July 2, 2016 |
Can you make a film that criticizes gun violence in America while also reveling in a relentless, gory orgy of gun violence, knife violence, chain-saw violence, and ax violence? That's the plight of the Purge franchise, an auteurish series of hyper-violent, dystopian thrillers from writer-director James DeMonaco ( The Negotiator , Skinwalkers ) now in its third installment with The Purge: Election Year . The premise and the basic story line are familiar: Set in the near future, the Purge movies concern an America where once a year, for 12 hours, citizens get to let off steam by committing any crime - including murder - without fear of prosecution.
June 26, 2016
COMING THIS WEEK The BFG. Steven Spielberg's supersize dream of a movie, adpated from the Roald Dahl children's book, concerns a little orphan girl and the Big Friendly Giant who takes her away. Newcomer Ruby Barnhill and Oscar-winner Mark Rylance ( Bridge of Spies ) star as the girl and her 24-foot-tall pal. PG Swiss Army Man. In an oddball indie, Paul Dano is a castaway and Daniel Radcliffe the corpse that washes up on his desert isle. Written and directed by first-timers Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert.
April 12, 2016 |
Here in Philadelphia, our dearly departed rise from the dead to cast ballots in every election - that is, if they can get past the Black Panthers at the polling places. That's our rep with some right-wing conspiracy theorists outside of Philly. And, let's face it: Many of us joke about our city's history of corruption. (See the first paragraph of this column.) Why wouldn't an outsider think it's true? The truth, however, is usually more complicated. Consider the suit filed last week against the City Commissioners by the Alexandria, Va.-based American Civil Rights Union.
March 10, 2016 |
THE EAGLES, who underwent a significant roster purge a year ago, quickly followed by a free agent binge, are at it again, under new management. How many purges and binges and binges and purges before the roster develops serious body-image issues? Across the land, Eagles fans are ecstatic, because the most disappointing figures from last season's train wreck will officially be gone when the league year starts at 4 p.m. Wednesday - DeMarco Murray, Byron Maxwell, and Kiko Alonso, in trades with the Titans and the Dolphins.
July 18, 2014 |
IF YOU FOUND Thomas Piketty's inequality best-seller, Capital in the Twenty-First Century a bit too wonky, consider seeing "The Purge: Anarchy. " In this quickie sequel to the offbeat 2013 horror hit, a 1 percenter resembling Ann Romney presides over a gathering of rich people who watch fellow swells hunting unarmed members of the middle and lower classes. The rich people carry fancy fowling pieces and wear Wellington boots as they try to flush a covey of middle-class people, sort of like Dick Cheney going after pet quail on a game preserve that's more of a free-range zoo for the doomed.
June 10, 2013 |
It's always fun to see Hollywood's anointed winners, those ugly mega-blockbuster Goliaths , fall on their faces. And this week they did, to a most unexpected David , writer-director James DeMonaco 's home-invasion thriller, The Purge . A $3 mil morality play set in an imaginary America where once a year people can murder each other without fear of arrest, The Purge opened this weekend atop the box office chart, earning $34.6 mil, according to...
June 7, 2013 |
ALL THAT'S missing from the set-up to "The Purge" is the Rod Serling intro. This is a very "Twilight Zone"-y horror movie of ideas (plus some 2013 violence) set in a near-future America wherein a willing populace trades 364 docile, crime-free days for one day of anything-goes mayhem - the so-called Purge, during which all crime is legal. Business is good, as you might guess for enterprising suburbanite James (Ethan Hawke), who sells purportedly impregnable security systems to other McMansion dwellers.
June 7, 2013 |
What if we could heal our economic woes, reduce unemployment to less than 1 percent, and solidify America's position as the world's greatest financial and military power? What if we could do it all in only a handful of years? That's the utopian world offered in The Purge , a riveting, thoughtful psychological thriller starring Ethan Hawke ( The Woman in the Fifth ) and Lena Headey ( Game of Thrones ) that opens Friday. The Purge is set in an America that has instituted a simple formula for achieving economic success: Cull the population once a year, cutting out (killing)
February 27, 2013 |
IT MIGHT HAVE been the most devastating 6 minutes and 55 seconds the 76ers have played in quite some time, and there have been some lean moments as the team has lost six of its last seven games, including five in a row. On Sunday at Madison Square Garden, the Sixers entered the second quarter against the Knicks trailing by just 24-22 after an odd but gritty first quarter where the teams combined to shoot 16-for-47 (34 percent) and turned the ball over eight times. After that, the Sixers' fortunes went farther south than many of the dresses being worn at the Academy Awards that night.