Prince Avalanche is an odd, charming, beautifully shot film whose setting plays as vital a role as the characters that inhabit it.
It is the summer of 1988, and two not-so-young-anymore men—Alvin (Paul Rudd) and Lance (Emile Hirsch)—are doing road work in and around a Texas forest recently mangled by a wildfire. They camp amid charred trees by night and paint yellow lines on asphalt by day. An air of calm—accentuated by a spare score from the post-rock band Explosions in the Sky—permeates the movie’s first few scenes, as Alvin and Lance, the brother of Alvin’s girlfriend, do their work in silence.
Director William Friedkin has always been attracted to lurid movie material. From the gruesome, overcooked The Exorcist to the vile and unhinged Cruising, he craves plots about deeply conflicted characters who are hopelessly alienated, disconnected from both the society that surrounds them and even their own lives. One craves another well-crafted action nail-biter like his Oscar-winning The French Connection, but at 76, his view of the world just gets darker than ever. Small wonder, then, that he has found his literary soulmate in Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tracy Letts, whose twisted, controversial and fascinating work has found its way to the screen through Mr. Friedkin’s jaundiced camera twice—first in the repellant schizophrenic thriller Bug, and now in the toxic trailer-trash thriller Killer Joe. When this sick, ludicrous cocktail of sex, violence and mayhem was first unveiled a year ago at the Toronto International Film Festival, one wag aptly described it as “the ghost of Tennessee Williams meets the spirit of Quentin Tarantino.” For shock value, cut to Gina Gershon, crawling across a filthy kitchen floor covered in blood to perform fellatio at gunpoint on a Colonel Sanders drumstick, and you have a high-water mark in tastelessness that gives depravity a bad name.
Halloween might be over, but that doesn’t mean the scares have to stop. We wouldn’t go so far as to call Vertigo a “horror movie,” but Master of Suspense Alfred Hitchcock ratchets the tension to such unbearable levels that parts of it are more terrifying than anything you’d see in whatever torture porn Read More
The thunder rolled and the rain poured down, but the stars were out at Landmark’s Sunshine Cinema on the Lower East Side on Wednesday, July 29, for the premiere of director Ang Lee’s latest movie, Taking Woodstock, about the germinal (and very muddy) hippie concert that celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.
Flowers were Read More
Do you hear that sound? It’s a Hollywood executive riffling through an old box of VHS tapes to find the next great reboot! (“Let’s do Big Trouble in Little China… with Sawyer from Lost!”) With Hollywood seemingly completely out of ideas—last month it was announced that a movie based on Bazooka Joe comic Read More
Last night, at a screening of Milk and Q&A with stars James Franco, Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin and Alison Pill; director Gus Van Sant; and screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, everyone was pretty giggly.
Mr. Franco said that he had watched Gay Sex in the 70s (the documentary) to prepare for his role as Scott, Read More
Running time 128 minutes
Written by Dustin Lance Black
Directed by Gus Van Sant
Starring Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, James Franco, Emile Hirsch, Alison Pill, Diego Luna, Victor Garber, Denis O’Hare
In real life, Harvey Milk was an unexceptional Jewish boy, as plain as a matzo, but with extraordinary courage, as challenging to homophobic Read More
Depending on which day you read the papers, rehabilitated Kirsten Dunst is chasing Into the Wild actor Emile Hirsch, or maybe Drew Barrymore’s ex, Justin Long. [P6]
CNBC interviewed Tinsley Mortimer as the "socialite-turned-entrepreneur," who designs handbags, lip gloss and clothes. Apparently she’s huge in Japan! [Park Avenue Read More
Running Time 129 minutes
Written and directed by Andy and Larry Wachowski
Starring Emile Hirsch, Susan Sarandon, Christina Ricci, John Goodman
Even for summer trash, this abomination by the creatively challenged Wachowski brothers is a train wreck so bad that words literally fail me, but I will say it Read More
O.K., temperatures may only sporadically hitting the 70s, but summer blockbuster season is officially here. Iron Man opened last weekend with a whopping $104.2 million stateside and another 96.8 million overseas ($201 million all together in its first five days). That beats even what the studio was hoping for (a mere $90 million domestically) and Read More