War Machine

David Michôd’s War Machine works well as cautionary tale, not as satire

War is Hell, but War Machine is frustrating. David Michôd’s somewhat-satire of the Obama era’s continued efforts in the Afghanistan insurgency is far from a spirited successor to Dr. Stangelove; it’s more a nuanced look at the sobering complexities of the war through the eyes of fictional general Glen McMahon, based in part on Gen.…

By Cory Woodroof
Going in Style

Zach Braff’s lazy remake of ‘Going in Style’

This will be the second consecutive piece I have written for Curnblog which begins by referencing an earlier piece I have written for Curnblog. That may well indicate that I have written too many things for Curnblog, or perhaps that I have just run out of ideas. But if I have run out of ideas,…

By Jonathan Eig
The President’s Analyst

The President’s Analyst: The 50th anniversary of a prescient classic

“We, the undersigned mental health professionals, believe in our professional judgment that Donald Trump manifests a serious mental illness that renders him psychologically incapable of competently discharging the duties of the President of the United States.” That is how a recent Change.org petition began and it gathered close to 30,000 signatures in a few weeks.…

By Jonathan Eig
The Kind Words

Reviewing Shemi Zarhin’s The Kind Words: Is Perfection Enough?

How important is scope when determining a movie’s value? I am taunted by this question every time I get into an argument with someone over the relative worth of a virtually perfect smaller movie – say, The Full Monty – and a highly flawed, grand endeavour – say, Gangs of New York. At the risk…

By Jonathan Eig
The Trotsky

The Trotsky and Youths’ Red Life

The first time I watched The Trotsky (dir. Jacob Tierney) I was nineteen years old and had just finished participating in my local Occupy. Huddled underneath a blanket awkwardly wrapped around my body, there I sat in my unheated bedroom, a fierce winter wind howling just metres from my small cinema; though I was cold…

By Curtis Cole
History of the World Part 1

Homophobia in the cinema of Mel Brooks

Now that comedy master Mel Brooks has turned 90, I think we should examine an element of his oeuvre that has, to a certain extent, been swept under the rug rather disgracefully while praise for his achievements has been lavished on him to no end. I’m talking about the homophobia evident in many of his…

By Simon Hardy Butler
Good Morning Vietnam

Powerful Put-Downs: 8 Downright Devilish Onscreen Insults

A well-written, expertly relayed verbal barb can be one of the most satisfying things to hear in a movie—especially when it’s proffered to a character who deserves it—and even the smallest throwaway line can be most effective when delivered at the right moment. I’ve heard a lot of celluloid jibes in my day, and I…

By Simon Hardy Butler