Scott Tobias http://wdiy.org en In 'Sightseers,' A Killing Spree Gone South http://wdiy.org/post/sightseers-killing-spree-gone-south Scrub away the gore and the nastier bits of provocation, and Ben Wheatley's <em>Sightseers</em> belongs squarely in the tradition of British classics like <em>Kind Hearts and Coronets</em> and <em>The Ruling Class — </em>satires that transformed simmering class resentment into brittle, nasty dark comedy.<p>The key to these films is a disciplined tone: Whatever contempt the filmmakers have for their characters, or whatever types those characters represent, is harnessed by dry wit and an instinct not to overplay their outrageous premises. Thu, 09 May 2013 21:03:00 +0000 Scott Tobias 19779 at http://wdiy.org In 'Sightseers,' A Killing Spree Gone South Effects-Heavy 'Oblivion' Pines For An Analog Past http://wdiy.org/post/effects-heavy-oblivion-pines-analog-past The score for <em>Oblivion</em> was composed by M83, a superb French electronic outfit that derives its name from one of the spectral pinwheels known as spiral galaxies. Thu, 18 Apr 2013 21:03:00 +0000 Scott Tobias 18572 at http://wdiy.org Effects-Heavy 'Oblivion' Pines For An Analog Past Zany 'It's A Disaster': Anything But http://wdiy.org/post/zany-its-disaster-anything For all his success as a stand-up comic, as one half of the brilliant HBO sketch comedy <em>Mr. Show</em> W<em>ith Bob & David</em> and as the hapless Tobias on <em>Arrested Development</em>, David Cross has struggled to find his footing in the movies, remaining relegated mainly to forgettable character roles. Thu, 11 Apr 2013 21:03:00 +0000 Scott Tobias 18164 at http://wdiy.org Zany 'It's A Disaster': Anything But What Happened In The Overlook's 'Room 237'? http://wdiy.org/post/what-happened-overlooks-room-237 Of all the great filmmakers, Stanley Kubrick may be the one most associated with control — there's nary an inflection, gesture, camera movement or prop out of place in his movies, and significance invested in every detail.<p>Tales of his perfectionism have become the stuff of legend: projects developed over years or even decades, open-ended shoots where actors were bullied into 100 takes if necessary, special lenses crafted just to achieve a certain lighting effect in <em>Barry Lyndon,</em> obsessive micromanagement of every aspect of a production.<p>And with a body of work that includes such Thu, 28 Mar 2013 23:46:00 +0000 Scott Tobias 17424 at http://wdiy.org What Happened In The Overlook's 'Room 237'? 'Gimme The Loot': The Tagger's Life, Lightly http://wdiy.org/post/gimme-loot-taggers-life-lightly For the Bronx graffiti artists of <em>Gimme the Loot,</em> Adam Leon's sweet, vibrant debut feature, "Bombing the Apple" is the holy grail of tagging achievements.<p>"The Apple" in question is the protuberance that emerges from behind the center-right wall in Shea Stadium — they refuse to acknowledge the corporate name Citi Field — every time a New York Mets player hits a home run.<p>The thought of seeing their supersized insignia rising to the sky, taunting their Queens rivals, is a delicious fantasy to consider; they're like thieves idly plotting to knock over Fort Knox. Thu, 21 Mar 2013 21:03:00 +0000 Scott Tobias 17038 at http://wdiy.org 'Gimme The Loot': The Tagger's Life, Lightly '60s Japan, Aglow 'From Up On Poppy Hill' http://wdiy.org/post/60s-japan-aglow-poppy-hill Of the many wonderful qualities associated with the films of Studio Ghibli — the Japanese animation house co-founded by Hiyao Miyazaki, the visionary director of <em>My Neighbor Totoro</em>, <em>Kiki's Delivery Service</em> and <em>Spirited Away</em> — serenity may be the most key. Ghibli productions offer the stirring adventures and magical creatures of their American counterparts, and often operate by a wondrously mysterious internal logic, but they do so without feeling compelled to grab a young audience by the lapels. Thu, 14 Mar 2013 21:03:00 +0000 Scott Tobias 16645 at http://wdiy.org '60s Japan, Aglow 'From Up On Poppy Hill' 'Everyman's Journey': Don't Believe Everything You Hear http://wdiy.org/post/everymans-journey-dont-believe-everything-you-hear Some bands are born of passion and deep camaraderie, a collective desire to rebel against authority — or at least to look cool. Others are born because a major label threatens to drop them if they don't find a lead vocalist.<p>It's possible that Journey started as the former before morphing into the latter. Most people know the band as the hit-making arena rockers responsible for "Don't Stop Believin'," "Open Arms," "Faithfully" and other songs you danced to at your cousin's wedding. Thu, 07 Mar 2013 22:00:00 +0000 Scott Tobias 16273 at http://wdiy.org 'Everyman's Journey': Don't Believe Everything You Hear Adolescent Angst Turns Deadly In 'Stoker' http://wdiy.org/post/adolescent-angst-turns-deadly-stoker It's a mark of a great filmmaker when a movie is felt first and understood later, allowing audiences to intuit their way through a fog of mystery and sensuality before finally getting a clear view of the landscape. Thu, 28 Feb 2013 22:12:00 +0000 Scott Tobias 15859 at http://wdiy.org Adolescent Angst Turns Deadly In 'Stoker' 'Snitch': Johnson And The Rock, At Odds In A Drug Drama http://wdiy.org/post/snitch-johnson-and-rock-odds-drug-drama "Inspired by true events" — a phrase that implies the greatest possible distance between something that actually happened and what's about to happen on screen<em> — Snitch</em> tries to be two movies at once.<p>One is an earnest social drama about the cruel, arbitrary nature of mandatory minimum sentences for first-time drug offenders. The other is an action movie starring Dwayne Johnson, the sometime wrestler popularly known under his <em>nom de headlock</em>, The Rock. Thu, 21 Feb 2013 22:03:00 +0000 Scott Tobias 15474 at http://wdiy.org 'Snitch': Johnson And The Rock, At Odds In A Drug Drama A '70s 'Playroom,' Without Much Room For Fun http://wdiy.org/post/70s-playroom-without-much-room-fun There's a sequence early in the laughable drama <em>The Playroom</em> that epitomizes everything wrong with it: With her parents out of the house, 16-year-old Maggie Cantwell (Olivia Harris), the eldest of four latchkey kids, sneaks into the garage with her boyfriend on a determined quest to lose her virginity. Thu, 07 Feb 2013 22:04:00 +0000 Scott Tobias 14710 at http://wdiy.org A '70s 'Playroom,' Without Much Room For Fun