Cinema

​Poehler’s ‘Lucy and Desi’ Looks at the Love and Work of Hollywood Icons

May 8th, 2022

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

Photo credit: Amazon Studios

Amy Poehler’s nonfiction feature debut as director is a solid and informative account of the inextricably linked personal and professional lives of two visionary entertainers and broadcasting pioneers. The title “Lucy and Desi” doesn’t require the last names Ball and Arnaz for viewers to instantly identify the powerful pair (or to guess why Poehler would be drawn to the story). They are still household names,…

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​Rory Kennedy’s Lacerating ‘Downfall: The Case Against Boeing’

May 1st, 2022

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmial.com

Speaking Truth to Power and Profit

Filmmaker Rory Kennedy lays out damning evidence in “Downfall: The Case Against Boeing,” which premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and is now available to stream on Netflix. Kennedy’s sobering, infuriating film is peak advocacy storytelling, a focused takedown equally interested in the human cost of corporate greed and the chain of bad decisions that led to a pair of preventable crashes. Air travel has…

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​‘Hatching’: Bergholm’s Fledgling Feature Takes Flight

April 25th, 2022

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

Finnish filmmaker Hanna Bergholm’s feature debut “Hatching” is a satisfying creature-feature delight. A coming-of-age, body horror nightmare with a sharp sense of social critique and a nose for the adolescent challenges of complicated mother-daughter relationships, Bergholm’s film critiques the contemporary obsession with self-centered personal branding and the pursuit of clicks, likes, and followers. Better yet, Bergholm commits to the…

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​Eggers Goes Berserk With Viking Tale ‘The Northman’

April 21st, 2022

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

Robert Eggers’s friend Robert Pattinson tries out “I’m vengeance” as the Batman’s latest cinematic catchphrase. In “The Northman,” Alexander Skarsgård’s Prince Amleth takes it up a few notches, preparing himself in the style of Beatrix Kiddo and Maximus Decimus Meridius for a roaring rampage of bloody, gladiatorial revenge on his nasty uncle Fjölnir (Claes Bang, whose character is soon enough “Fjölnir the Brotherless”). Loosely…

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​Pinky Push-ups and Weaponized Lapdogs: The Daniels Take a Spin Through the Multiverse

April 10th, 2022

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

The Daniels – Kwan and Scheinert – further cement their cult status with the hellzapoppin and appropriately titled “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” the team’s follow-up to “Swiss Army Man.” That joint theatrical feature debut, the buzziest word-of-mouth must-see at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, remains the finest film ever made about a friendship between a marooned loner and a flatulent corpse. So what do you do for an encore?…

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​The Milk of Kindness: Andrea Arnold’s ‘Cow’

April 3rd, 2022

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

“Cow,” Andrea Arnold’s first nonfiction feature, opens theatrically and on-demand in the United States on April 8. The talented writer-director, whose “Red Road,” “Fish Tank,” and “American Honey” received jury prizes at Cannes, spent more than four years working on the project.

The result of the filmmaker’s labor is as beautiful as it is painful. “Cow” is a stirring, contemplative, and observational examination of the life of…

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​Bermúdez Peels ‘A Forbidden Orange’

March 27th, 2022

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmial.com

Abiding enthusiasm for continued discussion of the life and work of Stanley Kubrick manifests once again in feature-length documentary “A Forbidden Orange” (also known by its original Spanish title “La naranja prohibida”). Delving into the exhibition history of “A Clockwork Orange” in Spain, director Pedro González Bermúdez shines his flashlight into all kinds of nooks and crannies, but the movie – now available to watch in the United…

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​Ver Linden Debuts ‘Alice’

March 21st, 2022

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

Krystin Ver Linden's feature debut "Alice" premiered in the U.S. Dramatic Competition section at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and arrived in theaters March 18.

The Sundance press notes described the movie as "equal parts earthy Southern Gothic and soulful Blaxploitation," but critical reactions since its January debut have been decidedly mixed. The imaginative genre-mashup works in fits and starts, but there is no question about the quality of…

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​Smokler and Boone Invite Viewers to Visit ‘Vinyl Nation’

March 13th, 2022

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

Filmmakers Kevin Smokler and Christopher Boone have added a worthwhile document to the group of movies devoted in one way or another to the world of record collecting. “Vinyl Nation” will appeal principally to those already familiar with the activity, but the directors make clear a desire to reach beyond the hobby’s traditional demographic of middle-age white men by including the voices of those who have been marginalized for a long time.…

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​Horror Fans Will Devour Mimi Cave’s ‘Fresh’

February 27th, 2022

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

Director Mimi Cave’s feature debut “Fresh” was one of the highlights of the 2022 Sundance Film Festival’s Midnight section. Working from a wicked screenplay by Lauryn Kahn, Cave’s jet-black satire lands exclusively on Hulu starting March 4. Most definitely not for the faint of heart, “Fresh” joins a handful of classic cannibal films that tiptoe along the edges of the comic and the horrific. Echoes of wide-ranging precedents like…

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