Review: King Me, it's 'Elvis'

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Baz Luhrmann's new Elvis Presley biopic is set in an endless present in which Presley's music, a foundational component of early rock and roll, flows out of the blues, country and gospel music that preceded it -- the sounds of people like Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, Hank Snow, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe -- and onward into rap and other musical ...Read more

Review: In 'Abandoned' Michael Shannon Gets Ghosted

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Two things to do if you find yourself in a spooky house with the windows nailed shut, creepy weeping in the halls and a dead pig in the basement:

No. 1: Leave.

No. 2: Stay gone.

Nobody ever abides by such commonsense cautions in horror movies, of course, and thank goodness. Imagine how brief these films would be if anyone did.

"Abandoned" is...Read more

Review: 'Crimes of the Future' - A World of Sex and Surgery

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

David Cronenberg is back. After devoting eight years to the making of TV movies and Nike commercials, the writing of books (a 2014 novel called "Consumed," about high-end techno lust), and even acting (in the streaming terror series "Slasher"), the master of big-screen body horror has returned to the land of exploding heads and mutant flesh that...Read more

Review: 'Top Gun: Maverick' is Tom Cruise's Long-Delayed Return Flight

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

"Top Gun: Maverick" is of course custom-made to scratch the international itch for big-budget, star-driven action movies -- the kind that look cool with Tom Cruise snugged down in their cockpit. It's a better film than the first "Top Gun," released 36 years ago this month, and much credit for that must go to new director Joseph Kosinski, who ...Read more

Review: 'Men' - Boys Night

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Women should be happy they have only one real problem in life. Unfortunately, that problem is men, of whom there are so many. As more than a few ladies have noted over the millennia, any female attempting to fend off unwanted male attention can expect one of two outcomes. The first would involve a philosophical shrug as the suitor moved on to ...Read more

Review: In 'The Innocents' The Kids Are All Wrong

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Most evil-kid movies -- "The Omen," "The Exorcist," the "Village of the Damned" films, and on and on back to "The Bad Seed" in 1956 -- are frank about their intentions. They're horror flicks, and they want to freak you out. You know this when you set out to see them -- it's the reason you're going. However, "The Innocents," a new movie from ...Read more

Review: It's Everything All At Once in 'Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness'

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Arriving less than five months after "Spider-Man: No Way Home," the new "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" is a bit of a fizzle. "No Way Home" was one of the most soulful and technically impressive films in the 14-year history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a picture distinguished by the clarity of its storytelling, the clamoring ...Read more

Reviews: Fright Nights - 'Dual' and 'Hatching'

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Somewhere in the future a woman named Sarah is informed that she has a terminal disease. "What are my chances?" she asks a doctor, poking around for an ember of hope. "Zero," the doctor says. "Life has thrown you a curveball."

But there turns out to be an upside to Sarah's predicament. In this world, those condemned by fate to die can have a ...Read more

Reviews: 'The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent' and 'The Northman' - Nicolas Cage Back in Action and Alexander Skarsgard Howling at the Moon

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Why do we love Nicolas Cage? How could we not? Like the protagonist of "Drive Angry," one of his many bad-or-at-least-baddish latter-day movies (it's the one in which he survives an encounter with Amber Heard), Nic has gone to hell and back for us, returning each time with at least a few scorched crumbs of entertainment, sometimes more. Last ...Read more

Review: 'Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore' is Another Return to Potterville

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

There aren't a lot of surprises in "Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore." Even the long-awaited acknowledgement that Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law), the future Hogwarts headmaster, once had a gay schoolboy affair with future fascist Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen now stepping in for the departed Johnny Depp) is hardly unexpected. ...Read more

Review: 'Ambulance' is Action Central

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Jake Gyllenhaal kinda ruins the new Michael Bay movie, "Ambulance." Not by dint of any particular thing he does, exactly, but just by being in it. Let me explain.

If an alien visitor pulled up to our planet one day in some sort of interstellar space Uber and wanted to know what a Michael Bay movie was, we could just show them "Ambulance." Oh, ...Read more

Review: 'Memoria' - Art Attack

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

It would be wrong to say that "slow cinema," as the genre is sometimes called, is simply a pigeonhole for art-house movies in which not a lot happens and no thought is given to making it not happen a little more quickly. For bad movies, in other words. But this is not always the case. Many years ago, in a state of jet-lagged exhaustion, I ...Read more



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