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Film Reviews

Inequality for All

An inconvenient goof

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Oct 11,2013 - For those of you who missed previous episodes: You can agree with a documentary’s ideas and still think it’s a bad movie. You can agree with a documentary’s ideas and still think it’s a bad movie.

Film Reviews

Captain Phillips

Captain Phillips finds pure tension in the tactics

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Oct 11,2013 - At first, it feels like there’s a perfunctory quality to the opening scenes of Paul Greengrass’ harrowing true-life drama Captain Phillips. The titular commercial shipping-vessel captain, Rich Phillips (Tom Hanks)

Film Reviews

Gravity

Showing off undercuts the survival tension of Gravity

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Oct 4,2013 - It’s a fascinating, disorienting experience watching the first 10 minutes of Alfonso Cuarón’s lost-in-space adventure Gravity. Astronauts Matt Kowalski (George Clooney)

Film Reviews

Wadjda

More than a cultural manifesto

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Oct 4,2013 - It would be easy enough for Wadjda—a film that had drawn attention for being by a Saudi Arabian woman director, Haifaa Al Mansour—to feel like little more than a cultural manifesto. Even when it does, it’s got one wonderfully

Film Reviews

Rush

Juxtaposing daring talent with workmanlike effort

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Sep 27,2013 - Rivalries—the kind that go down in history, like the one Ron Howard’s Rush is based on—are almost always grounded in contrast. Machine-like Bj√∂rn Borg versus combustible John McEnroe; flashy Magic Johnson versus steady Larry Bird

Film Reviews

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2

Pun for all ages

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Sep 27,2013 - While Pixar generally gets the critical love, and followers like DreamWorks and Illumination score crowd-pleasing franchises, a 2009 charmer from Sony Pictures Animation called Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

Editorial

I'm Going to Disneyland!

Somehow, The Happiest Place on Earth is just that for a crowd-averse writer

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Sep 25,2013 - It’s never easy to come out of the closet as a 46-year-old Disneyland junkie.

Theater

Something's Afoot @ Pioneer Theatre

Review: Goofy murder-mystery spoof offers nonstop entertaiment

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Sep 24,2013 - Musical-theater conventions are always ripe for satirical skewering; ditto for a familiar genre like the whodunit. And the combination of the two in James McDonald, David Vos and Robert Gerlach’s Something’s Afoot makes for a delightful opener for Pioneer Theatre Company’s 2013-2014 season.

Film Reviews

Prisoners

Prisoners pushes its grim allegory past the breaking point

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Sep 20,2013 - Allegory—and this is a considerable bit of understatement—is a tricky business, and it’s only getting trickier all the time. In earlier generations, extended riffs on totalitarian communism (Animal Farm)

Film Reviews

The Act of Killing

One of the most haunting films you'll ever see

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Sep 20,2013 - Documentary filmmakers often set themselves to the task of exploring the events of the past. What Joshua Oppenheimer and his filmmaking team do in The Act of Killing, on the other hand, is something s
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