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2 items from 2017

Hammer’s Time: Can Armie Hammer Finally Turn a Corner with ‘Free Fire’?

23 April 2017 7:51 AM, PDT | | See recent FilmSchoolRejects news »

How do you make a charming movie star out of a Winklevoss?

Midway through Ben Wheatley’s new one-long-gunfight movie Free Fire, Armie Hammer’s character picks up a machine gun. This escalation will perhaps elicit an exhale and a “finally” from the audience. Hammer plays a deal broker called Ord in a gun-buy gone south, and to this point every shooter in the ensemble cast has ironically been limited to revolvers. But Hammer’s increased firepower at this moment is as fitting as his tailored wool blazer. In a movie where each crook is initially unleashed with quick and clever characterization, Hammer’s shtick — the fashion-conscious criminal liaison surrounded by goons — has legs and teeth. He’s firing on more cylinders than anyone in this action-comedy, which stars dramatic heavy hitters Brie Larson and Cillian Murphy and UK genre-flick staples Michael Smiley and Noah Taylor. For as long as any of them are allowed to stay »

- Chance Solem-Pfeifer

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Why Baz Luhrmann’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ Is an Underappreciated Modern Classic

3 April 2017 9:52 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

“Can’t repeat the past? Why, of course you can… of course you can.”

If Jay Gatsby had been born 80 or 90 years later, he could easily have run a movie studio instead of running booze — after all, repeating the past seems to be all that Hollywood really does these days. Of course, the film industry has always sustained itself by transfiguring history into images and then embalming them as culture (that business approach is baked into the medium itself, which allows artists to paint with time as vividly as they might with color), but there’s a vast difference between revisiting our memories and resigning to them; there’s a vast difference between looking at a green light across a misty harbor, and being so mesmerized by the promise of its fading emerald glow that it obscures the possibility of all other futures.

Once upon a time, Disney adapted classic »

- David Ehrlich

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