Tag Archive: Social Drama

Apr
21

The Cinefantastique Spotlight: TRANSCENDENCE

It's a brave but not especially bold new world faced by (clockwise from top) Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Cillian Murphy, and Morgan Freeman in TRANSCENDENCE.

It’s some kind of irony that the experience of watching a film called TRANSCENDENCE is far from transcendent. Not that director Wally Pfister doesn’t try: The story of a scientist working in A.I. research (Johnny Depp) who has his own consciousness transferred to the Web is lushly mounted (as befits a big-studio production from the …

Continue reading »

Mar
27

Hour of the Wolf Movie Review: DIVERGENT

Shailene Woodley undergoes a symbolic representation of the plot of DIVERGENT.

As I approach the start of my second year as house movie critic for Jim Freund’s superlative, free-form science fiction and fantasy radio show, Hour of the Wolf (every Thursday morning at 1:30 AM on WBAI 99.5FM here in NYC), I feel not unlike Tris (Shailene Woodley), the teenage protagonist of the dystopic science fiction …

Continue reading »

Mar
24

The Cinefantastique Spotlight: DIVERGENT

Shailene Woodley has to confront the challenges of being DIVERGENT.

In the future, humanity will achieve peace and prosperity by being divided into five factions. When you’re sixteen, you get tested to see which faction you belong in, and that determines your station in life for the rest of your existence. Unless you decide to join another faction, which you’re totally free to do. But …

Continue reading »

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 …

Continue reading »

Feb
10

The Cinefantastique Spotlight: VAMPIRE ACADEMY

Zoey Deutch (left), Lucy Fry (center), and Sarah Hyland brave the perils of a very special high school in VAMPIRE ACADEMY.

“They suck at school,” the posters for VAMPIRE ACADEMY proudly proclaim, and let it now be said that they aren’t any better at movies, either. A lackluster production whose only reason for existing is to try to snag the TWILIGHT SAGA demo with as minimal effort as possible (to paraphrase W.C. Fields: “We want to …

Continue reading »

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 …

Continue reading »

Nov
25

The Cinefantastique Spotlight: THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE

Jennifer Lawrence (right) and Josh Hutcherson can't help making Elizabeth Banks verrrrry nervous in THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE.

So it’s back to the arena, where life is cheap but the production values sure as hell are not. In THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE, defiant champions Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) discover how costly their rebellion actually is, both in terms of human toll as the government moves to crush …

Continue reading »

Nov
15

Temple of Bad: BLACKENSTEIN

Joe De Sue demonstrates a keen insight into the human condition in his title role as BLACKENSTEIN.

As we’ve previously noted, in the sixties, the revolution wasn’t televised, and film wasn’t always an accurate conduit for measuring the temper of the times. BLACKENSTEIN was meant to ride the then-burgeoning wave of (duh) blaxsploitation films, reaching out to African-American audiences with a story that provided all the elements of popular cinema, yet spoke …

Continue reading »

Nov
08

John Sayles and Yolanda Ross on GO FOR SISTERS

Yolanda Ross (right), Edward James Olmos and LisaGay Hamilton dredge the Tijuana underworld in GO FOR SISTERS.

It’s back to the border for John Sayles, who in films like LONE STAR has explored the distinctive tensions that brew in the towns that neighbor to Mexico. Now he’s applying that worldview to the mystery thriller in GO FOR SISTERS, the story of a parole officer (LisaGay Hamilton) whose son may be in big …

Continue reading »

Oct
18

David V. Picker on MUSTS, MAYBES, AND NEVERS: A BOOK ABOUT THE MOVIES

David V. Picker (right) on location with John Huston

To list the films and filmmakers David V. Picker has been involved with in his careers as president of United Artists, Paramount, and Columbia borders on giving a comprehensive history of the medium in the latter half of the twentieth century. A HARD DAY’S NIGHT, PERSONA, THE JERK, MIDNIGHT COWBOY, TOM JONES, LAST TANGO IN …

Continue reading »

Older posts «

» Newer posts