Film & TV

Film Legends De Niro, Pacino, Pesci Aren’t Enough to Save ‘The Irishman’ From Itself

Christopher Karr

The shortsightedness of the filmmakers is on display in an unsettling way; they didn’t take into account two fundamental aspects of acting that make all the difference: eyes and physicality. Scorsese expressed concerns about how the de-aging affected the eyes of the performers earlier this year on A24’s “A Bigger Canvas” podcast, saying, “Certain shots need more work on the eyes.” But an even bigger problem is the fact that the actors, now in their mid-70s or older, don’t have the physicality of their younger selves.

Joaquin Phoenix’s Mesmerizing, Haunting Turn as ‘The Joker’

Christopher Karr

Todd Phillips, the co-writer and director of Road TripOld School, and the Hangover trilogy, is the mastermind behind Joker, which is by far the greatest comic book movie ever made. And it’s a comic book movie in the purest possible sense because it perfectly replicates the experience of reading comics as a kid — specifically Batman comics involving the Joker. Joker is an anti-hero horror comedy. It’s genuinely funny and completely unsettling. Think Re-AnimatorGet Out, or Very Bad Things — but better. Much better.

'Fleabag,’ ‘Game of Thrones’ Dominate 2019 Emmy Awards

Jill Serjeant

The Emmys are Hollywood’s top honors in television, and the night belonged to Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the star and creator of Amazon Studios’ “Fleabag” who also created “Killing Eve.” Waller-Bridge took the trophy for best comedy actress, beating out six-time “Veep” actress winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus as well as last year’s Emmy champ Rachel Brosnahan for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Waller-Bridge also won an Emmy for comedy writing.

Exploring the Bizarre Cult of Ink in ‘Tattoo Uprising’

Christopher Karr

But Tattoo Uprising doesn’t really cater to viewers who aren’t already tatted — and perhaps it shouldn’t be. I would imagine, although I can’t say for sure, that anyone with a heavy interest in tattoos will find depth and significance in this film, but for me, the spine of the narrative is inert. There’s no narrative progression or innate rhythm to the storytelling, and as a result the movie feels more like a casual exploration punctuated by historical tidbits that range from valid to questionable.

Tarantino Delivers a Genius – and Peculiar – Masterpiece in ‘Once Upon a Time…’

Christopher Karr

The ending notwithstanding, there are times when the movie soars: The opening sequence that accompanies the credits is a breathtaking collage that plunges you completely into the headspace and milieu a different totally time. Brad Pitt gives the coolest performance of his career, and I mean “coolest” in the purest possible sense: cooler than Brando at his coolest, cooler than Steve McQueen (who appears as a character in the film long enough to give a monologue before disappearing completely). Pitt’s rapport with his dog is one of the more touching elements. 

A Day in the Life of a Film Critic

Tara Taghizadeh

There have been other changes as well, and I ultimately see most as neutral. It’s easy to say, “Films used to be better,” or, “They don’t make ’em like Gone With the Wind anymore.” But it’s important to remember that we tend to view film history with rose-colored glasses. We remember the gems and forget all the trash. Today, we have more content than ever before and — accordingly — more garbage. But we also see a number of really fantastic movies released every year. 

‘Other Music’ and the New York City of a Bygone Era

Christopher Karr

The movie chronicles the shuttering up of New York City’s most beloved record store, Other Music, which took exquisite pride in championing the kind of musicians whose work you wouldn’t find at Tower Records across the street. The owners and employees acted as indie curators, relishing every opportunity to geek out over thousands of obscure musicians, personally selecting albums based on their customers’ tastes and inclinations. 

Disney Is Poised to Dominate the Summer Movie Season

Lisa Richwine

The final chapter in a decade-long superhero saga and the remake of a big-screen classic could topple box-office records during a summer movie season expected to be dominated by Walt Disney Co. Avengers: Endgame from Disney’s Marvel Studios kicks off Hollywood’s parade of potential blockbusters on Wednesday, and it is expected to start with a bang. Industry experts say Endgame will likely deliver the biggest opening weekend ever in the United States and Canada.

The Complex Constructs of Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’

Christopher Karr

Us is murkier and messier and more ambitious. You could intuit as much from the perplexing extended teaser that gave a splashing glance at the evocative, nightmarish imagery. Indeed, Peele’s focus as a visual storyteller has sharpened. He amplifies the more stunning frames in Us with a pulsating score that signals foreboding, menace, and misery. Even a shot as conceptually simple as a blood-red candy apple dropping into the sand sparks waves of meaning. He stages an agonizingly slow zoom-out of countless rabbits in cages so powerfully and confidently that you feel overwhelmed by the palpable dread of unspoken sadism. 

Films With a Message Make Lasting Impression Beyond the Oscars

Lisa Richwine

The movie Green Book explores racial inequality, Roma reveals the emotional toll placed on domestic workers, and RBG chronicles the fight for women’s rights. The messages in the three Academy Awards contenders are no accident. All were produced and financed by Participant Media, a pioneer among a group of companies aiming to advance social missions through movies.

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