Scene Stealers

Why we live in the best possible time to watch film history

Eric Melin

*“The glamour of limelight, from which age must pass as youth enters.” — Opening titles of Charles Chaplin’s “Limelight”* On March 5 of this year, another 20th-century auteur passed from this world. Groundbreaking documentarian **Albert Maysles** (“Grey Gardens,” “Gimme Shelter”) died at age 88, leaving behind a legacy of fly-on-the-wall ...

An 'Incredible' history of Brad Bird movies

Eric Melin

In his video blog this week, film critic Eric Melin discusses the interesting history of animation-turned-live-action director Brad Bird ("The Incredibles," "Ratatouille," "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol") and the recurring themes present in his movies. Check out Eric's review of Bird's latest film, Disney's "Tomorrowland" starring George Clooney [over on his ...

'Tomorrowland' too much of a good thing

Eric Melin

“It’s hard to have ideas, and it’s easy to give up.” Casey Newton (**Britt Robertson**), a NASA-loving, teenaged girl says this to her little brother when he asks why they are taking down the launch platform at Cape Canaveral. Casey’s father (**Tim McGraw**) used to work for NASA, but his ...

'Mad Max' reaches a new level of inspired lunacy

Eric Melin

A caravan of paint-sniffing albino “war boys” with sunken eyes and scars around their lips race down a dirt road in a post-apocalyptic desert wasteland. Their souped-up vehicles are cobbled together in all kinds of inventive ways — some are antique car shells stacked up on each other under giant ...

What Mad Max has in common with a talking pig

Eric Melin

What does a frenetic post-apocalyptic action film have in common with a family film about a talking pig? Critic Eric Melin breaks down the similarities between two excellent George Miller films: "Mad Max: Fury Road" and "Babe 2: Pig in the City." Check out Eric's review of "Mad Max" on ...

I totally support their avenging: In defense of 'Age of Ultron'

Eric Melin

Since the release of the hotly anticipated **“Avengers: Age of Ultron,”** there has been an explosion of heated opinions on blogs and social media about the movie, [which may or may not][1] have contributed to writer/director **Joss Whedon** leaving Twitter and removing himself from the conversation. Superhero flicks have become ...

'Wild Tales' greater than the sum of its parts; dogs have their day in 'White God'

Eric Melin

One of the fundamental pleasures of good storytelling is the thrill of being able to live vicariously through the actions of others. This is especially true when the actions of our main characters are daring or thrilling. We get to experience the rush, but at a safe distance. **Damian Szifron**’s ...

Critic's Picks: Kurt Cobain documentary among May's can't-miss streaming titles

Eric Melin

Film critic Eric Melin recommends titles coming to Netflix, Amazon Prime and the new HBO Now streaming services this month. **On HBO Now** http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndCt-hvBka8 **On Amazon Prime** http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DF_xuXDG6EI **On Netfilx** http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11yMvo3rlPI

Overstuffed 'Avengers' sequel at odds with itself

Eric Melin

The weight of responsibility hangs over every character in Marvel’s “The Avengers: Age of Ultron.” It is a weight no doubt felt by writer/director **Joss Whedon**, who not only shepherded 2012’s “The Avengers” to its place as the third-biggest movie ever, but who also looked over and touched up scripts ...

'Ex Machina' disturbs, 'The Wrecking Crew' rocks

Eric Melin

There are a lot of very uncomfortable gender issues being raised in **“Ex Machina,”** the directorial debut of novelist/screenwriter **Alex Garland** now playing in theaters across Kansas City. Taking on the point of view of a lonely programmer named Caleb (**Domnhall Gleeson**) — who codes for Bluebook, a technology company ...

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