Dangal

Dangal: The perfect Bollywood film for the uninitiated

There is a general resistance to Bollywood cinema in Western countries. This isn’t so much because of any strong objection to them, as it is because their structure is so fundamentally different from the output of Hollywood. They are frequently quite long, invest heavily in a sense of the melodramatic, and perhaps most significantly, the…

By James Curnow
The Book of Life

Decrying/Praising ‘The Book of Life’ and ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’

What do you get when you add unbridled creativity to a project with limited substance? Well, it’s possible something good may come out of it. In the case of The Book of Life (2014) and Kubo and the Two Strings (2016), however, you get cinematic dreck. I know—that’s rather harsh. But these two films may…

By Simon Hardy Butler
Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange Brings Metaphysics and Mysticism to the Marvel Cinematic Universe

By the time you’re watching stoic kung fu sorcerers chasing bad kung fu sorcerers through a labyrinth of twisting cityscapes and magical portals that lead to who knows where, you know this isn’t a normal Marvel Studios venture. The behemoth studio behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe has developed a sprawling storyline that has had some…

By Cory Woodroof
Cameraperson documentary

Documentaries in focus: ‘Cameraperson’ and ‘Marathon’

The documentary landscape recently grew a little bit brighter with the release of two first-rate works, very different from each other, but both doing what film has always done best: eliciting powerful emotional responses by showing us things we have not seen before. At least not like this. The first movie is Kirsten Johnson’s Cameraperson.…

By Jonathan Eig
Sully Clint Eastwood Tom Hanks

In Clint Eastwood’s engrossing “Sully,” earnest heroism hits turbulence

Seven years removed from the “Miracle on the Hudson,” it’s a bit silly to think of Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger as anything else but a hero. The longtime pilot used his expertise, gumption and level head to land a major aircraft with failing engines onto the Hudson River and managed to keep everyone on-board alive…

By Cory Woodroof
Florence Foster Jenkins

Reviewing Florence Foster Jenkins: The Challenge of Dream-Chasing

There’s a pivotal moment at the end of Florence Foster Jenkins, the latest from director Stephen Frears, in which a gravely ill Jenkins (Meryl Streep) gently confronts her husband St. Clair Bayfield (Hugh Grant) about a negative review of one of her concerts. The review isn’t necessarily incorrect – it states, rather bluntly, that Foster is…

By Cory Woodroof
Monsieur Mayonnaise

Trevor Graham’s Monsieur Mayonnaise: Getting Mora out of History

It will come as no surprise to regular readers that over the last year I’ve become increasingly interested in the films of Australian director Philippe Mora, most particularly his films focused on the representation of history. From Swastika (1974) to Snide and Prejudice (1997), each of Mora’s historically centered works is part of a life-long…

By James Curnow