Open Season of Violence

Free Fire (2017) D: Ben Wheatley. DP: Laurie Rose. W: Amy Jump & Ben Wheatley. Starring: Armie Hammer/Sharlto Copley/Cillian Murphy/Brie Larson/Sam Riley/Babou Ceesay/Michael Smiley/Jack Reynor/Noah Taylor/Enzo Cilenti. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley’s new film sports endless flash. Gunshots galore explode throughout his film centered on an arms deal gone wrong. The filmmaker himself deftly describes Free Fire as…

Before the Age of Exploitation

Christine (2017) D: Antonio Campos. W: Craig Shilowich. DP: Joe Anderson. Starring: Rebecca Hall/Michael C. Hall/Tracey Letts/Maria Dizzia/J. Smith-Cameron/Timothy Simons/Kim Shaw/John Cullum. Last month saw some sleeper releases. Hidden gems amid the flurry of Oscars season. With heads clearing from Sunday night’s madness we might be finally able to get back into what’s on at…

One Mean Burger

The Founder (2017) D: John Lee Hancock. W: Robert D. Seigel. DP: John Schwartzman. Starring: Michael Keaton/Nick Offerman/John Carroll Lynch/Laura Dern/B.J. Novak/Patrick Wilson/Linda Cardellini. The anti-hero roles for Michael Keaton continue with his new turn as McDonald’s Corporation founder Ray Kroc in the film The Founder. Even if you are ignorant of the bulldozing story…

The Presidential Widow

Jackie (2017) D: Pablo Lorraín. W: Noah Oppenheim. DP: Stéphanie Fontaine. Starring: Natalie Portman/Billy Crudup/Peter Sarsgaard/Greta Gerwig/John Hurt/Richard E. Grant/Caspar Phillipson/Beth Grant/John Carroll Lynch. As we head into the Academy Awards this weekend it cannot be denied that this cinematic year has included many heavy hitters. Part of this community is Jackie. The film is…

An Anecdotal Life

20th Century Women (2016) D/W: Mike Mills. DP: Sean Porter. Starring: Annette Bening/Elle Fanning/Greta Gerwig/Lucas Jade Zumann/Billy Crudup/Alison Elliot/Thea Gill. Amid the haze of award season some films get pushed to the sidelines. Funny, well crafted stories that cannot compete with some heavy hitters, but are far better than most large scale commercial releases you…

Splendor in the Page

Nocturnal Animals (2016) W/D: Tom Ford. DP: Seamus McGarvey. Starring: Amy Adams/Jake Gyllenhaal/Michael Shannon/Aaron Taylor-Johnson/Isla Fisher/Armie Hammer/Ellie Bamber/Karl Glusman/Laura Linney/Michael Shannon/Andrea Riseborough/Robert Aramayo. (Based on the novel Tony & Susan by Austin Wright)  It is rarity in the world of film adaptions to find a film that manages to improve upon a novel with such style as Nocturnal…

A Villainous Catastrophe

Suicide Squad (2016) D/W: David Ayer. DP: Roman Wasyanov. Starring: Will Smith/Margot Robbie/Viola Davis/Jared Leto/Cara Delevigne/Joel Kinnaman/Jai Courtney/Jay Hernandez/Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje/Scott Eastwood/Adam Beach. If you have not been bombarded by the marketing campaign that was the lead up to Suicide Squad I want a holiday to where you live. Psychedelic posters galore there were some smart moves…

One Size Fits All

The BFG (2016) D: Steven Spielberg. DP: Janusz Kaminski. W: Melissa Mathison. (Based on the novel by Roald Dahl). Starring: Mark Rylance/Ruby Barnhill/Penelope Wiltern/Rebecca Hall/Rafe Spall/Bill Hader. A grand premiere in Cannes and a good showing at the box office, The BFG is on its way to becoming a children’s classic film adaptation. This was the…

A Standard Fit

Star Trek Beyond (2016) D: Justin Lin. DP: Stephen F. Windon. W: Simon Pegg & Doug Jung. Starring: Chris Pine/Zachary Quinto/Karl Urban/Zoe Saldana/Simon Pegg/John Cho/Anton Yelchin/Idris Elba/Sofia Boutella/Shohreh Aghdashloo. The next installment for the summer is Star Trek Beyond. The franchise has already made headlines in the untimely death of young actor Anton Yelchin who plays…

Stop Fussing and Laugh

Ghostbusters (2016) D: Paul Feig. DP: Rovert D. Yeoman. W: Paul Feig & Katie Dippold. Starring: Melissa McCarthy/Kristen Wiig/Kate McKinnon/Leslie Jones/Chris Hemsworth/Andy Garcia/Cecily Strong/Neil Casey/Charles Dance/Zach Woods. Nothing has caused a stir quite like this all female remake of the 1984 comedy Ghostbusters. In concept alone the new film was immediately criticized and spoofed. Will other…

Eddy & Patsy’s Final Mess

Absolutely Fabulous (2016) D: Mandi Fletcher. DP: Chris Goodger. W: Jennifer Saunders. Starring: Jennifer Saunders/Joanna Lumley/Julia Sawalha/Indeyarna Donaldson-Holness/Jane Horrocks/Robert Webb/Chris Colfer/Celie Imrie/Mark Gatniss.  A beloved British television series has now hit the big screens as Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley return as Edina and Patsy in Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie. Having not seen a lot of…

So Good You Could Eat It…

The Neon Demon (2016) D: Nicolas Winding Refn. DP: Natasha Braier. W: Nicolas Winding Refn, Mary Laws, and Polly Stenham. Starring: Elle Fanning/Jena Malone/Abbey Lee/Bella Heathcote/Keanu Reeves/Karl Glusman/Alessandro Nivola/Christina Hendricks/Desmond Harrington. All aglow with glitter and gold arrives The Neon Demon. This is the newest feature from Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn whose recent films…

A Side Order of Chiseled Cheese

The Legend of Tarzan (2016) D: David Yates. DP: Henry Braham. W: Adam Cozard & Craig Brewer (based on characters created by Edgar Rice Burroughs). Starring: Alexandar Skarsgard/Margot Robbie/Christoph Waltz/Samuel L. Jackson/Djimon Hounsou. The summer is officially in full swing (see what I did there). The Legend of Tarzan arrives to greet us, eight pack…

A Man of Many Talents

Swiss Army Man (2016) D/W: Dan Kwan & Daniel Scheinert. DP: Larkin Seiple. Starring: Paul Dano/Daniel Radcliffe/Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Premiering at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Swiss Army Man quickly divided its audiences. Receiving either high praise for its inventiveness and unique story, others apparently left the screening early in disgust or perplexity. This sort…

Aquatic Life Lessons

Finding Dory (2016) D: Andrew Stanton. W: Andrew Stanton & Victoria Strouse. Starring the voice talents of: Ellen DeGeneres/Albert Brooks/Ed O’Neill/Hayden Rolance/Idris Elba/Kaitlin Olsen/Ty Burrell/Diane Keaton/Eugene Levy/Dominic West. Such a highly anticipated sequel like Disney and Pixar’s Finding Dory has a huge mountain to climb. Like its younger siblings, the Toy Story trilogy, the film…

Stuck in the Middle

 Adult Life Skills (2016) D/W: Rachel Tunnard. DP: Bet Rourich. Starring: Jodie Whittaker/Lorraine Ashbourne/Brett Goldstein/Rachael Deering/Eileen Davies/Ozzy Meyers/Edward Hogg/Alice Lowe. The next little British film that could has arrived. Adult Life Skills is now out in the UK after a promising reception at the Tribeca Film Festival. Predominately funded by British money, the film centers on Anna (Jodie…

Swords, Sandals and Snooze

Gods of Egypt (2016). D: Alex Proyas. DP: Peter Mezies Jr. W: Matt Sazama & Burk Sharpless. Starring: Gerard Butler/Nikolaj Coster-Waldau/Brenton Thwaites/Courtney Eaton/Elodie Yung/Chadwick Boseman/Rufus Sewell/Geoffrey Rush. Ever since the arrival of Zack Snyder’s 300 in 2006, studios have been chasing the next sword and sandal epic for modern audiences. Based on a graphic novel,…

Facets of a Financial Crisis

Money Monster (2016). D: Jodie Foster. DP: Matthew Libatique. W: Jamie Linden. Starring: Julia Roberts/George Clooney/Jack O’Connell/Caitriona Balfe/Dominic West/Christopher Denham/Condola Rashad/Giancarlo Esposito. Hot off the boat from its Cannes Film Festival premiere arrives the Jodie Foster directed thriller Money Monster. With star wattage in front and behind the camera the film works well to engross…

The Rights of Romance & Death

Me Before You (2016). D: Thea Sharrock. DP: Remi Adefarasin. W: Jojo Moyes (based on her novel of the same name). Starring: Emilia Clarke/Sam Claflin/Janet McTeer/Charles Dance/Stephen Peacocke/Jenna Coleman/Samantha Spiro/Brendan Coyle/Matthew Lewis/Vanessa Kirby. Usually obtaining the rights to a highly profitable bestselling novel is a coup. With the adaptation of Me Before You by the…