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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

Review: 'The Old Guard' Has Charlize Theron Back in Action

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

It is a truth universally acknowledged, pretty much, that not every Charlize Theron movie deserves to have Charlize Theron in it. Nor did Theron herself deserve to be stuck in such unworthy product as Woody Allen's "The Curse of the Jade Scorpion" (2001) or "The Last Face" (2017), a straight-to-TV item directed by her onetime love interest Sean ...Read more

Review 'Archive' is Sci-fi Heaven

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

The year is 2038, and strange things are happening at a robotics factory deep in the snowy woods of Japan. Research scientist George Almore (Theo James), who lives here alone on a three-year corporate contract, is working to develop "human equivalent" artificial intelligence, something to be installed in a robot that would obliterate the ...Read more

Review: 'The Outpost' Has Scott Eastwood and Orlando Bloom in a Top-Drawer War Story

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

"The Outpost" is a ripping combat film that demonstrates one more time how soldiers confronting death in some godforsaken outback can be fatally hobbled by the micromanagement of top brass who are in turn taking orders from bumbling politicians half a world away. Why do some things never change?

Based on a true-life book by CNN journalist Jake ...Read more

Review: 'Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga' finds Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams in the Popstar Inferno

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Will Ferrell comedies are hit or miss, but "Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga" is pretty close to a bull's-eye. At first you might wonder, "Why try to satirize the annual Eurovision contest -- a riot of madly percolating disco pop from 42 countries, swathed in ridiculous costumes, crowd-strafing lasers and drifting banks of stage ...Read more

Review: With 'Babyteeth' and 'You Should Have Left' Eliza Scanlen is in a Sharp Australian Romance, and Kevin Bacon and Amanda Seyfried in a Familiar Haunted House

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

"Babyteeth" is a cancer-kid movie that rises high above its weepy tradition. A 16-year-old girl named Milla (Eliza Scanlen, so good in last year's "Little Women") is worn down by the chemotherapy required to battle her disease. She thinks there ought to be more to her rapidly contracting life than what she has with her doting but distracted ...Read more

Review: In 'The King of Staten Island' Pete Davidson Steps up in a New Judd Apatow Movie

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Scott Carlin (Pete Davidson) is a loser who's always apologizing, even when he's alone. ("I'm sorry," he mumbles after nearly hitting another car on the highway.) Scott has much to feel bad about. He's a high school dropout with ADD; he's on antidepressants; and he smokes pot virtually every waking hour. He's a guy who just can't cope. With ...Read more

Review: 'Shirley' has Elisabeth Moss in a Low-Energy Art Movie About a Great American Writer

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

"Shirley" is a movie like few others. I wish I could say that's a recommendation, but despite some nice work in the areas of performance, score and production design, it's not. The picture isn't without interest, but it's artsy and jumbled, and it feels interminable.

In recounting the life of the late writer Shirley Jackson, director Josephine ...Read more

Review 'The Vast of Night' is the Retro Sci-Fi Movie We Didn't Know We'd Been Waiting for

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

"There's something in the sky," says a character in "The Vast of Night," voicing one of the dustiest observations in cinematic science fiction. It's a line whose essence echoes down to us from such 1950s space-invader films as "Earth vs. the Flying Saucers," "Kronos" and, of course, George Pal and Byron Haskin's epochal "The War of the Worlds." ...Read more

Review: In 'The Trip to Greece' Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon Take One Last Gourmet Tour

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Ten years on, "The Trip" finally comes to an end -- not a moment too soon, and maybe a bit too late.

Nothing much has changed in this fourth "Trip" movie, which has once again been edited down to about two hours from a longer BBC TV series. The setup is the same: a tour of fancy Continental restaurants by two showbiz Brits, one a preening ...Read more

Review: Even Tom Hardy Can't Bring The Listless Mob Flick 'Capone' to Life

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

One of the interesting things about "Capone" -- the only interesting thing, actually -- is the fact that someone chose to make it. Yes, somebody looked at the script, by director Josh Trank -- who was languishing in director's jail in the wake of his intensely disliked "Fantastic Four" reboot of 2015 -- and said, "Let's shoot this sucker!"

Or ...Read more

 

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