Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Sunday, May 26, 2019

Silver Screen


No Justice; No Streets: Documentary sheds light on Ferguson protests

By Toni Tileva Last updated: 08/11/17 2:42pm

“Whose Streets” is a first-hand account of the protests following the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson. The necessity of covering the events from a perspective other than that of the mainstream media is without question, and this film offers unprecedented access. “Whose Streets” captures the siege-like atmosphere in Ferguson when the protests began─including how the midnight curfew, an intimidation tactic, was couched as a safety measure. A woman shouts, “This is not Iraq,” as ...

Read More


'Atomic Blonde' is pure hell on heels

By Toni Tileva Last updated: 07/28/17 9:51pm

“Atomic Blonde” drives a stiletto straight into the jugular of every “girl power” spy movie out there, literally and figuratively (watch the trailer and you will see what I mean). Based on the graphic novel series “The Coldest City” by Antony Johnston, Sam Hart and Steven Perkins, “Atomic Blonde” is set in 1989, just as the Berlin Wall is collapsing. Charlize Theron stars as Lorraine Broughton, a British MI6 operative sent to Berlin to find a watch that contains the names of wanted ...

Read More


"Dunkirk" avoids conventional storytelling en route to success

By Dilpreet Raju Last updated: 07/25/17 2:56pm

Christopher Nolan is one of the  most acclaimed directors working in Hollywood right now. He’s also one of the few filmmakers who can demand any budget for any script he authorizes. Following his last picture, the divisive “Interstellar,” the film public was on edge about what was in store from the British writer and director.Much to everyone’s surprise, “Dunkirk” happened to be what was in store. Really? A historic war film? It just didn’t seem like a signature Nolan movie. Nonetheless, ...

Read More


"Moka" balances stereotypical revenge trope with unrealistic characters

By Michael Valenti Last updated: 07/10/17 1:03am

Swiss director Frédéric Mermoud’s second feature film, “Moka,” follows the story of Diane (Emmanuelle Devos) who is struggling with the death of her only son in a hit and run accident. Diane is stricken with grief and anger as the police seem to be unable to find the killers, taking the case into her own hands by hiring a detective. She tracks a couple matching the description and infiltrates their lives to find hard evidence, subjecting them to the same pain that she is filled with. The ...

Read More


Top shows to watch over the summer

By Ali Almutairi Last updated: 07/09/17 9:09pm

It's the summertime, and what better thing to do than to sit back, relax and escape reality. There is some great television out there to help you do that, so let The Eagle assist in choosing the top shows to watch over the summer.5) Game of Thrones (HBO)How can there be such a list without mentioning one of the most popular shows? “Game of Thrones” has become such a cultural phenomenon that even people who don't watch it feel like they do. Season 7 will be its penultimate season as well as it's ...

Read More


We care but we really don’t: A Netflix original

By Ashley Tejeda Last updated: 06/29/17 2:00pm

"Happy Gay Pride Month, we're taking away all of your representation," is basically what Netflix decided to say on June 1. On the first day of Pride Month, Netflix announced that it was cancelling “Sense8,” a show that focuses on the intersectionality of race and sexuality with a sci-fi twist. Although the show has a large following, it seems as though Netflix is hinting that there weren’t enough viewers, which comes as a somewhat contradictory statement considering that advertising for the ...

Read More


“Baby Driver” delivers a two-hour music video–but not much else

By Alix Mammina Last updated: 06/28/17 10:00pm

Veteran director and screenwriter Edgar Wright takes an unconventional approach to the typical heist film with "Baby Driver," yet fails to deliver much beyond high-powered car chases and a stellar soundtrack. The eponymous protagonist Baby (Ansel Elgort) is a getaway driver with a heart of gold, reluctantly working for crime kingpin Doc (Kevin Spacey) to pay off an old debt. A childhood car crash took his parents’ lives and left him with tinnitus, so Baby drowns out the ringing in his ears ...

Read More


Movie Review: "I, Daniel Blake"

By Toni Tileva Last updated: 06/03/17 5:53pm

“I, Daniel Blake” is a moving look at the quagmire that is the welfare system, breaking through the callousness of glib terms like “welfare queen.” There is no crown or glory in battling an amorphic bureaucracy for something as basic as one’s right to exist and live. British comedian Dave Johns stars as Daniel Blake, a 59-year-old carpenter from Newcastle, UK, who is seeking public assistance while recovering from a major heart attack. He must navigate a byzantine system of two hour ...

Read More


"Wonder Woman" shines as one of the best superhero films to date

By Griffin Rowell Last updated: 06/03/17 2:58pm

After a series of poorly reviewed movies for the DC Extended Universe, largely helmed by director Zach Snyder, actress and soon-to-be mega-star Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins pick up the slack with “Wonder Woman.”Although Gadot’s Wonder Woman appeared in Snyder’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” and is set to appear in this fall’s “Justice League” film, this is the first stand-alone film for the beloved comic character. The film tells the origin story of the Amazonian ...

Read More


“The Dinner” is too long and complicated to enjoy

By Elisabeth Holmes Last updated: 05/05/17 2:00pm

“The Dinner” tells the tale of two couples who meet over dinner to discuss what to do about their sons who are cousins and commit a serious crime. The conversation deepens and more information is shown and discussed as each new dinner course arrives. While the plot is an interesting idea, “The Dinner” ultimately loses the viewer and fails to entertain. This mystery/drama is shown through the perspective of Paul Lohman (played by Steve Coogan), who is a mentally-ill retired history teacher. ...

Read More


“Citizen Jane” examines the past, present and future of American cities

By Jack Reilly Last updated: 05/05/17 2:00pm

Matt Tyrnauer’s new documentary “Citizen Jane: Battle for the City” is a story about Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses. Jacobs's focus on organic growth clashes with Moses's goal of redeveloping New York City from the ground up during the 1950s and 60s. The film delves into these two contrasting visions of the city's future.Moses, a developer with authority from city government, is seen as someone who has become corrupted over time and is solely focused on making money. His focus on rebuilding ...

Read More


“Angkor Awakens: A Portrait of Cambodia” struggles with storytelling

By Michael Valenti Last updated: 05/05/17 1:17pm

“Angkor Awakens: A Portrait of Cambodia,” is a documentary focusing on the Cambodian genocide led by the Khmer Rouge in 1975 and its effect on present day Cambodia. The documentary focuses on the loss of culture and the Cambodian people coming to terms with their own history. Director Robert H. Lieberman portrays how the Khmer Rouge continues to affect everyday life in Cambodia.The issues I have with “Angkor Awakens” mostly surrounds my dislike of documentaries. The directors did not create ...

Read More


"Obit" shines a spotlight on the New York Times' obituary staff

By Dilpreet Raju Last updated: 05/05/17 1:04pm

Journalism’s worst kept secret is the fact that print newspapers are a dying business. Something that has been somewhat of a secret is the directly-correlated dying obituary section.Vanessa Gould’s “Obit” dives into this world of obituary writing; what many would, undoubtedly, perceive as a dour subject. Gould’s documentary, however, never feels sad or down; instead, it is lively and celebratory of obit writing as a whole.This documentary focuses in on the team of obit writers at The New ...

Read More


“Free Fire” shoots blanks

By Griffin Rowell Last updated: 04/21/17 1:30pm

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 1:10pm

“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 1:00pm

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 4:00pm

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 8:34pm

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 1:00pm

“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 1:00pm

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