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Film Reviews

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel may not be Wes Anderson at his deepest

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Mar 21,2014 - As fascinating—and maddening—as it can be watching the arguments that emerge between the fans and detractors of a given filmmaker, it can be almost more fascinating watching fans argue among themselves.

Film Reviews

Muppets Most Wanted

Sequel is an enjoyable charmer

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Mar 21,2014 - “We’re doing a sequel,” sing the Muppets in the opening number of Muppets Most Wanted, “And everybody knows that the sequel’s never quite as good.”

Film Reviews

Need for Speed

Does Aaron Paul have what it takes for alpha-male action?

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Mar 14,2014 - It takes a sizeable sack of balls for a car-chase movie like Need for Speed to feature an early scene in which characters are gathered at a drive-in watching Bullitt.

Film Reviews

300: Rise of an Empire

300: Rise of an Empire makes bloody combat feel bloodless

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Mar 7,2014 - Early in 300: Rise of an Empire, a spirited “debate” breaks out in the middle of the Athenian Senate. The powerful Persian army is headed to Greece, led by the “god-king” Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro),

Editorial

Let Her Go

Interpretations can be justified

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Mar 5,2014 - On Feb. 17, a Mormon grandmother went viral—and became something of a laughingstock—when she said something a lot of other people had already said. The problem, it seemed, is that she had the audacity to say that thing from a certain point of view.

Film Reviews

Oscars 2014: Inside the Envelope

Predicting the Academy Awards winners is easier when you don't care

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Feb 28,2014 - Over the years, I’ve written long and often about my evolving relationship with the Academy Awards, but that relationship can safely be summarized as follows: The Oscars and I agree to disagree

Film Reviews

The Wind Rises

English voices don't diminish the beauty of Hayao Miyazaki's visual work

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Feb 28,2014 - To dub or not to dub? It wasn’t really a question for Disney in its plans for releasing Hayao Miyazaki’s Oscar-nominated animated feature The Wind Rises.

Theater

Reviews: Clearing Bombs, Much Ado About Nothing

New theater productions feature smarts and slapstick

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Feb 25,2014 - Hyperbole’s a tricky business, but: If there’s a more fascinating way to explain the clash between Keynesian and laissez-faire economic theories than playwright Eric Samuelsen employs for Clearing Bombs, please point me in its direction and I will be reading the hell out of it for the foreseeable future.

Film Reviews

Like Father, Like Son

Trading children becomes too matter-of-fact in Like Father, Like Son

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Feb 21,2014 - It is one of my cherished critical principles: You must grant a movie its premise. Maybe you’re being asked to believe in a series of tests that allows a sinister agency to predict someone’s every move,

Film Reviews

Robocop

The new Robocop is missing a certain gleeful lunacy

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Feb 12,2014 - It can be fascinating watching history work its magic on conventional wisdom. Take, for example, the case of Paul Verhoeven. As is true for so many purveyors of genre pleasures, Verhoeven was respecte
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