Jerry G. Angelo wears many hats in American Warfighter. Not only did he direct the film and write the original screenplay, but he also performs as Rusty “Wolfman” Wittenburg, a Navy SEAL haunted by his experiences of battle. I wish I could say that Angelo’s efforts have resulted in an impressive film, but the truth is that American Warfighter isn’t just lackluster, it’s downright bad.
Assholes: A Theory (DIR. John Walker) After being inspired by Aaron James’ book Assholes: A Theory, documentarian/cinematographer John Walker set out to make a movie of the same name that would explore the lifestyle of the supremely arrogant. The results are fairly satisfying, more or less, but it’s hard to make a case that the film is focused.
By: Jessica Goddard Could a beautiful, successful, Type A presidential hopeful like Charlize Theron’s Charlotte fall in love with a slovenly, jobless, political cynic like Seth Rogen’s Fred? Long Shot is wholly predictable in both its conclusion to this question, and in how it gets us there. From the standard drug-fuelled escapade we’ve come to anticipate once per Seth Rogen film, to the “maybe if one day he shows up in nicer clothes she’ll start…
Never in my wildest dreams would I have predicted to watch an upbeat documentary about satanists. But, here we are: I have watched such a movie and, here I am, suggesting you do the same.
Hats off to Sophie Cookson, an actor who turns lemons into lemonade to some avail in Trevor Nunn’s tepid period drama Red Joan.
By: Jessica Goddard In a classic case of truth being stranger than fiction, JT LeRoy is especially interesting if you keep in mind its events notoriously did happen. All the required overacting works, since the story is so bizarre and based on a sequence of such strange choices.
Dragged Across Concrete is an excellent contemporary crime thriller that feels painstakingly real. From its characterizations of bitter people blaming PC culture and 24/7 surveillance for their own faults to the drawn-out investigations that suggest other criminal activities are afoot, this is a divisive film that is identifiable and purposely tough on the viewer.
For Sama (DIR. Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts) For Sama is one of the heaviest documentaries I’ve ever seen – a true battle about staying hopeful in hopeless circumstances.
I’m arriving to the Replicas party late. The room is empty, the snacks have been picked over, and there’s an exhausted Keanu Reeves in the kitchen asking me if I could stick around and help with the dishes.
Propaganda: The Art of Selling Lies (DIR. Larry Weinstein) Larry Weinstein’s Propaganda: The Art of Selling Lies is a multi-faceted historical study of the use of propaganda for political gain.