Editor’s Note: Short Term 12 opened in New York and Los Angeles last weekend and expands this week. Below we’re republishing Germain’s review from South by Southwest 2013 and click here for an interview with the director.
Sometimes you watch a movie and, at the end, can’t think of anything in the film that could have been done better. The whole thing just feels perfect or magical, a shining example of what cinema is all about. Short Term 12 is one of those movies.
Written and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton based on his award-winning 2009 short film of the same name, Short Term 12 stars Brie Larson as Grace. She’s young woman who spends her days overseeing a huge group of foster kids in a group home, many of whom are mentally ill. They suffer from depression, have suicidal tendencies and OCDs. It is Grace’s job — and that of her boyfriend Mason (The Newsroom‘s John Gallagher Jr.) and a new guy (Rami Malek) — to try and keep the kids content while they go about their lives. This is easier said than done when Grace is probably more messed up than everyone else in the building.
Funny, moving, surprising and emotional, Short Term 12 is an awards contender from top to bottom. The performances are mindblowing, the writing sharp, and the direction beautiful. It’s a very special movie, and worthy winner of the 2013 South by Southwest Grand Jury and Audience Awards. Read More »
Please Recommend /Film on Facebook
[This is a reprint of a review that originally ran in January, at the Sundance Film Festival. Jobs is in theaters today.]
While Steve Jobs changed the world with his innovations and forward thinking, the first biopic about him, Jobs, does not. It is a competent retelling of Jobs’ life, beginning with his college years, and running through the period when he regained control of Apple in the 1990s.
Ashton Kutcher plays the title role and does a good job at making you forget there’s a big star under the beard and glasses. It’s the script by Matt Whiteley, however, where the cracks begin to show. Jobs [the new official spelling of the title] is so hell-bent on cramming all these seminal moments into one film, it never builds much context around them. We never feel like they mean anything or understand the “why” about the big moments. The film loves to tell us things, but never quite explains any in a satisfactory way.
The resulting product is an entertaining but flawed take on the man who co-created Apple. Directed by Joshua Michael Stern, Jobs had its world premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival Friday night. Read more after the jump Read More »
Hayao Miyzaki‘s new film The Wind Rises has been a box-office monster in Japan, coming in at number one for a month straight. We’ve seen a trailer, but now thanks to the Toronto International Film Festival, which will soon host the film’s premiere outside of Japan, we can get a subtitled version of the footage.
Check it out below. Read More »
“A middle school student prone to wild daydreams devotes his waking hours to stretching and flexibility exercises with the ultimate goal of one day being able to lick his own penis.” Yes, Fantastic Fest 2013 is quickly approaching and the second wave of programming has just been announced.
That graphic description is of a Japanese film called Maruyama The Middle Schooler and it’s a great example of the kind of madness audiences can expect to see on screen from September 19-26 at Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline in Austin, Texas. Other films announced in this second wave include Elijah Wood and John Cusack in Grand Piano, Ben Wheatley‘s A Field in England, Robin Wright in The Congress (above), the David Cronenberg-narrated documentary Tales From the Organ Trade, Alex de la Iglesia‘s Witching and Bitching and many other potentially crazy genre films. Read the full list and see some images below. Read More »
I like this trailer for Almost Human, a sci-fi horror story that will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in September, but I’m going to have to watch it a few times before I can look at the story without seeing it as a reflection of the great, weird Xtro from 1983. (There’s also some of Carpenter’s The Thing in here.)
That said, this is a solid trailer that promises a no-frills horror exercise with a good otherworldly leaning. There’s clearly a current of ’80s sci-fi/horror running through this one — just check out the poster below. But there could be some unique twists and ideas in here, too. Check out the trailer below. It’s definitely not safe for work, thanks to some blood and gore. Read More »
One of the best film events of the year is Fantastic Fest, which takes place at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, TX. The first wave of the 2013 fest has been announced, and it has some great stuff. There’s Keanu Reeves, who’ll appear with his directorial debut Man of Tai Chi (trailer); the Cannes weirdness of Borgman (trailer); the excellent SXSW thriller Cheap Thrills; and the restored Cabal Cut of Clive Barker’s Nightbreed.
The full list of first wave titles is below. Read More »
One of the most prestigious film festivals in North America, the Toronto Film Festival, has begun to announce its line up for 2013. The event takes place September 5-15 and as usual, the line-up includes pretty much every highly-anticipated awards contender scheduled for release through the end of the year.
Just a few examples are the Jackie Brown prequel Life of Crime, Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club, the star-studded August: Osage County, Idris Elba in Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave, the West Memphis Three film Devil’s Knot (above), Jason Reitman’s latest Labor Day, Jason Bateman’s debut Bad Words, Ron Howard’s Rush, the Wikileaks film The Fifth Estate, Mike Myers’ documentary Supermench, Matthew Weiner’s You Are Here, Hugh Jackman in Prisoners, Keanu Reeves’ Man of Tai Chi and Alfonso Cuaron’s space drama, Gravity.
And they haven’t even finished announcing everything. Below, read everything in this first wave. Read More »
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
(This review originally ran during SXSW, in March. As Much Ado About Nothing hits theaters today, we present it once more.)
In the world of drama, nothing is quite as distinct or lovely as the prose of William Shakespeare. His vocabulary, his rhythm, rhymes and descriptions, all established a standard against which others are still measured. Modern day dramatist Joss Whedon also has a distinct style, characterized by wit, humor, and cultural authority. Surely it’s not in the same league as the Bard’s. But with the writer/director’s modern adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, Whedon has found an enjoyable and surprising balance between the two.
The film will be released June 7, but had its U.S. Premiere this week at South by Southwest. Read more below. Read More »