Author Archive

Cinema d’Opie, Part II

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

Ron Howard eats his own dust in Rush After his first career several generations ago as Hollywood’s most adorable child star, Ron Howard’s second career might be even more distinctive, though less loveable: He’s Hollywood’s reigning chameleon director–no appreciable point of view, just morphing through various impersonal styles to fit any given commercial project: from [&hellip
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43 Comments

Bitch-Slapstick

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

Nichole Holofcener’s latest humane insight in Enough Said Most independent filmmakers demonstrate a desire for attention and recognition more than to express sincere or original feelings. Because so many of them come from the same class of hustlers and achievers and go through conventional production procedures (conveniently known as Sundance), their films look alike, reflecting [&hellip
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21 Comments

Mission to Nowhere

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

Cuaron’s juvenile sci-fi lacks gravitas The opalescent object Planet Earth that opens Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity belongs to Kubrick’s 2001. It’s a shorthand image–evoking intellectual contemplation and wonder that Cuaron doesn’t earn. Cuaron borrows it without (pardon the expression) gravitas. The phenomenon of creation dresses up a tale of survival written by Cuaron with his brother, [&hellip
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33 Comments

The Spoiled Brats of Ganja and Hess

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

Rebooting the Black stoner comedy in Newlyweeds Harvey Weinstein may call 2013 “a great moment” for “great black filmmakers” just because he happens to be releasing three high-profile films with Black subjects, but the first real sign of new life and energy in movies about Black Americans is the low-budget Newlyweeds, written and directed by [&hellip
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4 Comments

A Thriller-in-Transition

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

Villeneuve’s Prisoners vs. Alvarez’ C.O.G. Keller Dover is a modern man possessed of Biblical rage when his six-year-old daughter and a neighbor’s child are kidnapped in Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoners. Dover (played by Hugh Jackman) is also a Pennsylvanian who loves to hunt, craft and is caught up in the difficulty of providing for a family [&hellip
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51 Comments

Mother of a Notion

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts West Side Spirit

Winnie Mandela’s big screen white wash Winnie Mandela, Nelson Mandela’s first wife, keeper of his flame during his years of incarceration before falling to the vicissitudes of South African revolution and her own ego, should be a great role for a real actress yet the part went to singer Jennifer Hudson who won an Oscar [&hellip
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115 Comments

Natural Born Killers

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

Blue Caprice sentimentalizes tragic history In the low-light neo-noir visual scheme of Blue Caprice, dark-skinned actor Isaiah Washington is automatically a silhouette, an emblematic obscure object of both dread and desire. Washington portrays John Muhammad, the elder member of the two-man team responsible for the Beltway sniper killings over three weeks in 2002. French director [&hellip
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42 Comments

Messin’ with Texas

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

David Gordon Green’s growing pain in Prince Avalanche Prince Avalanche kicked off the IFC Center’s ongoing regionally-focused film series, “Lone Star Cinema: Texas on Screen,” and almost kicks the bucket. Although based on the 2011 Swedish movie Either Way, Prince Avalanche is director David Gordon Green’s first feature set in his native state. It returns [&hellip
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140 Comments

Salinger in the Meat Grinder

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

Bio-doc turns J.D. Salinger into Big Foot The Weinstein Company (formerly Miramax) really knows how to sell its product. They even sell a movie while you’re watching it which is the first problem with Shane Salerno’s Salinger. This bio-doc of the fiction writer J.D. Salinger, who became something of a recluse in the years following [&hellip
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320 Comments

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