It’s December, which means we’re deep into award season–where the standard offerings might include family dramas you’ve seen before, but with a slight new flavor (Lady Bird) or the period drama your grandparents will rave about (Darkest Hour). None of these films will do anything inventive with the form because they’re like pizza – not fine dining, but you know what to expect regardless of where it comes from.
The Florida Project is the kid that steals that proverbial pizza, throws it on the ground, and asks if you want to go spit on cars.
The Grey star Liam Neeson and director Joe Carnahan have both been living it up in Hollywood productions for the last several years. Neeson continues to pop up as some grizzled badass who will kill your childhood puppy, and Carnahan has been making zany slick action flicks like Smokin’ Aces and A-Team after making a big splash in 2002 with his gritty cop drama Narc (Ray Liotta, Jason Patric). With The Grey, Carnahan and Neeson both return with less pomp and more dramatic flavor. Continue reading
Posted in Reviews
Tagged Disaster, Drama, Film, Joe Carnahan, Liam Neeson, Movies, Survival, The Grey, The Road, Winter, Wolves
It’s not often that a genre film doesn’t realize that it’s a genre film. A comedy plays within the conventions of its niche and most horror films do the same. Daybreakers is one of the best vampire films since the 1980’s unleashed Fright Night and The Lost Boys because, like its forerunners, it knows how to play to the genre trappings as intelligent entertainment. That’s usually the best horror fans can expect from the genre. But films like The Blair Witch Project, Let the Right One In or Stake Land treat a horror tale like a drama and not a creature feature – which makes it all the more frightening. Continue reading
Posted in Filmsmith Faves, Reviews
Tagged coming of age, Drama, Horror, post-apocalyptic, religious fundamentalism, road movie, Stake Land, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, The Road, Vampires
“This is a story about a girl who does something unforgivable.” So utters Rhoda Williams a couple of minutes into the mind-blowing trailer for Another Earth, which may be the best science-fiction film of the year. And the best part? Unlike most sci-fi films, this one delves deeply into the emotions of its characters; it sees how they interact, as well as how they react to the discovery of the titular Macguffin. It tackles questions worthy of a bigger budget, but with an honesty only possible with a shoestring. In short, while it will fall completely under the radar, this is one of the best films of the year, and should be sought after. Travel to a bigger city if you must, but see this film. Continue reading
The recent films of Will Ferrell have been hit and miss. The Other Guys was a fantastic return to the improv magic of Anchorman (both were directed by Adam McKay), while Land of the Lost and Semi-Pro were not met with kind reviews or box office figures. If Ferrell isn’t a guaranteed hit-maker, he does have a great opportunity to try his hand at other roles. And as the lead in the drama Everything Must Go, he’s something to behold. Continue reading
Judd Apatow’s last film Funny People was unjustly criticized for being a drama that happened to be funny, which is what you’ll get with Win Win. Continue reading
When we last saw Colin Firth, he was leading Tom Ford’s A Single Man in a quiet daring role. He returns this year with a stuttering problem, in this nice film that doesn’t quite deserve the level of clamor it’s receiving. Continue reading