If you have finished watching the film Kolya (1996) and are looking for other movies like it, here is a list of options to consider.
The Trolls movies continue to indulge in their best and worst impulses in a third installment.
The poster for this past summer's R-rated comedy No Hard Feelings had a reasonably clever tagline to explain the strained dynamic between the film's two leads. Against an image of Jennifer Lawrence squeezing Andrew Barth Feldman's cheeks, a single word is placed on top of each person's face: "Pretty" and "Awkward." Nothing revolutionary in design, but it gets the job done. Best of all, that tagline also makes for an apt descriptor for Trolls Band Together.
The third entry in the Trolls trilogy (based on the popular 80s dolls), Trolls Band Together does indeed live up to the phrase “Pretty. Awkward.” The animators at DreamWorks keep coming up with gorgeous-looking environments for the titular critters to inhabit that look like they emerged from the wreckage of a craft store explosion. Unfortunately, the writing remains as stilted as ever. Continue Reading →
TAYLOR SWIFT | THE ERAS TOUR
Make no mistake, Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour, the highly anticipated film version of the career-spanning spectacle the singer-songwriter-popstar toured stadiums with this summer, is essentially a victory lap for her in the wake of massive critical and commercial success. Despite that, it still works because it never feels like what it could have been—a final cash grab for a show that already pulled in enough money to rival the GNP of several developed nations. Instead, it plays like a summation of Taylor Swift and her ever-expanding artistic ambitions. It makes a definitive case for her as one of the most significant musical artists of these times. And it has a lot of sparkly, sassy fun while doing it. Continue Reading →
There's more than one transition going on in Park Chan-wook's 2013 thriller Stoker. Yes, the film tells the story of how the seemingly carefree India (Mia Wasikowska) goes from worshipping her father to worshipping her uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode). But the Hitchcockian thriller -- and it is one, beyond the shadow of a doubt -- was also Director Park’s first English-language title. Continue Reading →
A Field in England
This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the movies being covered here wouldn't exist. Continue Reading →
For decades, the great American institution of summer camp has been fodder for cinema, and for good reason. A group of hormonal teenagers put together in an artificial environment is the perfect recipe for drama, with the gorgeous backdrop of the outdoors. Continue Reading →
No Hard Feelings
As big tent blockbusters like superhero movies and other franchise fare battle it out for screens and box office returns, the traditional mid-budget comedy has become increasingly rare. With adult comedies squeezed off the schedule, there are far fewer opportunities for performers who don’t want to don a cape or end up described as “the live-action version” of a cartoon. That’s part of what makes Gene Stupnitsky’s No Hard Feelings such a breath of fresh air. Continue Reading →
A portrait of a closeted lesbian woman living in England during Margaret Thatcher’s oppressively homophobic 1980s reign, Georgia Oakley’s Blue Jean illustrates a unique paradox for a critic. How does one navigate criticizing a film’s self-imposed binaries while also accounting for the realities of a restrictive period, the gravity of the subject matter (and parallel current circumstances), and the differentiation of what is intended as cinematic affect and what constitutes clumsy filmmaking? Continue Reading →