Cult Classics

Cult Classics: Midnight Movies, Classic Horror, Suspense & Science Fiction

Toronto Film Review: ‘Women He’s Undressed’

September 16, 2015

Courtesy of Hollywood Classics Nothing against production designer Ross Wallace, but if a documentary film needs a production designer at all, it’s a sure sign something’s afoot. Such is the case with “Women He’s Undressed,” the first film in five years from Gillian Armstrong, whose 1979 feature debut, “My Brilliant Career” was a defining moment […]

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Toronto Film Review: ‘Mekko’

September 11, 2015

Courtesy of TIFF Something of a next-generation take on the themes in recently rediscovered indie classics “The Exiles” (1961) and “On the Bowery” (1956), Sterlin Harjo’s third narrative feature updates their semi-documentary views of Native American and Skid Row urban culture to latter-day Oklahoma, adding a supernaturally tinged suspense element. This low-key, impressionistic, loosely plotted […]

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Film Review: ‘The Park Bench’

August 20, 2015

Courtesy of Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment Say this much for “The Park Bench”: It delivers on its title. Viewers get all the bench they can handle in writer-director Ann LeSchander’s exceedingly modest two-hander, but there’s a shortage of compelling conversation from its occupants. Though broken up by chapter titles, bits of animation and the occasional flashback, […]

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Vacation—The AllMovie Review

July 29, 2015

★ ★ This year’s slate of summer flicks wouldn’t be complete without a family-road-trip yarn, and what better movie to fill that niche than a sequel to National Lampoon’s Vacation series? Sounds great in theory, right? Unfortunately, this summer’s reboot of the 1983 treasure that starred Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo as Clark and Ellen […]

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Film Review: ‘Pixels’

July 22, 2015

Courtesy of Sony An adorable life-sized version of Q*bert is easily the most engaging character in “Pixels,” a dimwitted ’80s nostalgia trip best appreciated by those who have waited years for Adam Sandler’s fine-grained intelligence and Chris Columbus’ filmmaking mastery to finally converge. For the remaining 99% of the moviegoing population, this slapdash, casually sexist […]

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Film Review: ‘Strangerland’

July 9, 2015

Two young siblings vanish into the Australian outback and send their parents’ marriage into a torturous tailspin in “Strangerland,” a perilously overwrought melodrama that seeks to examine a domestic crisis in all its buried emotional, psychological and (especially) sexual dimensions. A fiercely committed performance by Nicole Kidman distinguishes this despairing debut feature from director Kim […]

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Film Review: ‘Ingrid Bergman — In Her Own Words’

June 24, 2015

Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival A treasure trove of home movies is the main reason to see Stig Bjorkman’s loving documentary “Ingrid Bergman — In Her Own Words,”  which mines excerpts from the Swedish-born star’s letters and diaries as well as archival interviews. Fans are unlikely to learn anything new, and the docu may disappoint others with its […]

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Cannes Film Review: ‘Hitchcock/Truffaut’

May 29, 2015

Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival “In many of the films now being made, there is very little cinema: They are mostly what I call ‘photographs of people talking,’” Alfred Hitchcock told his awestruck French interlocutor, critic-cum-helmer Francois Truffaut, in the indispensable monograph whose 50th anniversary inspired film historian Kent Jones’ “Hitchcock/Truffaut.” The master of suspense […]

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Cannes Film Review: ‘Yakuza Apocalypse: The Great War of the Underworld’

May 27, 2015

Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival The road home is a downhill slide for Nipponese genre kingpin Takashi Miike. A supposed “return to origins,” his vampire-gangster action-comedy “Yakuza Apocalypse: The Great War of the Underworld” is a lazily executed dud padded out with infantile pranks, shambolic plot turns and knockabout action. Recalling the kitschy “Sushi Typhoon” series […]

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Cannes Film Review: ‘Irrational Man’

May 15, 2015

Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival After Alfred Hitchcock and his Gallic disciple, Claude Chabrol, has any filmmaker devoted more screen time to contemplating the mechanics of the “perfect” murder than Woody Allen? Allen’s latest, “Irrational Man,” adds to a tally that also includes “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” “Match Point” and the little-seen “Cassandra’s Dream” —  only, […]

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Cannes Film Review: ‘Tale of Tales’

May 13, 2015

Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival In this era of fairy-tale prequels, sequels and spinoffs, how often do we encounter stories of wicked queens, licentious kings and captive princesses in which we don’t already know what happens next? That’s the thrill of Matteo Garrone’s “Tale of Tales,” a lavishly realized and long-overdue adaptation of three stories from 17th-century […]

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Film Review: ‘The Creeping Garden’

April 30, 2015

Image Courtesy of Hot Docs Film Festival The “Most Appealing Movie With the Least Appealing Subject” prize on the festival circuit in recent months has surely been owned by “The Creeping Garden,” an improbably delightful documentary about — deep breath now — slime molds. Packaged to recall 1970s sci-fi classics (like “Phrase IV” and the […]

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