With BlacKkKlansman, Spike Lee turns a dull memoir into an energetic crowd-pleaser

A few years ago, I wrote an essay bemoaning the way Hollywood explores the subject of prejudice. Too often, I argued, the films it makes are uplifting period pieces—Race, Get On Up, 42, The Help, Loving, Hidden Figures, etc.—which together suggest a world where racism is not only a problem from the past, but also one…

Spike Lee’s messy, funny BlacKkKlansman clowns on the dipshit thugs of skinhead America

B+

Based, as the opening credits pronounce, on “some fo real, fo real shit,” Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman is a riotous mess of contradictions: a true story that seems too outrageous to actually be true, a period piece that’s also a red-alert bulletin on current affairs, a very funny comedy about the very unfunny business…

Having already made vampires hip, Jim Jarmusch is taking on zombies with Bill Murray

Jim Jarmusch’s 2014 vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive was a low-stakes romance, a salute to the timeless value of art rather than a horror story about blood-sucking killers, and now Variety is reporting that Jarmusch’s next project will be tackling a different classic movie monster. The project is called The Dead…

The Last Jedi locates that middle-chapter, Empire Strikes Back mojo

B+

Early into The Last Jedi, the zippy, operatic, and occasionally exhilarating new Star Wars movie, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) smashes his helmet into pieces. It’s chiefly a symbolic act: Kylo, who established his volcanic temper as the formidable new heavy of The Force Awakens, is determined to “let the past die”—to emerge…

Film Academy invites 774 new members, some of whom should’ve been in already

The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences is the organization behind the Academy Awards, and it consists of thousands of people who work in the movie industry—from actors and directors to hairstylists and PR people. That means The Academy is basically the not-so-shadowy cabal that runs Hollywood, breaking hearts…

Channing Tatum and Adam Driver pull a NASCAR heist in this trailer for Logan Lucky

Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s movies were all basically about how cool and charming A-list Hollywood stars are, but this trailer for his new heist movie Logan Lucky looks almost like a direct rejection of all of that George Clooney style. For starters, it centers on two brothers (played by Channing Tatum and a one-armed…

Please don’t hug Adam Driver when he’s in character as Kylo Ren

The Dark side is so strong within Adam Driver when he’s playing Kylo Ren that he’s immune to such joys as getting hugged by John Boyega. Vanity Fair has a piece on just how incredibly intense Driver is when he’s in character—so intense, in fact, that he’ll simply ignore Boyega’s attempts to get him to chill out. “I…

Adam Driver sports a prosthetic hand in the first look at Soderbergh’s Logan Lucky

After a few years spent down in the grimy, self-surgery-filled trenches of TV, Steven Soderbergh finally got back to the world of film this year, tapping Channing Tatum, Riley Keough, Adam Driver, and Daniel Craig to star in his backwoods heist comedy Logan Lucky. Now, Entertainment Weekly has the first photo from the…

Girls leans on its most irritating elements in one of its weakest episodes to date

C+

“Full Disclosure” is one of the oddest, lumpiest half-hours Girls has ever turned out, an episode equally comprising the show’s most and least appealing elements. It’s an episode that could only exist within the final season, when it’s acceptable for a show this character-driven to suddenly make big plot moves to get…

Suddenly Hannah is the grown-up in the room on Girls

B+

One of Lena Dunham’s strengths as a writer is her understanding of how weird and arbitrary people can be, and how people’s actual reactions to life’s curveballs are often different than how they would imagine reacting. So it’s no wonder that Dunham is bringing that same chaotic worldview to the story of how Hannah and…

Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote is back in production, for now

It has now been 18 years since Terry Gilliam first tried to film The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, a.k.a. The Movie That Will Probably Kill Terry Gilliam, Instead. In that time, Gilliam has faced a Job-like series of setbacks on the film, from flash floods to sick actors to dead actors to some “Portuguese chap” who…

Life—and death—comes at you fast in a momentous Girls

B

Saying goodbye to Girls is difficult because it’s hard to imagine what the show’s finish line looks like. Hannah and the members of her social circle have certainly made strides toward finding lasting love, discovering their passions, and ironing out their personal wrinkles. Hannah has made the most dramatic progress,…