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Review: Welcome to Weird America Of 'Tiger King - Murder, Mayhem and Madness'

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

This Netflix documentary might have been custom-made for people trapped in a plague lockdown with nothing but too much time on their hands. Although it follows real people engaged in real things they really did, "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness" has the feeling of an alien artifact that just came screaming in from some faraway star ...Read more

Review: In 'Big Time Adolescence' Pete Davidson is Sweet and Surprisingly Smart in a Coming-of-Age Movie

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

From a distance, "Big Time Adolescence" might look like not much more than a low-budget showcase for lovable "Saturday Night Live" goofball Pete Davidson, which would be fine. But the movie is surprisingly quite a bit more. It's a perceptive coming-of-age tale brought to life -- under the guidance of first-time director Jason Orley -- by an ...Read more

Review: Don't Belive Hype About 'The Hunt' Entirely

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

"The Hunt" is a movie you want to love. It's billed as a hyperviolent, anti-PC satire that takes aim at both factions of our current political mess, the "Elites" and the "Deplorables." (Those are the movie's terms -- progressives and right-wingers, basically.) It's a Blumhouse production, with Damon Lindelof weighing in on the script, so ... ...Read more

Review: In 'Devs' Nick Offerman and Alison Pill unravel Alex Garland's Wild Sci-Fi Mystery

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Being an eight-part series with a total runtime of six and a half hours, "Devs" might not be an instant sci-fi classic -- it's packed with too much mind-trippy exotica to take in on one viewing. Nevertheless, a sci-fi classic it will surely be one day. (It's viewable right now on a new Disney streaming operation called FX on Hulu.)

Alex Garland...Read more

Review: In 'The Invisible Man' Elisabeth Moss is in a Very Scary Horror Update

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

The original, 1933 version of "The Invisible Man" was the fourth of Universal's classic monster movies. (It had been preceded by "Dracula," "Frankenstein" and "The Mummy.") Its star, mostly hidden behind bandages and black sun goggles, was Claude Rains; the director, still hot from helming the wildly successful "Frankenstein," was James Whale. ...Read more

Review: In 'Emma.' Anya Taylor is a Joy in a Lively Renovation of Jane Austen's Classic Novel

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

"Emma." is a movie so deliciously detailed you want to step inside of it and wander around, marveling at its snazzy furnishings -- the bonnets and capes and ankle-length greatcoats; the candlelit banquet tables crowded with roasts and cakes; the vast country manor with its cavernous rooms and sweeping greensward. The picture is a celebration of ...Read more

Review: In 'Buffaloed' Zoey Deutch Goes for the Big Bucks

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

"Buffaloed" is one half of a pretty funny movie. The picture crackles along on the trademark energy of its star, Zoey Deutch (also irresistible in the recent "Zombieland: Double Tap"), and you keep wanting it to work even after it starts letting you down.

The hero here -- if that's the word -- is a young woman named Peg Dahl (Deutch), and her ...Read more

Review: 'Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)' and 'The Assistant' has Women on Top and Trapped at the Bottom

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Contrary to what you may have heard, the real star of "Birds of Prey" (let's ignore the clunky subtitle) is Chad Stahelski. Sure, Margot Robbie is the lovable-dingbat face of this production -- and very enjoyable she is -- but it's stunt master Stahelski, director of the "John Wick" movies, who gives the picture a lot of its lift and kick. Props...Read more

Review: In 'The Rhythm Section' Blake Lively and Jude Law are Overqualified for an Unexciting Spy Flick

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

There are a couple of good things about "The Rhythm Section." First, the director, Reed Morano, has spent much of her career as a cinematographer and camera operator, so the action scenes here, of which there are many, really pop. Most notably, she's found something new to do with the traditional car chase. In one such sequence, Morano shows us ...Read more

Review: In 'Color Out of Space' Nic Cage is Not Totally Nuts but Close Enough

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Although "Color Out of Space" is based on a 1927 short story by the shovel-faced horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, you might question that provenance when a group of woolly alpacas trots through an early scene. There are no alpacas in the Lovecraft story, nor is there any character on hand to inform us that they are "the animal of the future." There...Read more

Review: 'Underwater' is an oceangoing take on "Alien," and why not?

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

"Underwater" is an oceangoing take on "Alien," and why not? The movie isn't a rip-off in the traditional sense -- director William Eubank ("The Signal") makes no attempt to obscure what he's up to. There's a deep-sea mining base filled with empty corridors that strongly recall the innards of the old space tug Nostromo. There's a wisecracking ...Read more

Best Movies of 2019: Yet Another Year-End List

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

I know there are people who resist acknowledging the fact that "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood" was the best movie of 2019, but why, why? Quentin Tarantino's script is a gem of so many facets (virtuoso plotting and dialogue, resonant movie-biz nostalgia), and the film's charisma-bomb cast (Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie, ...Read more

 

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