If you have finished watching the film Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) and are looking for other movies like it, here is a list of options to consider.
In such films as Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, Velvet Goldmine and I’m Not There, filmmaker Todd Haynes has taken the stories of famous people and utilized what we know—or think we know—about them to explore ideas about celebrity and our all-consuming need to render their often-complex stories into straightforward narratives. That strange compulsion to explain, understand, and commodify the lives of real people is at the heart of his latest work, May December, and it certainly seems to have sparked something in him because the end result is the strongest work that he has done in quite some time. Continue Reading →
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem
Despite their hue, not all TMNT films deserved to be greenlit.
Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird created The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles back in 1984. Now almost 40 years later, what started as a comic book has inspired seven movies, five television series, and countless amounts of merchandise. This week the four ninja tortoises return in a new animated incarnation, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem. Considering I’ve been a fan of the Turtles since six years old, this seems like the perfect time to put an official rating on four decades of movies. Some are gnarly, some tubular, and there’s always a whole lot of cowabunga.
Writers Note: This list doesn’t include the recent Netflix installment Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie, a TV-movie crossover Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or the live recording of the 1990 Coming Out of Their Shells stage show. That one you can catch on YouTube, although I don’t know why you would. Continue Reading →
The Wedding Singer
Though I had in my younger days a pretty low bar as to what funny meant, Adam Sandler was quickly filed under “not for me.” I could take him in bite-sized portions on Saturday Night Live, but his brand of aggressive man-child comedy was far harder to take in feature-length films, particularly when quoted or imitated ad infinitum by men who weren’t professional comedians. To say that I greeted the announcement that he was cast as the leading man in the romantic comedy The Wedding Singer with skepticism would have been an understatement; I fully expected that it would be a “romantic comedy” made strictly for the guys, where the leading man would have to change in no appreciable way to get his co-star to fall madly in love with him. Continue Reading →
When we talk about what movies “couldn’t be made today,” it’s less about what tweaks would need to be employed to make them for a contemporary audience, and more about whining that P.C. culture has killed comedy and it’s never coming back. It also doesn’t take into account that pre-2000s comedy wasn’t entirely a lawless land of misogyny and casual homophobia. There are quite a few films from that era that could easily be made today, just as they were then, with virtually no tweaking or updating for an audience of “snowflakes” that doesn’t actually exist. One of those was Penelope Spheeris’s Wayne’s World, released thirty years ago today. Continue Reading →
The Tender Bar
The Tender Bar, streaming on Amazon January 7th, is based on J. R. Moehringer’s memoir of the same name. In practice though, it could be anyone’s story, and not because there’s a universality to the tale it tells. George Clooney’s film is so generic that the film's Moehringer might as well be a human-shaped blank space. Boasting the archly-drawn relatives of the film version of August: Osage County, the subtle needle drops of a Robert Zemeckis film, and the emotional insight of a Snapple lid fun fact, the picture leaves one thirsty for something of substance. Continue Reading →
There’s a certain reaction one has when watching a movie that opens with the Chicken Soup for the Soul logo, and that is a labored sigh. The company that made its fortune publishing collections of inspiring true stories about overcoming adversity and beating the odds quietly moved into the movie producing business some years back. You’d be forgiven if up to this point you hadn’t heard of anything they produced--the vast majority of their projects seemed to have been created specifically for the direct to streaming market, with titles like 12 Dogs of Christmas and Paris Countdown. After a recent deal with Redbox, however, they’re looking to move into more prestige fare, starting with the comedy-drama Best Sellers. Continue Reading →
Adam Leon's foggy mood piece is as endearingly formless as its amnesiac protagonist, a moody reflection on creativity and youth.
This review is part of our coverage of the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival.
There's no explicit explanation given for why Alina Reynolds (Vanessa Kirby), a short story writer of some recent renown, finds herself aimlessly wandering the streets of New York City sans memory in Adam Leon's hypnotic Italian Studies. But if anyone was to thrive in the Big Apple in such a remarkable fugue state, it'd be someone so preternaturally attuned to listening and observing as Alina. And that she does for the vast majority of Italian Studies' runtime, creating a listless yet engrossing fever dream about the unexpected gifts of curiosity. Continue Reading →
At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, 2046 feels undeniably otherworldly. The sumptuousness of the imagery, the fractured timeline, the computer-generated cityscapes of the future, the fact that everyone speaks in different languages and dialects, and yet there exists no communication confusion—all of it melds into a truly transporting experience. Like many of Wong Kar-wai’s works, however, the film roots itself deep in honest feeling. Thus, no matter how much it seems to be unfolding in a world far from our own, the viewer can understand every emotion the characters experience. Continue Reading →
In order to successfully adapt a beloved novel for the screen, a filmmaker must interpret the story in a way that both expresses their unique directorial vision and faithfully renders the original narrative. Mira Nair’s adaptation of Jhumpa Lahiri’s novel The Namesake achieves this challenge beautifully, harmonizing with the novel while shining as a deeply touching classic in its own right, resonating both with audiences who have read and loved the book as well as those who are new to it. Continue Reading →