Screeners

KOREAN CULTURE CLASH

KOREAN CULTURE CLASH

By | February 15, 2017 at 2:10 am | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons The Handmaiden From celebrated director Park Chan-wook (Oldboy, Lady Vengeance, Thirst and Stoker) comes this ravishing crime drama. The story is set in 1930s Korea when a thief goes to work as an heiress’s handmaiden.  Thus begins a lush,...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners, Week 02/16 - 02/22 2017

LONG LIVE SUBVERSIVE ANIMATION!

LONG LIVE SUBVERSIVE ANIMATION!

By | February 8, 2017 at 4:48 pm | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons BEAVIS AND BUTT-HEAD The Complete Collection Attention fartknockers!  Creator Mike Judge’s beloved slackers are back.  When these two subversive nihilistic misfits first appeared on MTV more than a decade ago, critics dismissed them as brain...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners, Week 02/09 - 02/15 2017

FOUR FINE FOREIGN FLICKS TO FIND

FOUR FINE FOREIGN FLICKS TO FIND

By | February 1, 2017 at 2:10 am | No comments

By Robin E, Simmons Not all these terrific films are playing locally, but keep an eye out for them at your neighborhood art theater and various streaming sites.  Several of these titles were big hits art our just completed Palm Springs International Film Festival. If you...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners, Week 02/02 - 02/08 2017

FUL THROTTLE DIESEL!

FUL THROTTLE DIESEL!

By | January 25, 2017 at 8:15 pm | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons NOW PLAYING: XXX: RETURN OF XANDER CAGE  If you’re as hooked as I am on movies that trigger an adrenaline rush, then you will welcome this fix to your addiction.  There are no doubt the extreme sports stunts on display here deliver the...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners, Week 01/26 - 02/01 2017

POETIC DRIVER

POETIC DRIVER

By | January 18, 2017 at 11:52 am | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons NOW PLAYING: PATERSON I loved this beautiful, satisfying and touching film. It’s easily one of writer/director Jim Jarmusch's most accomplished, if not his best movie so far. In tone, structure and theme, there’s a sweet affection and sublime...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners, Week 01/19 - 01/25 2017

DO THE MATH

DO THE MATH

By | January 11, 2017 at 11:10 am | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons NOW PLAYING: Last week at the PSIFF someone asked me, “Do movies matter?”  I said, “Yes, absolutely.  We need stories to understand who we are, our relationship to the planet and each other.”  I thought of that question again when...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners, Week 01/12 - 01/18 2017

WHEN GOD IS QUIET

WHEN GOD IS QUIET

By | January 4, 2017 at 11:08 am | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons NOW PLAYING: SILENCE  For nearly thirty years, Oscar© winning filmmaker Martin Scorsese has had Japanese novelist Shusaku Endo’s tale of a 17th-century Jesuit Missionary faced with the dilemma of whether or not to apostatize on his to-do list...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners, Week 01/05 - 01/11 2017

FAITH & FEAR

FAITH & FEAR

By | December 28, 2016 at 5:55 am | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons A MONSTER CALL Director J.A. Bayona (“The Orphanage,” “The Impossible”) and screenwriter Patrick Ness adapt Ness’ own award-winning children’s book, which was a project left unfinished by the late Siobhan Dowd.  The plot adheres to...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners, Week 12/29 2016 - 01/04 2017

BEST BETS: BIG & SMALL SCREEN

By | December 22, 2016 at 11:30 am | No comments

By Robin E.Simmons ROGUE ONE  Clearly, the “Star Wars” legacy has permeated global pop culture and the saturation point appears to still be far, far away.  George Lucas has given birth to what is almost a religion and the “Force” remains a potent element...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners, Week 12/22 - 12/28 2016

BREAKING THE RULES

BREAKING THE RULES

By | December 14, 2016 at 8:12 am | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons NOW PLAYING: RULES DON”T APPLY It’s no secret that Warren Beatty has nurtured a long-held passion (or is it a compulsion?) to star and direct in a feature film biography of the notoriously eccentric billionaire industrialist, pilot, filmmaker,...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners, Week 12/15 - 12/21 2016

MS SLOANE SLAYS

MS SLOANE SLAYS

By | December 7, 2016 at 9:20 pm | No comments

NOW PLAYING: MISS SLOANE This is a dense political drama set in the high stakes world of power-brokers and lobbyists. Under John Madden’s tight direction, Jessica Chastain plays Elizabeth Sloane, a crafty and determined gun lobbyist who is committed to win no matter the...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

A BOUNTY OF CLASSIC HOME VID TITLES

A BOUNTY OF CLASSIC HOME VID TITLES

By | November 30, 2016 at 4:10 am | No comments

By Robin E Simmons   MOBY DICK (1956) For its 60th anniversary, John Huston’s lauded adaptation of Herman Melville’s mighty sea saga of obsession and madness debuts on hi-def in a presentation meticulously retimed referencing an archival Library of Congress...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

SPELL BOUND

SPELL BOUND

By | November 22, 2016 at 5:10 am | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons NOW PLAYING: FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM No longer set in Great Britain, this new story based in the world of Harry Potter unfolds in 1926 New York decades before Harry and his pals enrolled in Hogwart’s wizard academy. The movie...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

OUT OF THIS WORLD

OUT OF THIS WORLD

By | November 16, 2016 at 9:14 am | No comments

NOW PLAYING: ARRIVAL Alien invasions and extraterrestrial visitors are a staple of vintage sci-fi paperbacks and classic mostly low budget films from the 1950s.  Remember “The Man from Planet X”? Director Denis Villeneuve’s (“Sicario,” “Prisoners”)...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIER!

ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIER!

By | November 9, 2016 at 9:10 am | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons NOW PLAYING: HACKSAW RIDGE When it comes to directing war films, Mel Gibson has proven himself among the best of the best. From BRAVEHEART to APOCALYPTO, Gibson has created hours of gripping entertainment that showcases rousing stories of blood, guts...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

DANTE’S FLAME BARELY BURNS

DANTE’S FLAME BARELY BURNS

By | November 2, 2016 at 11:25 am | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons NOW PLAYING: INFERNO Walking out of a local theater showing this film, I heard a patron say, “The only mystery in Inferno is how this piece of crap movie got made.”  Harsh words indeed, but I totally agree with this overheard...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

AUTISTIC AUDITOR UNCOOKS THE BOOKS

AUTISTIC AUDITOR UNCOOKS THE BOOKS

By | October 28, 2016 at 12:50 am | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons NOW PLAYING:   THE ACCOUNTANT  Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) is a math savant whose skills as an accountant in a small town strip mall allows him to work in secret for some of the world’s most dangerous criminals. When Wolff uncooks...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

NEW RETRO THRILLERS FOR HI-DEF HOME VIEWING

NEW RETRO THRILLERS FOR HI-DEF HOME VIEWING

By | October 20, 2016 at 8:40 am | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons  Film buffs and collectors everywhere are grateful for the handful of boutique home video distributors (besides Criterion) that have licensed, transferred -- and in some cases restored -- vintage films for the highest quality home theater experience.  To...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

BEYOND WHIMSY

BEYOND WHIMSY

By | October 6, 2016 at 11:22 am | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons NOW PLAYING: MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN From director Tim Burton singular vision and based on Ransom Rigg’s 2011 best selling YA novel, comes this visually rich, almost hallucinogenic adventure.  Jake is a teen misunderstood by...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

PC POSSE RIDES!

PC POSSE RIDES!

By | September 28, 2016 at 9:30 am | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons NOW PLAYING: THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN Director Antoine Fuqua lays on a contemporary patina on his western action drama reboot of 1960’s The Magnificent Seven which was in turn a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s classic 1954 film about hired mercenaries...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

HERO OR TRAITOR?

HERO OR TRAITOR?

By | September 21, 2016 at 12:46 pm | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons NOW PLAYING: SNOWDEN The first thing I did when I got home after watching “SNOWDEN” at the newly refurbished Mary Pickford Theater was to stick a piece of masking tape over the camera lens of my laptop computer. I love paranoid thrillers and...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

FASTEN YOUR SEAT BELTS!

FASTEN YOUR SEAT BELTS!

By | September 15, 2016 at 3:12 pm | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons NOW PLAYING: SULLY Clint Eastwood’s 35th feature film as a director is a thrilling, taught, tense and swiftly paced tribute to a modern, self-effacing hero. Tom Hanks is perfectly cast as airline pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, who successfully...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

ANIMATED MYTHIC HEROES

ANIMATED MYTHIC HEROES

By | September 8, 2016 at 1:00 am | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons NOW PLAYING: KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS Kubo and the Two Strings matches its incredible animation with an absorbing -- and bravely melancholy -- story that has something to offer audiences of all ages. Kubo and the Two Strings is a colorful,...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

THE ART OF FEAR

THE ART OF FEAR

By | September 1, 2016 at 2:48 pm | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons NOW PLAYING: DON’T BREATHE I think it was Alfred Hitchcock who said the secret of suspense is the friction of hope and fear rubbing together. I have always appreciated the art of creating fear whether in books or movies. I love this very smart and...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

A BOY AND HIS DRAGON

A BOY AND HIS DRAGON

By | August 18, 2016 at 5:35 pm | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons NOW PLAYING: PETE’S DRAGON “But it is one thing to read about dragons and another to meet them.” ― Ursula K. Le Guin, A Wizard of Earthsea Disney has had great good luck mining it’s own archives to redo, reboot or upgrade its more...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

GOOD BAD GUYS?

GOOD BAD GUYS?

By | August 11, 2016 at 5:50 pm | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons NOW PLAYING: SUICIDE SQUAD I was hoping that the colorful, fluorescent font used in the opening credits heralded a more cartoony, comic book look for the movie to come. But being true to its source material, and the writer-director David Ayer’s...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

“BOURNE” AGAIN!

“BOURNE” AGAIN!

By | August 3, 2016 at 8:49 pm | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons NOW PLAYING: JASON BOURNE This terrific twisty 4th edition of the action franchise fully delivers what Bourne fans -- at least this one -- have come to expect from the mind-bending roller coaster series. Matt Damon excels as CIA agent Bourne, a man...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

FACING THE “OTHER”

FACING THE “OTHER”

By | July 28, 2016 at 4:10 am | No comments

By Robin E Simmons NOW PLAYING: BFG When I think of Stephen Spielberg movies, I think of backlighting, sentimentality an omnipresent and cloying sugary sweetness and a story set in a beautifully rendered Norman Rockwell-like world. Spielberg says he read aloud Roald...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

KEEP ON TREKKING

KEEP ON TREKKING

By | July 21, 2016 at 11:19 pm | No comments

By Robin E.  Simmons NOW PLAYING: STAR TREK: BEYOND After director J.J. Abrams’ exit from the “Star Trek” franchise and his commercially and critically successful helming of Disney’s revitalized “Star Wars” movie saga, it’s easy to see why director Justin...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

WHAT’S OLD IS NEW AGAIN!

WHAT’S OLD IS NEW AGAIN!

By | July 14, 2016 at 8:04 pm | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons NEW FOR THE HOME THEATER: One of the great joys of movie collecting is the surprising availability of vintage titles in pristine, newly restored Bly-ray editions. The pleasure for me is being able to enjoy again at any random moment one of these...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

INTO THE WILD

INTO THE WILD

By | July 7, 2016 at 3:03 pm | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons NOW PLAYING: THE LEGEND OF TARZAN One can be forgiven for assuming this iteration of “Tarzan” is an origin story.  It is not.  In fact, we meet the beloved fictional character after he and his wife Jane (Margot Robbie) have returned from the...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

ULTIMATE ILLEGAL ALIEN INVASION

ULTIMATE ILLEGAL ALIEN INVASION

By | June 30, 2016 at 3:36 am | No comments

By Robin E. SImmons NOW PLAYING: INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE As America’s Independence Day nears, it’s not all a celebration of fireworks, picnics and hot dogs.  Thanks to satellite engineer Dave Larson (Jeff Goldblum in fine form), the big news is that a...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

PS SHORT FEST PICKS

PS SHORT FEST PICKS

By | June 24, 2016 at 12:57 am | No comments

By Robin E.Simmons NOW PLAYING: The always-popular PS International ShortFest is here and this year’s crop of 327 unique films from all over the world is outstanding. There’s truly something for everyone in this masterful collection of short stories loosely grouped by...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

OFFLINE AND IN YOUR FACE

OFFLINE AND IN YOUR FACE

By | June 17, 2016 at 12:41 am | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons   NOW PLAYING: WARCRAFT  In the works for over a decade, Legendary Pictures' big budget ($180 mil) “WARCRAFT,” is a 3D epic adventure of the world-bashing game that does justice to Blizzard Entertainment's multi-player online video game...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

COMCBOOK SUPERHEROES REFLECT ANCIENT MYTHS

COMCBOOK SUPERHEROES REFLECT ANCIENT MYTHS

By | June 12, 2016 at 12:24 am | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons NOW PLAYING: X MEN: APOCALYPSE Director Bryan Singer is back with another X-Men extravaganza that’s top-heavy with predictable clichés and big cgi action.  But really, isn’t that what it’s all about? Drawing on real-world religious mythology,...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners