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Michael Atkinson

Get Busy Buying Physical Copies of Movies This Season

Call it Stone Age materialism, but I still think movies are worth owning in physical forms you can hold, shelve and collect, and therefore worth giving as gifts. Fuck the Cloud — who knows when Hulu will be sold to Google, or when Netflix will decide to narrow its catalog......

Don't Watch That, Watch This: Geek Cinema Selfie Party

What's fascinating, new and neglected across all major video platforms. Among other things, cinema has always been a ready-made self-eulogizer — Hollywood was making two-reeler silent comedies about the craft of moviemaking before the viewing public even knew what it entailed, and documentaries about famous and forgotten threads of film......

Narco-Thriller Heli Makes War-Zone Art

So far on screen, Mexican narcoculture has generated mostly grim documentaries, but given the carnage and the proximity, you can easily imagine the movies coming from both sides of the border: the mezzobrow hand-wringers, the trigger-joy gangster trips, the based-on-true-story crusades. What we might not have seen......

The Dance of Reality May Be Jodorowsky's Best Film

The grand old dirty pope of midnight-movie voodoo and post-'60s turn-on, drop-out mythopoeia returns with a vengeance, in his autumnal phase and with, surprise, a personal look back at his own childhood. The Dance of Reality may be Alejandro Jodorowsky's best film, and certainly, in a filmography top-heavy with freak-show......

Child's Pose, a New Romanian Classic

Ah, the Romanians — sometimes it seems that no one else is bothering to make movies for grown-ups anymore. Those of us with an abiding, New Wave–y interest in human warts and tragic truth-telling have known, since 2005's The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, to look to the Carpathians for dependable......

Reality Is the First Great Film About Bad TV

Reality, about an Italian fishmonger who wants to be on Big Brother, is the first great film about bad television. Rampaging through the otherwise arid desertscape of contemporary Italian cinema, Matteo Garrone doesn't want for ambition or walnuts — he may be the premier chronicler of Berlusconi-era Italian culture, and......

The First Time Review: Teen Love Done Right

Objectively, the world needs another teen-romance-slash-virginity-loss dramedy like we need a hole in our collective movie heads. But Jonathan Kasdan's The First Time, against all odds, is something of a wonder, a palm-size ball of banter and irony and earnestness that never stops rolling and almost never misses the sweet......
Jeremy Renner in The Bourne Legacy; Credit: PHOTO BY MARY CYBULSKI

Bourne Legacy Review: Sequel Suffers From Damonlessness

The Bourne films have more than just overstayed their welcome and outlasted the Ludlum books ― they’ve been Van Halenized, with an abrupt change of frontman and a resulting dip in personality. The only big-ass popcorn franchise of the past decade to have not been spawned on computers, the series......
Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai

Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai Might Be Takashi Miike's Best Film Yet

The transformation might be complete: The crap-and-gore, genre-mincing Tasmanian devil of Asian pulp psychosis Takashi Miike we’ve come to know and, well, kinda semi-love since 1999's Audition seems now to have finished evolving into a tasteful, even resonant art house master. It has only taken him 50 movies or so......
LA Weekly