Review: 'A Haunting in Venice' or Murder Most Spooky

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

The most mysterious thing about "A Haunting in Venice," Kenneth Branagh's latest Agatha Christie adaptation, is how such a beautifully made movie could also be such a weary and unengaging disappointment. Like Branagh's two previous Christie films -- "Murder on the Orient Express" (2017) and "Death on the Nile" (2022), both of which he also ...Read more

Review: 'My Animal' or Wolfing Out

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Talk about nonbinary. The protagonist of "My Animal," a horror-romance by first-time feature director Jacqueline Castel, is not just preoccupied with her blossoming lesbian nature, but also, at regular, moon-triggered intervals, her inner werewolf as well.

This girl's name is Heather (Bobbi Salvor Menuez) and she lives a dull, chilly life in ...Read more

Review: 'Mr. Jimmy' has a Whole Lotta Love

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

"Mr. Jimmy" is a movie about star worship edging over into madness. Not that the Mr. Jimmy of the title -- a Japanese guitarist and onetime kimono salesman named Akio Sakurai -- sees it that way. Ever since he first heard Led Zeppelin as a teenager, and then laid eyes on the band in "The Song Remains the Same," the group's 1976 concert ...Read more

Review: In 'Bottoms,' Girls Just Want

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

"Bottoms" is a teen sex comedy that might have been dropped on its head somewhere in development. The picture's connection to ancient raunch fests like "Animal House" and the" Porky's" movies is clear, but this rowdy descendant is fearlessly updated -- it goes places those old films would never have dared. (The trade-off: "Bottoms" has no nudity...Read more

Review: 'Birth/Rebirth' or Baby Come Back

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Like "Barbie" -- although, let me hasten to add, not a lot like "Barbie" -- the new neo-monster movie "Birth/Rebirth" has been created in the shape of one woman's arresting vision. Unlike Barbie auteur Greta Gerwig, though, Laura Moss, who directed this film, is only making her first feature. And she's a natural, drenching the picture with ...Read more

Review: 'The Last Voyage of the Demeter' or Bite Me

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

In "Dracula," Bram Stoker's classic 1897 vampire novel, one part of the story is related by the captain of a schooner transporting the titular Romanian bloodsucker from his native Transylvania to England, where he has established new digs. In "Nosferatu," the 1922 silent-film version of Stoker's book, this chapter is covered in a brisk, unfussy ...Read more

Review: 'Sympathy for the Devil' is a Cage Match

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Nicolas Cage, the noted madman actor, resident until recently in the Hollywood version of debtor's prison, is free at last. As he told GQ last year, the paycheck from his 2022 quasi-comeback movie, "The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent," enabled him to finally retire the multimillions of dollars of debt that he'd accumulated as a citizen of ...Read more

Review: 'Barbie' is All Dolled Up

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Everything in Barbie Land is perfect, and mostly pink (or salmon, or coral, or some variation). The skies are a flawless azure blue, and the palm trees, of which there are many, are frankly fake, although the residents of Barbie Land -- largely Barbies, of course -- have no way of judging this. For them, everything is just right, and every day ...Read more

Review: 'Mission: Impossible -- Dead Reckoning Part One' is Where the Action Is

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

In the 27 years since Brian De Palma launched the "Mission: Impossible" franchise, secret agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) has booked thousands of air miles flying around the globe looking for trouble. He's touched down and done damage in places like Shanghai, Casablanca, Paris, Moscow and Prague. And he's rained down displeasure on international ...Read more

Review: 'Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny' is The End

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

After 42 years, the Indiana Jones franchise is on life support, waiting only for the cash tubes to be disconnected. This is a liberation that is finally at hand. The series' decline is not the fault of Harrison Ford -- Indy himself -- who is now 80 years old and not apologetic about it. In "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny," a movie that ...Read more



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