Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Sunday, November 18, 2018

Silver Screen

'Blade Runner 2049' nearly matches the original film

By Ben Foster Last updated: 10/09/17 11:33am

Denis Villeneuve is no rookie when it comes to making movies. With a track record that includes “Enemy,” “Prisoners,” “Sicario” and “Arrival,” I wasn’t worried that he would drop the ball on the sequel to one of my all-time favorite films: “Blade Runner.” In fact, I was ecstatic that Villeneuve had been given creative control over the film instead of Ridley Scott, the director of the original “Blade Runner,” as Scott’s modern films have left audiences disappointed time ...

Read More

‘Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House’ is timely but flawed

By David Steele Last updated: 10/09/17 12:50am

“Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House” seems to prove that for Hollywood, timing can be everything. Interjecting itself neatly into the contemporary debate over the morality of leaks, this account of Mark Felt’s ─ popularly known as “Deep Throat” ─ famous leaks attempts to establish a historical precedent for the noble leaker. Unfortunately, if it weren’t for the critical importance of its subject matter, the film would not be nearly as satisfying. “The Man Who ...

Read More

'The King’s Choice' is a humanizing yet flawed glimpse into World War II

By Brandon Ermer Last updated: 10/06/17 3:10pm

The Second World War was a watershed moment for the world, and since the war’s conclusion in 1945, it has been adapted to the screen from many perspectives: from the bravado and valiance of American soldiers shown in historical fiction like “Fury” and “Inglourious Basterds”, to the sobering tragedy and triumphant heroism in films based off of true events like “Schindler’s List” and “Flags of our Fathers”. “The King’s Choice” finds its place among the latter, although its ...

Read More

'The Florida Project' is a clear window into another lifestyle

By Michael Valenti Last updated: 10/06/17 9:22am

Sean Baker continues his trend of directing dramatic, directionless films that serve as a window to an American lifestyle or culture that mainstream media rarely cover. In his previous movie, “Tangerine,” he focuses on two black, transgender prostitutes working in a very dangerous neighborhood. That high intensity film is offset completely by his latest film, “The Florida Project.” Prepare to laugh and cry at the innocence of these children as you walk around with them in their rundown ...

Read More

'American Made' lives up to its title, but lacks in precision

By Dilpreet Raju Last updated: 10/03/17 1:50pm

Tom Cruise, no matter what his personal life holds, is a bonafide, big box office movie star. Even his latest film, The Mummy, which was a critically dismissed domestic flop but boomed in China, managed to gross over $400 million. While “American Made” may be the same case, Cruise displays his ability to haul in any viewer’s attention.Doug Liman helms “American Made,” based on the true story of Barry Seal (Cruise), a commercial airbus pilot turned drug-running, reconnaissance-photo-taking ...

Read More

Harry Dean Stanton isn’t feeling too 'Lucky' in John Carroll Lynch’s directorial debut

By Ali Almutairi Last updated: 09/29/17 1:00pm

The pivotal question running through my mind during the first act of “Lucky” was the following: did director John Carroll Lynch’s film merely feature Harry Dean Stanton, or was the film in fact a swan song about the iconic character actor?The film explores the life of an unassuming man named Lucky, played by Stanton. Lucky goes through the same routine every day: he wakes up, smokes a cigarette, does his morning exercises and heads out to do his daily errands. His life has seemingly been this ...

Read More

'Rebel in the Rye' misses capturing J.D. Salinger

By Toni Tileva Last updated: 09/17/17 3:29pm

Director Danny Strong offers a tepid biopic riff on the 2013 documentary Salinger in “Rebel in the Rye.” The film explores the 1950s, around Salinger’s writing of “The Catcher in the Rye,” whose place in the pantheon of great American novels is indelible. Holden Caulfield, the novel’s protagonist, gave a voice to the disaffection and confusion of modern living and his condemnation of all things fake rendered the book timeless and dearly loved. The main issue with “Rebel in the Rye” ...

Read More

'American Assassin' is another spy action movie, but worse

By Michael Valenti Last updated: 09/15/17 4:49pm

Michael Cuesta directs the film adaptation of the New York Times bestseller, “American Assassin.” The action novel, written by Vince Flynn, received an incredible amount of praise from both critics and audiences, so it is not any surprise that Hollywood has decided to turn it into another action movie. However, this adaptation takes the mindless formula of a spy action movie to a whole new level─and not in a good way.The movie begins with Mitch Rapp (Dylan O’Brien) watching his fiancee die ...

Read More

'Mother!' is madness in a film reel

By Dilpreet Raju Last updated: 09/14/17 10:30pm

Little was known about “Mother!” leading up to its release, and that is exactly as writer/director Darren Aronofsky wanted. Marketing for the film has been gearing it towards the horror genre, though that is nowhere near what the film truly is.Still, it didn’t prevent the marketing team from producing one of the most memorable trailers in recent history. Use of pizzicato to stir and illicit heightened tension as the trailer ramps up the intensity is original and unnerving. “Mother!” itself ...

Read More

'Good Time' proves to be a wild, eclectic ride

By Dilpreet Raju Last updated: 09/13/17 4:43pm

“Good Time,” directed by Josh and Benny Safdie (Benny also stars in the film as Nick) tells a one night tale of madness and crime in New York City. After a bank robbery gone wrong, Connie (Robert Pattinson) must get his brother, Nick, out of the dangerous Rikers Island Prison before the night is up. Pattinson has shifted his own career following the “Twilight” series, which sprang him to stardom. He took two years off from acting before his transformative return in David Michôd’s ...

Read More