This week, we begin at the poker table:
If dinosaurs were still around, there’s no doubt many of us would probably have one as a pet. Whether small and friendly to cuddle with or big and mean to scare unwelcome guests, these prehistoric animals would make great companions. In its latest animated tale, however, Pixar reverses the idea and crafts a wonderful world where dinos can keep humans as pets. The Good Dinosaur had all the signs of being a doomed movie: delayed release, production fumbles and a story that doesn’t exactly roar “original.” But, as usual, Pixar manages to shock, surprise and pack an emotional wallop in its cannon.
We all know the rote formula of boxing films, and Creed doesn’t push those boundaries much. An underdog wants to make a name for himself, undergoes training montages, pays lip service to a throwaway love story and enters one big bout to reach the top. However, every now and then a sports film finds that sweet spot of balancing both action and drama. Once in a while, the fights in a film are justified with stories full of enough crushing emotion that they become all the more intense and gratifying. Creed is that film. Extending the highly regarded Rocky franchise into a spinoff involving the previously unseen son (Michael B. Jordan
This week, we begin in the late 1940s:
This week, we begin with Seymour:
This week, we begin in 1968:
Last year, Benedict Cumberbatch portrayed computer inventor Alan Turing in The Imitation Game. Turing was found dead from cyanide poisoning in 1954 with a half-eaten apple by his bedside. Could this have been behind the iconic image of the Apple computer company Steve Jobs started all those years ago?
We never seem to get sick of haunted house movies and ghost stories, do we? And why should we ever tire of a reliable subsection of horror? This is the quintessential genre that takes its time, slowly and subtly building dread in evocative worlds, then populating them with rich, unforgettable characters.
It’s easy to assume that the best way to judge a horror film is to determine how scary it is, but that’s easier said than done. While it’s possible to nail down core attributes and figure out what doesn’t work or is easy to brush off, everyone experiences fear differently, and everyone is scared by different things.
This week, we begin in Northern England:
A family get-together starts out strange and quickly enters nightmare territory in TheVisit, a horror-thriller that turns soiled adult diapers into a motif. Told from a camera-equipped kids’-eye-view, M. Night Shyamalan’s latest is well cast and strong on setting. But the dull thudding that resounds isn’t part of its effective aural design; it’s the ungainly landing of nearly every shock and joke.
This week, we begin on the road: