Movie Times Vault

  • Men In Black Iii

    By Richard von Busack It’s been a decade since Men in Black II; the world must have got more xenophobic since then. In Men in Black III, (Men in Black III tickets and showtimes here) Will Smith’s Agent J complains of the weirdness of schwarma and the unidentifiable filth to be found in the back of a Chinese restaurant. This last joke is only there so that we can have an alien only pretending to be Chinese, saying “so solly,” as if that makes it funnier. All of this confusing forei.....

  • Hysteria

    By Richard von Busack You’d love to applaud Hysteria (Hysteria tickets and showtimes here)  for the way it encourages female pleasure. But Tanya Wexler’s historical farce is so deeply arch and self-congratulatory, it hardly even allows its audience a few mild civilized chuckles. There is some talent here, mostly squandered. Jonathan Pryce steals his scenes as a pompous Victorian doctor who treats his patients…with a method most of us learned at about age 13 1/2. It’s Dr. Robert Da.....

  • I Wake Up Dreaming 2012: The French...

    Second week at the Roxie Theater, San Francisco: a basket load of underground and sometimes sub-basement noirs. Classics rub shoulders with gritty programmers, in one of the nation's most funkified and eclectic rep-houses. May 18: Killer’s Kiss/Female Jungle (1955/1956) Working on a borrowed $40,000 budget, the young Stanley Kubrick, a Life magazine photographer under the influence of Walker Evans, snatched this melodrama off the streets of New York. The film is an elegy to the v.....

  • Bernie

    By Richard von Busack So infectious the CDC ought to be notified, the Richard Linklater comedy Bernie—an easy pick for top ten of 2012—is loaded with Texas brio. (Bernie tickets and showtimes here.) Bernie (Jack Black) is a plump and dainty mortician of the piney-woods town of Carthage, Texas. He’s beloved for his gentleness, and has a beautiful singing voice; one thinks of that description of William Randolph Hearst’s tones: “the fragrance of violets made audible”. There is no.....

  • The Dictator

    by Richard von Busack Sacha Baron Cohen’s resemblance to an elongated Charlie Chaplin may be a key to The Dictator. (The Dictator showtimes and tickets here.) He’s a funny figure but a chilly one. The Dictator has borrowings from Chaplin’s A King in New York, with its hereditary monarch stranded in the city. And Cohen has, as critic Robert Warshow wrote of Chaplin, a cold heart visible in the most genial moments…never more so than with his newest character. Working with his regular .....

  • Rating The Tim Burton/Johnny Depp C...

    by Matt Sills This weekend's release of "Dark Shadows" marks the eighth collaboration between director Tim Burton and Johnny Depp.  I've decided to take a look at their previous seven films together, and count them down from the worst to the best: 7.  CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY - It seemed like a match made in heaven:  Tim Burton and this warped twisted tale of 4 horrible children, one gracious and deserving boy, a house of horrors candy factory and the mad man that runs it.....