On the night of July 25th, 1967 two factions coalesced on the Algiers Motel. A small contingent of African American men weathering the storm of Detroit’s 12th Street Riots, and a platoon of enraged white cops looking for the person/persons who fired a gun at their patrol from a window of the motel.
Michael Bay’s Benghazi movie is predictably terrible; tin-eared, hyper-masculine, loud as can be, excessively brutal, slyly jingoistic and politically tone-deaf. A protracted action film if there ever was one, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi exploits Bay’s worst sensibilities as a director; it showcases his exploitative side, one not in control of tone or mood, blind to any sense of urgency, bombastically working the audience’s patriotic bone until it’s liable to snap. A more preening, hyper-masculine war movie, there may not have been in the 21st century. We’ve seen war as hell a million times. This is war as hoorah and pantie raids. Read More
Cameron Crowe‘s Aloha is one hot saccharine sweet mess; a jumbled collage of love connections, island spirituality and fluffy, flawed emotional beauty that gave me all the feels, despite its occasionally glaring issues. It’s one of those features where one could curmudgeonly sit around and pick apart at its thatch of problems like a hot-breathed seamstress but you’d ultimately be missing the point. Aloha isn’t guided by substantive reality so much as by a dramaturgical sense of magical realism. Mixed in with the hopeful lyricism of the greatest rom-com ballads and imbued with a dulled barb of cynicism, Aloha is a visceral, passionate triumph even in the bright light of its freewheeling, sometimes nonsensical spirit. Read More