The Oscars have generated a lot of drama offscreen. Here's who we'd vote for onscreen

The Oscars have generated a lot of drama offscreen. Here's who we'd vote for onscreen

We love to hate the Oscars.

Even for a fan of the series, the third How to Train Your Dragon film is sadly forgettable

It absolutely breaks my Viking-heritaged, geeky, dragon-lovin' heart to have to say this, because I adore the first two How to Train Your Dragon movies, but this third one, The Hidden World? It's not very good.

Return to Mount Kennedy is the nexus of grunge, mountain climbing and conservation

"Mountain rockumentaries about fathers and sons" could be one of those oddly specific subcategories you might come across while browsing Netflix. It's also how director Eric Becker describes his latest film, Return to Mount Kennedy.

Happy Death Day 2U finds new ways to explore its time-loop premise

The goofy 2017 horror comedy Happy Death Day seems like one of the least likely movies to spawn an intricate sci-fi franchise, but writer-director Christopher Landon makes a surprisingly convincing case for just that in Happy Death Day 2U. The first movie found self-centered sorority girl Tree (Jessica Rothe) living the same day over and over while being stalked (and repeatedly killed) by a masked murderer, and used its simple time-loop premise for a series of fun, self-aware jokes and some stock life lessons for its protagonist.

With its meta jokes and catchy songs, The LEGO Movie 2 is more of the same. And that's OK

Every Hollywood film is a business transaction, and yet 2014's The LEGO Movie looked like it was going to be even more blatantly corporate than your typical cinematic toy tie-in. What a shock, then, that it turned out to be both a feature-length commercial and a brilliant, inventive animated comedy, exuberant and visually playful and highly self-aware.

The Oscar-nominated Cold War tells a turbulent love story amidst the terrors of 1950s Poland

Pawel Pawlikowski's Cold War is an epic in miniature, a story that spans more than a decade in the lives of two people and is set against the most tumultuous period in 20th-century Europe, and yet runs less than 90 minutes. It's remarkable how much feeling, human nature and history he captures in that short amount of time, and it never feels rushed.

What's playing at SpIFF in 2019?

What's your favorite movie genre? Comedy?

Likable tweens save the world in The Kid Who Would Be King

Joe Cornish's 2011 debut feature Attack the Block effectively combined a fun genre adventure with some refreshing social realism, in its story of teenagers living in a South London housing project who fight off an alien invasion. Cornish's new film, The Kid Who Would Be King, is sort of a toned-down version of the same approach, a lighter, more family-friendly fantasy with only slight hints of social commentary.

Peter Jackson's They Shall Not Grow Old is less a documentary than a somber museum piece

Note: They Shall Not Grow Old has been shown in occasional one-off screenings since December, but it begins a regular run at River Park Square this weekend. So London's Imperial War Museum went to Peter Jackson and said, "Look, we have all this amazing archival footage from World War I. Can you do something cool with it for the Armistice, the 100th anniversary of the end of the war?"

SPIFF's co-directors walk us through the process of putting together a weeklong Film festival

It obviously doesn't take much effort to watch a movie: You're just sitting in the dark and staring at a screen for a couple hours.

A look at two short SpIFF documentaries that tell distinctly Spokane stories

Every year, Spokane International Film Festival programmers put together a package of their favorite regional short films, both scripted and documentary, known as the Best of the Northwest.

Lost souls form a family in the great Japanese drama Shoplifters

In the films of Hirokazu Kore-eda, it's the things that aren't said that resonate loudest.

Stan & Ollie pays tribute to a comedy duo's twilight years

When the title characters of Stan & Ollie check into a shabby motel early in the movie, they entertain the clerk with one of their classic routines, as Oliver Hardy (John C. Reilly) becomes increasingly exasperated with his bumbling partner Stan Laurel (Steve Coogan) dropping luggage and banging on the call bell.

Roma and The Favourite lead an Oscars race with only a few surprises

The Academy Award nominations were announced bright and early this morning and, for the most part, things went according to plan. Alfonso Cuarón’s much-praised drama Roma and Yorgos Lanthimos’ blistering comedy The Favourite — both of which landed on our roundup of 2018’s best films — received the most overall nominations, with 10 apiece.

Wannabe inspirational drama The Upside is the cinematic equivalent of hospital Jell-O

Everything about The Upside feels contrived and phony, like the movie version of an inspiring-but-fake anecdote your aunt shared on Facebook. Which is impressive, considering it's a true story.

On the Basis of Sex gives Ruth Bader Ginsburg the basic biopic treatment

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the subject of one of 2018's most successful and acclaimed documentaries, Betsy West and Julie Cohen's RBG, so a narrative film focused on an important early case that Ginsburg argued might seem a bit redundant. And while On the Basis of Sex details a case that doesn't get its due attention in RBG, both movies are rather superficial, uncomplicated portrayals of their subjects, with upbeat, boosterish tones that don't allow for anything unexpected or unconventional.


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H.C. McEntire with Silver Treason

H.C. McEntire with Silver Treason @ The Bartlett

Mon., Feb. 25, 8 p.m.

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