A Star Is Venom (This Week’s Reviews)

starisborn

Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga: A Star Is Born (courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures)

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

A Star Is Born. “Cooper’s leisurely approach builds no momentum, and the non-musical scenes meander as the actors (apparently) improvise in close-up. This isn’t storytelling as much as it is a work-shopped series of behaviors.” (Herald link here.)

Venom. “An absolute stiff, a monotonous slog through generic material.”

Hey, there’s a new German initiative, via the Goethe Institut, to place key German films on the free-streaming service Kanopy. It’s called – why not? – Wunderbar. I chimed in with a little introduction to The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, as though that movie needed an introduction. It’s here.

For the Scarecrow Video blog, I put in another Seasoned Ticket post, this one about some of the Hammer horror sequels in the Dracula series. It’s here.

 

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Drop Strange Jealousy (This Week’s Movies)

James Gandolfini and Tom Hardy: The Drop

James Gandolfini and Tom Hardy: The Drop

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

The Drop. “Not only are Lehane’s underworld denizens unable to escape, it doesn’t even occur to them to imagine escaping.” (In case of Herald paywall, Seattle Weekly version is here.)

Love Is Strange. “It’s one of those sad situations in which everybody means well, but things just aren’t working out.” (Weekly version here.)

Jealousy. “Observation, not manipulation, is Garrel’s primary interest.” (Weekly version here.)

And a fall preview thingie.

Sunday September 14 at 2 p.m. I’ll talk about the contributions of the remarkable Canadian Inuk filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk, director of the 2001 film The Fast Runner. Along with clips of Kunuk’s work, we will screen a half-hour episode from the 1995 Nunavut: Our Land series. This free talk is part of the Frye Art Museum’s Magic Lantern series; more info here.

The Port Townsend Film Festival kicks off on September 19; I’ll be moderating some events during the three-day affair. Special guests this year are John Sayles and Maggie Renzi – check out the lineup here.

God’s Zilla (This Week’s Movies)

Godzilla, from the titular eponymous movie of the same name.

Godzilla, from the titular eponymous movie of the same name.

Links to reviews I wrote this week for the Herald and Seattle Weekly, and etc.

Godzilla. “Another city to crush, another opponent to battle. Power lines everywhere. They send missiles at you, but they don’t work; they never do.”

Million Dollar Arm. “Soft edges and invisible expertise.”

Locke. “Tour-de-force.”

God’s Pocket. “It is no disrespect to the late Philip Seymour Hoffman to say that he was often difficult to look at on screen.”

And a summer preview thingie.

At the Overlook Podcast, Steve Scher and I have a conversation about movies adapted from literary sources – a subject I’m available to speak on via the Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau, by the by. Listen to our chat here.