Comedian Mike Birbiglia made headlines a few weeks back when
he took to Twitter to express his frustration with the
MPAA's decision to slap his latest film, "Don't Think Twice," with an "R"
rating simply because the film had a couple scenes in which adults smoke pot. Meanwhile,
Birbiglia argued, a film like "Suicide Squad" can be loaded with non-stop
violence (however bloodless), show characters being decapitated, mowed down by
machine guns, swords, and bombs, and only merit a "PG-13."
Dramatizing the first date between Michelle Robinson and Barack Obama, "Southside with You" plays first and foremost as a smart, simple romance.
The latest from Laika is a visually stunning and wildly entertaining ode to the
power of storytelling
Two down-on-their luck brothers turn to small-time bank
robbing in order to secure enough money to keep themselves afloat in "Hell or
High Water," British director David Mackenzie's excellent modern Texas noir. In
debt and facing foreclosure on their family ranch, Toby (Chris Pine) and his
reckless ex-con brother, Tanner (Ben Foster), see their crimes as a rather poetic
solution to their troubles: They can raise the necessary money while getting it
over on the same banks that have been sucking them dry all their lives.
From Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Koreeda ("After Life," "Still Walking") comes "Our Little
Sister," a sweet, sensitive family drama based on the popular manga "Umimachi Diary," by Akimi
Yoshida. The story revolves around the lives of three sisters: responsible,
motherly Sachi (Haruka Ayase), fun-loving Yoshino (Masami Nagasawa),
and oddball Chika (Kaho), living together in their
With its gentle tone, "Pete's Dragon" would make a pretty spectacular first movie-going experience for any young child (though adults will get plenty out of it as well -- it's probably a good idea to bring
In Milford, Kansas, in 1918, Dr. John R. Brinkley came up
with the novel (insane) idea that he might be able to cure impotence by
transplanting goat testicles into the bodies of humans. Shockingly, Brinkley's
experimental surgery actually caught on, earning him widespread admiration and
the approval of luminaries such as Buster Keaton, William Jennings Bryan, and
Rudolph Valentino, even as his practices turned him into the arch-nemesis of
the American Medical Association.
Dead on arrival
It gives me no pleasure to report that DC's supervillain
team-up flick, "Suicide Squad," isn't a good movie. I take no joy in further
stoking the flames of rivalry between DC and Marvel; as a fan of many in DC's
stable of characters, I want nothing more than to see good films based on the
characters I've loved since I was a kid.
With a background in classical music, a yen for the absurd,
and a desire to disrupt the status quo, rock musician Frank Zappa was a true
iconoclast. The bandleader and activist now gets the documentary treatment in
Thorsten Schütte's "Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in
His Own Words."
No laughing matter
In the wildly entertaining documentary "Tickled," what begins
as a light-hearted look into a ridiculous pastime slowly transforms into
something strange and altogether disturbing. New Zealand-based pop culture
reporter David Farrier has made a career out of fluffy stories focusing on "the
weird and bizarre side of life."