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Thursday, July 30,2015

Now serving number 666

Finding truth and humor in ‘Court’

By Michael J. Casey
Is there a less desirable room to be in than a courtroom? True, courtrooms are the spaces where civility and rhetoric determines the justice of actions, but entering one is like traversing Dante’s Inferno. Justice may be served, you might even come out the victor, but getting there is a laborious and Kafkaesque process.
Thursday, July 23,2015

Brave the new world

‘Tangerine’ breaks the form wide open

By Michael J. Casey
The time has come to rewrite Jean-Luc Godard’s aphorism: “All you need for a movie is a gun and a girl.” Writer/director/cinematographer Sean Baker doesn’t even need the gun — just two transgender actresses, three iPhone 5s with fancy lenses and East Hollywood at his disposal.
Thursday, July 16,2015

Talking twinkies

‘Minions’ is better than it should be, still not great

By Ryan Syrek
The Lego Movie being somehow good ruined our ability to completely dismiss a film’s concept upon first hearing it. Who knows, maybe Minions would be infused with the same cleverness, the same all-ages wonder and fun? In the first 10 minutes, a pillshaped living Twinkie lifts a block of ice over his head, farts and then gets smushed by it. So… nevermind.
Thursday, July 9,2015

Look what the cat dragged in

‘Roar’ is a misguided masterpiece

By Michael J. Casey
All of this sets up what turns out to be one glorious train wreck from start to finish. The acting is terrible, as is the end credits song, but the genuine fear in the actor’s eyes is as real as anything you will ever see.
Thursday, July 2,2015

[Ir]replaceable you

Three faces in the ‘Clouds of Sils Maria’

By Michael J. Casey
The cinema is unkind to actresses of a certain age, replacing them with younger, newer models, forcing them from the spotlight to make way for tomorrow. That is not something Maria (Juliette Binoche), a renowned actress of the stage and screen, is ready to do.
Thursday, June 25,2015

Angry young white men

Seduced by the criminal in ‘Badlands’

By Michael J. Casey
On Jan. 21, 1958, Charles Starkweather entered the Nebraska home of girlfriend Caril Ann Fugate and shot and killed her father, mother and 2-yearold sister. The two went on the lam and Starkweather slayed seven more over the course of eight days before surrendering to authorities.
Thursday, June 18,2015

A tale of two cities

‘The [French] Connection’

By Michael J. Casey
One of the more fascinating aspects of the movies is their ability to reach across time and space and continue cinematic conversations started long ago. Moviegoers will be able to peek in on that conversation next week at The Boedecker Theater where both 1971’s The French Connection.
Thursday, June 11,2015

Still crazy after all these years

‘Live From New York!’ captures the spirit of SNL

By Michael J. Casey
If 40 years of Saturday Night Live has taught us anything it is this: comedy is the sharpest form of criticism. Biting wit levied by the absurd becomes the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down, and SNL has been spoon feeding America since 1975.
Thursday, June 4,2015

Life rushes by, love rushes by

But ‘The Red Shoes’ keeps on dancing

By Michael J. Casey
Yet, two more are needed, two rising talents that the Svengali-like Lermontov can mold into a star and a revolutionary composer. That’s where Vicky Page and Julian Craster (Marius Goring) come in. Page and Craster are better than average, and rise quickly, taking the Ballet Lermontov to unbelievable heights.
Thursday, May 28,2015

Falling with style

Carl Boenish takes the plunge in ‘Sunshine Superman’

By Michael J. Casey
At the turn of the 20th century, vast majorities of the planet remained undiscovered for those restless ones who couldn’t possibly imagine a life spent behind a desk or in a factory. If they had the notion, and sufficient funding, there were mountains, deserts, jungles, two Poles and the seas in between calling their name.