David Edelstein http://wwno.org en Undead Hipsters And An Abstract Alien Star In Two Arty Horror Pics http://wwno.org/post/undead-hipsters-and-abstract-alien-star-two-arty-horror-pics Every so often a high-toned arthouse director dips a toe into the horror genre and the results are uplifting: You realize vampires and space aliens are subjects too rich to be the sole property of schlockmeisters. Fri, 18 Apr 2014 18:20:00 +0000 David Edelstein 58829 at http://wwno.org In 'Noah,' Earth And The Bible Get A Computer-Generated Reboot http://wwno.org/post/noah-earth-and-bible-get-computer-generated-reboot Transcript <p>(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)<p>DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST: <p>Darren Aronofsky had a surprise hit in 2010 with "Black Swan," which won an Oscar for its star, Natalie Portman. His latest film, "Noah," is a big budget Bible epic based on the story of Noah's Ark. Russell Crowe plays the title character, and the movie also features Jennifer Connelly and Emma Watson.<p>Film critic David Edelstein has this review.<p>DAVID EDELSTEIN: Darren Aronofsky's biblical flood epic "Noah," generated controversy before anyone had laid eyes on the film. Fri, 28 Mar 2014 15:11:00 +0000 David Edelstein 57208 at http://wwno.org 'Nymphomaniac': Chasing Sex, But Only On Her Terms http://wwno.org/post/nymphomaniac-chasing-sex-only-her-terms Lars von Trier's latest provocation is an episodic sexual epic called <em>Nymphomaniac</em>, which comes in two two-hour parts, or "volumes," though it's basically one movie sliced in half. The thinking must have been, "Who wants four hours of hardcore sex and philosophizing?," and if you say, "Me, me!," I suggest seeing both back to back: It's an art-house orgy!<p>Should you see it at all? I recommend it guardedly. It's dumb, but in a bold, ambitious way movies mostly aren't these days, especially when there's sex in the equation. Fri, 21 Mar 2014 14:13:00 +0000 David Edelstein 56700 at http://wwno.org 'Grand Budapest Hotel': Kitsch, Cameos And A Gloriously Stylized Europe http://wwno.org/post/grand-budapest-hotel-kitsch-cameos-and-gloriously-stylized-europe Wes Anderson has his share of groupies and his somewhat smaller share of skeptics who find him a tad precious. As someone who leans toward the precious view, but is open to his grace notes, I found <em>The Grand Budapest Hotel</em> mostly delightful.<p>It's a madcap comedy, but with hints of tragedy lurking outside the usual Anderson dollhouse frames. The central character is Gustave H., played by Ralph Fiennes. He's the concierge of a kitschy, opulent, high-class European hotel between World Wars I and II.<p>But it takes a while to <em>get</em> to Gustave. Fri, 07 Mar 2014 21:30:00 +0000 David Edelstein 55298 at http://wwno.org Liam Neeson's Action Chops Take Flight In 'Non-Stop' http://wwno.org/post/liam-neesons-action-chops-take-flight-non-stop Transcript <p>DAVE DAVIES, HOST: <p>This is FRESH AIR. Liam Neeson became a bankable action hero in 2008 with the thriller "Taken." Now almost 62, he's still getting out of tight corners with his fists in the new action thriller "Non-Stop," most of which unfolds on a transatlantic flight from New York to London. The film also stars Julianne Moore and Michelle Dockery. Fri, 28 Feb 2014 18:24:00 +0000 David Edelstein 54942 at http://wwno.org 'Wind Rises' Is Exquisite, And Likely To Be Hayao Miyazaki's Last http://wwno.org/post/wind-rises-exquisite-and-likely-be-hayao-miyazakis-last The 73-year-old Japanese animation titan Hayao Miyazaki says <em>The Wind Rises</em> is his final film, and if that's true — and I hope it's not but fear it is, since he's not the type to make rash declarations — he's going out on a high.<p>The movie won't, I'm afraid, appeal to kids the way <em>Ponyo</em> or <em>Spirited Away</em> does. It's monster-, ghost- and mermaid-free. It centers on grown-ups and is gently paced — maybe 15 minutes too long, I'd say, but you can forgive those <em>longueurs</em> when the work is this exquisite. Fri, 21 Feb 2014 18:14:00 +0000 David Edelstein 54448 at http://wwno.org Masterpieces In Peril, 'Monuments Men' Protects, But Also Panders http://wwno.org/post/masterpieces-peril-monuments-men-protects-also-panders George Clooney's <em>The</em> <em>Monuments Men</em> tells the largely true story of a squad of art experts who, near the end of World War II, are assigned to protect the masterworks of European society from Nazi theft and Allied bombardment. You'll notice those are two separate goals.<p>The first is to stop the flood of art from occupied countries to Germany. Fri, 07 Feb 2014 19:18:00 +0000 David Edelstein 53795 at http://wwno.org Middle-Aged And Divorced, 'Gloria' Takes On Life's Uncertainties http://wwno.org/post/middle-aged-and-divorced-gloria-takes-lifes-uncertainties Transcript <p>DAVE DAVIES, HOST: <p>This is FRESH AIR. "Gloria" is a new film from Chile that centers on a late-middle-aged divorced woman whose life is full of uncertainties. She's played by Paulina Garcia, who won the top acting prize - the Silver Bear - at the 2013 Berlin Film Festival, where the movie was a surprise hit. It opens this week in New York and Los Angeles, and wider next month. Film critic David Edelstein has this review.<p>DAVID EDELSTEIN, BYLINE: The Chilean drama "Gloria" is a lovely surprise. Paulina Garcia plays Gloria, 58 years old, middle class, 10 years divorced. Fri, 24 Jan 2014 15:31:00 +0000 David Edelstein 52703 at http://wwno.org Jack Ryan Gets A Makeover, And A Quick Trip To Moscow http://wwno.org/post/jack-ryan-gets-makeover-and-quick-trip-moscow A franchise is what we used to call a Burger King or a Shell station, but nowadays the word appears more often in relation to movies: the <em>Star Wars</em> franchise, the <em>Hunger Games</em> franchise, the Jack Ryan franchise — or in the case of <em>Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit,</em> the Jack Ryan franchise reboot. I don't know what's more depressing: that what fires up studio execs is the hunt for a new franchise or that critics have adopted this business lingo uncritically.<p>Maybe a business reporter would be the best person to talk about <em>Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit</em>. Fri, 17 Jan 2014 16:59:00 +0000 David Edelstein 52246 at http://wwno.org 'Invisible Woman' Charts Charles Dickens' Hidden Relationship http://wwno.org/post/invisible-woman-charts-charles-dickens-hidden-relationship Transcript <p>DAVE DAVIES, HOST: <p>This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross. The new film, "The Invisible Woman," charts the hidden relationship between Charles Dickens and a young actress for whom left his wife, but who for years never showed up in biographies of Dickens. It's the second film directed by Ralph Fiennes, who also plays Dickens and features Felicity Jones as the actress, Nelly Ternan.<p>Film critic David Edelstein has this review.<p>DAVID EDELSTEIN: The question at the heart of "The Invisible Woman" is whether a person who is kept a secret can be said to exist. Fri, 10 Jan 2014 18:59:00 +0000 David Edelstein 51760 at http://wwno.org