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JxSxPx posted a review of The BFG

The BFG

“What’s shocking here is that it took so long for Steven Spielberg to finally work for Disney. He the purveyor of the candy-coated family-friendly adventures filled to the brim with a sense of wonder and awe, often with a dash of darkness lurking underneath to keep the tension going. Is he the righ” read more

3 days, 1 hour ago

A Tale of Love and Darkness

“Props to Natalie Portman’s writing and directing debut for being such a smartly handled adaptation of a seminal work about Jewish history and identity. Does her artistic ambition exceed her grasp? Absolutely, but this is no mere vanity project by the star as much as it is a truly invigorating work” read more

3 days, 1 hour ago
JxSxPx posted a review of The Babadook

The Babadook

“For my money, the best horror films are the ones where the horror can be scanned as literal or metaphorical, so enter The Babadook. Jennifer Kent’s debut horror film is a striking work of minimalism and subversion of expectations as the routine elements of a supernatural thriller are lined up then” read more

3 days, 1 hour ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Ain't Them Bodies Saints

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints

“Less a film on its own merits than it is something engineered to feel like a relic from Hollywood’s revolutionary period between 1967 and 1982. Does it succeed? Well, that’s more of a volatile question, isn’t it? Ain’t Them Bodies Saints is a gorgeous ode to a bygone Americana, but it’s li” read more

3 days, 1 hour ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina

“Emotional depth gets lost in Joe Wright’s adaptation of Anna Karenina, but it sure is beautiful to stare at. Leo Tolstoy’s novel of familial disintegration and the romance that leads to its main character’s eventual destruction is no stranger to film, so you need a new hook to make your versio” read more

3 days, 1 hour ago
JxSxPx posted a review of The Paperboy

The Paperboy

“I know you could say this about every Lee Daniels movie but what the hell was The Paperboy? Daniels’ films are frequently hot and bothered, highly pulpy explorations of important topics, ones that give in to a Dallas/Dynasty-like veneer of sleaze and suds more often than not, and The Paperboy is n” read more

3 days, 1 hour ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Out of Sight

Out of Sight

“Ostensibly a crime movie, Out of Sight is a film that’s obsessed with dialog, behavior, and movie star charisma and sensuality than it is with any particular criminal activity. This isn’t a complaint at all, merely an observation of the structure and emphasis in Steven Soderbergh’s adaptation.” read more

3 days, 1 hour ago
JxSxPx posted a review of The Commitments

The Commitments

“Well, isn’t this just a fun, modest movie about a group of Dublin musicians trying to make something of themselves by playing American soul music of the 50s and 60s. there’s no great lesson to impart, which is quite refreshing, just a good time to be had watching a batch of chain-smoking, foul-m” read more

3 days, 1 hour ago
JxSxPx posted a review of The Haunting (1963)

The Haunting

“Shirley Jackson’s seminal haunted house novel gets the film adaptation treatment deserving of its artistry and exemplary skill in Robert Wise’s 1963 feature, The Haunting. He captures the emotional unease of the characters, most notably Eleanor, so well and all without displaying a ghostly visio” read more

3 days, 1 hour ago

You Make It Feel Like Christmas (Deluxe Edition)

“The luxurious retro treatment of last year’s You Make It Feel Like Christmas gets five songs appended in this deluxe edition. Gwen Stefani’s vibrato still sounds energized and comfortable among the Wall of Sound-style live instrumentation, yet the selection of covers still skews too hard on the ” read more

1 week, 1 day ago
JxSxPx posted a review of DREAMCAR

Dreamcar

“Super-group or side-project? Probably somewhere in-between, honestly, when all is said and done given one participant’s inability to focus on anything for very long. Dreamcar is a loving ode to mid-80s synthpop in all of its glory, and something of a reductive compression of the entire genres majo” read more

4 weeks ago
JxSxPx posted a review of The Rugrats Movie

The Rugrats Movie

“A popular television makes the leap to the big screen, and the limitations of the medium become greatly apparent. What makes the television show so enjoyable in more digestible form becomes bloated, and the adage that television is merely “a movie, but longer” is proven false. Sitcoms tend to ma” read more

4 weeks, 1 day ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Dancing Queen

Dancing Queen

“In one of her many hilarious moments of self-awareness, Cher proclaimed herself the Lazarus of pop music onstage during her set at the 1999 Divas Live show. It was right before she performed “Believe,” but it could just as easily reflect her seemingly inexhaustible ability to disappear and reapp” read more

1 month ago
JxSxPx posted a review of The Assassin

The Assassin

“The Assassin is beautiful to behold, but there’s no narrative or character to give you a firm grasp. It’s hypnotic and narcotizing beauty for the sake of it with nothing to tether your interest. Character motivations, relationships, even a coherent story or timeline is all abstracted or diffused” read more

1 month, 1 week ago
JxSxPx posted a review of The Way He Looks

The Way He Looks

“Taking a short film, in this case I Don’t Want to Go Back Alone and blowing it up to feature-length can have unintended consequences of distorting the might and power of the original. Thank god that The Way He Looks extends that short’s empathy and compassion, and its minute details in which blo” read more

1 month, 1 week ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Moonrise Kingdom

Moonrise Kingdom

“Whether or not you’ll engage with Moonrise Kingdom will be easily discerned whtin the opening minutes as it’s a free association of Wes Anderson’s numerous quirks and obsessions. We explore a familial home and the complicated relationship therein by viewing everything as if it were a series of” read more

1 month, 1 week ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Red Dragon

Red Dragon

“The hard truth is this: Brett Ratner’s a “for hire” director without any vision of his own. His background is in music videos and this has left him with the distinct inability to let things breathe or rest. A suspenseful story wilts under his eye because of this, and Red Dragon plays like warm” read more

1 month, 1 week ago
JxSxPx posted a review of The Canyons

The Canyons

“Somehow Paul Schrader is behind the lens of this limp-dick erotic thriller? Man, we’re a long way off from the atmosphere and palpable tension of his greatest films, like the screenplay for Taxi Driver or his directorial work in Affliction. Just as two examples of his intellectual movie-making pro” read more

1 month, 2 weeks ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Pete's Dragon

Pete's Dragon

“Disney’s love for orphans-in-the-wild was prominent in 2016 between this remake, their second live-action Jungle Book, and a journey into Roald Dahl’s macabre world in The BFG. All of them are best when detailing the quietest moments of the wild, imaginative lives of their urchins, especially Pe” read more

1 month, 2 weeks ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Ghostbusters II

Ghostbusters II

“Five years separate the first film and this sequel, both in real-time and in the film’s continuity. And those five years have not been exactly kind to foursome, both in the film’s narrative and the final product. Ghostbusters II is a prime example of a sequel providing diminishing returns.   ” read more

1 month, 3 weeks ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters

“The Venn diagram between would-be academics and blue-collar workers is a near perfect circle in Ghostbusters, a near fairy tale of trade jobs thwarting the paranormal. Only in New York would something like this fly. I mean, what other city would find citizens barely raising an eyebrow at the sight o” read more

1 month, 3 weeks ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Jackie Brown

Jackie Brown

“Adaptation works wonders for Quentin Tarantino. Sure, he can’t help himself when it comes to populating his film with a sprawling running time and (so much) jive talking, but Jackie Brown remains his most mature, accomplished, and satisfactory work. There’s shocking bits of violence here, but mu” read more

2 months ago
JxSxPx posted a review of A Star Is Born

A Star Is Born

“Maybe if this had been remade with La Diva Streisand in 1966 instead of 1976 things would be different, but that’s not the world we live in. Streisand’s version of A Star is Born, do you really think the credited writers (including Joan Didion!) and director Frank Pierson actually had a say in t” read more

2 months ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Blackbird

Blackbird

“Is this supposed to be some kind of parody of the hysterical Christian morality plays of Tyler Perry, or some kind of running commentary/satirical take on them? Is there any way to come to Blackbird that doesn’t end in you walking away completely confounded by its flagrant and vulgar mishmash of t” read more

2 months ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Like You Mean It

Like You Mean It

“You know, it seems like writer/director/star Philipp Karner is working through some deeply personal stuff throughout Like You Mean It. Shame he didn’t invite the audience along for his personal journey and mea culpa. Like You Mean It is glacial and opaque, much like its main character, and we’re” read more

2 months ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Byzantium

Byzantium

“Vampires, Neil Jordan, and Saoirse Ronan looks like a winning combination on paper, but Byzantium all style and no substance. Ronan is customarily subtle, poignant, and nuanced, and Jordan imbues the entire thing with his austerity and low-key eroticism, but there’s just not enough story to justif” read more

2 months ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Destiny

Destiny

“Fritz Lang’s first big hit, with Metropolis just a few short years away, may not be as ingenious or vital as his later works, but it’s still fascinating to watch as a primer on the earliest parts of his career. It’s something of a morality play/parable between a young woman who has recently lo” read more

2 months ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Septembers of Shiraz

Septembers of Shiraz

“Between this and Argo, boy has American cinema turned an endlessly complicated event into a two-dimensional construct. Historical context or a decent grasp on the complexities at play? Don’t look here. Compelling and multi-layered characters? Nope, try again. But at least you get an international ” read more

2 months ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Pariah

Pariah

“The piercing realism that can’t be faked strikes you hardest in Pariah. You can sense it in the script and direction by Dee Rees, you can sense it in Adepero Oduye’s central performance, in Kim Wayans and Charles Parnell’s supporting work. It just drips from every frame of Pariah.   You cou” read more

2 months ago

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

“Yes, for all of the likeable work that Steve Carell and Keira Knightley put into their lead performances there’s still a remarkable lack of chemistry between them. Yes, the end of the world setting is merely a means to shove them together in a romance that would otherwise never occur, got it. And ” read more

2 months ago

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