Thursday, July 29, 2010

'Salt' Review

Angelina tears s**t up in another action film, this time as a super-spy who may or may not be a supervillain. She's the highlight of Philip Noyce's competent, but missable thriller.

My review of "Salt" is now online at, with a brief word on the extraordinary "A Prophet," coming to DVD Tuesday. CLICK HERE

Saturday, July 24, 2010

'The Kids Are All Right' Review

Now here's a movie well worth your 11 bucks. Lisa Cholodenko's "The Kids Are All Right" is a vital film, and a funny, emotional and deeply honest one at that. Don't wait.

Read my review, now online at CLICK HERE.

Friday, July 16, 2010

'The Sorcerer's Apprentice' Review

"Prince of Persia." "Jonah Hex." "The Last Airbender." "The Sorcerer's Apprentice." These movies are starting to feel like trips to the gas station. Refuel. Burn. Repeat. And worst of all, for many of you, pay ridiculous prices.

Catch my review of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," the latest fantasy blockbuster that's a complete waste of Hollywood's money and yours, now online at CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Best of the Year Thus Far

Let's pretend the Oscars are tomorrow. And I run them.

Best Actress
Jennifer Lawrence, “Winter's Bone”
Giovanna Mezzogiorno, “Vincere”
Annette Bening, “The Kids Are All Right”
Katie Jarvis, “Fish Tank”
Tilda Swinton, “I Am Love”
Noomi Rapace, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”

Best Actor
Michael Douglas, “Solitary Man”
Mel Gibson, “Edge of Darkness”
Tahar Rahim, “A Prophet”
Leonardo DiCaprio, “Shutter Island”
Zohar Strauss, “Eyes Wide Open”
Ciaran Hinds, “The Eclipse”

Best Supporting Actress
Marisa Berenson, “I Am Love”
Julianne Moore, “The Kids Are All Right”
Dale Dickey, “Winter's Bone”
Dakota Fanning, “The Runaways”

Best Supporting Actor
Mark Ruffalo, “The Kids Are All Right”
John Hawkes, “Winter's Bone”
Niels Arestrup, “A Prophet”
Rob Corddry, “Hot Tub Time Machine”

Best Director
Luca Guadagnino, “I Am Love”
Lisa Cholodenko, “The Kids Are All Right”
Debra Granik, "Winter's Bone"
Haim Tabakman, "Eyes Wide Open"
Martin Scorsese, "Shutter Island"

Best Screenplay
“Winter's Bone”
“The Kids Are All Right”
“A Prophet”
“Toy Story 3”

Best Picture
“I Am Love”
“A Prophet”
“Exit Through the Gift Shop”
“Winter's Bone”
“The Kids Are All Right”

*NOTE: "Inception" was not yet screened when these lists were made. Just sayin'.

Monday, July 12, 2010

My Current Obsession

Credit for my knowledge of the gorgeous conceptual posters below (those being the final four) goes to the fabulous folks at InContention, whose very similar post includes info on the designers and musings on leading lady Tilda Swinton.

Feel drunk on beauty? Try watching "I Am Love."

Thursday, July 8, 2010

'The Last Airbender' Review

Speaking of "bender," I don't think I can't handle another shot of Hollywood-blockbuster-bulls**t this summer. As for Shyamalan, he's definitely a wee bit insane and a big bit detestable for thinking that THIS was the best possible product to put out there for the public to consume. Unbelievable.

Read my review of "The Last Airbender," now online at CLICK HERE.

Philadelphia QFest 2010

I think this is my fifth Philly QFest (formerly the Philadelphia International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival), and I can safely declare the selections get better with each passing year. As I mention in my new preview article, such is presumably, and hopefully, indicative of the bettering of gay films in general.

"Children of God"

Read my QFest Preview, now online at CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Gay Jews in Love

Have you seen "Eyes Wide Open?" It's this extraordinary, beautifully minimalistic Israeli film about a married father of two who works as a butcher in an Orthodox town in Jerusalem, then falls -- hard -- for a hunky young drifter who winds up staying in his shop. I'm aware of the film because I'm doing preview coverage of the Philadelphia QFest, which kicks off Thursday. "Eyes" screened at Cannes in 2009 and saw extremely limited release in February, but slipped right past my radar. It's a work of art, and one of the better movies of 2010.

There need to be more filmmakers like Haim Tabakman, who makes his feature debut and shows what a quality gay film is supposed to look like (sorry, I'm pretty anti the sexed-up stuff that's passed as good gay cinema over the last decade or so). "Eyes" is executed with amazing grace, told in primarily visual terms, and bolstered by performances that are more about body language than spoken conviction (though that is flawless, too). As Aaron the butcher, Zohar Strauss wears a sea of emotion on his face, which reflects the conflict between his religious beliefs and his carnal desires. It's not your typical closeted performance; it's remarkably shaded.

Tabakman's technique is sneaky in its greatness. The filmmaking style isn't showy, and the realization of how immersed you are in this little world is alarming, as are the rather brilliant compositions sprinkled throughout. (One shot, involving a bus, a reflection, and a group of guys on a sidewalk, actually made me gasp.) And the way in which the sexual tension is stretched out like a frail rubber band, waiting -- dying-- to snap, is crazy intense. For these reasons (and for stupidly obvious reasons), the film has earned comparisons to "Brokeback Mountain." It's a worthy cousin.

Friday, July 2, 2010

'Grown Ups' Review

Torturous. Totally torturous. Mr. Sandler, if I weren't paid to watch your stuff, we would be SO done.

Read my review of "Grown Ups," one of the worst films of the year, at CLICK HERE.