Shake, rattle and roll film: The five best found-footage movies
Move aside, 3-D; there's a new filmmaking gimmick drawing ire for overstaying its welcome. It's easy to forget, however, that a few of these found-footage movies have actually turned out pretty good - namely, these five - that were actually worth the motion sickness.
"Samsara" invites audience to wonder again
I walked into "Samsara" prepared to be skeptical. Two hours later, I walked out of the theater a believer, baptized in the power and immense beauty of 70mm film.
"Seven Psychopaths" a twisted comedy roller coaster
"In Bruges" director Martin McDonagh. Christopher Walken. A bunny. This magical collaboration isn't some elaborate fantasy, it's just part of the all-too-hilarious reality of "Seven Psychopaths." The story of a writer's block-afflicted screenwriter, his motley crew of friends and an unintentional stumble into L.A.'s criminal underworld is an irreverent, smart and darkly funny adventure that easily earns a spot on the list of this year's top comedies.
"Searching for Sugar Man" strums a sweet, soulful story
After spending the last two weeks at the Milwaukee Film Festival watching several documentaries and movies that made me question my faith in humanity, it's kind of nice to see a film like "Searching for Sugar Man." That isn't to say that those festival films weren't terrific, but it's refreshing to see something that can so effortlessly make your heart smile.
Dark, subdued "Sinister" brings the scary
Part mystery and part horror movie, "Sinister" has been teasing scary movie fans with intriguingly vague trailers for a while now - its shadowy villain has certainly gotten people talking. While it's nothing to write home about plot-wise, "Sinister"'s scares are certainly enough to make you think twice about turning your lights off before going to bed.
"Argo" a gripping must-see
After Ben Affleck delivered his hugely successful "Gone Baby Gone" in 2007 and followed it with 2010's "The Town," expectations for his latest directorial work, "Argo," were riding high. Audiences were naturally eager to see if his talent behind the camera would carry over into his new thriller, and there's no doubt it did.
Milwaukee Film announces award winners, attendance growth for 2012
Alex Gibney's "Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God" earned the Allan H. (Bud) and Suzanne L. Selig Audience Award for Best Feature Film, and Martin Clapp's "Magic Piano" earned Best Short Film at the 2012 Milwaukee Film Festival, organizers announced today.
"Here Comes the Boom" manages more hits than misses
Sequels have a reputation for being awful injustices compared to their originals. Apparently, they should consider the "alternate universe" method used by "Here Comes the Boom," which, despite being the parallel-reality version of "Happy Gilmore," did a pretty good job holding its own.
The best of the rest of the Milwaukee Film Festival
The two-week cinematic sensation known as the Milwaukee Film Festival is sadly coming to a close Thursday night. However, that doesn't mean that there aren't interesting and entertaining movies left to see. Here are five other festival films worth checking out before the festival rolls its end credits.
You wouldn't be mistaken to skip second "Taken"
For the past few weeks, I've been coming up ways of making the title "Taken 2" sound ridiculous. All of these fake titles sound hilariously absurd, but they would all be more fitting for the supremely silly sequel to Liam Neeson's 2009 surprise hit.
"Pitch Perfect" strikes a surprisingly funny chord
Considering "Glee"'s heyday is long over and "mashup" is well on its way to becoming the latest banned word, unleashing a movie about an underdog group of a cappella singers onto theaters doesn't really seem like a banner idea. But, "Pitch Perfect" is smart, darkly funny and even a little edgy
See "Argo" on us
Actor/director Ben Affleck's found his calling behind the camera, it seems. His latest, "Argo," chronicles a covert operation to rescue six Americans behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis. It's already picked up rave reviews, but you don't have to take critics' words for it. You can see it for yourself this Monday.
Food Network's "Sandwich King" puts Le Reve in the limelight
"Sandwich King" Jeff Mauro will feature Wauwatosa's Le Reve on his Food Network show Oct. 21.
Resurrected "Frankenweenie" brings Burton's career back to life
After weathering the hits and misses of Tim Burton's more recent work, fans saw a promising break in the clouds when the full-length adaptation of "Frankenweenie" was announced. The black-and-white short that originally got him fired from Disney has, ironically, come full circle - not only does this spooky stop-motion tale reunite Burton with the kid-friendly studio, it has zapped new life into a career that was gasping for air.
Enraging and engaging "Mea Maxima Culpa" a must-see
Oscar-winning documentarian Alex Gibney has become the film world's chief reporter on the abuse of power. Now, Gibney turns his camera toward the Vatican and the priest sex abuse scandal that sickened the public and tainted many's image of the powerful institution of the Catholic Church.
Beautifully shot "Detropia" focuses on Detroit's dark side
Despite the attractive aesthetics, "Detropia" focuses almost entirely on Detroit's decline - mostly due to the loss of the auto industry - and under-explores the city's vast artistic and entertainment-based achievements in recent years.
The five best of Tim Burton
I didn't have many nice things to say back when Tim Burton released "Dark Shadows," but considering "Frankenweenie" is coming out this weekend, I'm thinking we start fresh. As a sign of good will, here are five Tim Burton movies that give merit to the director's reputation of quality and creativity.
"Compliance": the feel-awful movie of the year
If you have any faith in humanity, "Compliance" is not the movie for you. It's a startling look into the abuse of power and the terrifying ability for outside authority - or even just the illusion of it - to overtake common human logic. Writer/director Craig Zobel has crafted a very good film, albeit one that I never want to see again.
"Looper" a terrifically twisty time travel treat
Imagination and daring are two things rarely associated with mainstream Hollywood releases. That's a part of the reason why "Looper" feels so fresh and fascinating.
Cheap-looking "V/H/S" provides equally cheap thrills
"V/H/S," a found footage horror movie at its most authentically ugly, is commendable to a certain extent. It's shot to bring back grainy memories of the VCR, but unfortunately, with low-quality video comes just another low-quality horror flick.
"Beauty is Embarrassing" celebrates Wayne White's colorful life
Funny, smart and delightfully in-your-face: they're not your typical descriptors for a documentary, but they fit "Beauty is Embarrassing" to a tee.
The life and struggles of being an entertainer in "Me @ the Zoo," "Andrew Bird"
If there's one thing I learned between watching "Me @ the Zoo" and "Andrew Bird: Fever Year" at the Milwaukee Film Festival, it's that being famous isn't all it's cracked up to be. The only good side of becoming famous, it seems, is that one becomes good fodder for solid documentaries.
"Le Tableau" paints a lush story for all ages
The best children's movies are those with universal appeal. Often, though, that appeal is achieved with snappy double entendres and gimmicks that, while well done, are forced to fly over kids' heads to find an audience. "Le Tableau," on the other hand, makes catering to every age of its audience look as easy as Color by Numbers art.
"3,2,1...Frankie Go Boom" a laugh explosion
"3,2, 1...Frankie Go Boom" 's constant stream of zany, rapid-fire laugh fodder is a little overwhelming at the outset, but only because it delivers hard and fast right out of the gate and refuses to let up even after the credits start to roll.
"Tchoupitoulas" documents New Orleans' beauty and darkness
"Tchoupitoulas" - which is a street name in New Orleans - was created by brothers Bill and Turner Ross and produced by Court 13, the same group who produced the stunning "Beasts of the Southern Wild." It screens twice during the Milwaukee Film Festival.