Nature in a Beautiful Vacuum: Mindaugas Survila’s The Ancient Woods

By Thomas Puhr. Does a document of a unique place not lost some of its impact if packaged in a sociocultural vacuum? Perhaps, but as a means to contemplation and appreciation, The Ancient Woods exudes an undeniable power.” The Ancient Woods (2017), a nature documentary filmed in Lithuania, says a […]

Lost in a Genre Maze: Nick Stagliano’s The Virtuoso

By Theresa Rodewald. Could be an enjoyable action thriller [but] jumps between locations, plot points, and flashbacks without ever deciding which story to tell.” The Virtuoso (Anson Mount), an enigmatic hitman, lives a solitary life in the woods. After a mission goes awry, the Virtuoso reluctantly accepts a mysterious job, […]

Fans Only: The Super-Human Muddle of Mortal Kombat

By Elias Savada. It’s part origin story and part training film, where some of the warriors have to awaken his or her arcana, the energy within their soul that imbues them with special powers. Players know the term. I didn’t.” I am not the target audience for this film. Pac-Man, […]

Bummer: Craig Pryce’s The Marijuana Conspiracy

By Elias Savada. As The Marijuana Conspiracy pushes toward its hazy end, the drugged-out zombies don’t seem to be as energetic or fun-loving as at the beginning.” I suspect the last thing you want to do in a light cannabis dramedy about the “weed with roots in hell” — a […]

Deep in the Heart of McConaughey: Greenlights (a Memoir)

By Louis J. Wasser. Decidedly the memoir of a confident and determined man – one who, after minimal dilly-dallying at a yellow light, finds his way to the next significant greenlight in his life and acting career.” When noted actor Matthew McConaughey alerts us, “this is not a traditional memoir,” […]

Beer Lovers Rejoice! Even the Rest of You Can Enjoy Brewmance

By Elias Savada. The film is a light approach to what goes into the process of building a vision: a brewery, a name, a way of life.” In the world of beer-centric documentaries, Brewmance is the latest and one of the most effervescent salutes to fine craft libations, yet also […]

Lubitsch’s Last Bow: Cluny Brown (Criterion Collection)

By Tony Williams. Cluny Brown belongs to that lost realm of Hollywood cinema that combined expert and unique direction with distinctive acting and a humor that critiqued arbitrary patterns of imposed behavior….” Ernst Lubitsch’s last completed film, Cluny Brown (1946), represents a fitting conclusion to that director’s special version of […]

Dirty Girls in London’s Shadows: Corrina Faith’s The Power

By Alexandra Heller-Nicholas. Rose Williams shines as Val in an increasingly physically demanding performance that results in a powerful viewing experience, both in terms of the film’s gender politics and as a banger of a horror film.” In early 1974, the Tory government in Britain under the control of Prime […]