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
Glory - American Civil War

The Blue and The Grey: The American Civil War on film

So many films have been made about this long and tragic civil war that I would not attempt to examine them all in one post. However, it is interesting to see how film-makers have dealt with the subject over the more than one hundred year history of cinema. As long ago as 1915, D.W. Griffith…

By Pete Johnson

There Can Be Only One: 30 Years of Highlander

“From the dawn of time we came, moving silently down through the centuries. Living many secret lives, struggling to reach the time of the Gathering, when the few who remain will battle to the last. No one has ever known we were among you… until now.” This prologue, superimposed in bright red against black, begins…

By Jeffrey DeCristofaro
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
Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Invasion of the Body Snatchers: Celebrating 60 Years

It’s odd how sometimes, out of commercial considerations rather than artistic ones, great pieces of art can be forged that leave a lasting impact on the human psyche. Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture”, for example, was a contractual piece written without warmth by the composer. David Lean chose to make Lawrence of Arabia over Gandhi because he…

By Jeffrey DeCristofaro
a-kid-for-two-farthings-1955-3

Lost Britain: A Nostalgic Look Back Through Seven Films

As someone who has lived all their life in England, one of my pleasures has been to watch old British films. I love to see the streets, the cars, the style of dress, and to reflect on a way of life that changed so rapidly after World War Two. Very often, these films show places…

By Pete Johnson