Posts In Category

Features

While there may be plenty of reasons to scoff, here’s a friendly reminder that whenever you’re ready to dismiss the next movie announcement based on a brand likea “Pez,” “Monopoly” or “Candyland,” there can be exceptions to the rule. An outstanding little animated picture called “The LEGO Movie” was a tooner you sneered at initially too. ‘LEGO’ shouldn’t have worked on paper, but clever filmmakers Phil Lord and Chris Miller proved creative minds could build bricks out of anything by using an imaginative take. Continue reading ‘LEGO Ninjago’: Daddy Issues, Divorce & Kung Fu Fighting [Review] at The Playlist.

One of the great character actors in movies, the legendarily laconic and sad-eyed Harry Dean Stanton passed away this weekend at the age of 91. He possessed the recognizable hound dog face the average moviegoer might recognize as “that guy.” For us cinephiles we knew him as kind of cinematic legend, like a Red Wood tree that would never fall. Even in his 90s, Stanton didn’t look like he was ever slowing down. Continue reading The Essentials: Harry Dean Stanton’s Best Performances at The Playlist.

One of the great character actors in movies, the legendarily laconic and sad-eyed Harry Dean Stanton passed away this weekend at the age of 91. He possessed the recognizable hound dog face the average moviegoer might recognize as “that guy.” For us cinephiles we knew him as kind of cinematic legend, like a Red Wood tree that would never fall. Even in his 90s, Stanton didn’t look like he was ever slowing down. Continue reading The Essentials: Harry Dean Stanton’s Best Performances at The Playlist.

From the hero’s luxe orange tuxedo jacket to the villainess’s Valentino Rockstud pumps, “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” oozes style (and even offers it for sale). But the visual pleasures don’t end there; for his sequel to “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” director Matthew Vaughn continues his reign as a helmer whose obsession with the look of a film pays off for the audience. However, despite all the beauty, elegance and energy seen on screen, “The Golden Circle” has all the endurance of an Instagram post. Continue reading ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ Is Fast-Fading Fun [Review] at The Playlist.

Venice? Check. Telluride? Check. TIFF? Pretty much, check. The three major film festivals that traditionally mark the start of Oscar season are officially over (TIFF runs until the weekend, but all the major premieres are in the bag). And, for the first time in recent history, there is no real Best Picture frontrunner yet (let alone two when “12 Years A Slave” and “Gravity” split pundits four years ago). There are no Buzzfeed articles out of Toronto proclaiming [insert movie title] is winning Oscar’s top prize or that collective feeling out of Telluride that no matter what happens the industry on hand simply love it too much for it to lose (see “Argo,” “The Artist,” “The King’s Speech”). Continue reading There Are No Frontrunners Yet, So Here’s Some Unsolicited Oscar Advice For Hollywood at The Playlist.

In both author Charles Martin’s novel “The Mountain Between Us” and in director Hany Abu-Assad’s new big screen adaptation, the mountain is as literal as it is metaphorical. Martin’s story begins with a twin-engine charter plane crashing in the High Uintas Wilderness in Utah, killing the pilot and leaving two strangers stranded in the middle of nowhere, cut off from civilization and communication. The survivors are stuck on a steep peak, with nothing but hills and cliffs on the horizon. Continue reading Idris Elba & Kate Winslet Battle For Survival In ‘The Mountain Between Us’ [TIFF Review] at The Playlist.

What can we say about Jane Campion that we didn’t already say last week in lauding the venerable filmmaker’s feminist history? Simply put, the New Zealander is one of the greatest filmmakers in the world. The first woman awarded the Palme d’Or at Cannes—for her Oscar-winning 1993 feature “The Piano”—and the second woman ever nominated for the Academy Award prize for Best Director, Campion’s indelible, revelatory  career started in 1989 with her debut “Sweetie,” and it launched one of the most distinctive voices in cinema. Continue reading Essentials: The Films Of Jane Campion at The Playlist.

Is the greater sin to defy God, or defy your true nature? It’s not a question that’s asked directly in “Disobedience,” but lingers at the edges of the turmoil that slowly simmers into passion and penitence, in a story that turns a colorful premise into a thoughtful rumination on choice. Set inside the conservative community of Orthodox Judaism, Sebastian Lelio’s graceful adaptation of Naomi Alderman’s novel is a probing look at the illusion of freedom in both religious and secular life, and the bracing reality faced by two women when the relationship between them sparks back to life. Continue reading Sebastian Lelio’s Sensual & Spiritual ‘Disobedience’ With Rachel Weisz & Rachel McAdams [TIFF Review] at The Playlist.

There are few better than writer/director Armando Iannucci when it comes to portraying the poison personalities, ruthless double dealing, and heights of absurdity in the political halls of power. So far, he’s sharpened his knives and cut up The White House and 10 Downing Street with “Veep,” “The Thick Of It,” and “In The Loop.” But at a time when The West Wing is more than ably creating scenarios that are the stuff of comic writers’ dreams, it’s the perfect opportunity for Iannucci to take on a different era and moment in history, and he does just that with “The Death Of Stalin.” However, who would’ve thought a movie about the death of an unpredictable dictator would be just as timely as ever? Continue reading Armando Iannucci’s ‘The Death Of Stalin’ Is A Timely, Hilarious, Bleak Satire [Review] at The Playlist.