Movie review: ‘Interstellar’


It has always been director Christopher Nolan’s gift to take cinematic ideas with widespread commercial appeal and infuse them with his idiosyncratic vision. As evidenced by his “Dark Knight” trilogy, and the dream caper “Inception,” his films are bombastic and intimate, products and poetry. His latest film is no different. A space-travel, sci-fi epic about humankind’s search for a habitable planet to replace a dying Earth, “Interstellar” is the best kind of blockbuster: it offers sights, sounds and some feeling too.

Continue reading

Movie review: ‘A Walk Among The Tombstones’


Matt Scudder used to begin his days with two shots of whiskey and a cup of coffee.

That character trait tips the audience off early about what kind of movie “A Walk Among The Tombstones” is not: a modern thriller, more obsessed with moving the plot along than interrogating human nature.

Not that there’s anything particularly enlightening about “Tombstones,” writer/director Scott Frank’s stylish ode to hardboiled detective fiction, but the film’s charismatic lead and deliberate pacing at least provide a world—albeit an unfriendly one—to inhabit.

Continue reading

Highbrow, Lowbrow, Unibrow: A movie review of ‘Only Lovers Left Alive,’ in which vampires are snobs

only lovers

Despite box office revenue of immortal proportions, it’s fair to say that when the last entry in the “The Twilight Saga” came and went, the moviegoing masses had finally had enough of vampire tales. The metaphorically rich subject — forgive me for a moment — had apparently bled dry.

But creative droughts don’t last forever, unlike the appeal of the bloodsucker. So genre fatigue should not keep anyone — again, I’m sorry — from sinking their teeth into “Only Lovers Left Alive,” writer/director Jim Jarmusch’s exquisitely slow and sardonic take on eternal creatures of the night. The lovers here are Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton), two vamps stuck in a 21st-century funk.

Continue reading

Movie Review: The ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ should have stayed in the sewers


Surely, it’s self-evident that a film featuring butt-kicking humanoid turtles has an obligation only to entertain, and nothing more. I would never expect a movie titled “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” to inspire or move me in any fundamental, permanent way. To be fair, a gifted filmmaker could one day come along and harness the as-yet-undiscovered allegorical potential of the franchise, but until that happens, I will settle for something merely cool.

Continue reading