Scene Stealers

Watch this now: Netflix and Amazon storm awards season

Every January when the Academy Award nominations are announced, movie fans all over the world scan the ballots to see which movies they need to catch up on. Some of the films nominated will be playing in theaters, and some will have already been released on Blu-ray/DVD, but this year there’s ...

Greed is good in ’99 Homes’; the watchable awfulness of ‘Dangerous Men’

When Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street” was released in 1987, a classic villain was born. Power-hungry corporate player Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) broke the law, got rich, and espoused that “greed, for lack of a better term, is good.” Ninety-nine percent of America understood that ...

‘Spectre’ pays tribute to the ghosts of Bond films past, for better or worse

**“Spectre,”** the 24th official James Bond movie in the Eon Productions series, is the most “Bond” movie since **Daniel Craig** took over the lead role in 2006. Name any quality of classic Bond — stylish costumes, international locations, outlandish action scenes, martinis, slick ...

Get weird on Halloween with a David Lynch double feature

http://www.lawrence.com/photos/2015/oct/22/298276/ The horror movie genre exists because people love to be scared. Take one look at a list of “horror” movies streaming online, though, and you’ll see a ton of gory slasher pictures and sequel after lame sequel that aren’t scary at all. ...

The suspense of ‘Bridge of Spies’ and ‘Goodnight Mommy’

With movies like “Apollo 13,” “Saving Private Ryan,” and “Captain Phillips,” **Tom Hanks** proved himself to be the symbol of historical American heroism. Now, with the new **Steven Spielberg**-directed drama **“Bridge of Spies,”** he has firmly cemented himself as the perfect ...

‘Hell Town’ directors pick favorite horror flicks

Who is the Letter-Jacket Killer? **"Hell Town,"** a soap-opera style slasher flick, will answer that question when it plays one night only at [Liberty Hall][1] on Oct. 16. Set up like three different TV episodes, this campy gorefest could be viewed as a midseason movie-length Netflix binge. ...

‘Sleeping with Other People’ a true-to-life rom-com

The biggest curse of modern romantic comedies is that they can be too clean. No, I don’t mean the absence of rough language and nudity. I’m talking about how nice and tidy — and full of crap — rom-com screenplays can be when they follow the formula but leave out the authenticity. ...

Lawrence musician brings film noir festival back to KC

When The Latenight Callers were formed in 2008, Lawrence drummer/keyboardist Nick Combs didn’t know that much about film noir. The band calls its style “noir-a-go-go,” and its music sounds like something you might hear in a smoky Prohibition-era jazz club of the future. It’s three ...

Hit or miss? Fall movies have promise, potential pitfalls

http://www.lawrence.com/photos/2015/sep/10/296474/ This autumn is littered with the usual mix of prestige pictures, Oscar hopefuls and indie dramas, all vying for attention in the season of “serious” movies. Amidst the original entities, some familiar — and already well-publicized ...

The contradictory comedy of ‘Mistress America’

“She opens her mouth to speak and/ What comes out's a mystery/ Thought about, not understood/ She's achin' to be.” The Replacements song [“Achin' to Be”][1] should be the theme song of **Noah Baumbach**’s tough and funny new movie **“Mistress America,”** now showing at ...

‘The Look of Silence’ a fascinating, must-see documentary

http://www.lawrence.com/photos/2015/aug/20/295634/ A companion piece to the best documentary of the last 10 years is playing at the [Alamo Drafthouse][1] in Kansas City, and it sheds more disturbing light on the darkest depths of men’s souls, but for the first time offers a sort of ...

Retro spy thriller falls flat; Sundance sensation at Liberty Hall

http://www.lawrence.com/photos/2015/aug/13/295365/ The spy thriller **“The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”** has a couple of underdog qualities that had me rooting for it from the get-go. First, I love the idea that rather then merely stealing the name of the mid-'60s TV show and updating it to ...

Will Rogers and Okie prank calls come to life in roadshow documentaries

http://www.lawrence.com/users/photos/2015/aug/05/295061/ Three Oklahoma filmmakers are going on a road trip throughout the Midwest to screen their newest projects, and they are making a stop at the Lawrence Arts Center. The Free State Fest Film Society presents an encore performance of ...

Latest ‘Mission Impossible’ weaves old-school suspense, modern-day action

http://www.lawrence.com/photos/2015/jul/30/294847/ After four “Mission: Impossible” films where superspy Ethan Hunt (**Tom Cruise**) has risked his life and sacrificed any chance of future happiness for his country while wiggling out of the most unlikely tight spots ever devised, how is ...

Boxing cliches spring eternal in ‘Southpaw’

Most boxing movies are rags-to-riches stories but “Southpaw,” starring a bulked-up **Jake Gyllenhaal**, is a riches-to-rags story. This reversal of the traditional structure doesn’t mean that the film isn’t riddled with other cliches, however. Writer **Kurt Sutter** (“Sons of ...