Solid script and exceptional performances elevate ‘The Way Way Back’
There is a sweet thread of grace being pulled through the creative tapestry of The Way Way Back. Written and directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, the duo that nabbed an Oscar for their Descendants screenplay, the film slides into the busy, testosterone-infused summer movie season with not only a good story to tell, but with a terrific reminder to audiences that there are good stories to tell about boys and men that have nothing to do with killing somebody and blowing things up.
Almodóvar turns airborne disaster into frothy comedy in 'I'm So Excited'
Who else but Pedro Almodóvar could take a standard disaster movie premise and turn it into a frothy, candy-colored comedy? But the merry Mexican maestro carries it off with delicious, subversive aplomb in his new film, I'm So Excited, which dares to ask the question: How would you choose to live your last hour of life? In the Almodóvar universe, the answer involves cocktails, plenty of sex, and a disco beat.
'Byzantium' a lush, eerie, feminist vampire tale
In his varied career, Irish filmmaker Neil Jordan has shown a particular gift for weaving eerie folklore and fairy tale sensibilities in and out of so-called "real" life. So to call his new film, Byzantium, a mere "vampire movie" doesn't begin to suggest the lush and disturbing depths and subtle textures of this provocative and atmospheric tale. Told from a refreshingly female perspective, with a time-traveling narrative and a rich subtext about storytelling and its consequences, it revitalizes the notion of what a vampire movie can be.
Take a fun summer refresher course at 'Monsters University'
Looking for something fun to do with the kids this holiday weekend? Why not sign up for a refresher course at Monsters University? This lighthearted prequel to the Pixar/Disney 2001 animated blockbuster, Monsters Inc., reunites audiences with some of their favorite characters and introduces some cool new ones in a family-friendly tale of friendship, destiny, diversity, and higher education, told with maximum humor and heart.
Whedon blends Shakespeare, screwball comedy in entertaining 'Much Ado About Nothing'
Who else but Joss Whedon could pull this off? Not only does he set William Shakespeare's romantic comedy, Much Ado About Nothing, original Elizabethan-era wit and wordplay intact, in modern-day Santa Monica, he shoots it in black-and-white—a visual detail that suggests the sparkling vintage screwball comedies of the 1930s more than the Elizabethan stage. It's an impudent idea for a movie realized with great charm and affection by a master craftsman and his devoted repertory company of players.