I’m not sure what “Spiral” is trying to accomplish. A psychological thriller, it’s a poorly-conceived offering of suspense, bending under the imposing weight of poor actors working with a rotten screenplay. It’s an obvious, overlong, determined misfire of a motion picture; a low-budget cinematic learning curve that should’ve remained a private educational tool for two filmmakers in dire need of storytelling practice.

Continue reading “Sprial”

Rating: D

The Darjeeling Limited

The new 20th Century-Fox Home Video release of “The Darjeeling Limited” offers quite a conundrum for fans of Wes Anderson. We are so used to getting exceptional Criterion releases of his movies that, when a threadbare release such as the one coming out today, with the expectation of a Criterion release somewhere down the line, do you get it now or wait for the more extensive one that may or may not happen?

Continue reading “The Darjeeling Limited”

Rating: C

Life After Tomorrow

The lights, the ovations, the media coverage: life can be a special thing when you’re a child actor working on one of the biggest Broadway success stories of the last 50 years. Then one day, poof, it’s gone. The only thing left behind is real life, with its cold, judgmental attitude and performance expectation. It’s enough to raise the perfectly logical question: why would anyone let their kid become an actor?

Continue reading “Life After Tomorrow”

Rating: B+

He Was a Quiet Man

“He Was a Quiet Man” opens with 15 minutes of taut, temptingly deranged filmmaking, exploring the unhinged rattle of a Dilbert-like drone ready to turn the lights out on his hellish office experience with a hail of bullets. It’s a delirious introduction of an archetypal repressed maniac, and it launches this mysterious indie film off on a promising note of sublime satiric chaos. Then the rest of the film happens.

Continue reading “He Was a Quiet Man”

Rating: B

Cinematic Titanic – The Oozing Skull

“The Oozing Skull” is the first installment of the new venture, “Cinematic Titanic,” the latest effort to resurrect the rollicking riff world created by the landmark television series, “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” For those playing at home, we now have Mike Nelson’s “RiffTrax,” “The Film Crew” (with Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett), and Jim Mallon’s animated Bot adventures at mst3k.com. Heavens, it’s a great time to be a fan of cruddy cinema, the Satellite of Love, and wiseacre one-liners.

Continue reading “Cinematic Titanic – The Oozing Skull”

Rating: A-