I Ain't Afraid o' No-Stalgia

I Ain't Afraid o' No-Stalgia

The re-release of Ghostbusters takes a critic back to a formative movie summer
You're forgiven in advance if you roll your eyes at the blatant pandering to nostalgia that is to follow.

Under the Mask

Frank is more insightful than funny, and that's OK
Frank wears a massive mask at all times and has somehow managed to get four other people to make intentionally crappy music with him.

High Fidelity

If I Stay nails so much about its source material — except key details of tone
For a movie lover, the journey down the road of reading source material is a perilous one.

Style over Substance

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For struggles to even come close to its predecessor
There's the nihilism of Sin City.

Spinning Wheels

Woody Allen recycles old philosophical material in Magic in the Moonlight
Woody Allen.

Kids in America

Rich Hill gives us a grim look at the lives of kids growing up in rural poverty
You're going to be worried about our kids when you get done watching Rich Hill. Not just your kids, but all the kids out there.

Life Itself

Boyhood, made over the course of a dozen years, is Richard Linklater's masterpiece
The development of personhood as it is experienced — day-by-day, year in and year out — is the subject of Boyhood.

No New Twist

Into the Storm's CGI tornadoes don't have enough star power
There's something almost quaint about the idea that, once upon a time, the stars of disaster movies were ... well, stars.

Feel (Kinda) Good

Get on Up isn't the James Brown biopic you've been waiting for
When a movie poster boldly claims Get on Up to be "the James Brown story," there's a responsibility to tell that story in a manner that lets you begin to understand what made James Brown tick. That doesn't happen here.

Space Laughs

Guardians of the Galaxy isn't Marvel's 'A' squad, but they get the job done
Guardians of the Galaxy is not a superhero movie. Yes, it's a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Sympathy for the Old Devil

And So It Goes is pathologically concerned with making sure we like its irascible hero
In the opening moments of And So It Goes, Oren Little (Michael Douglas) visits the grave of his beloved wife.

Same Story

Zach Braff didn't do much with the money you gave him for Wish I Was Here
Lightning hasn't struck twice in the second film written, directed by and starring Zach Braff.

Champion of the Movie

Life Itself remembers the impact of Roger Ebert
Softcore-porn filmmaking king Russ Meyer, who really admired Roger Ebert, used to tell me stories about wining and dining him, as well as setting Ebert up with some of his zaftig friends ("zaftig," not surprisingly, was one of Meyer's favorite words). Meyer lived in an A-frame, where he would be upstairs cooking while Ebert was downstairs working on the screenplay for Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.

Damn Dirty Future

The next installment of Planet of the Apes makes for an entertaining dystopia
Ten years after the ape-ocalypse witnessed in 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes — in which lab chimps imbued with heightened intelligence (as a result of their time spent as simian guinea pigs) freed themselves from their cages and headed across the San Francisco Bridge toward the California redwoods — we revisit these apes in the process of laying the groundwork for their new society. The apes are now fully bipedal (no knuckle-dragging for this colony), and live in Anasazi-like dwellings, where English-language skills and philosophical teachings ("Ape not kill ape") are scratched onto the rock walls.

Once, Twice

A filmmaker fails to re-create his past triumph in Begin Again
Once upon a time — in that long-ago year of 2007 — there was a magical musical called Once.

A Cold Future

Snowpiercer's speeding train makes for one of the best sci-fi flicks of the year
An object of blunt force and breath-catching beauty, Snowpiercer plays what-if with a familiar doomsday scenario: What if Noah's ark never found dry land again?

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