Cat People

Cat People Turns 75 – Celebrating the Legacy of Val Lewton

Last year filmmakers, film historians, film critics and hardcore cinephiles across the world celebrated the 75th Diamond Anniversary of the film the American Film Institute calls the “greatest motion picture ever made”: Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane (1941). Lead actor, director, co-writer and co-producer Welles brought the film to life when he was only in his…

By Jeffrey DeCristofaro
Downsizing

Review: ‘Downsizing’ Goes Big with Ideas But Stays Small in Execution

Alexander Payne’s 2017 science-fiction picture Downsizing is so cleverly conceived you might forget how poorly made it is. Undoubtedly, it’s not a horrible movie. In fact, it’s quite watchable, though it drags at certain points and has its share of frustrating moments. The problem is that it should have been better, given the talent behind…

By Simon Hardy Butler
In the Fade - European Union Film Showcase

American Film Institute: 2018 European Union Film Showcase

The American Film Institute’s Silver Theatre held the 30th edition of its European Union Film Showcase this December. Always a highlight, the 2017 Showcase screened 44 new movies from the 28 EU member nations. Here is a brief recap of this year’s Showcase. THE SUBLIME The Workshop (Laurent Cantet, France) On Body and Soul (Ildiko…

By Jonathan Eig
The Disaster Artist

The Disaster Artist is a true gift for fans of The Room

I’ve rarely seen an audience respond to a film as raucously as I did at a recent preview screening of James Franco’s new film, The Disaster Artist. And it’s hard to blame them. This comedic account of the making of The Room by Tommy Wiseau, the most celebrated bad film to grace the silver screen…

By James Curnow
Dirty Harry

Siding with ‘Dirty Harry’ on the Use of Violence in Movies

Think anyone in the history of movie-watching ever felt sorry for serial killer “Scorpio” in the 1971 Don Siegel policier Dirty Harry? What, no one at all? Not even when Clint Eastwood’s Inspector Harry Callahan tortures the guy by stepping on his injured leg after shooting him on a football field? Or when he stabs…

By Simon Hardy Butler
Blade Runner

Nudity, ‘Blade Runner 2049’ and the Hollywood Gaze

The biggest problem with Denis Villeneuve’s misfire of a sci-fi sequel Blade Runner 2049 (2017) is not its sizeable length. Nor is it the fact that the music at the climax misguidedly referenced Vangelis’ wistful primary theme from Ridley Scott’s original 1982 film Blade Runner—a melody that calls attention to the fact that Hans Zimmer…

By Simon Hardy Butler
Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok – The God of Thunder Trades Hammer for Humor

2017: a year in which a movie about The Goddess of Death is the gut-busting comedy of the year. Irony has rarely been penned so beautifully, and so surprisingly signed off by a major, family-friendly studio. Thor: Ragnarok, the latest title in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is as much like its predecessors as Shakespeare is…

By Cory Woodroof