Relief concerts are a tricky beast, because they require a balancing act between reverence for the event being confronted and the spectacle of musicians doing what they do best.
At the same time, documentaries centered on said fundraising showcases must spotlight the musical performances without sacrificing an awareness of the larger forces at play.
By the former standard, the 12-12-12...Read more »
DOC NYC, the all-documentary festival kicking off at the IFC Center and the SVA Theatre tomorrow night, is big.
How big, you ask?
Try 132 nonfiction films and events. That's 73 features, 39 shorts and 20 panel discussions.
In other words, it's the largest documentary fest in the United States.
DOC NYC begins with the local premiere of Errol Morris' "The Unknown Known,"...Read more »
The documentary "Medora" could be framed as a real-life "Hoosiers," the story of an underdog, small-town Indiana basketball team.
But unlike the Hollywood version of this story, the Medora Hornets lose and pretty much keep on losing, despite the best efforts of Coach Gilbert and his staff.
Not that winning or losing matters; the film isn't really a sports movie. It...Read more »
Lance Armstrong is a natural subject for Oscar-winning documentarian Alex Gibney, who has made a career out of crafting intelligent, accessible depictions of corruption. “The Armstrong Lie” finds the filmmaker grappling with the fundamental question that defines the disgraced cyclist, who inspired millions with his return from cancer to racing dominance, and disgusted just as many when he copped...Read more »
Nazi Germany isn't what you might call an ideal setting for a family-oriented movie. To compensate for what can't be shown, films set during the period that are geared at least in part toward a younger crowd have been typically defined by an abundance of schmaltz.
Aside from a few weird and unnecessary touches, "The Book Thief" resists such affectations. An adaptation of the best-selling...Read more »
There are plenty of fine performances in "The Book Thief," an adaptation of the bestselling Markus Zusak novel about a young girl living with foster parents in Nazi Germany.
But the movie is effectively stolen by Geoffrey Rush, playing noble foster dad Hans Hubermann. The Oscar winner supplies the humanity at the heart of this enterprise, offering a sterling corrective to the horrors...Read more »
The prolific documentarian Alex Gibney tackles one of the biggest questions of his career in his latest flick: How do you tell Lance Armstrong's story?
The disgraced cyclist can't be reduced to any simple characterization.
He's an heroic figure and a cheat. A man who started an enormously successful cancer foundation and an admitted liar who bullied all sorts of people.
"The...Read more »
"Dallas Buyers Club" is set at the height of the AIDS crisis during the 1980s, when the disease ravaged millions while federal agencies did little to effectively combat it.
It's based on the true story of Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey), a homophobic Texas electrician who was stricken with the disease. In this world of death and decay, populated by trashy rodeos, run-down...Read more »
Keanu Reeves has made his directorial debut with a martial arts movie called "Man of Tai Chi," opening FRIDAY and now on VOD.
The first part of that sentence might seem surprising, if only because of unfair ideas about the actor.
The second part, however, is about what you'd expect from "The Matrix" star, who famously parlayed his on-screen kung fu abilities into one of the most successful...Read more »