The LEGO Batman Movie Reviews

In just a few days, we’ll get to see if The LEGO Batman Movie lives up to the hype and continues the inspired style and imagination of The LEGO Movie that introduced us to this brilliant version of Batman voiced by Will Arnett. This past weekend the first press screenings rolled out, and the reviews were available online later in the day.

The LEGO Batman Movie reviews are overwhelmingly positive, though some point out that it’s not quite on par with The LEGO Movie. One of the more common claims though is that this is one of the best Batman movies ever made, including some talk about how its creators understand Batman infinitely better as a character than those driving the DC Expanded Universe.

Check out The LEGO Batman Movie early buzz after the jump. Read More »

Newness Review

Back in 2011, director Drake Doremus made a splash at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival with his indie romance Like Crazy, which won the Grand Jury Prize in the U.S. Dramatic category. Since then, his films Breathe In and Equals haven’t really reached the same level of praise. But with his latest work behind the camera that hit the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, Doremus makes a valiant, respectable effort in his creation of a new honest portrait of love in the age of Tinder.

Newness focuses on a couple twentysomethings (Nicholas Hoult and Laia Costa) who meet through a Tinder-style app called Winx. Both had a couple failed hooks-ups, and they decide to have a late night rendezvous with no strings attached. But after spending some time together, and eventually having sex, they fall for each other. That’s the kind of story that has been used to take up a whole hour and a half story, but for Newness, it’s just the first 15 minutes. For the rest of the movie, Doremus digs a little deeper.

Read on for our full Newness review. Read More »

sundance 2017

The /Film team of Angie Han, Ethan Anderton, and myself have returned from the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Over the six days we were in Park City, we screened over 36 movies (with only one movie having been watched by all three of us). Here are 15-second capsule reviews of all the movies we saw at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

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Columbus review

Early in Columbus, Casey (Haley Lu Richardson) defends her decision to use less spice in a dish. She was going for subtlety, she explains, all the better to let the true flavors of the ingredients shine through and leave a lingering aftertaste. That, essentially, is the mission statement for the entire movie. It might not be to everyone’s tastes — it’s too delicate and slow and, yes, subtle for that. But those who stick with it will find a drama worth savoring, with echoes of OncePaterson, and the Before trilogy and fine performances from Richardson and John ChoRead More »

Nobody Speak Hulk Hogan, Gawker and the Trials of a Free Press

Nobody Speak: Hulk Hogan, Gawker and Trials of a Free Press premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival on Tuesday afternoon. From Brian Knappenberger comes a documentary about how the Gawker lawsuit might lead to the loss of free press in the United States. It’s an informative, fascinating, and terrifying look at how people with big pockets and large power can silence media.

Read my Nobody Speaks review after the jump.
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get out

The midnight secret screening at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival was probably the worst kept secret in the festival’s history: It was the premiere of Jordan Peele‘s directorial debut Get Out, a Blumhouse-produced horror movie that takes on the monster of racism in modern times. Imagine Meet The Parents mixed with The Stepford Wives. It’s smart, visceral, thrilling and, of course, funny.

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Call Me By Your Name review

First love has rarely been depicted as beautifully or as movingly as it is in Luca Guadagnino‘s Call Me By Your Name, an adaptation of the André AcimanTimothée Chalamet, probably best known as bratty Finn Walden from season one of Homeland), has a star-making turn as a teenager exploring his sexual identity. Meanwhile, Armie Hammer, a very good actor who’s been stuck in some not-very-successful movies, is downright mesmerizing as the young man who changes his life forever.

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Brigsby Bear Review

Normally you’ll see Kyle Mooney on television whenever there’s a new episode of Saturday Night Live. He’s one of the primary cast members, and he’s made quite a name for himself as one of the driving forces behind the next generation of SNL Digital Shorts, following the departure of Andy Samberg and his Lonely Island counterparts Akiva Shaffer and Jorma Taccone. Now they’ve all teamed up, along with some other SNL talents, to deliver one of the comedy gems of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

Brigsby Bear is an offbeat, original comedy about a 25-year-old man who has his entire world thrown into upheaval when he learns a terrible secret about his parents and everything he’s been taught by them. What follows is a hilarious adventure of self-discovery that is essentially a love letter to storytelling and the power it has in all our lives.

Read on for our full Brigsby Bear review. Read More »

Tokyo Idols

Tokyo Idols is a fascinating must-see documentary which explores the disturbing world of super fandom in the Japanese Idol scene. The mainstream cultural phenomenon has overtaken Japan and is supposedly a one-billion-dollar industry. Imagine spunky, cheery Japanese school girls dressed in anime outfits singing and dancing to clubs filled with middle-aged men. The Idol superfans, usually aged 35 to 50, follow the young teenage female singers and girl bands, some even spending most of their earnings and quitting their jobs to devote their lives to the fandom.

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Alden Ehrenreich in The Yellow Birds review

The Yellow Birds is guaranteed to attract a certain amount of attention simply because it’s Alden Ehrenreich‘s last major role before Han Solo, and Star Wars fans will be gratified to see that Lucasfilm’s faith in him is not misplaced. He puts in an unforgettable lead performance as Bartle, a young soldier who’s deployed to war and comes back a haunted man, for reasons he’s unwilling or unable to articulate.

But The Yellow Birds is far more than an acting showcase for Ehrenreich’s talents, and would deserve to be seen no matter what big franchises its stars were doing next. It’s a war drama that’s far less interested in the heroism of battle than its cost, as told through the story of a single soldier and those in his immediate orbit.  Read More »