Tag: Film and TV

  • Tooning In

    Disney is not known for heralding directorial authorship, least of all when it comes to animation: try naming the director of The Little Mermaid or even a classic like Dumbo. It’s the corporate brand name that sells the movies. And yet, last year, the company acquired the rights to distribute the entire oeuvre of Hayao […]

  • Behind the Music

    As medieval Christians had the lives of the saints, so we have the showbiz biopic. What was it the poet wrote? Hold infinit-E! in the palm of your hand, and A&E-ternity in an hour? There’s a lot, actually, that can be said about dead celeb of the week Frankie Lymon (1942­1968). This street-smart Harlem kid […]

  • Out of Bounds

    A scary little movie, François Ozon’s See the Sea brings to mind such classics of psychological horror as Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Diabolique and Philip Noyce’s Dead Calm. It’s a voluptuous, heat-of-summer tale that makes the blood run cold. Sasha (Sasha Hails) and her 10-month-old daughter are on vacation on a sunbaked, underpopulated island off the coast […]

  • Bravo New Worlds

    Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet called it “retro-futurism,” and that’s as good a label as any to slap on Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, a willfully absurdist dystopian fable about an impossible future that feels more like an antiquated past, a Romantic pretzel- twisting of Orwell and a nursery-rhyme-inflected sci-fi dream epic that appropriates equal parts Fritz […]

  • Blood Simpler

    Let no one say that Blade, a blindingly overwrought hybrid of horror, action, and Oedipal drama, fails to mark some kind of great leap forward for vampire cinema. Not only does the film feature one of the genre’s first African American slayer-heroes (he was introduced in a 1973 Marvel comic), but its version of Dracu-lore […]

  • Slippery Creatures

    Your Friends & Neighbors, Neil LaBute’s follow-up to last summer’s cleverest horror film, In the Company of Men, is comparably creeped out and claustrophobic–a fascinatingly mean-spirited erotic comedy set in a realm of self-absorbed fantasy and overdetermined intergender misunderstanding. Venturing into territory where no modern sitcom is yet prepared to go, although not far from […]

  • Girlstown

    Among the myriad wrongs that Hollywood has committed, consider this: No studio has ever cast Hope Davis as the lead in a romantic comedy. Along with bossa nova and Boston, Davis is a key element in Brad Anderson’s anti-formulaic Next Stop, Wonderland. If you find Sleepless in Seattle cloying and less than credible, if you […]

  • Two on the Isle

    Hollywood didn’t really discover the black female audience with Waiting To Exhale, at least not the way Columbus discovered America. Terry McMillan’s bestselling romance novel was already a recognized phenomenon before there was a movie version and so the dream industry was just along for the ride. Exhale was a very profitable ride of course, […]

  • Sliding Doors

    Five minutes into Sliding Doors, Gwyneth Paltrow splits in two. Had this amoeba-like fission occured throughout the film at five-minute intervals, it would have spawned 1,048,576 Gwyneths (I did the math; I was bored). Writer-director Peter Howitt’s high concept isn’t nearly as disturbing–he simply flip-flops between two versions of the same woman in an oafishly […]