Scene Stealers

'The Look of Silence' a fascinating, must-see documentary

Eric Melin

http://www.lawrence.com/photos/2015/aug/20/295634/ A companion piece to the best documentary of the last 10 years is playing at the [Alamo Drafthouse][1] in Kansas City, and it sheds more disturbing light on the darkest depths of men’s souls, but for the first time offers a sort of catharsis as well. **“The Look of ...

Retro spy thriller falls flat; Sundance sensation at Liberty Hall

Eric Melin

http://www.lawrence.com/photos/2015/aug/13/295365/ The spy thriller **“The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”** has a couple of underdog qualities that had me rooting for it from the get-go. First, I love the idea that rather then merely stealing the name of the mid-'60s TV show and updating it to the present day (as has been ...

Will Rogers and Okie prank calls come to life in roadshow documentaries

Eric Melin

http://www.lawrence.com/users/photos/2015/aug/05/295061/ Three Oklahoma filmmakers are going on a road trip throughout the Midwest to screen their newest projects, and they are making a stop at the Lawrence Arts Center. The Free State Fest Film Society presents an encore performance of Free State Fest short-film favorite **“Calls to Okies: The Park ...

Latest 'Mission Impossible' weaves old-school suspense, modern-day action

Eric Melin

http://www.lawrence.com/photos/2015/jul/30/294847/ After four “Mission: Impossible” films where superspy Ethan Hunt (**Tom Cruise**) has risked his life and sacrificed any chance of future happiness for his country while wiggling out of the most unlikely tight spots ever devised, how is it that the fifth installment, **“Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation,”** is ...

Boxing cliches spring eternal in 'Southpaw'

Eric Melin

Most boxing movies are rags-to-riches stories but “Southpaw,” starring a bulked-up **Jake Gyllenhaal**, is a riches-to-rags story. This reversal of the traditional structure doesn’t mean that the film isn’t riddled with other cliches, however. Writer **Kurt Sutter** (“Sons of Anarchy”) and director **Antoine Fuqua** (“Training Day”) understands those cliches and ...

'Ant-Man' a small wonder; 'Amy' goes behind the music

Eric Melin

http://www.lawrence.com/photos/2015/jul/16/294449/ In “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” the mega-superheroes are taken out of their usual hi-tech, urban surroundings and brought down to Earth when they hide out at a Midwestern farmhouse. It’s a scene that writer/director Joss Whedon had to fight to keep in the movie, and it's one of the ...

'Trainwreck' tweaks the rom-com formula for the better

Eric Melin

The genre of romantic comedy is in a sorry state these days. Besides sporting some of the most interchangeable, clichéd movie titles ever, most of the rom-coms that come out of Hollywood are full of bland writing, are overly contrived and cause their actors to amp up the energy to ...

New 'Terminator' a surprisingly crafty reboot

Eric Melin

http://www.lawrence.com/photos/2015/jun/30/293658/ “What do we want?” “Time travel!” “When do we want it?” “It’s irrelevant.” That joking exchange between leader of the human resistance John Connor (**Jason Clarke**) and a nameless character is emblematic of the self-aware sense of humor that the new sci-fi action film **“Terminator Genisys”** displays throughout. In ...

Is Netflix taking over TV and movies?

Eric Melin

A prequel to one of the biggest cult comedy classics of the last 20 years is out on July 31, only it won’t be released in theaters. And, unlike its predecessor, it’s not a movie. Unless you binge watch all eight episodes in a row. Which people do. A lot. ...

'Inside Out' has That Pixar Feeling

Eric Melin

http://www.lawrence.com/photos/2015/jun/19/293173/ You know that song “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)” by Cinderella? Man, it’s so true. Yeah, I know that phrase was already a well-worn cliché before Tom Kiefer and company turned it into a power ballad monster, but just because they didn’t invent it doesn’t mean ...

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