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Mon Mon Monsters Review photo

NYAFF Capsule Review: Mon Mon Mon Monsters

Giddens Ko’s You Are the Apple of My Eye remains one of the best films I’ve seen at the New York Asian Film Festival. Café. Waiting. Love, which he wrote but did not direct, is another film I enjoyed immensely. So when I ...

 
 
NYAFF 2017 photo

The 2017 New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF) starts today

It's that time of year again. One of the best film festivals in the city is about to get underway. The New York Asian Film Festival kicks off tonight at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. The annual showcase of Asian cinema runs from June ...

 
 
Review: The B-Side photo

Review: The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman's Portrait Photography

The B-Side is an atypical Errol Morris documentary. He doesn't use the Interrotron at all, his tool that allows interviewees to stare directly into the camera. Instead, the camera's just off to the side. The score is delicate rather than a ...

 
 
Review: Abacus photo

Review: Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

Steve James may be incapable of directing a bad documentary. His films includes Hoop Dreams, The Interrupters, and Life Itself. With Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, James continues his record as one of America's most reliable non-fiction...

 
 
Review: The Circle photo

Review: The Circle

The Circle is the paranoid techno-dystopian thriller of 2006 released in 2017 and based on a Dave Eggers novel published in 2013. The film's concerns about technology and social media are so dated and quaint, like the stuff an older relativ...

 
 
Review: Gilbert photo

Tribeca Capsule Review: Gilbert

Before sitting down to watch Gilbert, I was afraid the documentary would take away from Gilbert Gottfried's mystique. I always loved his impersonations and appearances on Howard Stern, and his dirty jokes have such craft behind them, elevat...

 
 
Review: Shadowman photo

Tribeca Capsule Review: Shadowman

There's a familiar narrative about the self-destructive artist, or maybe it's one that we want to see borne out in real life and in narratives about artists as characters. The brilliant artist is ignored but persists in their craft, achieve...

 
 
 
Review: Mr. Long photo

Tribeca Capsule Review: Mr. Long

Juzo Itami's Tampopo was a quirky blend of western tropes and epicurean delight. SABU's Mr. Long is sort of like a nihilistic Tampopo. We follow a skilled assassin from Taiwan named Long (a brooding Chen Chang) who gets waylaid after a botc...

 
 
Review: The Reagan Show photo

Tribeca Capsule Review: The Reagan Show

Given how the Republican Party speaks of Ronald Reagan, he feels more like some cowboy legend than an American president. This speaks to Reagan's image consciousness as a politician, with a carefully cultivated persona that fed into the ide...

 
 
The Departure review photo

Tribeca Capsule Review: The Departure

Almost everyone could benefit from a little bit of therapy, especially therapists themselves. I often wonder what sorts of anxieties therapists have to deal with after they've finished dealing with clients for the day. Empathy and patience ...

 
 
Abundant Acreage photo

Tribeca Capsule Review: Abundant Acreage Available

Like so many other underrated actresses, Amy Ryan is always good in whatever she's in. She's also so versatile when she's on screen, able to excel in oddball comedy as well as subtle character dramas. In Angus MacLachlan's Abundant Acreage ...

 
 
Review: Flames photo

Tribeca Capsule Review: Flames

Flames offers an intriguing premise. Part documentary and part art movie, co-directors Josephine Decker and Zefrey Throwell document their relationship as it falls apart. We start with the two of them in the best part of any relationship, w...

 
 
Entire High School review photo

Review: My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea

There are so many possibilities in My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea, the directorial debut of indie comics artist Dash Shaw. There's the image of an entire high school building adrift on the ocean and sinking. Think Lord of the Fl...

 
 
Review: Your Name photo

Review: Your Name

Makoto Shinkai's Your Name is the highest-grossing anime film of all-time, and it hasn't even come out in the United States yet. It beat Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away; give it a few more months and Your Name may beat Spirited Away as the h...

 
 
My Scientology Movie photo

Review: My Scientology Movie

Louis Theroux won me over many years ago with the show Weird Weekends. In each episode, Theroux embedded himself in a subculture and use his extreme mild-mannered niceness to disarm his subjects. He'd hang out with porn stars, demolition dr...

 
 
Review: We Are the Flesh photo

Review: We Are the Flesh

Reviewing We Are the Flesh from writer/director Emiliano Rocha Minter is tricky. On the one hand, it's a deeply flawed film aimed at a limited audience. It's transgressive in the extreme, sexually explicit bordering on pornographic, nonsens...

 
 
NYFF Review: Toni Erdmann photo

Review: Toni Erdmann

There's no way Toni Erdmann could ever live up to its hype. Reviews from Cannes and the Toronto International Film Festival touted the German film as a 162-minute screwball comedy masterpiece, packed with high emotional stakes and major lau...

 
 
Review: I, Daniel Blake photo

Review: I, Daniel Blake

Bureaucracies make great villains. Faceless and absurd, they operate in such nefarious ways and are perfect machines for dehumanization. Bureaucracies are reliably inefficient, needlessly hierarchical, ruthlessly procedure-obsessed, and alw...

 
 
Review: Evolution photo

Review: Evolution

There's so much going for Lucile Hadzihalilovic's Evolution, a film expertly lensed from the deliberate first shot: looking up to the sky from underwater. From beneath, the ripples and waves on the ocean surface produce undulating shadows, ...

 
 
Manchester by the Sea photo

Review: Manchester by the Sea

Watching Manchester by the Sea, I was reminded of two lines from the musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch: "I cry, because I will laugh if I don't" and "I laugh, because I will cry if I don't". Kenneth Lonergan's latest film is filled with con...

 
 
Review: The 13th photo

DOC NYC Review: 13TH

13TH feels like a culmination of Ava DuVernay's career to this point. The documentary brings together the racial and social history of Selma, her years of work as a documentarian, her stint as a journalist, and even her undergraduate degree...

 
 
Review: Elle photo

Review: Elle

Elle has been billed as a rape-comedy, but that's a misnomer. It's a comedy in the classical sense given the events of the story, but it's not necessarily funny (there are funny scenes, though). And yes, it's about rape. Elle has been laude...

 
 
Review: Weiner photo

DOC NYC Review: Weiner

Weiner is an appropriate film to review on Election Day, and not just because it's one of the best political documentaries of the last 10 years. Former Congressman Anthony Weiner potentially put the 2016 election in jeopardy last week. Whil...

 
 
Peter and the Farm Review photo

Review: Peter and the Farm

The first thing I noticed about Peter Dunning, the subject of the documentary Peter and the Farm, was his injured hand. It's gnarled and he's missing fingers, and at 68 years old he's managed to function with just a thumb and two digits as ...

 
 
Review: Gimme Danger photo

Review: Gimme Danger

Iggy Pop and Jim Jarmusch sound like an unlikely pairing. One's the primal frontman of proto-punk legends The Stooges, the other's a mellow, measured indie auteur. But maybe there's something magnetic about their respective brands of Midwes...

 
 
Moonlight Review photo

Review: Moonlight

I don't want to (and am not going to) make this review about the fact that Moonlight is a film about African Americans. It's not a topic I can avoid, but I want to get as much of that as I can out of the way in this intro. So... here goes: ...

 
 
Review: Fire at Sea photo

Review: Fire at Sea

Sometimes I'll see a movie and that makes me shake my head and say, "Okay, yeah, I get it". These sorts of movies are ones that I can understand at a formal, metaphorical, or thematic level, and yet even though I understand the choice that ...

 
 
The Master Cleanse Review photo

BHFF Review: The Master Cleanse

I'm curious how they're going to market The Master Cleanse. I went into the film knowing very little about it, and many of my favorite parts involve its little surprises. I hope those surprises aren't spoiled in the trailer. There's an olde...

 
 
Review: Child Eater photo

BHFF Review: Child Eater

Creating a new face of horror is difficult. For every Jason, Freddy, and Michael Myers, there are countless forgettable imitators. These lower-tier boogeymen may look good, and their mythology may have promise, but they never haunt the imag...

 
 
Review: Under the Shadow photo

Review: Under the Shadow

Some of the most notable indie horror movies of the last few years have been by women or about women. For example, see Jennifer Kent's The Babadook, David Robert Mitchell's It Follows, and Robert Eggers' The Witch. Each of these films ...

 
 
 
 
The Mermaid Review photo

NYAFF Capsule Review: The Mermaid

It's always fascinating to me to see blockbusters from other countries. The Mermaid is the highest grossing Chinese film of all time; that's a big flipping deal. Apparently the lead actress was chosen out of literally 100,000 people who aud...

 
 
Review: Equals photo

Review: Equals

Any society that appears outwardly utopian is really just a nicely packaged dystopia. The orgiastic bacchanal of Logan's Run was really just an ugly form of institutionalized ignorance and population control. Gattaca was a stylish eugenics ...

 
 
Maverick Review photo

NYAFF Capsule Review: Maverick

When you think of "Asian cop movie about systemic corruption" you likely get a very specific image in your head: fast-paced, action-packed thrill rides that keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. That's not totally fair, pa...

 
 
Twisted Justice Review photo

NYAFF Capsule Review: Twisted Justice

It's fascinating to watch a film about the police searching for criminal guns while living in a country where the ubiquity of guns is a constant national conversation. It's something I think about a lot while watching foreign films, really:...

 
 
Seoul Station photo

NYAFF Capsule Review: Seoul Station

At NYAFF 2012, I saw a movie called The King of Pigs. I wanted to like it, but I couldn't get over the atrociously bad translation. It ruined what should have been a very serious dramatic animated film. Seoul Station is also a very ser...

 
 
 
Review: High Rise photo

Review: High-Rise

High-Rise is a bit all over the place, and it's a bit of a mess, but it also seems to be that way by design--a sort of warped architecture. I'd gone in sort of expecting a vertical version of Bong Joon-Ho's Snowpiercer, but it's not that at...

 
 




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Kingsman: The Golden Circle"Closer to silver"

 

Preacher (Season 2)"Adapting the unadaptable"

 

Mother!"Mother of god this is pretentious"

 

American Assassin"American Ass"

 

It"Stephen King's scariest adaptation to date"

 

Good Time"Robert Pattinson: Vampire, no more"

 

Logan Lucky"No relation to Wolverine"

 

The Defenders (Season 1)"Masters of karate and friendship "

 

The Hitman's Bodyguard"I won't always love you"

 

Detroit"History, but not really"

 

The Dark Tower"The elevator pitch of an epic"

 

Atomic Blonde"Charlize Theron can fight"

 

The Emoji Movie"To live is to suffer"

 

Dunkirk"Take a bow, Mr. Nolan, and cue the appla"

 

NYAFF Capsule Mrs. K"Who, What, When, Where, and Mostly Why?"

 

Endless Poetry"A portrait of Jodorowsky as a young poet"

 

Castlevania (Season1)"That's four! Four episodes! Ha-ha-ha! "

 

The Little Hours"I lost two of them."

 
 
 
 
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