Finest Hitchcock Years (This Week’s Movies)


Charlotte Rampling: 45 Years

Links to my reviews published this week in the Herald and Seattle Weekly, and etc.

45 Years. “My favorite film of 2015 has an undercurrent of the fairy tale about it.” (In case of Herald paywall, Weekly link here.)

The Finest Hours. “Both a digital-heavy 21st-century effects picture and an old-fashioned Hollywood flick.”

Hitchcock/Truffaut. “Before there was the internet or home video, film books played an important role in a movie fan’s life.”

Movie Diary 1/27/2016

Night of the Demon (Jacques Tourneur, 1958). Casting the runes with Dana Andrews in England, in Tourneur’s atmospheric horror film. Lots of good stuff, especially whenever Niall MacGinnis’s pointy-bearded spell-casting weirdo is around. The kids’ party with the windstorm is a real piece of British creepiness.

Movie Diary 1/26/2016

The Treasure (Corneliu Porumboiu, 2015). Two Bucharest neighbors latch on to a far-fetched scheme to dig up something that might or might not be valuable and might or might not be there. The director of Police, Adjective and other Romanian gems has another fine, understated title here. (full review 2/12)

Movie Diary 1/25/2016

Rams (Grímur Hákonarson, 2015). Icelandic cinema, but without the humor, except for a very furtive kind. Two brothers, feuding for decades, have their herds of sheep struck by a virus. You will see a slice of life you probably never knew existed. (full review 2/19)

Rolling Papers (Mitch Dickman, 2015). A documentary looking at Colorado’s legal pot, but also how the Denver Post covers the issue. The latter angle gives the subject a new perspective, which is all to the good. There are also lots of close-ups of bud. (full review 2/26)

Ip Lamb World (This Week’s Movies)


Donnie Yen, Ip Man 3

Links to my reviews published this week in the Herald and Seattle Weekly, and etc.

Ip Man 3. “Wherever in the world it plays, it will play like gangbusters.” (In case of Herald paywall, Seattle Weekly link here.)

Lamb. “Intentions get waylaid by the sheer weirdness of the situation.”

The World of Kanako. “The battering-ram violence is relentless.”

For Film Comment, I wrote about Radu Jude’s Aferim!, a remarkable Romanian “Western” in widescreen black-and-white. It’s posted here.

Steve Scher and I have another Overlook Podcast up and running; this one looks at Ip Man 3 and eagerly anticipates the new blu-ray of Wim Wenders’ The American Friend, among other things. Listen here.

Movie Diary 1/20/2016

The Finest Hours (Craig Gillespie, 2016). A real-life Coast Guard rescue, and a film that looks like it might have been made in 1952. That’s not a bad thing.  (full review 1/29)

Boy and the World (Alê Abreu, 2013). One of this year’s nominees in the best animated feature category. It’s from Brazil, has an environmental message, and is full of lovely hand-drawn doodles and such. I will mention here that in the state where I live, marijuana is legal, which is something to keep in mind before you go see this. (full review 2/5)

Movie Diary 1/19/2016

Ip Man 3 (Wilson Yip, 2015). Yet another film about the real-life kung fu grandmaster, with Donnie Yen in the lead. Good fights, outrageous melodrama, and Mike Tyson. This baby will make money all over the world. (full review 1/20)

The World of Kanako (Tetsuya Nakashima, 2014). Japanese cult weirdness, partly redeemed by the heroic presence of Koji Yakusho. Otherwise, some real unpleasantness along the way. (full review 1/22)

Lamb (Ross Partridge, 2015). Indie actor Partridge also directs this dicey story of a middle-aged man who spirits away an 11-year-old girl (Oona Laurence, a strong performer) for not-quite-clear purposes. A queasy experience. (full review 1/22)

Ride Dreams North (This Week’s Movies)


Anomalisa: David Thewlis and Jennifer Jason Leigh

Links to my reviews published this week in the Herald and Seattle Weekly, and etc.

Anomalisa. “Kaufman risks the acid reflux that can result from writing these characters.” (In case of Herald paywall, Seattle Weekly link here.)

Ride Along 2. “Rushed and barely sketched-out.”

Dreams Rewired. “Swinton is so good she can make even this heavy verbiage come to life.”

Norm of the North. “A lot of blubber.”

Last month’s edition of Framing Pictures is now up and running online; it’s an end-of-the-year, best-of-2015 session featuring Richard T. Jameson, Kathleen Murphy, and me. Get the goods online here. It’s also showing on the Seattle Channel over the next few days.

On the Overlook Podcast, Steve Scher and I look back at 2015 and pick a couple of things that made for memorable moviegoing. His relate to comic-book movies; mine to Edinburgh. Give a listen here.

Movie Diary 1/12/2016

Ride Along 2 (Tim Story). Kevin Hart and Ice Cube return in a sequel to their funny 2014 48 HRS. knock-off. And this one is, well, not so dissimilar to Another 48 HRS. Yes, I went there. (full review 1/15)

Movie Diary 1/11/2016

Dreams Rewired (Manu Luksch, Martin Reinhart, Thomas Tode, 2015). Montage-essay-film on the subject of technical innovations and communication, narrated by Tilda Swinton, made up mostly of clips from silent and early-sound films. Take a moment to let that sink in, or possibly not. Swinton, speaking high-minded prose in a funny-slangy way, is a kick to listen to. Not entirely sure what the actual goal is, but many of the clips are swell. (full review 1/15)

Norm of the North (Trevor Wall, 2016). Cartoon, a polar bear, cheapjack animation, script same. It’s possible the outline of King Kong is visible, not that it matters. Rob Schneider is the voice of Norm. (full review 1/15)