Jobs (2013)

Snow Jobs Joshua Michael Stern’s new film about Apple co-founder Steve Jobs (played by Ashton Kutcher, of all people, but more on that later) bookends with the press conference in which he announces the iPod .mp3 music player in 2001. Such is one of the most problematic clichés of the biopic, stopping at a moment ...

Elysium (2013)

Why We Still Dream… of Electric Sheep In his new film Elysium, director Neill Blomkamp reaches for the holy grail of science-fiction cinema, Blade Runner. Alas, the disappointing new film starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster has the right look, inspired by the work of futurist designer Syd Mead, but none of the sophisticated thematic ...

Blue Jasmine (2013)

She Didn’t Have a Heart to Leave in San Francisco In the heyday of Woody Allen’s career, he alternated between large epic films about men grappling with moral crises, and smaller films about women suffering the impacts of such men’s behaviors. For example, in 1989’s Oscar nominated Crimes and Misdemeanors, Allen’s camera recoils in existential ...

Clear History (2013)

The Fountain…foot-in-mouth In Greg Mottola’s Clear History, the latest comic concoction starring Larry David, premiering in the United States on HBO this month, the creator of the revolutionary sitcoms Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm registers another triumph. By now, it must be clear that Larry David is this century’s Moliere, a master of social critique ...

The Way, Way Back (2013)

“Just How Far Back, Exactly?” Nat Faxon’s and Jim Rash’s remarkable new comedy, The Way, Way Back offers a remarkable intertextual collision between teen comedies from the 1980s, such as Meatballs (Ivan Reitman, 1979), and far more significant cinema. I want to explore The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 1967) as the quintessential bildungsroman of New Hollywood ...