Basement Medicine

Could be a sad day: Craig’s last waltz with 007?

Could be a sad day: Craig’s last waltz with 007?

Travis LeClair

December 17, 2015

I speak to Daniel Craig lovers: it is a sad day. That’s not a spoiler, just a goodbye to the broody, moody Bond whose adventures have brought us through “Casino Royal,” “Quantum of Solace,” “Skyfall,” ending with the charmingly dark “Spectre.” I’ll be out front: it’s not as good...

“Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2” offers more Panem and more Katniss

“Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2” offers more Panem and more Katniss

Travis LeClair

December 17, 2015

So there I am, smack-dab in the middle of a theater full of fan-girls, high school groups, middle-aged loners, and families of Katniss worshippers. I wait for the fate of Panem to unravel, for Katniss to choose the right road in her love-path, for a revolution that will overthrow President Snow. “Mockingjay...

“Baraka” is hypnotically watchable

“Baraka” is hypnotically watchable

Sam Hartley

December 17, 2015

“Baraka” (1992) is an hour-and-a-half long visual experience that will leave you breathless or drooling from boredom, depending on whether or not you can stomach a film with no plot or characters. The film has no traditional narrative, no dialogue. What it does have is utterly gorgeous footage...

“50 shades” not all it pretends to be

“50 shades” not all it pretends to be

Amanda Carman

May 7, 2015

After reading the “Fifty Shades of Grey” series, I could not wait for the first movie to come out on Feb. 13, 2015 with a running time of 125 minutes (rated R for sexual content and language). Following its release, the film broke a box office record with $546.5 million. However, after watching...

Jon Favreau’s “Chef” a spectacular movable feast

Jon Favreau’s “Chef” a spectacular movable feast

Steve Gold

April 23, 2015

Recently released on Netflix, the indie film “Chef” is delicious! “Chef” is a highly pleasurable movie about the relationship between father and son, husband and ex-wife, creative integrity, independence and being true to one’s passion. For those desperate for enjoyable family movies, without...

“Insurgent”: Hit and Miss

“Insurgent”: Hit and Miss

Gabriella Fecher

April 23, 2015

After last year’s “Divergent” flopped its way onto the big screens, fans of Veronica Roth’s Young Adult (YA) dystopian book series weren’t quite sure what to expect when the franchise announced the release of the sequel, “Insurgent.”  With the introduction of action-centric director Robert...

“Cinderella” sparks controversy

“Cinderella” sparks controversy

John Berthiaume

March 26, 2015

As a lifelong Disney fan, I waited anxiously for several months to see the premiere of Disney’s new live action remake of “Cinderella.” With a little magic, bits of humor and respect for cheesy romances; director, actor, and producer Kenneth Branagh (“Thor”) enchants us with his modern adaption...

Eastwood’s “American Sniper” hits the mark

Eastwood’s “American Sniper” hits the mark

Jeffrey Barr, Staff Writer/ Photo Editor

February 10, 2015

“American Sniper,” the latest film from Director Clint Eastwood, has been nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screen Play and Best Actor.  There’s a reason for these nominations: this is a great film. With a budget of a mere $60 million this film delivers...

“Captain America” vs. Wes Anderson

“Captain America” vs. Wes Anderson

April 25, 2014

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” is “The Shining” as a humanistic comic fantasy. Both films are built on hotels. Both films center on their respective hotel’s distinctive caretakers. In director Stanley Kubrick’s “Shining,” Jack Nicholson played a homicidal version of himself, chasing his wife...

Notes on “Muppets”

Notes on “Muppets”

Thomas Benton

March 27, 2014

There’s a new Muppets movie, “Muppets: Most Wanted.” If your heart still beats and occasionally sweats sugar, you’ll be most wanting to see it. The team behind the 2011 “Muppets” is mostly reunited--no Jason Segel, who was the heart of that film. His absence is noted, but “Muppets: Most...

“300” sequel: 1D film, 3D sex

“300” sequel: 1D film, 3D sex

Travis LeClair

March 27, 2014

“300: Rise of an Empire” takes battle to the seas and continues the stylistic gore and glory that was introduced to audiences in the original 2006 release. The film follows the Greek General Themistocles, played by Sullivan Stapleton (“Animal Kingdom,” “Gangster Squad”) as he fights a...

Thawing out “Frozen”

Thawing out “Frozen”

Ben Simone

March 27, 2014

Tuesday night I made the decision to watch Disney’s newest animated film: “Frozen.” For weeks, I had been hearing people across campus singing, “DO YOU WANT TO BUILD A SNOWMAN? IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE A SNOWMAN.” So I decided, with a notably heavy heart, to take the icy plunge into “Frozen.” As...

It was the hard-knock life for Ali

It was the hard-knock life for Ali

Josh Lemay

March 27, 2014

To many people in my generation, Muhammad Ali is just a boxer, and a damned good one. Most of his power as a legitimate icon has been lost in time. “The Trials of Muhammad Ali” is a film that dives into the man as he is caught in a battle of religion, race, and dissent against a brutal war. Ali’s...

An appeal on behalf of “Veronica Mars”

Thomas Benton

March 15, 2014

What rose-scented antidote is this? What flash of Hera’s bosom? What bellow from Heaven, startling jumpers back away from their ledges? What feminine hand, throwing funds into the cups of the spiritually destitute? I see a forgotten vision of neon beams cutting through the dark; seven years’ rainfall...

Goldfingered

Goldfingered

Jim Union

February 20, 2014

Editor’s note: Jim Union’s Christian name is Richard Schlong, and he was once a private eye; kidnapped by his former nemesis, Kaufman (now known as "K."), and subjected to plastic surgery, Richard has now become an agent for an agency that doesn’t exist--operating under the name: Jim Union. &nb...

“Ender’s Game” still enjoyable almost 40 years later

“Ender’s Game” still enjoyable almost 40 years later

Lisa Kent

February 19, 2014

Orson Scott Card’s "Ender’s Game" first came out in 1977. I read it then, and enjoyed it so much that I went on to read the rest of Card’s work as it came out. I didn’t expect to read this particular book again, but since it showed up on our "New Books" display last month here in the Willey Lib...

The Act of Killing

The Act of Killing

Travis LeClair

February 18, 2014

Imagine living in a reality where war criminals are celebrated as heroes for mass murder. Imagine that genocide goes unpunished and untried after 50 years. Now imagine befriending one of these executioners and making a film documenting the reenactment of torture and murder committed by his hands. ...

“Dallas Buyers Club” gives AIDS outbreak a personal look

“Dallas Buyers Club” gives AIDS outbreak a personal look

Travis LeClair

February 6, 2014

This year Hollywood delivered an unadulterated and personal view into the AIDS outbreak that shook the United States in the 1980s. An almost unrecognizable Matthew McConaughey stars in the sad and brilliant “Dallas Buyers Club.” McConaughey is known for being able to bring a film to the next level,...

“Independent Lens” opens at JSC

“Independent Lens” opens at JSC

Mariah Howland

November 14, 2013

  The “Independent Lens” documentary “The State of Arizona” is playing at JSC on Dec. 3. The film documents the ongoing debate over immigration in Arizona. It is the most recent film from Vermont Public Television’s (VPT) Community Cinema program to come to Johnson State Coll...

“About Time” Marvel learns about passion

“About Time” Marvel learns about passion

Tom Benton

November 14, 2013

  Richard Curtis is awfully undervalued. He’s the English chap who wrote “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” “Notting Hill,” “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” and wrote and directed “Love Actually.” He is the master of the rom-com. He absolutely believes in what he writes, and it...

“Gravity” sinks, “Machete” kills

“Gravity” sinks, “Machete” kills

Tom Benton

October 16, 2013

“Gravity” and “Machete Kills” reach for the light in opposite ways. “Gravity” sees it in the stars; “Machete Kills” sees it in the Mexican sunlight. Which movie you prefer boils down to whether you’d rather see Sandra Bullock in a spaceship, panicking, or Mel Gibson in a spaceship,...

Time to see “The Family”

Time to see “The Family”

Tom Benton

September 25, 2013

"The Family" satirizes the glamorization of mob life we’ve seen since Martin Scorsese blew it up to magnificent proportions with "Goodfellas." (See also "Casino," "Boardwalk Empire," "The Sopranos," etc., etc.) You might mistake apparently dismissively lighthearted scenes of brutal violence and murde...

“Man of Steel,” as messianic as its hero

“Man of Steel,” as messianic as its hero

Tom Benton

September 11, 2013

I’ll write 20 f-----g pages about "Man of Steel" someday, right after I finish my essays on Stallone’s American mythologies and why the ending of "Lost" didn’t suck. Stallone’s accurately regarded as a hack, but look at the end result of his gargantuan "Rocky" mythology—six movies out of that ...

“Pain & Gain” rewards pleasure and insight

Tom Benton

May 3, 2013

A lot of folks are going to take any reason to dismiss “Pain & Gain.” “Michael Bay’s a joke,” “Oh, it’s Michael Bay’s ‘pet project,’ chuckle, sneer,” “It’s about bodybuilders,” et al. It seems like a lot of people miss the fact that Michael Bay’s making jokes, and no,...

“To the Wonder” almost settles for love

“To the Wonder” almost settles for love

Tom Benton

May 3, 2013

“To the Wonder” is so close to being a goddamned masterpiece. Terrence Malick, the writer and director, is a big name in “film circles,” in dusty basements and over-clean libraries, but he’s always been too “out there” to swim in the mainstream, too much of a winding, swirling, often muddy...

“Jurassic Park” 3D: no dinosaur

Michelle Sawyers and Tom Benton

April 18, 2013

By Michelle Sawyers   How do you make a classic movie even better? You remake it in 3D! Whoever decided to turn Jurassic Park into an IMAX 3D movie is a genius. A regular movie at the AMC Lowe’s theater in Danbury, CT, has eight speakers. An IMAX movie requires 71. The extra speakers give you a...

The best “Tomb Raider” yet

The best “Tomb Raider” yet

Dylan Archbold

March 28, 2013

I am so very happy. “Tomb Raider” is good. Really good. Considering the last two things that I have reviewed, it is kind of relief. Add to that I am basically one of the biggest cynics when it comes to reboots in any form. Then when I tell you that the “Tomb Raider” franchise was overdue for...

Haiku coming soon

Haiku coming soon

Thomas Benton

March 28, 2013

April quietly and gently sneaks in blockbuster season like those sympathetic women we see in movies about immigration or the Underground Railroad. Then the blockbusters are found out in May, and from then on it’s a full-fledged sprint until they make it safely out of theaters come the fall. It’s...

“Identity Thief” will take your cash

“Identity Thief” will take your cash

Michelle Sawyers

March 14, 2013

"Identity Thief" is the perfect movie to show you how to make a large amount of money in a short period of time. Although, who is to say that these techniques will be successful. I, for one, do not recommend that you try them. If there is one good thing to be taken away from this movie, it is to nev...

“Warm Bodies”: the zom-com is dead

“Warm Bodies”: the zom-com is dead

Dylan Archbold

February 22, 2013

Admit it. When you first saw the advertisements for this movie, you were intrigued: a zombie that falls in love with a girl? This either has to be a jab at the “Twilight” movies and the subsequent monster-falls-for-girl rip-offs that it spawned, or a quirky comedy that uses the zombie apocalypse...

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