For all the Marvel movies’ successes – great team dynamics, zippy scripts, solid action – they’ve always had a problem coming up with compelling villains (Tom Hiddleston’s Loki excepted). Captain America: Civil War devises a simple solution: pit the heroes against each other. (more…)
The danger and peril of Rudyard Kipling’s novels are combined with the iconic story from Disney’s 1967 animated version to created a vivid hybrid vision of The Jungle Book – one that was filmed entirely on sound stages in downtown L.A. (more…)
Joel and Ethan Coen’s latest doesn’t hides its themes: it opens on a shot of a cross and follows a Hollywood fixer’s Sisyphean task to keep a bustling film studio in check as it churns out movies that are arguably worthwhile. (more…)
Marvel continues its plans for world domination while its on-screen heroes battle against a foe bent on the same goal in the breathless Avengers sequel Age of Ultron. All the big names are back (with a few more are added to the mix) in a movie that provides non-stop action with some welcome sojourns that examine what it means to be a hero. (more…)
Under the Skin (2014)
Dir: Jonathan Glazer
Scarlett Johansson takes a break from the brawn of big-budget blockbusters to ably command the screen in Under the Skin, Jonathan Glazer’s long-in-the-works third feature. Science fiction and Scottish miserablism combine in this visually stunning but narratively light film that’s long on haunting imagery and short on dialogue.
Johansson stars as the unnamed lead, an alien who haunts the Scottish countryside in a white panel van in search of lonely men with few societal connections. There’s a motorcyclist who acts as her handler of sorts, a dilapidated building that serves as home base, and the aforementioned van where much of the film takes place in and around. And then… things occur. Without being dismissive of the film, it’s more a tone poem and less a traditional narrative, and to detail (more…)