Big Screen Movie Reviews

Scorsese to produce a comic book movie

It’s the death of cinema!

My response is always the same: “I’ll attend Comic-Con when Scorsese puts in a personal appearance.” Be careful what you bitch for. Seven months ago Scorsese proclaimed, “Cinema is gone!”, in effect admitting that he’s ...

Good Time, a soundtrack in search of a movie

An honest portrait, if an unattractive one

My first thought upon leaving co-directors Benny and Josh Safdie’s Good Time (Josh co-wrote, while Benny co-stars alongside an intense, controlled Robert Pattinson) was: A soundtrack in search of a movie. That’s not altogether fair, ...

Escapes, a docu-biography

Who knew that Blade Runner was financed in part by Flipper’s TV dad?

Contemporary documentarians, adrift without historical recordings to help illustrate their case, too often try and pass off stock shots from vintage black-and-white studio releases as the emmes. Michael Almereyda’s docu-biography Escapes never once attempts to ...

Exploring the underbelly and outliers

Including 68 Kill, The Hitman’s Bodyguard, Logan Lucky, and Menashe

You know what I’d like to do? I’ll tell you what I’d like to do. I’d like to host a redneck film festival. Maybe not this year, what with all the awfulness surrounding disenfranchised white ...

How do you like your popcorn?

By the bucket or by the bag?

Popcorn became part of the moviegoing experience beginning in the late ’20s. The cinematic staple was originally dispensed in a paper sack, the crinkling of which by inconsiderate patrons was said to drown out dialogue. ...

Endless Poetry, very much a picture show

Jodorowsky’s juvenalia journal

With Endless Poetry, Chilean surrealist (super-realist?) Alejandro Jodorowsky continues the fantastical memoir he began in 2013’s Dance of Reality. But where that first film made a tragic-absurdist hero out of young Alejandro’s father — he ...

Kids today — and yesterday

Offspring abounds in this week’s new movie releases, including The Glass Castle and Wind River

A strong week at the movies, if not necessarily a happy one for the kiddies. Not so much the ones in the seats — though we’re not holding out much hope for The Nut Job ...

American Vandal mockumentary of Oceanside High doesn't ring a bell

Except that Lukas Gage went to San Dieguito

Former Encinitas resident, Lukas Gage, credits his past as a local surfer with helping him land a leading role in the upcoming Netflix series, American Vandal. The eight-episode show uploads to the online network on ...

Damaged parents

The Glass Castle, by San Diego’s own Destin Daniel Cretton

An old joke came to mind while watching Destin Daniel Cretton’s The Glass Castle. A father and his two young children stand outside a 7-Eleven, asking all who enter to spare a little change. Before ...

The Glass Castle: local director goes from self-made DVD to Naomi Watts

Destin Cretton just wanted to stick a disc on the shelf and see if anyone bit

Flash back a decade: I’m working the counter at Citizen Video in South Park. Enter Destin Daniel Cretton, a lanky, well-scrubbed local lad in his late 20s with a DVD copy of Drakmar: A Vassal’s ...

An inconvenient weekend at the movies

There’s not a lot of good stuff in this week’s new releases

This was...not a great week for movies. The big drama? Well acted, badly built. The big adaptation? A fizzle by all accounts. (Your humble correspondents saw it coming and steered clear.) The “starring Academy-Award winning ...

Valerian is a...dim the lights, would ya?

A true-life story from the front lines of cinema

The private screening, generally a matinee performance that plays to an audience of one, is becoming an all-too-common occurrence. At a time when patrons can’t log off long enough to survive a feature without developing ...

Actors who move from Lord of the Rings movie to Marvel movie

There is some connection

Dear Hipster: Have you noticed that anyone who plays some sort of elven royalty in a Lord of the Rings movie goes on to play an ugly-ass villain in a Marvel movie? — Dean Lee ...

Dig a hole: June Foray

Cartoon-character voice-artist made it to 99

Little Scotty’s weekdays began with Chicago’s legendary Ray Rayner Show. One could always count on Ray for a Tweety and Sylvester cartoon featuring June Foray as the voice of Granny. Lunchtime fun consisted of Bozo’s ...

[Sad face emoji]

This week’s new movie releases include The Emoji Movie, which almost (almost) no critics like

As of this writing, Rotten Tomatoes features only one positive review of The Emoji Movie: that of Betsy Bozdech of Common Sense Media. Brave, brave Betsy. Of course, it’s not as bold as being one ...

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