Hashtag Activism and Bastille Day’s Unrelenting Cynicism

Action flick Bastille Day opens with a naked Frenchwoman (Stéphane Caillard) strolling through Paris. We soon learn that her nudity is intended to serve as a particularly dramatic distraction, allowing pickpocket Michael Mason (Game of Thrones’ Richard Madden) to pilfer a few wallets and passports at the orders of a local fence (Eriq Ebouaney). With…

Nightcrawler (2014)

Nightcrawler (2014)

Let me introduce you to Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal). Who is Lou Bloom? Well, in his own words, he’s a hard worker. He sets high goals and he’s been told that he’s persistent. He’s looking for a job, and now he’s thinking that television news might be something that he could love as well as…

The Raid: Redemption (2011)

Gareth Evans’ Indonesian action movie The Raid: Redemption (original title Serbuan maut) opens on a static shot of a wristwatch and a gun. It’s an important opening shot because it tells us two things about the film: it’s going to be precise, and it’s going to be violent. The Raid, as you’d expected, revolves around…

Extended Cut: Hot Fuzz (2007)

Hot Fuzz is a modern classic of the comedy genre. It’s the kind of film we’ll point to decades from now with a toothless grin and say, “See! They don’t make ‘em like they used to!” It’s widely loved and yet woefully underrated; this can be blamed on the marketing, which frames the film as…