more by MaryAnn

Hollywood’s loyal opposition | by maryann johanson


latest reviews

A Promise movie review: the waiting is the hardest part

This dreary, drippy period romance is sorely lacking in juicy melodrama and some sizzle among supposed stifled lovebirds.

Step Up 5: All In (aka Step Up All In) movie review: dance fever

Astonishingly athletic dancers express crazy-hot modern choreography, strung together by a flimsy narrative. Kinda like old-school Hollywood musicals did.

Guardians of the Galaxy movie review: empty space

Just another rote space adventure. It’s not actively awful, but there isn’t a single damn thing in the least bit surprising or memorable about it.

Yves Saint Laurent movie review: underdressed

This biopic of “fashion’s little prince” offers all the elegant precision of a fashion shoot — it’s beautiful, and cold — but lacks a lot of necessary context.

Very Good Girls movie review: sex negative

An almost complete waste of a talented cast, and all to, apparently, convince teenaged girls that sex isn’t worth the hassle. Say what?

Begin Again movie review: up tempo

A hugely satisfying ode to entrepreneurial creativity, and a glorious love letter to New York City and the art it inspires. I love this movie so much.

Earth to Echo movie review: not good enough for me

An inoffensive time-passer for youngsters, but adult genre fans who recall the 80s classics it draws on — E.T. and The Goonies — will be bored.

Happy Christmas movie review: can’t choose your family

Compulsively watchable. Joe Swanberg is a master of subtle dramatic observation, and his films are unlike anything other filmmakers are giving us right now.

Hercules movie review: he fights the lion!

Grading on the Ratner Curve, this is a positive triumph. The cheesy clichés are at least passingly entertaining. You could do worse.

The Purge: Anarchy movie review: standing up to power and privilege

Doubles down on the first film’s angry approach to inequality and violence, and again reflects an image of America that is ugly but only slightly distorted.

what to watch

new in cinemas Aug 01: US/Can

  
wide

yellow for maybe

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Get on Up

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A Most Wanted Man

  
limited

red for no
Calvary

new in cinemas Jul 31-Aug 01: UK

  
wide

yellow for maybe

yellow for maybe

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The Nut Job

  
limited

yellow for maybe
Mood Indigo

red for no

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Blackwood



decipher

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worth paying multiplex prices for
yellow for maybe
worth a look, but wait for DVD, unless your favorite actor is in it
red for no
give it a miss
confused smiley
my reaction under consideration
gagged smiley
my reaction under gag order for now
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not yet seen by me


new on dvd Jul 29: US/Can

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red for no

new on dvd Jul 28: UK

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red for no

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Northwest

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Venus in Fur




click for what’s streaming on Netflix (US & UK), Amazon Instant Video (US & UK), blinkbox, BBC iPlayer, and Curzon on Demand


also in US/Can cinemas

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The Grand Budapest Hotel [trailer]

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The Internet’s Own Boy

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Mood Indigo

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red for no

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Filth

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also in UK cinemas

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Goltzius and the Pelican Company

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The Grand Budapest Hotel [trailer]

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T.S. Spivet

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Joe

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red for no

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rants and commentaries

the magic bullet for improving the number of women directors working in Hollywood

It’s pretty goddamn clear that the “magic bullet” is this: Hire more women.

spoiler alert: what’s really going on in Inside Llewyn Davis

We need to talk about Llewyn Davis. Cuz there’s a thing that no one else has been talking about when trying to interpret this film…

the Force is with white men, and hardly anyone else [update]

Star Wars is stuck “a long time ago”: in a 1950s mindset that was already outmoded when the first film was released in 1977.

why movies like Under the Skin and Nymphomaniac are not feminist

These films act like what it means to be a woman is purely about sex and bodies, purely about interacting with men in no other way than a sexual one.

what it means to be a woman who loves movies

It requires an extra suspension of disbelief beyond what men have to engage in…

I am officially tired of being asked to sympathize with men in movies

These are all the sorts of men I am tired of being asked to sympathize with.* (*not an exhaustive list)


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