Disobedience review

It’s easy to remember Rachel McAdams’ most iconic performance, Regina George in Mean Girls, as little more than the ruthlessly hilarious one-liners and cutting GIF-worthy glances on the surface. But there’s so much more bubbling underneath in her performance that makes it iconic. McAdams is a master of presenting a confident, assured front while meaning or feeling something entirely different. The gulf between what she says and what she wants gets played for laughs in Mean Girls, but in her latest film, Sebastian Lelio’s Disobedience, it’s played for tension and tragedy.

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back roads review

Alex Pettyfer, probably best known to audiences as “The Kid” in Magic Mike, always aspired to be more than just a thirst trap. In many ways, he might be too handsome for his own good. Pettyfer has been on the cusp of “happening” for a decade since landing the lead role in the Alex Rider series, a YA James Bond that came too close to Harry Potter and too far from Twilight and The Hunger Games. Following years of being sold as little more than a slab of meat to lust after, it’s been an uphill battle for the actor to convince audiences that he has more to offer. With Back Roads, his first go-round in the director’s chair, Pettyfer takes his future into his own hands.

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duck butter review

Duck Butter is not a film about a whirlwind lesbian romance — rather, it’s a slow-moving train crash about a relationship that appears doomed from the start. But it’s one that you can’t look away from.

Alia Shawkat stars in and co-writes the Miguel Arteta-directed dramedy about two women who embark on a 24-hour experiment that puts the fast-forward button on their relationship. But the experiment — which involves them having sex every hour — takes a dramatic turn as emotions and unresolved issues come to a head. Duck Butter is a slow-burning drama whose every story movement is deliberate, every long silence is dense with meaning, and every emotion feels explosive. But there’s an unease to watching the film and knowing the inevitable outcome of this romantic experiment: the penny will drop, the love will fail, and the shit will (literally) come out.

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stockholm review

Stockholm syndrome has inherently horrifying roots: Victims of kidnappings, hostage situations, and other dangerous situations somehow develop feelings of sympathy, maybe even affection, for their captors. But that doesn’t mean that a feature film adaptation of the 1973 bank robbery that originated the term can’t be outright hilarious.

Stockholm, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 19, feels like such an irreverent black comedy that you wouldn’t expect it to be based on real-life events. But its stranger-than-fiction premise only serves to heighten everything — the emotions, the absurdity, and the sympathy for its central robber played with a zany, unhinged verve by the scene-stealing Ethan Hawke.

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mary shelley review

There’s an imaginative, hugely entertaining movie to be made out of that fated rainy summer day in Geneva that spawned some of the most pivotal horror novels in history. Mary Shelley is not that movie.

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Gilbert Gottfried Documentary

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried is best known by general audiences for being a wholly inappropriate comedian with an extremely grating voice. They may not know his name, but they recognize that signature voice, the same one that brought Jafar’s parrot sidekick Iago to life in Disney’s Aladdin. But they definitely don’t know the real Gilbert Gottfried.

Gilbert is a documentary that debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival this past spring, and it’s finally arriving in theaters this year. You might be surprised when you hear Gottfried speak during interviews in this documentary, because his voice isn’t piercing your ears as it usually does. Because Gottfried doesn’t talk like that all the time – it’s part of the calculated character he’s created for his stage persona, and the real Gottfried is even more fascinating, sweet and wonderful than you could have ever imagined.

Watch the Gilbert Gottfried documentary trailer below to see what we’re talking about. Read More »

tribeca reviews my friend dahmer

Another Tribeca Film Festival has come and gone, bringing a new slew of films you should look out for. This year’s festival was particularly jam-packed, with some incredible special events, including a 25th anniversary screening of Reservoir Dogs (using Quentin Tarantino’s personal 35mm copy) and cast panel, talks with industry legends such as Tom Hanks, Kathryn Bigelow and Dustin Hoffman, VR showcases, the premiere of The Handmaid’s Tale, and the literal godfather of all events, an all-day screening of The Godfather and The Godfather II with the cast and director Francis Ford Coppola assembled for a 45th anniversary retrospective panel and reunion to close out the festival.

Sandwiched in-between these star-studded events were some truly incredible films which I had the pleasure of screening and discovering during this sleepless stretch of two weeks. Here are the narrative titles that stood out, that shocked me, thrilled me and left me in dumbfounded awe by the end credits. Here are my Best of Tribeca 2017 films!

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Almost Paris Trailer

In Hollywood, there are some families who have been in the business of making movies for years. Francis Ford Coppola, John Cassavetes, John Landis, Ron Howard, and Carl Reiner all have offspring who have gone on to work in the entertainment industry and are still working to this day. Now one more member of Hollywood royalty is beginning their filmmaking career.

Domenica Cameron-Scorsese is the daughter of Martin Scorsese, and she delivered her first feature film this year in the form of Almost Paris, a family drama that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year. Now the first trailer for the movie has arrived, and we can see if she inherited any of the filmmaking talent that has made her father such a respected name in cinema.

Watch the Almost Paris trailer after the jump. Read More »

J.J. Abrams and Chris Rock Discussion

Last weekend Tribeca Film Festival hosted a special chat between filmmaker J.J. Abrams and comedians Chris Rock (who is also a filmmaker himself) as part of their 15th anniversary festivities. We already featured some tidbits when their discussion turned to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, mainly its similarity to Star Wars: A New Hope and Mark Hamill’s hesitancy to return for the sequel. But now you can watch the whole discussion yourself.

Tribeca Film Festival has made the entire 74-minute J.J. Abrams and Chris Rock discussion available to watch online, and it’s chock full of some great moments between the two entertainment icons. Read More »

Elvis and Nixon review 1

At first glance, the 1970 picture of Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon shaking hands in the Oval Office looks flat-out bizarre. The flamboyantly attired musician makes for a striking contrast to the staid politician, and it’s a little jarring to realize that not only did these two people once inhabit the same universe, they actually crossed paths once. Somehow, the story behind that picture is even stranger: To Elvis, at least, this was no mere photo up but a meeting to discuss his swearing-in as an undercover federal agent-at-large for the Bureau of Narcotics.

Liza Johnson‘s Elvis & Nixon is about that how that meeting came to be and what happened when these two larger-than-life figures finally collided, with Michael Shannon as the King and Kevin Spacey as Tricky Dick. But it’s less about the vast differences between this two men than the one thing, even more than a shared distaste for the counterculture of the times, that truly bound them together: the strangeness of fame.  Read More »