REVIEW: ‘Split,’ reverse psycholgy

On January 20, 2017 by Johnny Szlauderbach

M. Night Shyamalan has always been a better entertainer than artist. Despite an almost preternatural sense of staging and framing, he’s a showman at heart. Whatever he lacks in self-awareness, he makes up in self-seriousness and ego. Maybe that’s why his latest, “Split,” simultaneously looks like a return to form and an indication that this […]

REVIEW: ‘La La Land,’ nothing but stardust

On December 16, 2016 by Johnny Szlauderbach

There’s a story, perhaps apocryphal, that after Jacques Demy turned in his first draft of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, its producers had three notes: make it in black and white, change the title, and cut the songs. They were wrong, of course, but it speaks to the movie’s power that it would’ve worked anyway; beneath […]

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 […]