Stoker’s Lofty Ambitions Squandered By a Lackluster Script

Stoker begins by telling us exactly what it’s about and exactly what kind of film it’s going to be, both thematically and stylistically. “It’s only when we realize who we are do we become adults,” India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska) whispers over the opening credits sequence filled with curious close-ups, unsettling compositions, and jagged edits. Stoker […]

French film ‘Teenagers’ misses badly

Teenagers, an independent French film directed by Paul Verhoeven, has earned impressive awards from film festivals all over the world while also drawing harsh criticism from others. It would be easy to envision where the criticisms come from but extremely unclear how a film of this quality earned any award anywhere. Paul Verhoeven is an […]

Cloud Atlas presents race as a non-issue

I should be writing about horror movies today, but there’s something more pressing going on in the film world than ghouls and ghosts and paranormal activity. The role of race and identity in Cloud Atlas takes precedence. Stay with me — I know this sounds like a communication/film term paper, but race has long been a […]

Enjoyable films don’t need to be highbrow

Last year I reviewed Breaking Dawn — Part 1 for the Daily Trojan, and I took a lot of flak for it. Twi-hards can be pretty vicious when they’re hiding behind an anonymous comment system. I won’t deny that my words were harsh, but I have — embarrassingly enough — read all the books and […]