David Yates is the director of “Fantastic Beasts,” just as he was with the last four Potter films. He’s a steady, talented, director that does not get in the way of the story and uses CGI in effective amounts without going overboard.
Director Keith Maitland’s “Tower” recreates the chilling 1966 shootings at the University of Texas at Austin. Using animation that warbles, juts, and vibrates like Richard Linklater’s “Waking Life”, the documentary marries reenactments and live footage to create a kaleidoscope of uncanny valleys.
Screenwriter Steven Knight must have been listening to Dooley Wilson, because the look and feel of “Casablanca” resonates in “Allied,” especially as it unfolds in the place of the same name. The design and the mood echo the classic film: Max and Marriane are even costumed similar to Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.
While “The Hebrew Hammer” is a great send-up of Blaxploitation films, it doesn’t hold up to repeated viewings. “Eight Crazy Nights” is, well, let’s be charitable — it’s dreadful. There’s the adorable “An American Tale” and that’s about it for Hanukkah films.
French co-directors Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud spent four year filming “Seasons,” a gorgeous film in the tradition of their previous works “Winged Migration” and “Oceans.” The film is lavish in its photography and its ambition, but it does remind me of a really good episode of BBC’s “Planet Earth” series
Make no mistake about it: Blood Orange’s Freetown Sound is a colossal beast of an R&B/Pop record, and the commanding lead vocals by Lorely Rodriguez (Empress Of) on “Best To You” are so pristine and flawless that it’s hard to imagine a more ideal contender for best guest appearance of 2016.
Her voice is like a balm for bruised hearts and people who think Dusty Springfield should have a statue out in front of the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame. There’s a definite nod toward Burt Bacharach and early sixties Hi-Fi standards in the way she plays and sings.
“Are you,” I stammer, incredulously, “are you seeing this video?” My mouth peels into a question mark. My eyebrows become so furrowed that they turn into a cat’s cradle. I’m watching MTV2. The receiver of my cell phone pressed up against my cheek like a hot iron against a dress shirt.
I give you a list of great punk, funk, rap and rock that helped get me through the Reagan era and a few that helped make the George W. Bush years more tolerable.
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