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"...

ScreenAnarchy's Top 10 Movies of 2016

This year, 23 Screen Anarchists from 11 countries around the globe shared with us 129 films for consideration in our collective top ten movies of 2016. Our criteria was simple: an individual contributor could include a film on their ballot...

Review: 20TH CENTURY WOMEN Rocks the Roost

You must remember this... Filmmaker Mike Mills remembers a lot of things. His own life is the source material for his films. 2010’s Beginners was about his rough relationship with his father; now, 20th Century Women is about him growing...

Blu-ray Review: Criterion Goes Far With FEDERICO FELLINI'S ROMA

When it comes to Federico Fellini's Roma, it's difficult to determine what's more self-indulgent, the act of appropriating by name a vital, ancient city that's been on the global forefront of politics, religion and culture, or this entire film in...

Review: HIDDEN FIGURES Takes on Segregation at NASA in 1961

Hidden Figures is a film that's spinning a lot of plates. There's the three main characters, there's the ticking clock of the space race, there's the gradual chipping away of institutional racism, et cetra, et cetra. It is impossible, however,...

Screen Anarchists On ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY

(Do anarchists like rogues and rebels, or is there a disturbance in The Force?) Earlier this week I managed to get into a 3D IMAX screening of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and I was surprised to notice...

Review: ASSASSIN'S CREED Dies a Bloodless Death

When it comes to movies that are based on video games, so many of them seem to be about “The One”. Yet, when it comes to said movies actually being any good, there's been “No One.” Beautifully photographed, immaculately designed,...

Review: ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY Has It Where It Counts

Spoiler Alert! The Death Star plans, so intensely pursued for the entirety of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, do in fact reach their proper destination, allowing Luke Skywalker to destroy the imposing monolithic super-weapon. (End of Spoiler) But you...

Blu-ray Review: Cult Classic THE STEWARDESSES Never Takes Off

Casually flying us back to an era when cheapo sleaze movies were, above all, passive, we now have the Blu-ray release of the 1969 hit The Stewardesess.   “Hit,” you ask?  Oh yes - this amateurish 16mm skin-flick held the...

Review: MISS SLOANE Wallows in Politics as Usual

It wouldn't hurt to bone up on Washington DC lobby laws and practices before taking in Miss Sloane, the latest from one-time prestige director John Madden (Shakespeare in Love). But if doing so falls between the cracks, don't let that...

Review: FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM Slowly Lurks

There will be five of these? Really?? Harry Potter without Harry Potter. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good Harry Potter tale as much as the next guy… Actually, I truthfully don’t. Having never read the books, and having...

Blu-ray Review: Criterion's PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE Proves a Healthy Choice

Breezy yet tight, severe but affecting, Paul Thomas Anderson's Punch-Drunk Love is the confounding genius' mini masterpiece.   Shot through with affection and pathos to spare, the fact that the entire picture wears its sensitivities on its sleeves benefits the...

Review: BILLY LYNN'S LONG HALFTIME WALK Goes Nowhere

No, this isn’t a movie about someone who’s had too much to drink in the first half, and then has trouble locating a restroom during the break. Although that may’ve been a better film. As we're now two years beyond the surprisingly...

Review: DOOMED! THE UNTOLD STORY OF ROGER CORMAN'S THE FANTASTIC FOUR Stretches, Hits, Burns, then Disappears

"The world's greatest comic magazine!" So reads the masthead above the title of nearly every “Fantastic Four” comic book ever published. Too bad the same can't remotely be said about the FF movies. The track record for attempts at adapting...

Review: THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN, A Manipulative Wreck

Evoking its title, the new film adaptation of the popular Paula Hawkins novel The Girl on the Train wants to be perceived as running smoothly on its tracks through a variety of settings and scenarios. Sometimes, it travels a familiar...