If I Stay nails so much about its source material—except key details of tone
For a movie-lover, the journey down the road of reading source material is a perilous one. It's axiomatic that a movie is not a book or a stage play, and that two artistic forms often demand different approaches to the same basic concept.
The documentary vs. the drama
Truth may be stranger than fiction, but that doesn't mean that truth is better than fiction.
Woody Allen recycles old philosophical material in Magic in the Moonlight
Woody Allen. There: Now I've said all I need to say to let you decide whether you want to continue paying attention.
Into the Storm's CGI tornados don't have enough star power
There's something almost quaint about the idea that, once upon a time, the stars of disaster movies were ... well, stars. In the 1970s, when disaster was big box-office business, filmmakers gave their massive-scale life-threatening scenarios a patina of respectability by casting big-name above-the-line talent in the lead roles
Eric Rohmer's world is an enchanting one
An Eric Rohmer film is a particular thing; it's more of a window into an observable world than something staged and played out for an audience's entertainment.
Guardians of the Galaxy puts the "comic" back in comic-book characters
We've seen heroes introduced in many different ways since the Marvel Cinematic Universe started to take over the multiplex universe in the past several years. They've been gods fallen to Earth, and scrawny men turned into something like gods.
An often breathtaking chronicle of the messy business of becoming a man
The audacious experiment Richard Linklater undertook with Boyhood—shooting the film in small increments over the course of 12 years, following Mason (Ellar Coltrane), the child of a struggling single mother (Patricia Arquette) and a sometimes flaky, occasionally absentee father (Ethan Hawke), from first grade through his high school graduation—has dominated coverage of the movie.
And So It Goes is too concerned with making sure we like its irascible hero
In the opening moments of And So It Goes, Oren Little (Michael Douglas) visits the grave of his beloved wife. It's a scene that provides a humanizing context for Oren, since he's generally horrible to most of the people with whom he interacts—kinda casually (but vaguely adorably) racist, kinda casually (but vaguely adorably) self-absorbed, etc.
Roger Ebert documentary is a uniquely emotional experience
Let's not even pretend there's a way for most film critics of my generation to evaluate Life Itself—Steve James' biography of film critic Roger Ebert, taking its title from Ebert's 2011 memoir—on any remotely "objective" basis.
A foolish subtitling choice almost undercuts Venus in Fur
It's such a silly thing, really; it shouldn't matter at all. I mean, when we're considering a film adaptation of David Ives' Venus in Fur, there are so many meaty angles from which to approach it