Twin Peaks: The Return [episode 5: Case Files] (2017)

Twin Peaks: The Return [episode 5: Case Files] (2017)
“Over the Waterfall: The Centrifugal Nature of Twin Peaks: The Return” The credit sequence of Twin Peaks: The Return begins with the familiar school portrait of Laura Palmer superimposed on the waterfall near the Great Northern Hotel. However, unlike the earlier seasons, when we see the flowing cascade from a distance, we now watch from ...

Passengers (2016)

Passengers (2016)
“Morton Tyldum: Science-Fiction as Misdirection” Morten Tyldum’s new film, Passengers is the best sort of science-fiction, one where it turns out the genre is irrelevant to the film’s theme. At its core, Passengers is a down-to-Earth melodrama, about the love two people find under the worst, most Existentially bleak circumstances. Passengers positions Tyldum as one ...

Ghostbusters (2016)

Ghostbusters (2016)
“And the Franchise is Still Standing!” The new Ghostbusters has garnered a stunningly negative reaction. Fans have taken the position that such films ruin their childhoods by replacing beloved male heroes with women. Among the infantile misogyny directed at the film: “Feminists ruin the world” and “Women are just incapable of being funny.” Meanwhile, a ...

Keanu (2016)

Keanu (2016)
“Oil and Smoke: The Carnivalesque Double Consciousness of Key and Peele” The first thing I do when I teach film comedy is observe that the funniest contemporary films were loathed upon their release. Critics dismissed Airplane! (Jim Abrahams and David Zucker, 1980) and Caddyshack (Harold Ramis, 1980) as sophomoric, not seeming to notice the close ...

The Witch (2016)

The Witch (2016)
“New Englanders, Out of Their Minds” Horror fans reacted to Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film adaptation of The Shining with profound disappointment, arguing that the film’s artiness destroyed their visceral genre expectations, ones that were clearly and directly presented in Stephen King’s widely read 1977 novel. Robert Eggers’ new film, The Witch (2015) might be the ...

Crimson Peak (2015)

Crimson Peak (2015)
“The Red Keys” Guillermo del Toro’s latest film, Crimson Peak offers as stimulating a post-modern reconstruction of the 19th century gothic novel as has ever appeared on a movie screen. Some of the intertexts out of which it is built are obvious, and expected. The old dark house setting combines the barren manors of the ...