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Review: 'Love and Monsters' and 'J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs and the Church of the SubGenius' - A Good Teens-and-Creatures Movie, and a Deep Dive Into a Glorious Fake Cult

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

"I didn't really have your typical upbringing," says 20-something Joel Dawson. "I mean, I did at first, but then the world ended."

The title of "Love and Monsters" announces the movie's components with the simplicity of a candy bar wrapper. Joel (Dylan O'Brien, of the hazily remembered "Maze Runner" movies) still loves his girlfriend, Aimee (...Read more

Review: 'A Rainy Day in New York' asks why Is Woody Allen Still at It?

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Woody Allen has been making movies for 55 years now, at the approximate rate of one every year. On the evidence of his latest film, it might finally be time for him to stop.

"A Rainy Day in New York" was collateral damage in the collapse of Allen's four-film distribution deal with Amazon Studios, which pulled out of it after the revival of a ...Read more

Review: 'LX 2048': is a Sci-Fi Dystopia With a Few Things on Its Mind

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Let us take a tentative first step into the spooky season with "LX 2048," a sci-fi movie with more ideas banging around in it than there is really enough room to deal with. Made on a shot-in-Lithuania budget that forced a reliance on minimalist visuals, the picture somewhat recalls Jean-Luc Godard's 1965 "Alphaville." But Godard had Paris to ...Read more

Review: 'The Nest' and 'No Escape' - Jude Law and Carrie Coon in Top Form, and a Little Bit of Torture-Porn Lite

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

After 27 years of memorable work in films by Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese and Wong Kar-Wai, among many others, Jude Law can still surprise us. In "The Nest," he gives one of the strongest performances of his career, playing a man whose life has accumulated into a shaky edifice of lies, too many of which he has come to believe himself. Law ...Read more

Review: 'Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies' - Prurience Revisited

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Looking back on the cinematic sexy-wars of the last century from the promised land of total pornography we inhabit today must be a little puzzling for young cinephiles. Was there really a time when people got bent out of shape by the lewd wisecracks of Mae West, the rather basic butt baring of Brigitte Bardot, the epic but completely covered-up ...Read more

Review: 'I'm Thinking of Ending Things' - Snowblind

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Charlie Kaufman's latest is a brilliant film, I guess. In "I'm Thinking of Ending Things," the one-of-a-kind writer-director takes us on a wintry road trip with a young woman (Jessie Buckley) named Lucy (maybe that's her name, maybe not) and her schlub boyfriend of four or six or seven weeks (she's not sure), a guy named Jake (Jesse Plemons). "...Read more

Review: In 'Class Action Park' it's Death in the Afternoon

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Mockers of my native state of New Jersey are usually careful to acknowledge what they see as the few positive aspects of the place. It's the home of Springsteen and Sinatra, of course, and an excellent source of big-ass tomatoes and ambrosial Taylor Pork Roll, the king of processed breakfast meats.

But naysayers always bring up the lamentable ...Read more

Review: 'Creem: America's Only Rock 'n' Roll Magazine' and 'Jazz on a Summer's Day'

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Founded in riot-wrecked Detroit in 1969, Creem magazine became a showcase for a snotty new style of rock 'n' roll writing that combined love of its subject with the mocking irreverence of the music itself. A number of noted writers passed through the magazine's editorial bullpen -- Nick Tosches, Chuck Eddy, Greil Marcus, Cameron Crowe. But in a ...Read more

Review: 'An American Pickle' finds Seth Rogen in a Soulful Time-Travel Comedy

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

The new Seth Rogen movie is a time-travel story of the "Rip Van Winkle" variety. It's set in 1919 Brooklyn, where an immigrant named Herschel Greenbaum (Rogen) falls into a vat full of brining pickles and wakes up a hundred years later surrounded by social media, Williamsburg hipsters and a thicket of digital doohickeys. Cue the fish-out-of-...Read more

Review: 'The Go-Go's' Have Still Got the Beat

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Let us now praise the Go-Go's, glittering jewels of the 1980s New Wave moment.

Praise has been in meager supply since the band's first album, "Beauty and the Beat," streaked up the charts in 1981, fueled by the irresistible hits "We Got the Beat," "Our Lips Are Sealed," "How Much More" and "Skidmarks on My Heart" (all heavily assisted by the ...Read more

Review: 'Amulet' and 'The Rental' Are Where Heart-Choking Terror Meets Old-School Slash

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

In this summer of blockbuster eclipse -- no new Bond, no Pattinson Batman, no deliriously expensive Christopher Nolan movie -- we've been afforded unlimited time to consider more modest offerings. Some of these new films, as you may have noticed, are entirely deserving of the attention they might otherwise never have gotten. And at least one of ...Read more

 

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