Author: Nathanael Hood

‘A Thousand Junkies’ Balances Lunacy & Pathos

Overview: Three heroin junkies embark on a increasingly ludicrous and dangerous search for a fix in Los Angeles. Falco Ink; 2017; Not Rated; 75 minutes. Just One Fix: Tommy’s done the math. He estimates that if he’s spent about three hours a day waiting for his dealer, that adds up to about 50 days a year of nothing but waiting. Multiply that by 19 years and you have 950 days. That’s almost three years of the prime of his life wasted “waiting to get well.” Not that he misses it much. For a junkie who needs a fix –...

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New Netflix Instant Streaming: Tower Dares An Emotional Connection

Originally published on October 12, 2016. Tower is now available on U.S. Netflix Instant streaming. Overview: Combining archival footage and rotoscope animation, Keith Maitland’s TOWER is a bold documentary on the 1966 mass shooting at the University of Texas at Austin. Kino Lorber; 2016; Not Rated; 82 minutes. A National Sickness: Orlando. San Bernardino. Sandy Hook. Aurora. Virginia Tech. Columbine. These names resonant deep within the American psyche, each synonymous with one of the nation’s deadliest mass shootings. These attacks may not be unique among First World Countries, but they are unmatched in their frequency. Other countries look at...

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Jackin’ It: ‘The Shining’ and a Tale of Two Damned Jacks

Jack Nicholson turns 80 years old on April 22. To celebrate, we’ll be discussing our favorite Jack Nicholson performances through the preceding week in our Jackin’ It series, a collection of critical love letters penned to Nicholson’s best characters. … Of course Jack Nicholson was the wrong choice to play Jack Torrance in Stephen King’s The Shining. Anybody who’s read King’s novel knows that. Nicholson was, however, the perfect choice to play Jack Torrance in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. King’s Torrance was an inherently good man driven to the brink of insanity by isolation, alcoholism, and the evil forces...

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Salt and Fire is a Baffling and Unfocused Mess

Overview: After being kidnapped while on assignment in South America, U.N. ecologist Laura finds herself stranded with two blind children in the middle of a desert on the verge of thermal catastrophe. XLrator Media; 2016; Not Rated; 98 minutes. Lost in Translation: One of my favorite stories about the making of Claudio Fragasso’s accidental camp masterpiece Troll 2 (1990) involves the disconnect between its English-speaking American cast and its Italian-speaking crew. Apparently, the script (written by Fragasso’s wife Rosella Drudi) received a rather blunt-force translation into English. When it came time to shoot, Fragasso insisted that the actors perform...

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For Here or to Go? Isn’t As Well-Thought As It Is Well-Timed

Overview: Faced with the realization that his visa to work in the US will soon expire, an Indian-born tech entrepreneur struggles to re-align his life in America. Many Cups of Chai Films; 2015; Not Rated; 105 minutes. Wish in One Hand…: “Life doesn’t run on guarantees, it runs on hope.” So goes the opening line of narration in Rucha Humnabadkar’s debut feature film For Here or to Go? But hope does little to pay the bills, and even less to assuage America’s immigration department. Vivek Pandit (Ali Fazal) learned this the hard way. After living and working in Silicon...

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