Alice Through the Looking Glass
There is no magic, no wonder, just junk rehashed from a movie that was itself a rehash of Lewis Carroll, tricked out with physically unpersuasive…
* This filmography is not intended to be a comprehensive list of this artist’s work. Instead it reflects the films this person has been involved with that have been reviewed on this site.
An interview with the star and director of the new version of "The Jungle Book."
A piece on how Deadpool could bring back the R-rated blockbuster and when it really mattered.
Why comic books are radical; How Franklin was born; The Monkees's "Head"; Burt Reynolds has some regrets; The "Ishtar" effect.
The latest Unloved looks at Mexican cinema, particularly The Mansion of Madness by Juan Lopez Moctezuma.
Guillermo del Toro's key theme; Silent frame rates and DCP; Exciting news from Sheila O'Malley; New "Star Wars" music; Unsinkable Effie Brown.
A quick meal of red meat.
An essay on the underrated scores of late composer James Horner.
A report on the new film by José Luis Rugeles.
An interview with Douglas Trumbull.
Hollywood's toxic addiction to franchises; Looking back on "Wolf of Wall Street"; "Avatar" left no pop culture footprint; Elf on the Shelf is dangerous; North Korea is not funny.
Craig D. Lindsey remembers his brother Daryl; Beauty and the beast within; Revisiting "Americathon"; A primer on Harlan Ellison; A kung fu fantasy featuring Richard Nixon.
A history of movies not directly based on comic books but definitely inspired by them.
Gerardo Valero sees the potential for a good remake in "Escape from New York."
The logic of "stupid poor people"; the retrogression of "Boondock Saints"; Zizek and Chomsky documentaries; David Simon on "12 Years a Slave"; a case for theological studies.
In this excerpt from the book "Superheroes!: " Laurence Maslon and Michael Kantor discuss the transformation of comic books that started with new creators in the 1970s and led to Hollywood blockbusters.
Extraterrestrial life may really exist; House Republicans slash billions in food stamps; "Invisible Man" banned in North Carolina; an object of Internet ridicule speaks; Hollywood luminaries who got their start with Roger Corman.
What Antoinette Tuff's courage and compassion teaches us; James Cameron says all 3D is inevitable; Peter Jackson may direct a "Dr. Who" episode; the Hollywood feminism of "Tootsie"; a film about the 2011 Chile student riots; introducing Chelsea Manning; real film radicals.
Nick Schager ponders the new crop of action directors, who bring 'serious film' cred to the genre, but can't seem to show personality where it counts the most.
Robert Redford braves the high seas alone in the shipwreck drama "All Is Lost."
Robert Zemeckis' new film "Flight" (2012) returns us to the terrain of live action after his three consecutive animated films (two of which were happy movies about Christmas). Here, he makes it clear from the very first scene that this is a far edgier Zemeckis. It is far more graphic and far more emotional than anything we have previously seen from him. The result is on the outside a big budget public service announcement, while on the inside, a film far more complicated than it seems.
Ben Affleck's "Argo" (2012) is a unique specimen. On the one hand, it is an exciting, suspenseful rescue story. It is his best film, though as a central character he seems to keep directing himself as a mostly expressionless central character. It is, without doubt, thrilling from start to finish. On the other hand, it is a crass cheerleading of ethnocentrism, recalling Menahem Golan's "Delta Force" (1986). As I watched "Argo," part of me was absorbed in the suspense, as though I was wide eyed, with my hand covering my open mouth. Another part of me was thinking that the timing of its release was a bit too perfect, as though I was scratching my head, thinking "Seriously? You're stooping that low?" Still, the film seems to even take that point as a subtle comment about global cinema culture.
The first two "Terminator" movies were to me what "Star Wars" was to previous generations. Every kid wanted to be Eddie Furlong. The prospect of having a badass mother who didn't freak out when you grabbed a gun was overwhelming. On top of that young John Connor had his very own Terminator to command!! When I first watched those movies it was the violence of the first film, the special effects of the second and the time travel paradox of both that kept me up most nights in awe. I must've watched them a hundred times and I still give them credit for kicking off my interest to science fiction and the many mind boggling philosophical ideas that come hand in hand with the genre.
The visceral impact that Ridley Scott's "Alien" had in 1979 can never quite be recaptured, partly because so many movies have adapted elements of its premise, design and effects over the last three decades -- from John Carpenter's remake of "The Thing" (1982) to David Cronenberg's remake of "The Fly" (1986) to "Species" (1998) and "Splice" (2009). No movie had ever looked like this. And it still works tremendously -- but let me tell you, in 1979 a major studio science-fiction/horror film that hinted darkly of interspecies rape and impregnation was unspeakably disturbing. (It got under my skin and has stayed there. We have a symbiotic relationship, this burrowing movie parasite and I. We nourish each other. I don't think Ridley Scott has even come close to birthing as subversive and compelling a creation since.)
The thing is, the filmmakers actually took out the grisly details involving just what that H.R. Giger " xenomorph" did to and with human bodies (the sequels got more graphic), but in some ways that made the horror all the more unsettling. You knew, but you didn't know. It wasn't explicitly articulated. Dallas (Tom Skerrit) just disappears from the movie. The deleted "cocoon" scene (with the haunting moan, "Kill me...") appeared later on a LaserDisc version of the film, and then was incorporated into the 2003 theatrical re-release for the first time. The deleted footage: