Wednesday, January 25, 2017

And, brother, she means any


Close to, if not the finest example of its breed.

Directed by George Sidney
Written by Dorothy Kingsley (based on the stageplay by Cole Porter, Samuel Spewack, and Bella Spewack)
With Kathryn Grayson (Lilli Vanessi/Katherine), Howard Keel (Fred Graham/Petruchio), Ann Miller (Lois Lane/Bianca), Tommy Rall (Bill Calhoun/Lucentio), Keenan Wynn (Lippy), James Whitmore (Slug), and Ron Randell (Cole Porter)

Spoiler alert: moderate

Monday, January 23, 2017

Hedwig and the angry witch


There's fun to be had, albeit in the sense that there's usually a certain kind of "fun to be had" from sitting through any M. Night Shyamalan film.  Sometimes, however, he seems like he's even in on the joke here, and that's when Split is pretty good.  But then, sometimes, he is the joke.  And that's when Split is very, very bad.

Written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan
With Anya Taylor-Joy (Casey), Haley Lu Richardson (Claire), Jessica Shula (Marcia), Betty Buckley (Dr. Karen Fletcher), and James McAvoy (Kevin... et cetera)

Spoiler alert: moderate

Thursday, January 19, 2017

He hit me, mother, he hit me hard, but it didn't hurt—it felt like a kiss


Not even being good in the first place leaves this sexist anti-classic nowhere to hide, so now that we've found it, let's punish it.

Directed by Henry King
Written by Phoebe Ephron, Henry Ephron, Benjamin Glazer, Richard Rodgers, and Oscar Hammerstein II (based on play based on the book Liliom by Ferenc Molnar)
With Gordon MacRae (Billy Bigelow), Shirley Jones (Julie Jordan), Barbara Ruick (Carrie Pipperidge), Rupert Rounseville (Enoch Snow), Susan Luckey (Louise Bigelow), Audrey Christie (Mrs. Mullin), Cameron Mitchell (Jigger Craigin), and Gene Lockhart (The Starkeeper)

Spoiler alert: severe

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Without a dream in my heart; without a love of my own


It is a structural exercise where the structure both helps and hampers, and it is also a film that mildly undermines its own humanity by pursuing its themes at the expense of its characters—but the social and emotional truths it gets at will stick with you, at least as much as its minor missteps.

Written and directed by Barry Jenkins (based on the play by Tarell Alvin McCraney)
With Alex Hibbery (Little), Ashton Sanders (Chiron), Trevante Rhodes (Black), Jaden Piner (Kevin, age 6), Jharrel Jerome (Kevin, age 16) Andre Holland (Kevin, grown-up), Mahershala Ali (Juan), Janelle Monae (Teresa), and Naomie Harris (Paula)

Spoiler alert: moderate

Thursday, January 5, 2017

I'm letting life hit me until it gets tired


A throwback this substantial and earnest in its attempt to revivify a long-dead subgenre would have earned our attention regardless; but one this well-made and ultimately powerful, has—in spite of its weaknesses—managed to earn the effusiveness of its praise.

Written and directed by Damien Chazelle
With Ryan Gosling (Sebastian), Emma Stone (Mia), and John Legend (Keith)

Spoiler alert: moderate