AltWeeklies Wire

Reece Witherspoon Stumbles — Cheryl Strayed, and So Did This Movie

“Wild” is an unsatisfying self-help drama that exposes the limitations of Reece Witherspoon’s range.
Cityview  |  Cole Smithey  |  12-05-2014  |  Movies

What Becomes an Enigma Most? Benedict Cumberbatch Transforms Into Alan Turing

Genius mathematician Alan Turning is revealed as the father of the modern computer, an unsung British hero of World War II, and as a lonely victim of Britain’s Draconian punishment of gays, in this well-rounded biopic about the man who broke the Nazi’s cryptographic machine — the “Enigma.”
Cityview  |  Cole Smithey  |  11-25-2014  |  Movies

Neo-Western: Tommy Lee Jones Breaks Some Eggs

Of the handful of directors ready, willing, and able to make a Western that’s worth a damn, Tommy Lee Jones runs neck and neck with Clint Eastwood.
Cityview  |  Cole Smithey  |  11-18-2014  |  Movies

Not Quite All: Redmayne Wows as Hawking, But Biopic Falls Flat

While possessing an outstanding performance by Eddie Redmayne in the role of the great theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, “The Theory of Everything” is formulaic to a fault.
Cityview  |  Cole Smithey  |  11-03-2014  |  Reviews

Vampire Culture: Jake Gyllenhaal Goes Dark

Social satire doesn’t get much blacker than it does in “Nightcrawler.”
Cityview  |  Cole Smithey  |  10-28-2014  |  Reviews

The Snowden: Effect Edward Snowden — During and After

Laura Poitras’s fascinating documentary, about the process and aftermath of whistleblower Edward Snowden’s earth-shattering revelations, is an essential historical filmic document.
Cityview  |  Cole Smithey  |  10-20-2014  |  Reviews

Canned Heat: A World War II Tank Story

Writer/director David Ayer’s World War II drama is a gritty European-styled coming-of-age picture that reminds us how much the nature of war has changed in the past 65 years, and yet how much it remains the same.
Cityview  |  Cole Smithey  |  10-14-2014  |  Movies

An Incomplete Investigation: Gary Webb’s Story Gets Short Shrift

Investigative journalism isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It never was.
Cityview  |  Cole Smithey  |  10-06-2014  |  Movies

Undone by Broad Strokes: Historic LGBT Battle in the UK Goes Soft

All attempts fail at forcing a by-the-numbers narrative template on a fact-based story about unlikely bedfellows uniting against Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's mid '80s reign of anti-union and anti-gay rhetoric and public policies.
Cityview  |  Cole Smithey  |  09-29-2014  |  Movies

Box of Trash: Laika Animation Goes Backwards

This animated 3D children’s picture is as clumsy, tone-deaf, and useless as they come. Laika, the Oregon animation production company behind “Coraline” (2009) and “ParaNorman” (2012) takes more than a few a steps backward.
Cityview  |  Cole Smithey  |  09-22-2014  |  Reviews

Less Than Zero: Terry Gilliam Slips On a Virtual Banana Peel

Terry Gilliam’s further slide down the stairs of filmic entropy is best summed up in an oft-repeated phrase by his latest film’s hypochondriac protagonist Qohen Leth, “Q” for short. “We are dying.”
Cityview  |  Cole Smithey  |  09-15-2014  |  Reviews

One-Woman Revolution: 
Charlotte Roche’s Novel Goes Big, and Nasty

Challenging and provocative, co-writer/director David Wnendt’s nervy adaptation of Charlotte Roche’s long-presumed unfilmable popular novel breaks new cinematic ground.
Cityview  |  Cole Smithey  |  09-08-2014  |  Reviews

Pro-Israel Propaganda: Elvis Style

A shoe-in for a spot on the worst movies of 2014 list, this poorly constructed slice of filmic propaganda, courtesy of the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (the MJAA), is so unintentionally campy you can’t help but laugh.
Cityview  |  Cole Smithey  |  09-02-2014  |  Reviews

Black, White, and Red: Greed, Lust, and Violence Do It Again for Frank Miller and Robert Rodriquez

Oozing with more hard-boiled wit than two Dashiell Hammett novels put together, and more visually compelling than every comic-book movie Hollywood has put out in the past three-years combined, “Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” is an action-packed feast.
Cityview  |  Cole Smithey  |  08-26-2014  |  Reviews

Zeitgeist: John Lithgow and Alfred Molina Get Married

Although it suffers from a glaring third-act jump that makes you wonder where four or five ostensibly missing scenes went, “Love Is Strange” resonates as a heartfelt allegory about committed gay relationships in modern day America.
Cityview  |  Cole Smithey  |  08-19-2014  |  Reviews

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