Reviews: In 'Zombieland: Double Tap' and 'The Lighthouse' We're Undead Again with Jesse Eisenberg and Emma Stone, and Share Dark and Stormy Nights with Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Being a follow-up to a movie that came out 10 years ago, "Zombieland: Double Tap" could be said to have an undead problem of its own. Why is this movie lurching toward us at this late date? Really, how strong could audience demand for it still be? And how much is there that's new in the wisecracking, blood-gargling "Zombieland" world to stir up ...Read more

Review: 'Parasite' is Bong Joon-Ho's Very Wild Ride

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

The movie you may think you're about to watch as "Parasite" gets underway would surely be a lot of fun even if it only played out as you expected -- as a lively farce about the eternal class war between the arrogant rich and the scheming poors. That could describe this latest film from the (no other word) brilliant South Korean director ...Read more

Review: 'Joker' is No Laughing Matter

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Well before its official release, "Joker" already had an armlock on our attention. The movie's trailer made clear that this was not another slick comic-book epic, but rather a grim, R-rated story of homicidal madness set in the bad old New York (well, "Gotham") of the early 1980s. And it was immediately apparent that the picture's star, Joaquin ...Read more

Review: With 'First Love' Master of Mayhem Takashi Miike Goes Romantic on Us. Sort of.

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Takashi Miike is possibly the last director -- well, Rob Zombie and the sadly retired Uwe Boll might also spring to mind -- who you'd expect to find dabbling in true romance. It's taken him a while to reach this breakthrough, but hey, he's been busy. (As required by movie-reviewing law, I must here point out that, although he's just 59 years old...Read more

Review: With 'Ad Astra' and 'One Cut of the Dead' we have Brad Pitt's Outer-Space Daddy Issues and a Look Behind The Scenes at the Zombie Apocalypse

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

In the near future, for the usual all-too-human reasons, the beleaguered people of Earth are looking to the stars (ad astra in Latin) for hope and deliverance. But the stars appear to be looking back: a series of "power surges" -- fierce cosmic storms -- have killed some 43,000 people, and they're growing more frequent. The storms appear to be ...Read more

Review: In 'Hustlers' Jennifer Lopez Crushes It in a Strip-Club Caper Flick

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

"Hustlers" is about empowerment, sorta. A group of New York strippers decide to turn the tables on the men who exploit them -- the skeezy club-owners, the slavering clients -- and cut themselves in on some of the big money that's been passing them by. It's a girl-gang revenge movie.

But wait. Their "revenge" actually involves drugging and ...Read more

'It Chapter Two': Bill Hader and Jessica Chastain in a Very Long and Crowded Horror Sequel

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

The best kind of monster, of course, is one that's little-seen. Steven Spielberg demonstrated this in "Jaws," when he famously had to find a way to not show too much of his crappy-looking shark. And just a few months ago Ridley Scott, the director of "Alien," told the trade mag Variety, "You don't show the monster too many times because you'll ...Read more

'Don't Let Go' and 'The Fanatic': David Oyelowo in a Sci-Fi Crime Thriller and John Travolta in a Movie By Fred Durst

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

"Don't Let Go" is a characteristically tight, tense Blumhouse thriller that gets considerable mileage out of its modest budget, clever premise and likeable cast (David Oyelowo, Mykelti Williamson, Brian Tyree Henry and breakthrough teen Storm Reid, of HBO's "Euphoria"). Unfortunately, the movie's tricky structure -- it's a time-traveling ...Read more

Review: I 'Hot Air' Steve Coogan takes on talk radio

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

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

Review: 'Cold Case Hammarskjold' is a Very Weird Take on a Vintage Mystery

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

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

Review: 'A Score to Settle' and 'Them That Follow': A Low-Intensity Nic Cage (What's the Point?) and a Long-Overdue Visit With Some Hillbilly Snake Handlers

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

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

Review: With 'Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood', Tarantino Journeys Into the Movie-Biz Past and Replays the Manson Murders

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

"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


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