Review: LOGAN LUCKY Races for the Big Score, Finishing Above Average

How lucky are we? I suppose that depends upon how you feel about the work of director Steven Soderbergh. One of the most deliberately eclectic and diverse filmmakers in the history of Hollywood, Soderbergh has seen fit to shift gears...

10+ Years Later: Does SCHOOL OF ROCK Still Make the Grade?

There are two dominant beats in play for the duration of School of Rock, the 2003 crowd-pleasing box office comedy smash. Most visible and memorable is frontman Jack Black. But just behind him, keeping perfect time and setting the thumping...

Review: THE NUT JOB 2: NUTTY BY NATURE, A Nutty Surprise

Everyone loves to be pleasantly surprised by a movie.  What's even better?  Being surprised by being pleasantly surprised by a movie.   There is no known expectation of The Nut Job sequel being any good in any way.  The 2014...

Blu-ray Review: Criterion Gets LOST IN AMERICA

Swirling, swirling, swirling, all down the drain. Passed over for a promotion -- scratch that -- fired from his job, helplessly watching as all his hopes and dreams go right down the toilet, David Howard has a moment of clarity....

Blu-ray Review: The MARSEILLE TRILOGY Docks with Criterion

Just because community is a beautiful thing never means it's an easy thing. Family relations, most everyone knows, can prove especially dicey. Even in comedies. Especially in comedies. In the early 1930s, just as the movies were learning to talk,...

Review: SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING Comes Home in Fun Style

When is an origin story not an origin story? When super-producer Kevin Feige and his brigade of talent behind the unyielding success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe took the creative reins of Sony's third go at Spider-Man in 15 years,...

Blu-ray Review: MARTIN SCORSESE'S WORLD CINEMA PROJECT VOL. 2, A Trip Worth Taking

Nearly five years after Criterion released Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Project Volume One, an impressive box set of six films from around the world, we finally have its first follow up, Volume Two. Like the first volume in both packaging,...

Review: CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS: THE FIRST EPIC MOVIE Doesn't Stink

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, as fun as it is and wants to be, is an all-too-obvious case of "the emperor has no clothes." Or in this case, “the super-hero has quite limited clothes”. Perhaps he left them in...

10+ Years Later: Is WILLOW Still a Magical Journey?

Most people are familiar with the famous trilogies of George Lucas: The Star Wars trilogy. The other Star Wars trilogy. The Indiana Jones trilogy. (Which of course grew into a quadrilogy, whether we like it or not.) But another trilogy...

Review: THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS Hits the Accelerator

Vin Diesel and his gang are back for yet another round of supercharged ridonkulousness with The Fate of the Furious, the eighth film in the ever-expanding, infectious cars and crime franchise. Like a boisterous but fun relative who keeps rolling...

10+ Years Later: Is TIME BANDITS Still One for the Ages?

Going back through the time portal, there was a point when Terry Gilliam's Time Bandits was practically an obsession. It had most everything to do with the director. For my close friends and I, Gilliam was part of an impeccable...

Review: CANOA: A SHAMEFUL MEMORY, Who are the Bad Hombres?

It's always a nice surprise to come upon a completely unfamiliar film that is, in fact, a seminal entry in its national cinema history. It's all the more surprising, upon first viewing, to find oneself a bit stunned by that...

Screen Anarchists On KONG: SKULL ISLAND

Unless you've been living under a (skull-shaped?) rock, you're probably aware there is a new King Kong film in theaters. It's called Kong: Skull Island, and opinions about it within Screen Anarchy are divided, to say the least. Kwenton...

10+ Years Later: Is ROBOCOP Still Arresting?

Gleaming as ever like some kind of well armed brushed-metal action figure, Paul Verhoeven's 1987 RoboCop continues to reflect striking truths amid daft action. Although now considered a sci-fi classic, one can be forgiven for initially assuming a certain b-movie...

Blu-ray Review: THE TREE OF WOODEN CLOGS, Far From a Wooden Slog

"I'm going to find a tree to chop down." That line, perhaps familiar from another film released by Criterion, Moonrise Kingdom, also applies to this new release by the company, respected Italian director Ermanno Olmi's 1978 Palme D'or winner, The...

Review: FIFTY SHADES DARKER Goes Narratively Limp

In the saucy on-screen world of author E.L. James, things are leveling out. In both this movie, and its film franchise on the whole, a balance is suddenly being enforced. Whereas the initial entry, Fifty Shades of Grey, told a...

10+ Years Later: Does THE LAST PICTURE SHOW Still Play?

For whatever reason, Peter Bogdanovich's 1971 career-igniter The Last Picture Show had been rattling around in my mind. A hazy lone monochrome mental tumbleweed ambling through every now and then. Although I've read about it at length in numerous books...

Review: MONSTER TRUCKS Lives Up to Very Low Expectations

I feel like a 4-year-old boy when I say it, but Monster Trucks is my #1 movie of 2017. Of course, this being only the second week of January, it's also my only movie for 2017 so far. But speaking...

Blu-ray Review: HIS GIRL FRIDAY From Criterion Is Black and White and Read All Over

Trumpeted even today, well beyond its 75th anniversary, Howard Hawks' 1940 newspaper-centric screwball comedy is an undeniable keeper.  It’s also warped and batty with something of a dark streak. People throw themselves out of windows, morbidity that doesn’t stop the...

An American Film Geek's Top Ten of 2016

2016 Strikes... a Chord "2016 strikes again!" Whether it was the rash of jarring celebrity deaths, the disquieting state of global affairs, or the most gawd-awful U.S. presidental election in modern memory, 2016 proved to be the difficult "dumpster fire"...