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South By Southwest Film Conference and Festival (SXSW)

Revenge fantasy in cinema will never go out of style, but in a more sensitive age, vigilante films without a thoughtful touch can meet their own swift and merciless end. Take Eli Roth‘s neo-conservative wet dream remake of “Death Wish,&#822…

If there’s one thing millennials are more obsessed with than social media, selfies and irreverent art, it’s ourselves. Occasionally we find an excuse to bring all four together, as Molly Soda does in her performance artwork, Matt Spicer managed with “I…

In his 2014 Goya-winning feature debut, “10,000 KM,” Spanish director Carlos Marques-Marcet compellingly explored the emotional and spiritual exhaustion of long distance relationships. In the filmmaker’s sophomore effort, “Anchor and …

“There’s a bluebird in my heart that, wants to get out, but I pour whiskey on him and inhale, cigarette smoke, and the whores and the bartenders, and the grocery clerks, never know that he’s in there,” gritty, downtrodden author Charles Bukowski …

For a few years now, headlines around the world have made note of the Most Medicated Generation, the millennials who have been prescribed pills for everything from behavioral issues to depression and anxiety. By some estimates, nearly 25 percent of uni…

The whole murderous-alien-aboard-a-spaceship trope has been around since at least 1958’s “It! The Terror from Beyond Space,” which was initially viewed as a typical, below-average drive-in movie about a doomed Mars expedition. Of course, that movie suddenly took on more importance when the creative team behind “Alien” cited it as a major inspiration. Since “Alien,” of course, there have been countless riffs on this idea (including a handful of actual “Alien” sequels and spin-offs) – a ragtag crew of space explorers or profiteers venture into some darkened corner of the galaxy in the name of scientific progress or capitalism, unwittingly encounter vicious otherworldly killing machines, and get turned into bloody zero-G globs. Continue reading ‘Life’ With Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson & Ryan Reynolds Is A Pleasurably Old Fashioned Sci-Fi Thriller [SXSW Review] at The Playlist.

It’s a cliché, albeit a tragic one at this point, to suggest that comedy and depression go hand-in-hand. As chronicled by Dick Cavett in connection with CNN’s recent series on “The History Of Comedy,” the late Robin Williams would aim to keep audiences laughing only to walk backstage and say, “Why can’t I be that happy?” The story of the stand-up comic has been documented in many forms, and the song is usually the same in terms of both clinical diagnosis and the hunt to be the next great success story. Continue reading A Great Ensemble Offers A Serious History Lesson In Comedy In Showtime’s ‘I’m Dying Up Here’ [SXSW Review] at The Playlist.

To be clear: I’m not familiar with Neil Gaiman‘s source material, so my only information on “American Gods” is down to the cast (hey, Ian McShane and Crispin Glover!) and from Twitter, where I’ve learned there is a character named New God Internet. Uh, okay. Anyway, a new trailer for the Starz series is here and the fans seem to love it anyway. Continue reading War Is Coming In Bloody New Trailer For ‘American Gods’ at The Playlist.

Someone once said to me that they wished James Cameron would do other people’s action scenes for them. This was back in the heyday when the one-time “King of the World” was the preeminent action filmmaker of “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” and “True Lies.” While there have been notable action films in the 20+ years since those, few have grabbed the guts of hardcore aficionados. Continue reading ‘Atomic Blonde’ Delivers Great Action In Too Minimal Capacity [SXSW Review] at The Playlist.

It’s a film about the making of arguably the worst movie ever made. That is how the team behind “The Disaster Artist” will hope to sell it to a public that may have yet to experience the wonder of Tommy Wiseau‘s self-financed passion project, “The Room.” Just as “Plan 9 from Outer Space” had Tim Burton‘s “Ed Wood and “Troll 2” had Michael Paul Stephenson‘s documentary, “Best Worst Movie,” so now does “The Room” have James Franco‘s “The Disaster Artist.” How it will play to the uninitiated remains a legitimate question, but one thing is for certain: its base are going to be in Valhalla. Continue reading ‘The Disaster Artist’ Is A Masterpiece For Fans Of ‘The Room,’ But What About Everyone Else? [SXSW Review] at The Playlist.