Luke Bracey and Liano Liberato in The Best of Me (2014)

The Best of Me (2014)

So I saw my first Nicholas Sparks movie and … I didn’t hate it? Maybe the two glasses of wine beforehand affected my judgment, as I can hardly defend the film from an “objective” perspective. It’s riddled with problems, including: The casting of Luke Bracey as the teenage version of James Marsden; not only does…

The New Pornographers

The New Pornographers – Brill Bruisers

The New Pornographers are one of those bands that I’ve always felt vaguely guilty for not liking. The problem wasn’t that I had some deep-seated hatred for the group that I was unable to express, but rather that the group’s impressive reputation and pedigree never translated into great music for me. Sure, Twin Cinema is…

John Wick (2014)

John Wick (2014)

I remain impressed – and a little perplexed – by filmmakers who choose to title their productions with nothing more than a person’s name. It’s not like there isn’t a storied history of such films doing well – Ben Hur, anyone? – but it strikes me as requiring some serious self-belief to throw a film…

Banshee Chapter

Banshee Chapter (2013)

When is a found footage film not a found footage film? When it’s Banshee Chapter, apparently, which borrows the grungy, handheld aesthetic of found footage without much actual found footage to be, uh, found. Writer/director Blair Erickson’s debut feature actually makes pretty good use of this questionable stylistic choice, surprisingly enough. Banshee Chapter ain’t pretty,…

Force Majeure (2014)

Force Majeure (2014)

The concept of a ‘controlled avalanche’ seems paradoxical; while engineers can predict the outcome of an avalanche set off by an explosion with some certainty, the expectation of complete control for thousands of tonnes of rolling snow is patently ludicrous. One such ‘controlled’ avalanche, tumbling towards the ski resort housing Tomas (Johannes Kuhnke), Ebba (Lisa…

Fury (2014)

Fury (2014)

A dark rider atop a white horse, a figure of nobility, mounts the horizon over an endless expanse of rutted mud. The horse trots into a landscape of wreckage and the rider – a Nazi officer, we now see – is knocked from his steed by a hitherto unseen assailant. The officer’s fate is swift…

Jeremy Renner in Kill the Messenger (2014)

Kill the Messenger (2014)

“You don’t know what you’re getting into.” Small-time journalist Gary Webb (Jeremy Renner) keeps hearing variations on that statement, delivered by Washington insider Fred Weil (Michael Sheen). ‘What he’s getting into’ is a national scandal involving the CIA, Nicaragua and thousands of kilos of cocaine smuggled into the United States daily. Webb is a 1990s…