Seven Psychopaths, the follow-up by writer/ director Martin McDonagh to his cult hit In Bruges, has some clever moments, but doesn’t quite work as a whole. Colin Farrell plays a screenwriter struggling with writer’s block over his new screenplay, to be titled Seven Psychopaths. Meanwhile, his best friend (Sam Rockwell) is running a dognapping scheme where he and his partner (Christopher Walken) kidnap dogs, then return them a few days later to collect the reward. Things get complicated when they kidnap the dog of a vicious mobster (Woody Harrelson). There’s some funny digressions on the nature of storytelling and movie violence, but it doesn’t cohere in a way a superior “meta” film like Kiss Kiss Bang Bang does. Seven Psychopaths is also a little in love with its own ugliness at times (a flaw it shares with In Bruges). On the positive side, the film gives Walken his best role in years. It’s not a stretch for him, but it gives him enough to do that it reminds viewers why he is one of the best tough guys in cinema history. A low-key confrontation in a waiting room between Walken and Harrelson is a masterpiece of quiet menace.
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*** out of **** In my review of The Martian, I described it as a conventional but well-made “rescue” movie in the vein of Apollo 13 (1995). The same can be said about The Finest Hours, and like Apollo 13, this one is based on a true incident. The Finest Hours tells...
Where Y'at's film editor David Vicari and critic Fritz Esker share their thoughts and predictions on this year's Oscar nominations. The 88th Academy Awards airs on February 28.
Fritz: No one person will ever be completely happy with Oscar nominations. It'll never perfectly match up with your tastes. This year, I think the Academy did a pretty good job with the Best Picture nominees. But as always, there were a few snubs and some...
*** and 1/2 out of **** The director of The Revenant, Alejandro González Iñárritu , has stated, “I don’t consider [my] film a Western. Western is in a way a genre, and the problem with genres is that it comes from the word ‘generic’, and I feel that this film is very far from generic.” ...So anyway, the director's ego and his misinterpretation of word meanings aside, The Revenant is a...