They don’t come around all that often, but the movies love a charismatically gruff old man. From the goofy classic Grumpy Old Men with Jack Lemon and Walter Matthau to Clint Eastwood’s racist curmudgeon in Gran Turino, there’s a strange appeal to bitter old cranks. At least, when they discover they have a heart after all. Hannes Holm’s A Man Called Ove, from the novel by Fredrik Backman, follows in the genre’s creaky, recalcitrant footsteps. With a wonderful performance as the titular Ove from Rolf Lassgård, the film hits all the right irascible notes. Nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Foreign Film category, and another for Makeup and Hairstyling, A Man Called Ove has been an unlikely success.
I’ve been obsessed with Anne of Green Gables since I was a kid, and I’m always a bit nervous when new adaptations appear. I never want to see anything that ruins my Anne, so as I sat down to watch the PBS Holiday special, I crossed my fingers, and did my best to keep an open mind.
Throw on some jazz, pour a glass of Giggle Water, and curl up with your favorite bowtruckle, we’re talking Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, on this spoiler-free review.
A mad dictator obsessed with film kidnaps the best director and actress of a rival country, so that his nation can make its movies world-class. In two years, the captive pair churn out seventeen movies, before escaping to freedom. Oh, and they’re married. That’s not the ludicrous pitch to the next Coen Brothers flick. It’s actually a true story. In a limited theatrical run and just released to iTunes today, The Lovers and the Despot lays out the ludicrous details in a fascinating, strange documentary.
You don’t have to go very far to get an opinion on the new Suicide Squad film. Chances are, you hit the Internet and the first thing that comes up are the negative reviews. And there are a lot of them.
It’s a shame, really. All of us comic book and pop culture fans wanted the film to be great, didn’t we? We wanted to be thrilled at the idea of a group of hardened criminals, forced to work together for a greater good. We wanted to see the new twists and turns of the DC Expanded Universe (DCEU) as its film empire gets firmly rooted, takes shape, ushers us all forward. Hell, we wanted to see Jared Leto’s crazy-looking Joker!
The truth is the film is certainly flawed in its story. You just can’t hide that fact. But the film is not as bad as the many reviews have been saying, thank goodness.
Suicide Squad is not pretty, but it’s definitely got some guts – and a lot of heart – in it.
Why do so many aliens want to kill us? Okay, maybe humanity leaves a lot to be desired. There’s war, murder, avarice aplenty, and people that want to elect Donald Trump. If we haven’t broken the planet we live on, we’ve sure as hell damaged the packaging. Our celebrated social networks leave us staring at our phones, hardly noticing the actual world in front of us.
But we don’t completely suck. There’s art and inventions and love… still, fucking Donald Trump? Maybe the aliens have a point. Don’t get me wrong. I love me a Starship Troopers or a Predator or an Alien, when that unknowable other is just a vicious killing machine here to reduce us to emphatic survival. But it’s not often that we see aliens as screwed up as we are. Which is one of the many things that makes Neil Blomkamp’s District 9 so great. The aliens and their massive ship hovering over a metropolis aren’t here to destroy us with monument-shattering death rays. Their spacecraft broke down, they’re sick and dying, and whatever their interstellar traveling, they’re completely S-O-L. The film’s a brilliant exploration of a refugee civilization landing on our doorstep, and the amazing awfulness humans bring to bear in dealing with the problem.
Wim Wenders’ neo-noir thriller, The American Friend, looks like it was cut from the same cloth as other films from the genre. When viewing the film in 2016, it’s hard not to make stylistic connections to such titles as: The French Connection, Chinatown, and Point Blank. However, what makes The American Friend stand out from its counterparts is that it doesn’t concern itself with trying to fulfill a mysterious plotline.
Tangerine, the new film by Sean Baker, portrays a realism that is at once immersive and fresh. The film, shot entirely on cell-phone cameras from seemingly every possible angle, invites the audience into a very personal story.
Birdman stars Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, Naomi Watts and relative unknown, Andrea Riseborough. All are excellent. All “act” in this movie. All have deep passions that are portrayed on screen. All have subtle and effecting moments. More arresting than the performances, however, is the commentary on the nature of film, theater, art and commercialism.
Of course, innumerable amounts of people have written about their fascination with England’s most notoriously unknown murderer. We here at Biff Bam Pop! have done our part, too. Whether it’s a physical walk, book, poem, or a drawing, film has always had a fascination for the villain.
Although not a horror movie, Murder By Decree announces its intent through its opening scene: a rolling panorama of 1888 London during an October sunset, a fog rising, and the night’s first policeman whistles as Big Ben chimes in the distance.
Suspense and dread. That’s what the film offers. Oh! And a solving of the crime by fiction’s greatest detective, Sherlock Holmes!