Browsing all articles from September, 2012.

Versions of the Self Collide for Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Time Travel Epic Looper

The first time I met Joseph Gordon-Levitt was for a picture called Manic, about a young man in crisis, over his head with anger issues. I still recall the marked intensity of the then nineteen-year-old, clad in skinny corduroys and a CBGB tee, and speaking with conviction about music and art, driving engines in his […]

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower

* * * * The Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of the most sensitive movies ever made about teenagers. At a time in American movies where teens are vapid aliens who speak/text in too-cool poseur dialogue de rigueur, Hollywood has reached its nadir in depicting the hearts and minds of young people—that is, […]

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Looper

* * * 1/2 Looper is an inventive sci-fi picture that asks a few provocative questions, mainly—if your future self traveled back in time and you were able to meet, what might happen?  If it doesn’t exactly deal with that paradox, it nonetheless provides a high-concept and imaginative story told with arresting visuals and a […]

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Pitch Perfect

* * * 1/2 Pitch Perfect almost is just that, a roaring comedy about dueling collegiate a capella teams featuring more laughs than just about any comedy this year, and that’s saying something in a year that’s brought us such offbeat gems as Safety Not Guaranteed and Ruby Sparks, both terrific.  Pitch Perfect doesn’t aim […]

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Trouble with the Curve

* * * 1/2 There’s something immensely satisfying about Clint Eastwood’s current movie persona as the grizzled old man who has seen it all and has no patience for any of it. He did this curmudgeon in spite of himself routine in 2008’s Gran Torino to great effect, and he approximates the same salty control […]

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The House at the End of the Street

* * 1/2 You can’t dismiss a B-movie merely for its derivations from other movies—most are predicated upon familiar tropes that usually never fail to get the audience amped up, particularly in the case of horror movies, the genre of all genre movies. Cue the darkness, ominous musical chords and shock cuts and your audience […]

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The Words

* * 1/2 Well-meaning and solidly acted, The Words doesn’t quite work as a movie, but it’s a sometimes thoughtful and entertaining picture about the relationship between art and life, moral lapses, betrayals and how we live with them. It’s not a compelling drama, but it’s well directed, handsomely shot and briskly paced—the picture certainly […]

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