Behind the curtain: Oz the Great and Powerful is a playful take on the wizard’s rise In this day and age, when everything in life—movies, television, sporting events, you name it—seems rooted in money, a prequel to The Wizard of Oz feels like, perhaps, the most cynical of moneymaking schemes. Is there a more surefire […]
12/12/2013 9:00 pm The Michael Elswick Gathering Fellini’s #9, Charlottesville VA
The use of tablets and laptops in middle and high schools has created controversy in Charlottesville city schools, but St. Anne’s-Belfield School French teacher Karine Boulle has reason to rave about iPads. After 17 sessions of intense writing, translating, and coding, Boulle’s class of eighth [...]
Brian Palmer reviews the latest releases from Fiction Family, Trixie Whitley and Sandra McCracken.
The trailers for Side Effects, director Steven Soderbergh’s new thriller, make it look like an indictment of all things pharmaceutical.
With Wolf’s Law, The Joy Formidable have released what may be one of the best rock albums of 2013. Between the epic rock, gorgeous melodies, swelling choruses, singer Ritzy Bryan’s pixieish and ethereal vocals convey all the dramatic sweep of a concept album that fulfills its promise.
What Warm Bodies has that most other zombie flicks don’t is the zombie’s story. Our narrator, R (Nicholas Hoult), is a zombie. He doesn’t know why he’s a zombie. He just knows he is. He also knows he’s different from most other zombies. He collects things, like vinyl records. He tries to make [...]
Non-sequitur alert: Now that the wretched Super Bowl is over, let’s discuss music documentaries. There are two reasons I’m thinking about music documentaries. First, 2012 was a great year for them. Searching for Sugar Man—which is nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature—gets [...]
Is this movie a comedy? Horror? A—gasp!—drama? Why does Jeremy Renner play Hansel for laughs? Why does Gemma Arterton play Gretel straight, but occasionally for laughs? Why is Famke Janssen so, so, so serious? For that matter, why is she covered in hideous make-up for the most of the movie when [...]
Butch Vig has been associated with a number of alternative bands over the years, having produced Nirvana’s legendary Nevermind and the Smashing Pumpkins’ Gish, in addition to spending time as part of Garbage.
Here’s the deal. There are three key pieces of information that roll up in Broken City’s first three scenes: Billy Taggart (Wahlberg), a New York cop, shoots and kills a suspect he’s chasing; a judge decides the district attorney’s office doesn’t have sufficient evidence to bring charges [...]
The torture debate detracts from a different critical narrative; imagine how we’d howl if the movie whitewashed that part of America’s recent past. But forget the politics. This is a movie. As a piece of drama, Zero Dark Thirty is a marvel.
In the awards show canon, the Golden Globes have secured themselves a lofty place just below Oscar. How is it that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which once called Pia Zadora “New Female Star of the Year” for her role in the soft-porny Butterfly, is now arbiter of taste and soothsayer [...]
I mention all this to give Les Misérables context in the annals of film history. Unlike Playing for Keeps, Les Misérables features a solid cast. Hugh Jackman, a man known for his acting and singing chops, is Jean Valjean, the hero we love.
Every marketing firm and tourism board in the country is searching for social media’s magic bullet, and the Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau might have found it. With a small budget and a young social media coordinator’s instinctive touch, the CACVB’s Facebook page has [...]
On Tuesday afternoon The Virginia Film Festival announced the bulk of its programming for the November 1-5 event with special attention to the commemoration of its 25th anniversary. While a few of the choice feature films and special guests are still waiting for final confirmation, festival [...]
There was a time in the film industry when a movie was not wholly judged on its returns, when the merit of a film could be found in its effort to capture the spirit of an important moment in human history. They were called “epics,” they cost a lot of money, and they aren’t made […]
With all the hype and brouhaha surrounding the release of The Master, it’s easy to overlook one important consideration: Whether the movie is good. So let’s get that out of the way. The Master is good. Grand photography, lush production design, and big, appropriately showy performances make it [...]
Friday 10pm, TLC The televised dating show arguably peaked with “Joe Millionaire.” In case you forgot, that glorious 2003 Fox show featured an “everyday dude” (he was an aspiring model/actor) who acted as though he was wealthy in order to woo a bevy of would-be spouses. And at the end he told [...]
Life in a big city is taxing in ways you don’t even notice, and sometimes the only sensible thing to do is disappear mysteriously into the woods. New York City’s avant-noise duo Blues Control traded the outer borough sprawl of Queens for Pennsylvania mining country. The result is a healthy [...]
With more precision and presence of mind, Lawless might have pitched itself as an origin story of the whole gangster-movie genre. But like the transparent moonshine its backwoods brooders guzzle down in just such a way as to remind us it’s fake, the movie itself seems conspicuously diluted, [...]