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Review: 'Civil War' or Exiles in Splitsville

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

War is hell. Everybody knows that. Not just combat veterans who've experienced the thrill of howling rounds kicking up dirt in their faces and dropping fellow soldiers in lifeless heaps on the ground, but home-front civilians, too, absorbing the horror of battle through the mimicry of war movies ("Saving Private Ryan," let's say) and TV series (...Read more

Review: 'Ripley' or The Talented Mr. Scott

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Few movies have been in less pressing need of a remake than Anthony Minghella's 1999 "The Talented Mr. Ripley." Based on Patricia Highsmith's deliciously sociopathic 1955 novel, Minghella's film approached perfection with its knotty plot, sun-washed photography (Italy's Amalfi Coast has rarely sparkled more ravishingly), and memorable cast -- ...Read more

Review: Satan's in Search of Ratings in 'Late Night with the Devil'

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

It's hard to do fresh things in horror. What have we not seen? Flesh-rending? Gut-munching? Levitating devil-brats? Next.

One tack to take in the eternal quest for new frights is simply to revisit horror's greatest hits -- the creaking old house, the dark and stormy night, the old buried-alive ploy. Exotic tortures are always welcome, and ...Read more

Review: In 'Road House' Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Ripped

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Have you ever noticed, when somebody remakes an old genre movie, that the original film suddenly morphs from vintage knucklehead fodder to "cult classic"? This is happening right now to "Road House," a remake of the 1989 movie of the same name, which starred the late Patrick Swayze, still red hot at the time for his star performance in the 1987 ...Read more

Review: 'The Animal Kingdom' or Wild Things

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Something happened. At first it wasn't clear exactly what. In various small towns in France, men started sprouting dorsal bones and tails and great feathered wings. A person whipping the air with newly grown tentacles ran amok in the seafood section of a local supermarket. A little lizard girl was seen lurking shyly in a lush forest. At first, ...Read more

Sunday's Oscars: Some Worthy Candidates from a Pretty Good Movie Year

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

What is the deal with this year's Oscars? I mean, where is the nomination for, let's say, "John Wick: Chapter 4"? That's a pretty great movie. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences -- the keeper of the little gold statuettes -- has been widely criticized over the years for its lukewarm assessment of action and fantasy films, but "Wick ...Read more

Review: 'Madame Web' is simply Spider Girls

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

"Madame Web" is a movie filled with ambulance action, table dancing and - this is more like it - a tribe of Amazonian spider people. Very Indy-ish, and very promising. But then there's also an infestation of product placement of the most shamelessly brazen sort, and you marvel that studios give a thumbs-up to this sort of thing and then wonder ...Read more

Review: 'Lisa Frankenstein' is Dead on Arrival

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

"Lisa Frankenstein" is an '80s-style teen horror comedy with two things going for it. One is Kathryn Newton as the titular Lisa, a big-haired high school goth girl with an angel smile and a taste for the undead. The other is Liza Soberano, who brings a stabilizing warmth to this somewhat scattered picture as Lisa's cheerleading step-sister, ...Read more

Review: 'Argylle' - Just ... No.

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

The awfulness of "Argylle" is so nearly complete that one regrets even having to mention the movie's release. This isn't the fault of the actors; they're fine. It's everything else in the madcap mix -- the garbled direction by onetime action ace Matthew Vaughn, the way-too-clever script by Jason Fuchs, the flavorless score by Lorne Balfe and ...Read more

Review: 'The Sweet East' and 'Fitting In' - Simon Rex Adrift in the Old Weird America, and Maddie Ziegler in a New Kind of Body Horror

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

"The Sweet East" harkens back to an earlier era of indie filmmaking -- maybe as far back as the 1969 "Easy Rider." Once again, we're wandering around the squalid modern world and seeing it through outsider eyes. The story begins in Washington, D.C., where a bus full of New Jersey high school kids is visiting the nation's capital, presumably for ...Read more

Review: The Other 'Dune' or The Return of David Lynch's 'Masterpiece in Disarray'

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

"Dune" is back, have you heard? No, not just the new one, with Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya, Part One of which lumbered into theatres two years ago and Part Two of which, after considerable delay, is due out on March 1. Forget that for a moment. The big news, if you ask me, is another "Dune" -- the one directed by David Lynch and sent out into ...Read more

 

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