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Review: In 'Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery' Daniel Craig Is Back on the Case

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

"Glass Onion" is even more fun than the 2019 "Knives Out," which was already a lively little franchise-launcher. This time, instead of poking around among the avaricious relatives of a mysteriously murdered Massachusetts author, we find Benoit Blanc -- "the last of the gentlemen sleuths," you'll remember -- attempting to get to the bottom of a ...Read more

Review: 'Bones and All' and 'The Menu' - Dinner Is Served

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

"Bones and All" is a movie that goes for the throat right away. An early scene at a girls' sleepover party hits the screen like a gush of blood and sets a high bar for the terrors that soon follow. The picture is a cannibal love story, but it's filled with unexpected emotion. A mesmerizing paradox, in other words -- one of the year's creepiest ...Read more

Review: 'The Fabelmans' - Steven Spielberg Phones Home

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

A Steven Spielberg movie about his childhood back in the 1950s sounds like a ticket to a cotton-candy apocalypse. But "The Fabelmans," while certainly sweet, is never sugary. It glimmers with Spielbergian signifiers -- spunky kids, twinkly Christmas lights, cozy suburban homes. Beneath the fairyland glow, however, darker forces are at work -- ...Read more

Review: 'Weird: The Al Yankovic Story' or Behind the Bologna

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

How fitting that a musical biopic about a maker of pop-song parody videos should itself be a parody. And how cool that it should also be as amiable a brain-fry as "Weird: The Al Yankovic Story." In bringing this long-percolating project to fruition (it started as a Funny or Die film a dozen years ago), Yankovic and cowriter-director Eric Appel ...Read more

Review: 'Holy Spider' -Death on Wheels

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

These are difficult times for the mad mullahs of Tehran. There they were last month, quietly going about their business of oppressing the Iranian people, which they've been doing for the past 43 years, when a big kerfuffle broke out over the death of a 22-year-old woman named Mahsa Amini. She had been in the custody of the government morality ...Read more

Reviews: 'Stars at Noon' and 'Ticket to Paradise' - Margaret Qualley in a Tale of Tropical Intrigue, and George Clooney and Julia Roberts in a Dud Rom-Com

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

'Stars at Noon'

"Stars at Noon" is a dreamy reimagining of the international spy thriller, borne aloft on a cloud of tropical atmosphere and enigmatic romance. The characters are slippery, hard to pin down, and for a while it's difficult to figure out what they're up to. The setting is Managua, Nicaragua, where a young American woman named ...Read more

Review: 'Halloween Ends' and 'The Banshees of Inisherin' - Return of the Big Figure, and Colin Farrell at a New Peak

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

'Halloween Ends'

The story so far:

1978: In suburban Haddonfield, Illinois, teenage babysitter Laurie Strode meets suburban man of mystery Michael Myers for the first time. She is drawn to him (sometimes with a great big knitting needle clutched in her fist), but only sticks around for one sequel. Which, in what will become a tradition, is ...Read more

Review: 'Amsterdam' - Starlogged

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

How's your history? Do you remember a 1933 coup attempt in which a group of Wall Street fat cats plotted to overthrow President Franklin D. Roosevelt -- a hateful socialist, in their view -- and replace him with someone more to their liking? Someone along the lines of the up-and-coming Italian autocrat Benito Mussolini, or maybe that German ...Read more

Review: 'Smile' - Stressed to Kill

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Let's call it the demon leer -- the horror-movie effect created by pasting an incongruous grin across the face of a character who, on the evidence of a cold, soul-piercing stare and corpselike quietude, is clearly deranged. The appeal of this effect for filmmakers is that it is entirely sufficient unto itself. Like the jump scare -- the ...Read more

'Don't Worry Darling' and 'Blonde': Dark Doings Under the Warm California Sun

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Olivia Wilde's "Don't Worry Darling" is unlikely to revolutionize the world of paranoid sci-fi cinema ("The Stepford Wives," "The Truman Show," "The Matrix," etc.). But it's a great-looking picture, filmed in the sunbaked desert city of Palm Springs, California, where the houses are expensively midcentury and the streets are paved with money. ...Read more

Review: 'Anvil! The Story of Anvil' - The Little Band That Couldn't

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Peter Dinklage should have been somewhere in Europe this week, shooting a "Hunger Games" prequel called "The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes." Instead, though, he remained in New York to support his friend, director Sacha Gervasi, at a Tuesday screening of Gervasi's 2008 cult documentary, "Anvil!" at a downtown arthouse called the Angelika (where...Read more

Review: 'House of Darkness' - Dropping in on Dracula's Daughters

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Spooky-house movies have been a go-to genre for scrappy low-budget filmmakers at least since James Whale's 1932 "The Old Dark House" (one of the four horror pictures Whale made at Universal: he also directed the first two "Frankenstein" films and "The Invisible Man" -- itself recently overhauled as a really scary horror-house movie by Leigh ...Read more

 

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