Finally, a Movie With Liam Neeson That's as Good as Liam Neeson

Categories: Film and TV

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Photo by Atsushi Nishijima - © 2014 - Universal Pictures
Neeson in A Walk Among the Tombstones.
Special guest Inkoo Kang, film critic at TheWrap and news editor at Indiewire's Women and Hollywood blog, joins Alan Scherstuhl of the Village Voice and Amy Nicholson of LA Weekly to discuss a variety of topics on this very big podcast, including: The Maze Runner, what it's like interviewing director Steve McQueen, Amy's highlights from the Toronto Film Festival, Kevin Smith's Tusk, and Matthew Crawley, err, Dan Stevens's role in two movies out now -- A Walk Among the Tombstones and The Guest. Alan makes an anti-recommendation for Atlas Shrugged: Who is John Galt? and Inkoo heartily endorses season 2 of Masters of Sex on Showtime.

Phew! Listen to it all below, and don't forget to...



Five Films Opening This Week You Might Not Know About But Probably Should

Categories: Film and TV

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Rival Pictures
Space Station '76
Each week new movies open in New York theaters by the dozen. The Voice reviews all of 'em. Here are some you might not have heard about that got our critics excited:


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Podcast: The Best Movies at the Venice Film Festival

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Courtesy of Millennium Films
Al Pacino in Barry Levinson's The Humbling, which showed at the Venice Film Festival.
The Village Voice's Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek, just back from the Venice Film Festival, discuss the stand-out movies she saw on this week's episode, and the duo also makes room for Tim Sutton's Memphis, which showed last year at the festival and is now in theaters now.

Back in New York, Alan praises the warm Dolphin Tale 2 and The Drop. Finally, Village Voice art critic R.C. Baker joins to talk about an exhibit at New York's Museum of the Moving Image, which ties very closely the movies -- the Looney Tunes cartoons that used to play before Warners Brothers pictures. The works of animator Chuck Jones are on display at the museum through January 19, 2015.

See also: Stephanie Zacharek's reviews from the Venice Film Festival

Alt-Cabaret Provocateur Bridget Everett Is the Most Exciting Performer in New York City

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All photos by C.S. Muncy for the Village Voice.
Everett describes her rapport with Joe's Pub audiences as "fucking 200 people, and we're going to have coffee in the morning!"
"Hit the track!" Bridget Everett growls as she lowers herself to the lip of the Joe's Pub stage, lifting the hem of her flowing silver gown to flash the sold-out crowd in time to the slinky r&b beat.

"Short one, long one, doesn't matter/Just suck on that bean, watch it get fatter/You've had a bad day, you're feeling like shit/You want to beat something up? Beat up this clit/Here's the combination to my lovely lady locker/She'll pop in your mouth like Orville Redenbacher."

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Venice Update: Ethan Hawke's Good Kill Is an Intimate War on Terror Drama

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Photo by Lorey Sebastian
Ethan Hawke in Good Kill.
Today is my last day in Venice, which always makes me blue. Yesterday morning, on the way to my final screening, a tourist with an Eastern European accent I couldn't quite identify stopped me a block or so from the sad and shuttered Hotel des Bains and asked me if it was open. "I have seen it in the Visconti film," he said, referring to the 1971 adaptation of Death in Venice, "and was hoping to go inside." When I told him that the hotel had been closed for several years now, and that the proposed construction to turn this grand old building into luxury condominiums had stalled out, he looked as forlorn as the building itself does. "I had hoped they'd turned it into a museum," he said.

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Joan Rivers, Reviewed in 1967: 'I Don't Know How a Nervous Girl Can Be So Funny'

In February of 1967, Joan Rivers, then 33 years old, performed her stand-up act at the Downstairs at the Upstairs (37 West 56th Street). She killed. She had yet to hit the peak of her fame. She was also a bit of an anomaly: A WOMAN COMIC! Writing for this paper in the February 23, 1967, issue, Bill Manville contributed the below review of her set. Rivers died today at age 81 at Mount Sinai Hospital.

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Venice Film Festival: Michael Almereyda Makes Magic with Cymbeline

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Cymbeline is the misunderstood schoolchild of Shakespeare's plays, the misfit who speaks up at odd times and sometimes says the wrong thing, awkward in all kinds of obvious ways. It's a special-needs play, but the beauty of it is right there in its bones, not least because in it we can see the great playwright's life -- that is to say, his career -- flashing before his eyes. A scheming queen, a heroine who disguises herself as a boy, a pair of semi-star-crossed lovers, a potion that gives the illusion of sleep -- it's all there in Cymbeline, a kind of greatest-hits scrapbook, and the play that even those who claim to love Shakespeare are least likely to defend.

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Venice Film Festival: Al Pacino Rediscovers His Inside Voice

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Courtesy of Millennium Films
Most of us would agree that there's only one Al Pacino. But this year in Venice, there are actually two: Pacino appears in two films at the festival this year, David Gordon Green's Manglehorn, about a lonely Texas locksmith stuck in a romantic dream, and, playing out of competition, Barry Levinson's The Humbling, the story of an actor who, after being struck with crippling anxiety, gets his mojo restored — some of it, anyway — by a manipulative muse (played by Greta Gerwig). In some ways, they're two versions of the same character, grizzled romantics who reach out toward love just one more time. But in only one of these films does Pacino utter the line, "I was thinking of going to the pancake jamboree down at the Legion."

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Venice Film Fest: Joshua Oppenheimer's The Look of Silence Is More Honest Than The Act of Killing

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In 2012, documentary filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer made a splash with The Act of Killing, in which he sought out members of Indonesian killing squads, individuals who murdered thousands of innocent citizens accused of being communists after a military takeover in 1965, and invited them to re-enact their crimes in the style of Hollywood movies.

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Venice Film Fest: In Birdman, Michael Keaton Is Haunted by His Superhero Past

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The gent at the Delta check-in counter back in New York sighed when he saw where I was headed. "Romantic Venezia!" he said, and the comment stopped me short, because film festivals located in the most beautiful settings in the world have a way of making you forget - almost - that you're in one of the most beautiful settings in the world. The Venice Film Festival - this is the 71st edition - is held not in Venice proper, but on Lido, a summertime island where winter seems impossible, resplendent with dusty pink and ochre stucco villas. It is also the home of the formerly grand Hotel des Bains, where Thomas Mann wrote Death in Venice, and which, sadly, closed in 2010, destined to become a luxury apartment complex that has not yet materialized. I haven't yet walked by the Hotel des Bains on this trip, but I hope it's looking more cheerful than it did last year, when it sat dejected behind its majestic iron grillwork gate, a sad relic of past glory that even a Venetian Miss Havisham might find hard to love.

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