As Above, So Below
It's that rare found-footage film with a strong premise, a memorably eccentric style, and plenty of energy to burn. It's also poorly conceived, and hard…
* 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 examination and appreciation of one of Robin Williams' greatest films, "The Fisher King."
An interview with the young stars of "The Giver," Brenton Thwaites & Odeya Rush.
An interview with Rob Reiner, director of "And So It Goes," starring Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton.
On the eve of its 10th anniversary, a new version of Oliver Stone's Alexander on Blu-ray demands a reappraisal.
Why DiCaprio doesn't get lucky at the Oscars; Atheism in Hollywood; Famous rejection letters; Wes Anderson as an advertiser; Auteur theory and Kent Jones.
Highlights of the 86th Annual Academy Awards.
The calculation of odds is finished. The campaigning is done. Erik Childress predicts the winners of the Oscars.
Far Flung Correspondent Anath White reports from the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
What were the surprises, snubs and twists of today's Oscar nominations?
Matt Zoller Seitz's Top 10 films of 2013.
Missing Roger's Oscars prognostications and his top ten lists. And making a list of my own.
The Oscars race has hit a holiday lull. It's a good time to pause and take stock of nominations.
Critics groups from around the country are giving awards. What impact do these awards have on the Oscar race, and how useful are they as predictors?
Erik Childress looks at the first awards of the season and their possible impact on the Oscar race.
Critics group nominates "The Wolf of Wall Street" for several awards, perhaps without seeing it; why the kerfuffle between Elan and Diane on that plane last week is a lesson on why people shouldn't believe everything they read; hwo Disney successfully misrepresented "Frozen."
Sheila writes: We're all familiar with the horror movie cliche: someone (usually a woman) is alone, creeped out, and investigating a sound she finds ominous. Naturally, it turns out to be just a cat, but that cat can give a pretty good scare. Thankfully, we now have "Supercut: It's Just a Cat" to get our feline scare-fix all in one place.
Suicide glamour and magazine-shaming; how American textbooks dumb down Vietnam; remembering the late investigative journalist Michael Hastings; why sex on the first date is not an inherently bad thing; the American vs. the French way of making movies; Love and Rockets covers, collected; Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street.
Marie writes: Widely regarded as THE quintessential Art House movie, "Last Year at Marienbad" has long since perplexed those who've seen it; resulting in countless Criterion-esque essays speculating as to its meaning whilst knowledge of the film itself, often a measure of one's rank and standing amongst coffee house cinephiles. But the universe has since moved on from artsy farsty French New Wave. It now prefers something braver, bolder, more daring...
After duds "Jimmy P." and "Grand Central," the Coen brothers' "Inside Llewyn Davis" saves the day for Barbara Scharres.
Power is rarely discussed at Cannes, and it’s ostensibly all about art, although careers can hang on critics’ approval, and whether films are sold here, and to how many regions of the world. The annual jury press conference on the opening day is the first and foremost love-fest in which the concept of competition is downplayed and jurors find novel ways to sidestep the question of comparing one film to another in order to award the Palme d’Or in ten days.
Barbara Scharres sets the stage the 66th annual Cannes Film Festival.
Marie writes: I was looking for something to make Roger laugh, when the phone rang. It was a bad connection, but this much I did hear: "Roger has died." That's how I learned he was gone, and my first thought was of the cruel and unfair timing of it. He'd been on the verge of realizing a life long dream: to be the captain of his own ship.
Rating: Four stars
Consider now the curious character of Dr. King Schultz. He is an itinerant dentist who works from his little wagon, traveling the backroads of the pre-Civil War South. As Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" opens, we see a line of shackled slaves being led through what I must describe as a deep, dark forest, because those are the kinds of forests we meet in fairy tales. Out of this deepness and darkness, Schultz (Christoph Waltz) appears, his lantern swinging from his wagon, which has a bobbling tooth on its roof.
Quentin Tarantino has found his actor in Christoph Waltz -- someone who can speak Tarantinian fluently and still make it his own. When Waltz uses a self-consciously ostentatious word like "ascertain" (as in, "I was simply trying to ascertain..." -- the kind of verbiage QT is as likely to put in the mouth of a lowlife crook as a German dentist, or a Francophile plantation slavemaster, for that matter), it sounds right. As someone to whom Tarantino's dialog often sounds cliche-ridden and cutesy, it's a pleasure to hear Waltz saying the words in character rather than simply as a mouthpiece for the writer-director.
Oh, stop. This isn't sounding the way I want it to.
I'm fairly certain most Martin Scorsese fans prefer his Robert DeNiro period to the current one with Leonardo DiCaprio. The later entries may include the film that won him the Academy Award for Best Picture ("The Departed") and they've surely displayed signs of greatness, but I don't think any of them can be discussed as pinnacle achievements like his earlier ones.