Abrams, Benson and Moorhead, Fosse, Jones, Roach

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (J.J. Abrams, 2015). As a piece of nostalgic reclamation, the latest “Episode” of the Star Wars saga does its job so efficiently that its hard to get overly enthused about it as cinema. In a strangely fitting turnabout, the film series that fundamentally changed the business of U.S. moviemaking has turned into a follower, adhering closely to the mighty Marvel model. There’s little indication that The Force Awakens is laying the groundwork for vaster, interconnected stories, but it’s all introduction and reassurance, a tapping of the baton before commanding the symphony to life. The sense of … Continue reading Abrams, Benson and Moorhead, Fosse, Jones, Roach

Top Ten Movies of 2009 — Number Ten

We buy our tickets in an era in which remakes have given way to reboots, as good an indicator as any as to the degree to which major studios have planed away any remaining aspirations towards art in their respective business models. Instead creative efforts are tagged with the same term used to describe the latest outpost of a nationwide food chain, and possess a level of quality akin to mass-produced burgers. To find something operating well within that framework that also manages to be fresh, inventive, witty, smart and wildly entertaining is plainly stunning. Director J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek … Continue reading Top Ten Movies of 2009 — Number Ten