Search Results for : Film

Breathless for Gravity

Breathless for Gravity

I love theme park dark rides, motion simulators, and anything that transports me into a completely immersive environment where I’m not just passively observing but actively experiencing. The best Disney park rides (like Soarin’) achieve this, but only for a few fleeting moments. (You might find it odd that I hate roller coasters and free-fall rides…perhaps it’s more accurate to say I like simulated flirtations with death rather than real ones.)

Staring down the Beasts

I’m a little late to the party, but last night I saw Beasts of the Southern Wild for the first time and, with the Oscars drawing nigh, this seems as good a time as any to write about it.

A. O. Scott, in his review for The New York Times, compared Beasts to The Tree of Life, and that’s a smart way in. I’m drawn to films that thoughtfully explore the father/son or mother/son relationship, which was one of the reasons I found Tree of Life so achingly resonant. I can’t remember seeing any films dealing in such a way with the relationship between a little girl and her father, but Beasts does so in a profound way—both micro and macro, local and universal—and it touched me at the core level typically reserved for my most prized “boyhood” films (E.T., Empire of the Sun, A.I.).

Reaching high

Reaching high

IMDb lists Jack Reacher as Action | Crime | Drama. Of course the easy categorization on IMDb lacks nuance in general, but Jack Reacher may be a hard sell for some—between Tom Cruise’s image problems, the misleading Mission: Impossible -esque guitar music in the trailer, and the many holiday season competitors—and I think many will look to the equivalent of IMDb’s genre assignment for answers. I’m here to tell you, Reacher exists between the lines and transcends the easy genre identifications.

War Horse: beauty in stark relief

I wanted to wait until I’d seen War Horse twice before writing a review. I watched it with eager anticipation back at Christmastime, and my gut reaction was to love it. (I can’t say the same for my philistine family who joined me in the theater…the less said about their artistic tastes, the better!). I had reason to expect great things; Steven Spielberg, to this point still my favorite director, crafting a story about nobility and bravery amidst war (one of his specialties), with a new and stirring score by John Williams. But four years ago I was burned by such high expectations with the fourth Indiana Jones movie, so I had as much reason for doubt.

the Muppets (with a lowercase ‘t’)

It’s no doubt disproportionately philosophical to think as deeply and agonizingly about The Muppets as I have the past few days, let alone write a critical essay about it. But the Muppets—being Jim Henson’s wonderfully dexterous family of puppets led by Kermit the Frog—played a huge role in my happy childhood days. We inherited a love for the Muppets from our mother, and while I only saw bits and pieces of the original Muppet Show growing up, I fed on a steady diet of The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper, The Muppets Take Manhattan, The Muppet Christmas Carol, Muppet Treasure Island, and Muppets from Space—not to mention Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, Muppet Babies, and far lesser known offshoots (Muppet Classic Theatre, anyone? How about the album Kermit Unpigged?). I should hope I qualify as a fan.