Film

Considering Tim Burton, Hollywood’s Most Disappointing Auteur

There’s a new Tim Burton trailer in the world, and that means it’s time for one of the film fan’s favorite biyearly rituals: choosing up sides between “Ugh, Tim Burton” and “Maybe it’ll be a return to form!” His new film, Big Eyes, is based on the true story of painter Margaret Keane (Amy Adams) and her husband Walter (Christoph Waltz), who claimed credit for her work. It comes at a moment when Burton needs some sort of artistic redemption (even more than usual), but Big Eyes looks less like a filmmaker trying something new than trying a different variation on something old. Is there a busier yet more consistently disappointing auteur at work in contemporary Hollywood? … Read More

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I Miss the Video Store: What Netflix’s Algorithims Get Wrong

By ceding movies and television media to Netflix and other streaming plans, we’ve lost the joys of the video store, the power of browsing, and — crucially — the well-curated, hand-picked library. I discovered stuff at the video store. It was where I rented Bottle Rocket on a weekly basis, mostly because I thought Owen Wilson was cute and the Siskel and Ebert review of it was beguiling in their confusion, watching it every day I could until I nearly knew the film by… Read More

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WATCH: Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain Are Scraping By in ‘A Most Violent Year’ Trailer

New York City has always been known as a dangerous place, but 1981 was particularly dangerous, with 1826… Read More

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Watch: International Trailer for Jason Reitman’s Tech-Wary ‘Men, Women and Children’

Men, Women and Children‘s title is deceptively human: Jason Reitman’s newest film is not only about people, but the… Read More

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‘Tusk': Kevin Smith Is Back, and Not for the Better

Kevin Smith’s Tusk opens with the sound of two men laughing at their own jokes, so I guess a doff of the cap is due to the filmmaker for encapsulating his movie so efficiently, right from the jump. It’s not just that we’re hearing podcasters Wallace (Justin Long) and Teddy (Haley Joel Osment) giggling at their own presumed cleverness; we’re hearing filmmaker-turned-podcaster-turned-filmmaker-again Smith giggling at the fact that he even made this movie, devised off-the-cuff during an episode of his “SModcast,” its production put up to a fan vote on Twitter. But it’s not like the cult of Smith — and increasingly, over the past two years, that’s exactly what he’s sculpted his remaining fans into — was going to discourage its fearless leader from making a movie if he wanted to. And, for their trouble, he’s made a movie that they will surely devour without question. I’m just not sure where the hell that leaves the rest of us, because Tusk is a mess. … Read More

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‘The Zero Theorem’ Is Terry Gilliam at His Gilliam-est

The 2000s haven’t been so good to Terry Gilliam. He’s a filmmaker of singular style and distinctive vision, one whose pictures are immediately identifiable, and unmistakable for anyone else’s; he’s one of the few directors whose surname has become a description of its own, and “Gilliam-esque” demands as little explanation as “Hitchcockian” or “Fellini-esque” in movie geek circles. But after a run of jaw-dropping quality and unparalleled imagination in the 1980s and 1990s, his recent output has been uneven and problematic. Now there is a new Gilliam film, already available on demand and in theaters tomorrow; it’s called The Zero Theorem, and while it doesn’t match his previous masterpieces, it frequently manages to recapture the anti-authoritarian spirit and whirling dervish quality of his best work. … Read More

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