Charlie Siskel’s “American Anarchist” is an intriguing film about an infuriating man. Like Errol Morris’ “The Fog of War,” the documentary centers on an individual who essentially launched a weapon of mass destruction and had to live with the consequences. Yet whereas “The Fog of War”’s subject, former Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, was candid and eloquent, staring the viewer straight in the face (thanks to Morris’ “Interrotron”), the eyes of Siskel’s interviewee are averted toward his interrogator with more than a glint of reluctance. William Powell is not at all what one would expect the author of 1971’s …Read More
Like the recent Chris Pratt/Jennifer Lawrence vehicle “Passengers” sans its giant spaceship or mortifying ethics, “Bokeh” takes that romantic sensation of feeling like the only two people in the world and challenges it with a literal interpretation. Is that the most vital feeling when in love? How important are our other loved ones, or even just other people, and could we live without them? This compelling, low-key sci-fi indie asks those questions and more, with the focused articulation of exciting talent across the board. Only worthwhile storytellers could take an elevator pitch like this one (the last two people on …Read More
The makers of “Prevenge,” a British horror-comedy about an expectant mother whose unborn child encourages her to go on a killing spree, only pick the softest targets: ugly caricatures of insensitive adults who have written off single mother Ruth (writer/director Alice Lowe) simply because she’s eight months pregnant. Ruth consequently preys on people who either fetishize or (more often) avoid her because they only see her baby bump. Lowe (co-writer of equally misanthropic black comedy “Sightseers”) infrequently scores a few laughs when she makes fun of the schizoid disconnect between Ruth’s maternal instincts and her murderous actions. But more often than …Read More
With its studied black and white look, its focus on a tormented young woman and its concern with crimes of the past, the Czech film “I, Olga Hepnarova” might remind some viewers of another recent Eastern European import, Poland’s “Ida.” Yet that film, an international box-office hit that won the foreign-language Oscar, was a fiction brilliantly fashioned into searing drama. Tomas Weinreb and Petr Kazda’s film, on the other hand, narrates a true-life crime but fails to provide an element that might’ve lifted it above tasteful art-house ordinariness—an engaging point of view.
Just in case you are wondering, “Wilson” is not a sequel to “Cast Away.”However, those who are white male jerk-averse, especially since there seems to be a surplus of them lately, might prefer the company of Tom Hanks’ silent volleyball buddy over the latest iteration of a kooky curmudgeon as unfiltered instigator of awkward confrontations and general annoyance.But if anyone can make such a character not just amusingly tolerable but even somewhat sympathetic, Woody Harrelson—who rarely gets his proper due for his vital contributions to movies ranging from the “Hunger Games” franchise to last year’s “The Edge of Seventeen”—would be …Read More