Elle Offers Captivating Condescension Jan17

Elle Offers Captivat...

Overview: An affluent French businesswoman is violently assaulted in her own home and subsequently mounts her own private revenge against her unknown attacker. Sony Pictures Classics; 2016; Rated R; 130 minutes. Violence & Condescension: Isabelle Huppert is an undeniable screen performer...

Watching Barry In Trump’s America Jan11

Watching Barry In Trump’s America

In director Vikram Gandhi’s new film Barry, American citizens who have been waking up in fear every morning are offered the hope of a communal solution. Some context that you already know: A man with no prior political experience has been elected to become the Leader of the Free World, despite losing the popular vote. Donald J. Trump, a notorious philanderer, real estate developer, and reality television star, will unseat current president Barack Obama in fewer than two weeks. After eight years of social progress and liberal civility, the very worst monsters have emerged from the closet of American history. Bigotry, sexism, and racism have...

Beavis and Butt-head Do America: Still On the Couc...

Based on the hit MTV animated series, Beavis and Butt-Head Do America was the feature length directorial debut of Middle America provocateur Mike Judge. After several offers were made and turned down by Judge for a motion picture production based on his original cast of characters, a Beavis and Butt-Head movie finally began to go into production in 1994, with co-writer Joe Stillman attached to develop the an original screenplay. Eventually, Stillman and Judge developed what became one of the most successful December releases of all time, making back $20,114,233 on a $12 million budget. Taking the form and inheriting the narrative tradition...

Office Christmas Party Offers By the Numbers Holiday Cheer Dec13

Office Christmas Party Offers By the Numbers Holid...

Overview: A gang of corporate misfits and wannabe executives come together to throw the office holiday party to end all office holiday parties. Paramount Pictures; 2016; Rated R; 105 minutes. Who’s Been Naughty: Sporadic studio comedy filmmakers Josh Gordon and Will Speck have come together for the third time to offer a feature film that aims to please general movie-going audiences. Office Christmas Party stars second-time lead performers Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston–who previously co-starred in Gordon and Speck’s unfortunately under-seen sophomore effort The Switch in 2010–who portray dueling executives of a national tech...

Nocturnal Animals Is An Unsettling Experience Dec07

Nocturnal Animals Is An Unsettling Experience

Overview: A novelist sends the manuscript for his latest novel to his ex-wife, who in turn takes its contents to be a veiled message of violent retribution for a past offense. Focus Features; 2016; Rated R; 116 minutes. Co-Dependent Fantasies: From the outset of director Tom Ford’s latest feature length endeavor, Nocturnal Animals, the question of what accounts for the distinction between fantasy and reality is tacitly posed. Affluent art gallery owner Susan Morrow (Amy Adams) finds herself exactly where all of her closest friends and most respected colleagues would expect her to want to be. After earning a graduate degree in art...

Manchester by the Sea Is An Operatic Ode to Melancholy Dec05

Manchester by the Se...

Overview: A man wracked with a personal grief of his own is forced to care for his teenage nephew following the death of his brother. Roadside Attractions; 2016; Rated R; 137 minutes. Working Class Blues: At the heart of director Kenneth Lonergan’s stunning followup to the critically...

Network 40 Years Later: We’re Still Mad as H...

Network is among the greatest works of contemporary satire in the past forty years. Its pointed skewering of the multimedia marketplace has only become more accurate with each passing year. In the fictional basic cable network Union Broadcasting System, Oscar winning screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky remarkably predicted the formation and susequent rise of such twenty-four hour news behemoths as MSNBC and Fox News. On both sides of the political divide, Howard Beale (Peter Finch) and his populist rants against the unknowable terror of the universe, as refracted and distorted by network programming executives, has found its outlet in real life in...

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Revisits the Wizarding World Nov21

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Revisits t...

Overview: Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), acclaimed British Magizoologist, finds himself at the center of a civil war between magical and non-magical born Americans in 1920s New York. Warner Bros. Pictures; 2016; Rated PG-13; 133 minutes. Revisiting the Wizarding World: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is among the more effortlessly joyful blockbuster events of the 2016 holiday season. Serving as a prequel to the wildly popular Harry Potter franchise, first-time screenwriter and series author J.K. Rowling has delivered a novel avenue for longtime fans to return to her immediately familiar Wizarding World. Despite the fact that the...

Netflix Hidden Gem #83: Goon

Goon (2011) Director: Michael Dowse Genre: Comedy Magnet Releasing Synopsis: A simple-minded bouncer, who is professionally and emotionally adrift, inadvertently winds up becoming an enforcer for a minor league ice hockey team. Overview: Like the thematically akin sports comedy cult-classic Slap Shot from 1977 starring Paul Newman, director Michael Dowse offers a light-hearted send up of some of the more brutal aspects of professional ice hockey as the other great contact sport beside American football. With American Pie alumnus Seann William Scott in the lead role as the charmingly dimwitted Doug “The Thug” Glatt, Goon blends several...

Hacksaw Ridge Offers a Compelling Morality Play Nov07

Hacksaw Ridge Offers a Compelling Morality Play

Overview: Real life World War II veteran Desmond Doss – the first conscientious objector to be awarded the Medal of Honor – serves as an American Army Medic during the Battle of Okinawa. Summit Entertainment; 2016; Rated R; 131 minutes. Faith: Over the course of the first hour of Hacksaw Ridge, director Mel Gibson makes it clear that his latest biographical war drama will be another testament to his abiding faith in the Catholic Church and belief in the Christian God. Born out of trial and turmoil at home, Desmond Doss, played with remarkable compassion and humanitarian vulnerability by Andrew Garfield, grows up a devout member of the...

Horrortown’s Haunted House Experts: Bobby Ro...

Beginning in the last week of October, Audiences Everywhere will be continuing its  Horrortown series of interviews with renowned horror directors in which we will discuss current and upcoming films, and also get the artists’ take on the contemporary horror. The Houses October Built is a found footage movie that saw theatrical release initially in 2014 and served as the directorial debut of Bobby Roe. Alongside his childhood friend, creative collaborator, and co-star Zack Andrews, their horror film examined some of the surreal and frightening world and profession of operating and working as performers in haunted house attractions across the...

Why You Should Be Watching Easy Oct04

Why You Should Be Watching Easy

Writer and director Joe Swanberg got his start in the mid-2000s as an influential member of the Mumblecore film movement. Defined as a distinctive sub-genre of the American independent film revolution that has its roots in the 1990s, Swanberg and others defined themselves through a new form of cinematic Naturalism, connoting both an intensely paid attention to detail in realistic performance and dialogue. In some of the earliest Mumblecore features, many key actors were untrained performers, whose respective naïveté gave birth to much of the sub-genre’s understated pathos and emotional drama. Frequently centering around stories of...

Kevin Smith: A Retrospective of a Maligned Director Sep07

Kevin Smith: A Retrospective of a Maligned Directo...

There are very few filmmakers who can lay claim to being beholden to the cultural zeitgeist while simulatnaously standing as its declaimed antithesis. But such a fate has befallen writer/director Kevin Smith time and time again over the course of his twenty-plus years in the business. After being heralded as an icon of the burdgeoning independent film movement of the 1990s alongside others like Richard Linklater and Gus Van Sant, Smith quickly found himself threatening to topple such what was an assumed distinction of critical prestige. Now, with the theatrical release of his latest film Yoga Hosers shortly making its way to theaters across...

Level Up Is A Viscerally Propulsive Thriller Aug24

Level Up Is A Viscer...

Overview: An aimless young adult living in London finds himself an active player in a sinister augmented reality game that puts his girlfriend in danger. FilmBuff; 2016; Not Rated; 84 minutes. 21st Century Malaise: Within the first five minutes of writer/director Adam Randall’s feature length...

Pete’s Dragon Is the Rare Remake Success Story Aug16

Pete’s Dragon Is the Rare Remake Success Sto...

 Overview: A modern day revisionist retelling of the classic Disney film of 1977 that manages to deliver a wondrous reboot that miraculously supersedes the original. Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; 2016; Rated PG; 103 minutes. Folklore: Starting with the opening sequence of David Lowery’s remarkable Pete’s Dragon remake, independent film actor and folk singer iconoclast Bonnie “Prince” Billy provides an original musical composition that serves to set the tone for the entire production. The strains and lyrics to “The Dragon Song” serve as an immediate frame of reference throughout Lowery’s on screen direction, imbuing certain folklore...

The Little Prince Examines the Impermanent Idleness of Youth Aug10

The Little Prince Ex...

Overview: An inventive take on the eponymous Antoine de Saint-Exupéry book for children adapted and re-imagined as a contemporary animated fable. Netflix; 2016; Rated PG; 108 minutes. Idleness: Beginning with director Mark Osborne’s opening frames to his thrilling theatrical adaptation of The...

Ellen Page: From Juno To Tallulah Aug08

Ellen Page: From Juno To Tallulah

It’s an affliction of the contemporary Hollywood actor who came to prominence during their relative adolescence that has occurred several times over. Known primarily for her star-turning and eponymous role in director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody’s 2007 indie drama turned mainstream pop-cultural sensation Juno, Nova Scotia native Ellen Page became an instantly recognizable sweetheart for a very specific class of theatergoer. Her irreverent mock-sophistication in Reitman’s career-launching production put the Canadian actress on the map, yet the years that have followed her Oscar-nominated introduction to the larger movie-viewing...

Weekly Clickables: Movies for Kids & Donald T...

Welcome back to another installment of our Weekly Clickables! This week we’ve got a number of movies for younger viewers (and their content-minded parents), and a couple of other choice options. If you’re a young parent and need to know which movies are not only suitable but must be seen by children of all ages, then look no further than the top five movies that your kid has to see. If you were wondering what directing Donald Trump might entail, look no further than this personal recounting by director Oliver Stone on his brief encounter on the set of Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, courtesy of Wired. Not all teen-dystopias are...

Star Trek Beyond Charts Familiar Territory Jul22

Star Trek Beyond Charts Familiar Territory

Overview: The intrepid crew of the USS Enterprise answers a mysterious distress call, only to become embroiled with an enigmatic new enemy hell bent on destroying the United Federation of Planets. Paramount Pictures; 2016; Rated PG-13; 120 minutes. The Journey: Following director J.J. Abrams’ game changing franchise reboot in 2009, the current generation of films based on the classic science-fiction property created by Gene Roddenberry in the late 1960s continues on its grand journey with Star Trek Beyond. Handing the reins off to Fast & Furious franchise rejuvenator Justin Lin, the latest adventure starring Captain James Tiberius Kirk...

Maron On IFC In Review Jul19

Maron On IFC In Review

Marc Maron isn’t for everyone. More accurately, and as the stand-up comedian, podcast pioneer, and personable interviewer has told his fans on more than one occasion, he’s barely for himself. Before starting his now infamously well regarded bi-weekly podcast WTF with Marc Maron, Maron was a struggling comic, twice divorced, who had seemingly burned down more bridges than he had established connections within the entertainment industry. His was a well regarded and respected voice of the stand-up comedy racket for several decades, but as an individual he was marked by an insatiable neediness that left many would-be friends and mentors...

A.I. Artificial Intelligence: A First Viewing 15 Y...

Originally published June 26, 2016. I didn’t expect to like A.I. Artificial Intelligence very much when I watched it for the first time this past weekend. Growing up I remember the film primarily for the novelty of how a copy of it first entered my family household, when my father procured a used copy of the special edition DVD from Blockbuster Video, and I was astounded by the sheer amount of content that could fit onto what looked like a compact disc. A.I. became the signifier of something that I had been denied access to temporarily, and perhaps stands as one of the earliest examples of a movie that presumably held more meaning than I...

The Lobster, Love, and Life in the 21st Century

NOTE: The following piece may contain spoilers. Standing as the first English language film from Greek writer/director Yorgos Lanthimos, The Lobster is a beguiling and enthralling experience unlike any other. Taking certain implied thematic cues from the absurdist and philosophical literature of German writer Franz Kafka, Lanthimos’ latest directorial effort is as alienating as it is intimate. The characters who populate the dystopia of The Lobster are akin to characters in a fairy tale. Their outward personalities are muted by a world oppressively orchestrated by archaic and utilitarian laws. Everyone must form a couple in the world of The...

What If the Ghostbusters Reboot Is Bad?

As we approach the theatrical release of writer/director Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters reboot later this July, many fans of the seminal paranormal-comedy of 1984 (and its immediate sequel from 1989) are still scratching their heads as to how to feel about the new film. Feig’s new movie will appropriate the name of the original film co-created by original Ghostbusters Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Rick Moranis, while transporting the original movie’s central roles onto the shoulders of four new leads. With Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones filling out the newly established and eponymous team of paranormal...

Brian Wilson Alone: The Beach Boys’ Pet Soun...

The eleventh Beach Boys LP, Pet Sounds, was recorded from July 12, 1965 through April 13, 1966. Released by Capitol Records on May 16, 1966, the record marked a turn in the career of the popular American rock group. Marked by the band’s penchant for glittery California pop, Pet Sounds was singular in its self-conscious appraisal of the appeal of popular music in general. Produced, arranged, and largely written and composed by central band member Brian Wilson while on leave from touring with the rest of the band, Pet Sounds proved divisive among general audiences. Despite peaking at #2 in the UK Top 40 Album Charts, the record was discordant...

Two Bucks, a Bottle of Booze, and an Interview wit...

Cash Only is the third feature length motion picture from director Malik Bader, whose past work on the 2006 mock-documentary Street Thief cemented his status as a contemporary auteur of metropolitan crime. Violence and depravity wend their way throughout both forceful efforts on the big screen, but with Cash Only Bader has moved from the streets of Chicago to the dilapidated infrastructure of the dangerous Albanian underworld in Detroit. Featuring a screenplay written by lead actor Nickola Shreli, Cash Only combines taut spiritual revelation with a harrowing drama, and we were more than honored to speak with Bader about his latest...