Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Sunday, May 27, 2018

Silver Screen

“Free Fire” shoots blanks

By Griffin Rowell Last updated: 04/21/17 9:30am

Director Ben Wheatley’s attempt at a B-movie shoot ‘em up comedy is almost a complete, for lack of a better phrase, misfire, that is is as unoriginal as it is repetitive. Set in Boston in 1978, “Free Fire” is comprised of essentially one long scene at a warehouse where an illegal gun deal unsurprisingly goes awry. Despite an interesting cast that includes the always excellent Brie Larson and Cillian Murphy and the charming and funny Armie Hammer, occasionally artful cinematography, and a ...

Read More

With confused plot, "The Lost City of Z" falls flat

By Griffin Rowell Last updated: 04/21/17 9:10am

“The Lost City of Z,” director James Gray’s latest film, based on the 2009 non-fiction bestseller of the same name by author David Grann, follows British explorer Percy Fawcett at the dawn of the 20th century as he manages family, duty to country and his wanderlust for a mysterious Amazonian city. As a soldier in the British Army, Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam) is unexpectedly whisked away by the Royal Geographic Society to Bolivia in order to chart a new map to prevent a war with neighboring Brazil. ...

Read More

"In Search of Israeli Cuisine" provides captivating take on Israeli culture

By Arielle Weg Last updated: 04/21/17 9:00am

Take one of the most up and coming culinary hubs in the world with bright, ethnic flavors and colors and put it in front of the backdrop of a major political hot topic, and you get “In Search of Israeli Cuisine.” This modern food documentary follows James Beard award winning chef Michael Solomonov to answer the one question he has always pondered; what is Israeli cuisine? But what the audience really walks away with is a new perspective on the infamous Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the possibility ...

Read More

In “2017,” Louis C.K. delivers on his comedic promises

By Dilpreet Raju Last updated: 04/15/17 12:00pm

Louis C.K. has always been a maestro of humor, and Netflix decided to capitalize on this opportunity by enlisting him to perform his seventh hour-long special for them. Seven is a staggering number for the amount of taped stand-up specials a comedian can have. That said, Louis C.K. delivers just as he has throughout his career.Of course, he is primarily known for his stand-up and comedic chops but Louis C.K. is a reputable writer, once writing for Late Night with Conan O’Brien. Since that gig, ...

Read More

Though realistic, "Graduation" is not an easy watch

By Michael Valenti Last updated: 04/14/17 4:34pm

Cristian Mungiu is the writer and director for “Graduation,” a Romanian language film set in a Transylvanian town and focuses on a doctor and his family. The simple summary is reflective of the incredibly realistic film. The doctor, Romeo Aldea (Adrian Titieni), is incredibly concerned with getting his daughter, Eliza (Maria-Victoria Dragus) to take her final exams and go to university in the United Kingdom, where she has scholarships already set up. Romeo is so concerned with this that he forces ...

Read More

“Truman” is an intimate portrayal of friendship

By Elisabeth Holmes Last updated: 04/14/17 9:00am

“Truman” is a film about two old friends who are seeing each other for likely the last time. Julián (Ricardo Darín) is married with kids in Canada, and flies to meet his friend Tomás (Javier Cámara) who lives in Madrid. Tomás lives with his dog, Truman, who he loves like a second son. He recently decided to stop chemotherapy treatment for his lung cancer, and is coming to terms with dying. Julián supports his friend in his decision, and they spend the next few days enjoying each other’s ...

Read More

“Fate of the Furious” fires on all cylinders

By Leo Versel Last updated: 04/14/17 9:00am

For most film franchises, rarely is the sequel better than the original. But for the “Fast & Furious” franchise, which will release its eighth action-packed, thrilling and well-acted installment on April 14, the latest addition to the action series is by far one of the exceptions.During the last several films in the “Furious” franchise, the central theme underlying the action has been family and brotherhood, a real-life phenomenon for the usual suspects in the cast. In “The Fate of the ...

Read More

"Gifted" is heartwarming despite plot holes

By Elisabeth Holmes Last updated: 04/07/17 10:41am

“Gifted” explores the relationship and love between an uncle and niece who live together in Florida. When the niece, Mary Adler (McKenna Grace), begins first grade, she stuns her teacher Bonnie (Jenny Slate) when she can complete complex math problems. The film follows the relationship between uncle Frank Adler (Chris Evans) and his niece in this non-traditional family during a custody battle to determine the future of the child. On one side of this case, Evelyn, mother to Frank and grandmother ...

Read More

Romantic post-war drama “Frantz” filled with twists and turns

By Adena Maier Last updated: 04/07/17 10:01am

Set immediately after World War I, French director François Ozon’s film examines fractured relationships between nations through the lens of a young German woman named Anna, her fiancé Frantz who dies in the war and a French man named Adrien who mysteriously shows up in town. The film flips back and forth between present day, memories of Frantz and flashbacks to the war. “Frantz” begins as a story about love lost and betrayal but slowly evolves into a film about new beginnings, forbidden ...

Read More

“After The Storm” is realistic, but not memorable

By Michael Valenti Last updated: 03/31/17 10:00am

The Japanese film “After the Storm” tackles the popular subject of a dysfunctional family with divorced parents and a struggling father. Director Hirokazu Koreeda follows the life of Ryota (Hiroshi Abe), who has just experienced the death of his father and is struggling with seeing his son, who is in the care of his ex-wife. Ryota wrote a famous, award-winning novel over a decade ago and has fallen on hard times, gambling away what little money he received from his private detective job or borrowing ...

Read More