed’s own comment […]

March 8, 2015

★★½ Although I don’t altogether understand the phenomenon of Bennysnickers Scoopypants, I’ll be the first to admit that the fellow can act. Case in point: his portrayal of Alan Turing—mathematician, cryptanalyst, all-round genius and undercover hero—in The Imitation Game. Cumberbatch’s acting is, in fact, the highlight of the film, which otherwise seems to suffer from […]

March 8, 2015

★★★★ Black screen. The drum beat starts, so slowly that you aren’t even sure you’re hearing a beat. The tempo builds as the beat gets stronger, faster, louder, with earnest. As it reaches a climax, the tempo cuts to a young man, resetting his drum kit to start the beat again. As the camera tracks […]

March 1, 2015

★★★★★ Selma comes to the awards season a year after Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave won the Academy award for Best Picture. Both are violent and beautiful films concerned with significant parts of American history: slavery in the mid 1800s and the fight for Black Americans to be able to vote unencumbered that led […]

March 1, 2015

★★½ There is a lot of debate raging recently about the role of military movies in our modern world. Are they propaganda? Or are they a tribute to the men and women who have risked their lives for their country? The film to spark this debate was Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper, the true story of […]

March 1, 2015

The ballots are closed and the results are in: the winner of the Oscars, for the 87th consecutive year, was the advertising industry. Despite a slight downturn from last year’s numbers, The Oscars’ televised live ceremony drew in a crowd of 37 million legal American viewers and no doubt plenty more illegal ones, myself amongst […]

February 22, 2015

★★★½ As great as the new Bond films are, it’s hard not to pine for the golden age of the spy thriller. A time when logical plot and motivation were second to a rollicking good time, and punchy one-liners and repartee reigned supreme. Matthew Vaughn’s newest action flick Kingsman: The Secret Service understands what made […]

February 22, 2015

★★½ It is impossible to review the film adaptation of E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey without reference to its position in culture. Like Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code and Stephanie Myer’s Twilight, a literary phenomenon is quickly hammered into a film while the public interest in the text remains, resulting in a perfunctory […]