Mini-Review: ‘Trainwreck’

All you need to be happy is to settle down and find a good mate: The Apatow Doctrine

It’s that wonderful time of the year when studios send screeners to critics in an effort to boost a movie’s chances of winding up in the discussion for end-of-year awards/best-of lists. Trainwreck, now available on home video and OnDemand, is one such movie.  I’ll be writing a few of these as the year winds down and I catch up on flicks I missed.

‘Spectre’ Review


As someone who has never particularly cared for the James Bond series, the Daniel Craig era has been a breath of fresh air. It’s too bad, then, that his latest adventure feels more like an homage to Bond’s past than a continuation of his hot streak.

‘Our Brand Is Crisis’ Review

Our Brand is Crisis

When did international bankers become the go-to bad guys on the big screen?

Earlier this year we saw No Escape—a movie about a coup in an unnamed Asian nation in which an American family must stay ten steps ahead of a rampaging mob of murderous natives—attempt to shift the blame away from the savage revolutionaries and onto international banks that saddle native industries with debt before taking over the infrastructure outright, leaving native workers penniless.

‘Crimson Peak’ and ‘Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension’ Reviews

Credit: Jeff Victor

There has been some consternation about the marketing of Crimson Peak. It has been sold to viewers as a baroque horror film, one that mixes lush imagery with cheap jump scares. Director Guillermo del Toro, on the other hand, explained in a “foreword” distributed to writers attending a preview screening that his latest film is a “Gothic romance”: “heightened melodrama layered with a lot of darkness and the Gothic atmosphere of a dark fairy tale.”

‘Bridge of Spies’ Review

Bridge of Spies

Bridge of Spies opens with a casually masterful display of filmmaking, introducing us to Soviet Spy Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance) as he is tailed by the FBI and en route to picking up some bit of intel. The dialogue is minimal. The camerawork is precise, gliding so we can see Abel’s spy gear, tracking behind FBI Agent Blasco (Domenick Lombardozzi) as he follows Abel into and out of the subway, and letting us in on Abel’s secrets as he subtly destroys the only useful bit of intel in his hotel room as the flatfoots are wholly oblivious to what he is doing. It’s a handy reminder that Spielberg is still one of the best directors workin

‘Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead’ Review

Garry Goodrow, Peter Elbling, Chevy Chase, Christopher Guest, John Belushi, Mary-Jennifer Mitchell and Alice Peyton in DRUNK STONED BRILLIANT DEAD: THE STORY OF THE NATIONAL LAMPOON / National Lampoon

As is often the case with such endeavors, Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead—a documentary about the early years of the National Lampoon comedy empire—is never shy about showering praise on its subject matter. This is a celebration, not an examination, and those looking for a critique of the brilliantly ribald publication, radio show, off-Broadway play, and film franchise are best off going elsewhere.

‘Sicario’ Review

Hollywood and drugs

A taut procedural thriller tinged with the trappings of the horror and war genres that shines a light on the relentlessly self-perpetuating logic of the war on drugs, Sicario is one of the best films of the year.