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Film Reviews

Stories We Tell

Sarah Polley wrestles with family history

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Jun 7,2013 - In Stories We Tell, Sarah Polley has either crafted one of the most deeply narcissistic documentaries ever, or one of the most deeply poignant. The fact that I can’t quite decide which of those is true makes it frustratingly

Summer Guide

Barbecue Basics

Lay a firm foundation for your shindig with the right sauce and grilling technique

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Jun 5,2013 - You can have all the fire-dancers and live music you want, but if what you’re taking off the grill is flavorless or just a flaming piece of charcoal with a meat-like center, your gathering won’t go down in history in any kind

Film Reviews

Frances Ha

The perils of 20-something-hood

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // May 31,2013 - The easy knock on Noah Baumbach would be to say that he’s spent 17 years as a filmmaker circling around to the same place. In his charming 1995 debut Kicking and Screaming,

Film Reviews

Fast & Furious 6

The idea of action without the execution

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // May 24,2013 - We couldn’t have seen this franchise coming—not this way, not the thing it has become. A dozen years ago, The Fast & the Furious was just a throwaway little actionsploitation pic about L.A. street racing, full of testosterone

Film Reviews

The Hangover Part III

Wolf Pack it in, already

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // May 23,2013 - When The Hangover Part II was released two years ago and turned out to be virtually a note-for-note duplication of the original, many of us found ourselves thinking, “Couldn’t they do something new?”

Film Reviews

The Great Gatsby

Baz Luhrmann's problem is more than not showing proper respect

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // May 10,2013 - What if Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby didn’t have to carry the burden of “The Great Gatsby”? That’s not just some Zen koan-like riddle intended to inspire deep meditation; it’s a question about the way we look at a movie

Theater

Theater: A Behanding in Spokane

Dark premise with "bitingly funny execution"

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // May 7,2013 - Martin McDonagh has a particular flavor as a writer, even if his work sometimes feels clearly beholden to both David Mamet and Quentin Tarantino.

Film Reviews

To the Wonder

Emotionally ambitious but diffuse

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // May 3,2013 - Somewhere, somewhen, our culture became openly antagonistic to poetry. And that’s making it too easy to dismiss Terrence Malick for the wrong reasons.

Books

Michael Pollan's 'Cooked'

Exploring the philosophy of eating

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Apr 29,2013 - Over the past decade, no single writer has more diligently explored the myriad consequences of what we humans eat than Michael Pollan—which makes it fairly extraordinary that he continues to find new ways to make us see food in new ways.

Film Reviews

The Company You Keep

Making the morality of activism a snooze

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Apr 26,2013 - Robert Redford hasn’t exactly been shy about his passionate, progressive political commitment over the years. So why does it seems so hard for him to make movies about passionately committed people
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