Now Playing: Ghostbusters

The idiotic braying of misogynistic, righteous anger that has nipped aggressively and constantly at that ankles of the new reworking of Ghostbusters necessitates an opening statement of opinion on its merits simply as a concept. As a resolute admirer of Ivan Reitman’s original film, I think swapping the genders of the characters donning jumpsuits and bearing proton packs is an inspired hook. If we’re going to continue to grope and stumble through the misty morass of a popular culture that values brand recognition over originality, then at least this simple yet significant twist gives the new Ghostbusters a reason for … Continue reading Now Playing: Ghostbusters

Attenborough, Feig, Peyton, Tourneur, Werker

Oh! What a Lovely War (Richard Attenborough, 1969). The feature directorial debut of Richard Attenborough adapts a hit British musical that used era-appropriate songs to slyly satirize the pretty geopolitical messiness that fed into and then prolonged World War I. Though initially intriguing in its brash theatricality, the film’s conceits quickly prove to be stiff and overly distancing. It begins to come across as a revue with only the thinnest of through lines, especially as it stretches to a overlong running time pushing two and a half hours. There are scattered pleasures, led by Maggie Smith as a bawdy music hall … Continue reading Attenborough, Feig, Peyton, Tourneur, Werker

Arteta, Feig, Hayward, Malick, Ritchie

Youth in Revolt (Miguel Arteta, 2009). This was Arteta’s first film in almost a decade after some quick, buzzy success to kick off his career. All the time between features didn’t eliminate his slightly arid style, which has a tendency to deaden the drama after a while. More problematically, the film exhibits a offbeat pushiness as it heaps in quirky details and disaffected anguish. It simply tries to hard. Michael Cera plays a sweet, timidly pining young man who conjures up an imaginary tough-talking alter ego who drives him to get the girl while also slipping deeper into a quicksand … Continue reading Arteta, Feig, Hayward, Malick, Ritchie