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‘Life of Crime’ toggles between humor and horror

Sometimes all it takes is one name to assure film-goers that a film promises to deliver. For “Life of Crime&rdq...

'The Trip to Italy' stalls: engine trouble

“The Trip to Italy” is a sequel to “The Trip,” truly one of the funniest movies ever conceive...

'Code Black' goes inside LA County Hospital's ER

Many gripping documentaries take the viewer to unexpected places with a first-hand, behind-the-scenes vantage point. ...

'Frank' inhabits a quirky life of pleasing dissonance

In the age of cookie-cutter movies, along comes "Frank," as direct, atypical and surprising as its one word...

Playing games trumps 'Video Games: The Movie'

When I saw the title of the film "Video Games: The Movie," I thought, "Well, finally a documentary abo...

Yes, it's derivative, and, yes, it's violent with bullets going through foreheads, bang in the bangs. Yes, it's vulgar with the F bomb dropping like acid rain. But "The Heat" is also delightful. Just watching Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock bash each other, verbally and physically, is worth a lot.

Published in Film Reviews

Mainstream films avoid politically charged topics, reluctant to alienate any potential audience. By refreshing contrast, "The East" makes no bones about its eco-terrorism agenda from the opening seconds to the closing credits. Though it doesn't explicitly attack real corporations' environmental destruction, it does attack the immorality and hypocrisy of the fictionalized self-indulgent wealthy who kill and maim.

Published in Film Reviews

The title of “Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s” reveals one shopper’s longing for eternity, but the first talking head, Joan Rivers, in a brief moment of honesty, speaks for many when she says, “People who take fashion seriously are idiots.” “Scatter My Ashes” is one of those documentaries that must be criticized as a film, not a culture.

Published in Film Reviews

Need a break from sequels about hangovers and fast cars? Need a movie that is so well written that you’ll want to see it twice to catch all the good lines? Then “The Kings of Summer” is the indy movie for you, a film that sneaks into the summer roster this year the way “Moonrise Kingdom” did last year.

Published in Film Reviews

The Classic French Film Festival concludes its annual celebration from Thursday, June 27th through Sunday, June 30th at Webster University. The five different programs present a diversity of styles and topics in five feature films and one short subject. Director Francois Truffaut is represented with two films; Pierre Étaix, Max Ophuls and Jean-Pierre Melville with one each.

Published in Film Reviews

The Sixth Annual QFest runs June 6th through 9th at Webster University. Its mission, as defined by Cinema St. Louis, is "to use the art of contemporary gay cinema to illustrate the diversity of the LGBTQ community and to explore the complexities of living an alternative lifestyle." The 10 features and nine shorts certainly meet that goal.

Published in Film Reviews

The French Film Festival continues its second week, Thursday, June 20th through Sunday, June 23rd at Webster University. The four different programs include feature films and one short subject. Directors Jean-Luc Godard and Jacques Rivette are well known, Raymond Bernard less so, and Pierre Étaix a new discovery thanks to a restoration of his films believed lost forever.

Published in Film Reviews

The Fifth Annual Classic French Film Festival begins Thursday, June 13th and runs through Sunday, June 30th at Webster University. Thirteen different programs include feature-length films from the 1920s to the 1970s, with four restored masterpieces and seven new 35-millimeter prints. Different film scholars and critics will introduce each program and lead discussions after the screenings.

Published in Film Reviews

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