REVIEW: ‘Detroit,’ domestic disturbance

On August 3, 2017 by Johnny Szlauderbach

Director Kathryn Bigelow long ago abandoned the biker vampires and surfer cops that propelled her early work. She makes big, important movies now that start big, important conversations. The loudest so far was about Zero Dark Thirty and its alleged suggestion that “enhanced interrogation” provided key information in the hunt for Osama Bin Laden. I don’t have […]

REVIEW: ‘A Ghost Story,’ phantom pain

On July 26, 2017 by Johnny Szlauderbach

A Ghost Story is so spare that its main characters don’t have names. (The credits list Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara as C and M, respectively.) Outwardly a love story, it’s phenomenally sincere stuff. And while the image of Affleck haunting his old stomping ground through a white sheet and two eyeholes is easily ridiculed, […]

Film History

Panic Fest Tingles KC Spines This Weekend

On February 3, 2016 by Johnny Szlauderbach

If you experience a certain creeping sensation north of the river this weekend—symptoms include chills, rapid heartbeat, and general paranoia—try not to be alarmed. As the dead of winter arrives, so does the hysteria of Kansas City’s most berserk film festival, Panic Fest, which possesses the Screenland Armour Friday, February 5th through Sunday, February 7th. Dug […]

The Alamo Loves on “The Hateful Eight” with Tarantino Mini-Retrospective

On January 24, 2016 by Johnny Szlauderbach

“The 8th Film by Quentin Tarantino.” That’s what appears onscreen just before the title of the director’s latest behemoth, The Hateful Eight. Most movie nerds (and by extension, Tarantino fans) would guess the numerical designation refers to 8½, Federico Fellini’s seminal piece of pop autobiography. After La Dolce Vita had made him the world’s most […]