Scott Tobias en 'Fast 6': Silly, Speedy And Certain To Cash In For gearhead purists, the <em>Fast and the Furious</em> franchise is an ongoing heresy, the sins adding up with each new sequel. The appeal of the genre has always been its simplicity: Greasers racing for pink slips, their muscle cars grinding and screeching and speeding into the horizon.<p><em>The Fast and the Furious</em> has moved the genre into the digital era, replacing the force of metal against metal with the unreal bobbing and weaving of an arcade game. And now at five sequels and counting, it's become freighted with the mythology of a George R.R. Fri, 24 May 2013 16:54:21 +0000 Scott Tobias 36073 at In 'Sightseers,' A Killing Spree Gone South Scrub away the gore and the nastier bits of provocation, and Ben Wheatley's <em>Sightseers</em> belongs squarely in the tradition of British classics like <em>Kind Hearts and Coronets</em> and <em>The Ruling Class — </em>satires that transformed simmering class resentment into brittle, nasty dark comedy.<p>The key to these films is a disciplined tone: Whatever contempt the filmmakers have for their characters, or whatever types those characters represent, is harnessed by dry wit and an instinct not to overplay their outrageous premises. Mon, 13 May 2013 21:01:36 +0000 Scott Tobias 35233 at After Darkness, An Impressionistic Light After beginning his career with the art-damaged, sex-and-death duo of <em>Japon</em> and <em>Battle in Heaven</em> — two difficult, provocative and at times willfully obscure curiosities — the gifted Mexican director Carlos Reygadas had a breakthrough with 2007's <em>Silent Light</em>, a quietly astonishing domestic drama about a Mennonite family under duress. Fri, 03 May 2013 15:33:04 +0000 Scott Tobias 34604 at 'Greetings From Tim Buckley,' And From His Shadow Pop-culture deaths, especially when they come at an early age, have a tendency to turn human beings into instant icons, embalming them in the mythology of lyrics, performances, photos, quotations — and suicide notes where applicable.<p>When Jeff Buckley, the supremely gifted singer-songwriter, drowned in May 1997 — at age 30, only one record (the towering <em>Grace</em>) into a career flush with promise — the details made it sound like a death staged by a rock hagiographer. Fri, 03 May 2013 15:30:49 +0000 Scott Tobias 34603 at 'Pain & Gain': Michael Bay's Suffering Fools For Michael Bay, the director of <em>Armageddon</em> and the <em>Transformers</em> movies, to comment on the excesses of American culture would be a little like — well, Michael Bay commenting on the excesses of American culture.<p>And yet that's exactly what he does with <em>Pain & Gain</em>, a stranger-than-fiction yarn about a South Florida crime spree that points and snickers in the direction of precisely the supersized grotesquerie that's long been Bay's stock-in-trade. Sat, 27 Apr 2013 17:55:25 +0000 Scott Tobias 34160 at Effects-Heavy 'Oblivion' Pines For An Analog Past The score for <em>Oblivion</em> was composed by M83, a superb French electronic outfit that derives its name from one of the spectral pinwheels known as spiral galaxies. Fri, 19 Apr 2013 17:25:57 +0000 Scott Tobias 33597 at Zany 'It's A Disaster': Anything But For all his success as a stand-up comic, as one half of the brilliant HBO sketch comedy <em>Mr. Show</em> W<em>ith Bob & David</em> and as the hapless Tobias on <em>Arrested Development</em>, David Cross has struggled to find his footing in the movies, remaining relegated mainly to forgettable character roles. Fri, 12 Apr 2013 19:16:33 +0000 Scott Tobias 33150 at 'Simon Killer': An American (Psycho) In Paris Antonio Campos' <em>Simon Killer</em> embarks on an inexorable journey toward its titular outcome, and the closer it gets, the worse it becomes. As a portrait of alienation and dislocation — its protagonist a free man in Paris, but far from unfettered and alive — the film is frequently masterful, suggesting the turbulent inner state of an American sociopath who believes himself to be a good guy.<p>But its slow creep toward an inevitable action takes the film away from the mystery of a disturbed man coming to terms with the past and into relationships that follow a predictable path. Sat, 06 Apr 2013 14:18:19 +0000 Scott Tobias 32715 at What Happened In The Overlook's 'Room 237'? Of all the great filmmakers, Stanley Kubrick may be the one most associated with control — there's nary an inflection, gesture, camera movement or prop out of place in his movies, and significance invested in every detail.<p>Tales of his perfectionism have become the stuff of legend: projects developed over years or even decades, open-ended shoots where actors were bullied into 100 takes if necessary, special lenses crafted just to achieve a certain lighting effect in <em>Barry Lyndon,</em> obsessive micromanagement of every aspect of a production.<p>And with a body of work that includes such Fri, 29 Mar 2013 19:31:00 +0000 Scott Tobias 32249 at 'Gimme The Loot': The Tagger's Life, Lightly For the Bronx graffiti artists of <em>Gimme the Loot,</em> Adam Leon's sweet, vibrant debut feature, "Bombing the Apple" is the holy grail of tagging achievements.<p>"The Apple" in question is the protuberance that emerges from behind the center-right wall in Shea Stadium — they refuse to acknowledge the corporate name Citi Field — every time a New York Mets player hits a home run.<p>The thought of seeing their supersized insignia rising to the sky, taunting their Queens rivals, is a delicious fantasy to consider; they're like thieves idly plotting to knock over Fort Knox. Sun, 24 Mar 2013 20:44:41 +0000 Scott Tobias 31841 at