Michael Fassbender

REVIEW: Philosophy at the Border in ‘The Counselor’

Here’s a testament as to what a misfire full of promise Ridley Scott’s The Counselor is: I actually had a dream last night after seeing it that I was in the editing suite with the director working on another cut of the film. He already had a second version on hand that followed a proper thriller format, but I still insisted on twenty minutes being shaved. “Hurry!” I yelled. “It’s too late for North America, but we can still save it for Europe and the Rest of the World.”

Brit Marling by Bruce Weber

REVIEW — ‘The East’: A Conspiracy for a Conspiracy Makes the Whole World Blind

There can be no greater incidental marketing boost for a specialty theatrical release like Zal Batmanglij’s The East than the global surge of righteous rage against evil food giant Monsanto and the release this weekend of the WikiLeaks documentary We Steal Secrets, which apparently portrays Julian Assange rather unfavorably at times (as I’ve parodied in another post, I think he’s hilarious).

Made for critical-thinking The New Yorker readers like me,

Prometheus’ Five Inbred Cousins

BAKER STREET

Ridley Scott’s claustrophobic horror classic Alien spawned three sequels, a couple of crossover spinoffs, and now, with Scott’s highly anticipated Prometheus finally in theaters, a prequel.

This story is not about those films. It’s about 5 of their most trailer-trashing, banjo-picking cousins from cinema’s remote backwater, the Alien Rip-off film.

#5 – Alien Contamination (1980)

How it’s like Alien: Astronauts exploring a cave on another world find a bunch of bumpy, slimy alien eggs that glow from within. This leads to exploding chests and a large, drooling monster killing people.

How it’s better than Alien: Eight chestbursters, compared to a lousy one in Ridley Scott’s film.

How it’s worse than Alien: The entirety of the extraterrestrial landscape is a single bad painting. The other 99% of the film takes place in Perth Amboy, NJ, or somewhere that looks like it. And since revered British actors John Hurt and Ian Holm were not available, they hired Ian McCulloch, the unrevered British actor who starred in Dr. Butcher, M.D.