Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 10:55 am
In documentaries, showing is almost always more effective than telling. But The Invisible War, an expose of sexual assault in the U.S. military, is compelling despite being all talk. Footage of the many crimes recounted in the film is, of course, nonexistent — and would be nearly unwatchable if available.
So director Kirby Dick addresses the subject directly, without gimmicks or gambits. Stylistically, The Invisible War is conventional and plainspoken, from its opening clips of vintage recruitment ads for women to its closing updates on the central characters.
In <em>The Last Ride, </em>Silas (Jesse James, right) is hired to drive Hank Williams (Henry Thomas) to his New Year's<em> </em>gigs and must learn to stand up to the country singer's hectoring behavior.
Credit Melody Gaither / Mozark Productions
Silas has a drink with Wanda (Kaley Cuoco). The late-game love story shifts the movie's attention further away from its presumed subject, Hank Williams.
The Last Ride recounts the final days of country-music legend Hank Williams, but it's strangely short on actual information about the singer. We only sparingly hear snippets of his music on the radio, and we learn almost nothing of his past. In fact, no one ever refers to the man by his proper name.
Lovely people, beautiful places, a suicide attempt and echoes of a French New Wave classic — these ingredients seem to promise lots of passion in A Burning Hot Summer. But this existential-romantic roundelay barely simmers, and certainly doesn't scorch.
Veteran director Philippe Garrel's latest film opens with apparently parallel events: a woman reclines naked, alone in a room, as a man guns his car, heading straight for a tree.
Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) and Will Johnson (Anthony Mackie) in one of the slick action sequences from <em>Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter</em>. Lincoln's weapon of choice in the film is a silver-plated ax.
Credit 20th Century Fox
Abraham Lincoln with Henry Sturges (Dominic Cooper), a friendly member of the undead who trains Lincoln as a vampire hunter.
Two films into his English-language directing career, and already Timur Bekmambetov is spinning his wheels. But at least when the Kazakh director does so, the wheels have glistening silver rims and spin in hyperdetailed, superslow motion, all while the car is spinning through the air in a graceful, arcing corkscrew.
Not since Walt Disney's heyday has an animation company enjoyed a creative — and technically innovative — run like Pixar, now on a two-decade stretch that started with Toy Story in 1995 and continued with modern classics like Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc., The Incredibles, WALL-E, Ratatouille and two Toy Story sequels that took on improbable depth and complexity. Over the years, the only persistent knock against Pixar is its lack of one thing Disney movies had in spades: female heroines.