Tag Archive: Controversy

Apr
17

Hour of the Wolf Movie Review: UNDER THE SKIN

Not even Scarlett Johansson is sure of what she sees in UNDER THE SKIN.

“I reeeeeally want you to review UNDER THE SKIN for HOUR OF THE WOLF,” Jim Freund said to me a couple of weeks ago. That was good, because I reeeeeeally wanted to review UNDER THE SKIN, but constraints — both on time and finances — meant that I needed a good reason to get to …

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Apr
03

Hour of the Wolf Movie Review: NOAH

Noah (2014)

I take a few moments at the beginning of this week’s segment for WBAI 99.5FM’s Hour of the Wolf to address host Jim Freund’s calling me out for my pronunciation of the word “erudite” during last week’s review of DIVERGENT. Nothing contentious, mind, just a clarification. Then, it’s time to let the flood commence. A literal …

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Mar
31

The Cinefantastique Spotlight: Noah

The strengths of Darren Aronofsky's NOAH go beyond mere spectacle.

Sooner or later, it had to happen. Three months into 2014, we finally move beyond the execrable and the mediocre, to something imaginative, exciting, and just flat-out worthy of praise. NOAH allows director Darren Arnofosky to apply his characteristically iconoclastic vision to the classic Bible tale, transforming the historic setting into a fantastic world where …

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Mar
14

Review: TEENAGE

Jitterbug dance contest at the Shrine Auditorium in Southern CA, 1939. From TEENAGE.

It is the privilege of teenagers to think that they are the first to confront the world with their quest for meaning, their need to belong. It is perhaps the curse of modern thinking to presume the notion of the teenager sprung fully-formed from the ashes of World War II.  There’s no shortage of films …

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Mar
05

Temple of Bad: KARATE-ROBO ZABORGAR

It's crime-fighting robot versus diarrhea monster in KARATE-ROBO ZABORGAR. Which one will win? And, more importantly, do you really want to know?

Well, here’s a ticklish situation: Is KARATE-ROBO ZABORGAR a bad film, or a good film trying to be bad, or a film so good at being bad that it’s actually bad? Japanese director Noboru Iguchi — the man who previously brought you such nuanced classics as ZOMBIE ASS: TOILET OF THE DEAD and the “F …

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Feb
28

Review: KIDS FOR CASH

The courtroom was the scene of the crime in KIDS FOR CASH.

Former Judge Mark Ciavarella wants you to know it was never about Kids for Cash. In his interviews with director Robert May (and kudos to the documentary-maker for scoring lens-time with the perpetrators of this scandal, along with their victims), he bristles against being tagged with that identifier. And, indeed, he’s got a point: It’s …

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Feb
17

The Cinefantastique Spotlight: ROBOCOP

robocop-2014_410

And so, shouldering our backpacks and steeling ourselves against the urge to look back, we leave the doldrums of the start-of-2014 release schedule. Farewell, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED ONES! Farewell, I, FRANKENSTEIN! Farewell, (ugh) VAMPIRE ACADEMY! May our paths never cross again. (A fruitless wish in the case of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY — the next installment …

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Feb
03

The Cinefantastique Spotlight: DR. STRANGELOVE OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB

Science! Peter Sellers plays an ex-Nazi witnessing his dreams coming true in DR. STRANGELOVE OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB.

It would be hard to overstate the excellence of DOCTOR STRANGELOVE OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB. Stanley Kubrick’s masterful dark comedy took the grimmest of concepts — the world on the brink of the apocalypse as a rogue American general (Sterling Hayden) orders a nuclear strike on Russia — …

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Jan
24

Review: MARS AT SUNRISE

Heightened reality illustrates the conflict between a Palestinian artist (Ali Suliman, left) and an Israeli solider (Guy El Hanan) in MARS AT SUNRISE.

The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians goes on and on, amazingly, distressingly. A comedian I recently heard on a podcast said that, past fifty, all Jews suddenly decide that Israel is their top priority, but that hasn’t been the case for me (chalk it up to my parents’ slipshod efforts to instill the faith in …

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Dec
06

Shaul Schwarz on NARCO CULTURA

The band Los BuKnas de Culiacan celebrate the cartel life in NARCO CULTURA.

Ah, the romance of the outlaw — dashing and fearless, living a life of danger and adventure. Except when they’re greedy sociopaths leaving a trail of corpses in their wake. NARCO CULTURA looks into the world of the Mexican drug cartels and how it has spawned a culture that romanticizes and celebrates the bloody exploits …

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