As an attack on right-wing radio, "Hot Air" is surprisingly inept. Steve Coogan, the movie's star (and an executive producer), is a smart, funny actor; but he's also a standard-issue English lefty -- votes Labour, supports Jeremy Corbyn, detests Brexit -- and it's easy to imagine that he never had any intention of giving a nuanced account of his...Read more
I don't think it's a spoiler to reveal that toward the end of this documentary about the still-unresolved 1961 death of U.N. Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold, the film's Danish director and star, Mads Brugger, confesses the following:
"To be honest, I was never really interested in the legacy of Dag Hammarskjold. Because at the end of the day...Read more
Just as the dire month of August once again gets underway, we find ourselves wandering dazed through the blast radius cleared by last week's release of the new Quentin Tarantino movie, "Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood." When was the last time so many movie fans -- critics and otherwise -- spent so much time raving and cursing and endlessly ...Read more
"Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood" is being marketed as "The 9th Film from Quentin Tarantino" -- a shoulder-tapping reminder that the golden age of punk-savant cinema that the director inaugurated 27 years ago with "Reservoir Dogs," and has since decided to limit to 10 pictures, will soon be over. Well, so he keeps saying.
Number nine is a baggy...Read more
David Crosby has been many interesting things over the course of his 77 years: a founding member of the Byrds -- the band that created folk-rock -- and of the subsequent super-duper group variously known as Crosby, Stills & Nash or Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. He has also been a junkie, a fugitive, a convict and a world-class asshole. The new ...Read more
Kumail Nanjiani and Dave Bautista are so appealing in 'Stuber' -- so personable and droll in their verbal parrying -- that you can't help wishing someone would put them in a buddy comedy someday. It wouldn't even have to be a top-shelf buddy comedy -- something, for example, that might have caught the attention of Eddie Murphy or Mel Gibson back...Read more
Ari Aster's new movie -- the follow-up to his hair-raising debut, "Hereditary" -- merits an old-school description. "Freaky" was one term I heard after a recent screening. "Head trip," believe it or not, was another. "Mindf---" is the one that occurred to me.
These archaic locutions fit the movie's vivid psychedelic presentation. We see a ...Read more
Jack Malik (Himesh Patel, an alumnus of the never-ending British soap opera "EastEnders") is a going-nowhere singer-songwriter in an English resort town. One day some friends give him a new guitar as a present. To try it out he plays one of his favorite songs: "Yesterday." His friends love it, and assume Jack wrote it. Jack is astounded: The ...Read more
For a guy -- well, an evil doll -- like Chucky, life has always been nasty and brutish, although never as short as his creator, the writer and sometimes director Don Mancini, has so often made us hope. Over the course of 30 years, seven movies and endless pandemonium, the pint-size exterminator has been shot, stabbed, beheaded, dismembered and ...Read more
Twenty-two years after the launch of their original series, the Men in Black are back. But why? Well, yes, the Earth is still home to a plenteous undercover population of intergalactic space aliens, and they still need herding. And some of them still pose existential threats to the planet, and so require sterner attention. But as we see in ...Read more
There are several things wrong with "Dark Phoenix." I'm tempted to say everything is wrong with it, except that the picture is largely in focus and the credits appear to be correctly spelled. Other than that, though...
If Disney really wanted to throw $200 million up on the screen and flick a match at it, it would make sense that they ...Read more
"Rocketman" is the kind of music-biz biopic in which the star of the show, Elton John (played by Taron Egerton), sings a duet with his 9-year-old self (Matthew Illesley) -- a rendition of the 1974 E.J. hit "The Bitch Is Back." It's also the kind of movie in which this scene is set in the middle of a group therapy session at the rehab facility ...Read more