satire

Our Brand is Crisis

‘Our Brand is Crisis’ is toothless satire

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington featured a young, authentic Jimmy Stewart who does battle with the corrupt political machine. Many decades later, that hardened view of politicians (and the machine that gets them elected) has not changed.

Why You Should Be Watching: Last Week Tonight

People looking for a satirized view of news and media haven’t had to look far as of late. Between the long running twin titans of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report from Comedy Central, the market has pretty much saturated itself as far as that daily news satire is concerned.

‘Why Don’t You Play in Hell?’ is an instant cult classic

While audiences and critics are still debating the unbridled ambition of Nolan’s Interstellar, an equally-madcap film (finally) makes its way into North American theaters this weekend. Japanese auteur, Shion Sono, unleashes his demented ode to cinema, Why Don’t You Play in Hell?, which might be the most uncanny take on filmmaking since The Player. Armed with inspired gags, impassioned characters and enough blood squibs to drown Tarantino, Sono delivers a visual feast that’s destined to be a cult classic.

‘Nightcrawler’ is a creepy and enigmatic thriller

Dan Gilroy’s latest, Nightcrawler, has a lot on its troubled mind. It intertwines our national obsessions with voyeurism and stardom into a sociopathic nightmare from which you can’t awaken. At its churning center is the mesmerizing performance of Jake Gyllenhaal, who charms you with his infectious intensity, even as he ruthlessly manipulates everyone and everything around him. As the blood flows and the crimes accumulate, Gilroy traps us behind the camera as his passive accomplices. Welcome to the world of the Nightcrawler. Showering after you leave is highly recommended.

‘The Last of Robin Hood’ plays like a tepid tabloid

If all the world’s stage, then surely some players crave the spotlight more than others. And if ever there was a player, it was Errol Flynn. The Last of Robin Hood tells the twisted story of three people who will do almost anything for fame. That each must settle for infamy is one of the juicy, yet unexplored ironies in a movie that doesn’t know which story it wants to tell. By taking an evenhanded and humanistic approach to such salacious subject matter, the filmmakers have effectively squashed any possibility for tawdry fun. Instead, we get a bone-dry historical drama that skimps on the history and bypasses the drama entirely.

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