“Why aren’t all these amazing environmental films being shown here in Baltimore?” Elizabeth Dahl, Loyola University Maryland’s Associate Professor of Chemistry, posed that question to the university’s Environmental Action Club. Professor Dahl’s question was in response to the impressive repertoire of “green” films shown at the DC-based Environmental Film Festival. The good news for Baltimore is that the group’s answer to Professor Dahl’s question was to launch the Baltimore Environmental Film Series.
Baltimore-based Trace Architects propose that we start thinking horizontally when it comes to rehabbing rowhomes. Read More →
Originally published September 26 – The Skeleton Twins, from director and co-writer Craig Johnson, is a tame, inoffensive drama-comedy that visually resembles a Paxil commercial. Largely devoid of plot, the film, which opens this weekend at The Charles, is instead a character study of troubled siblings, played by Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig. The characters act crazy in a way that upper-middle class people can relate to, that is, lots of white whine, but nothing too grave.
Regardless, the film succeeds on the strength of its great cast, especially Bill Hader who at times visibly rings with emotion while being consistently hilarious. He makes a serious case for himself as a go-to man for these kinds of roles, which call for the actor to navigate between the . The same goes for Kristin Wiig, who doesn’t get to be as funny as her talent deserves but successfully portrays the deep level of confusion in her character. While the stars transition well between comedy and drama, the same can’t be said for the film itself. It’s only the comedy here that keeps things afloat. The capital-S-Serious stuff is dealt with in a way so trite and predictable, with a three-act screenplay so stock, that it trivializes the very issues the movie is trying to examine. Read More →
We’ve been thinking about posting movie reviews for some time now, so when IFC Films asked us to review Boyhood, we figured it was a sign. Our writer C.G. Dunn gives us his take.
At first glance, director Richard Linklater’s filmography seems like a scattershot list of titles. It includes the kid-movie classic School of Rock, the Before Sunrise trilogy of romantic dramas, the 90’s McConaughey action flick The Newton Boys, and a lot in between. The only element that seems to tie these films together is the witty, world-weary sensibility of the director. His latest, Boyhood, which opens at The Charles on Friday, shares the same sensibility, but this time he returns to familiar ground in a somewhat biographical growing-up-Texan story, while at the same time reaching new heights, high above anything he has attempted before.
The film’s title is also its synopsis, but its concept doesn’t reveal itself until you learn the details of the production. Linklater and the cast and crew shot the film for a few days a year, every year for 12 years, allowing us to see the characters and actors age in sync before our eyes. It’s a marvelous technical achievement, but it would be merely a gimmick if it weren’t in the service of a great film.
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