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Criticism From The Indiewire Community: Closing Out Tribeca, Opening ‘Iron Man 3’

Criticism From The Indiewire Community: Closing Out Tribeca, Opening 'Iron Man 3'

Our collection of criticism from around Indiewire and its blog network begins with the end of this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, and then moves through big new releases like “Iron Man 3” and indie fare like “Something in the Air” and “Post Tenebras Lux.” Meawhile, Shadow and Act takes a look at a couple of slightly older films and Leonard Maltin says love is all you need:

The Best of This Week’s Indiewire Film Criticism


Iron Man 3:” “These movies really explain how this comic book movie adaptation thing
can and should work in a way that gratifies people who are slavishly
devoted to the comic books, people who just like expensive summer
movies, and people who just want competently-made movies with a story
and a screenplay and performances.”

“I still think a light-hearted comic book movie is what it’s all about.
I’ve had it with the “Hamlet”-type brooding of the superhero…as if we have to
bring darkness, gloom and introspection into every superhero. And
Robert Downey Jr. really tows that line beautifully because he creates
Tony Stark, along with Shane Black’s dialogue in this version, as
someone who has superiority but is also thoroughly funny.”
— Eric Kohn, Wesley Morris, and Dana Stevens, in conversation.

“Post Tenebras Lux” and Carlos Reygadas: “Inspired by the epic scope of Andrei Tarkovsky, Reygadas also pulls
liberally from countless other art film tropes while conveying a poetic
stillness that has, over the last decade, developed into his own
imprint. Reygadas’ films tend to surprise and frustrate viewers in equal
measures, but the boldness of his vision tends to win out.” —
Eric Kohn

Shadow and Act:

Sidewalk Stories:” “While ‘Sidewalk Stories’ may not have the glossy veneer of other
modern day films that have tackled this genre, this new version of the
film stands as a worthy and even important part of the black film
landscape.” —
Zeba Blay

Black Butterfly:” “It’s not common to see a rape depiction and treatment in film,
especially of a young woman of color, that didn’t seem exploitative or
unnecessary. Yet this small-scale production packs a punch to the gut
with such depiction, thanks greatly to the performance by Monae.” —
Vanessa Martinez

Magic Mike:” “I just think it’s more interesting to diversify a cast when such a
decision seems to be inherently plausible within the material. I was
curious why the representation of the dancers was so narrow, and I
honestly thought approaching more options would be more realistic. It
seems like a potential missed opportunity to make a good movie even more
fascinating, while also broadening your audience.” —
Dan Simolke

Thompson On Hollywood:

Iron Man 3:” “The latest installment, directed by ace writer-actioner Shane Black
(“Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”) is so pixel-heavy that it’s certainly heading
for several tech Oscar nominations, including VFX. Wisely, the
well-constructed script gives iron-clad billionaire Tony Stark some human-scale time to rely on his wits and abilities…” —
Anne Thompson

Leonard Maltin’s Movie Crazy:

Iron Man 3:” “Downey
and his collaborators have made a significant course-correction for Iron Man 3, a much more satisfying and
enjoyable picture [than “Iron Man 2”]. Stark is appealingly vulnerable this time around, in more
ways than one.”
— Leonard Maltin

Love Is All You Need:” “It’s
lighter in tone than her previous work, but Bier and her longtime writing
partner Anders Thomas Jensen have woven serious undertones into the fabric of
this bittersweet romance.” —
Leonard Maltin

The Playlist:

Manhunt: The Inside Story of the Hunt For Bin Laden:” “‘Manhunt’ should certainly be applauded for tackling the moral and
ethical sides of the operation in addition to the procedural, as it
gives the entire saga the richness and nuance that it needs to be told
properly. But that said, Barker tries to be both comprehensive and lean
but comes up short. —
Kevin Jagernauth

Greetings From Tim Buckley:” “There is no doubt that ‘Greetings From Tim Buckley’ is respectable, and
thanks to Badgley and Rosenfield, does justice to both singers. But the
film never quite connects father and son as each sharing the common
bond of extraordinary talent or even similar personal woes.” —
Kevin Jagernauth

Taboor:” “Writer-director Vahid Vakilifar seems like a strange duck indeed, and portions of ‘Taboor’ seem to suggest a marriage of the every-day otherworldliness of Alejandro Jodorowsky and the dream-like serenity of David Lynch.” — Gabe Toro

Cutie and the Boxer:” “One of the most lively and emotionally resonant documentaries to debut
this year, ‘Cutie and the Boxer’ is a work of art in its own right.” —
Drew Taylor

The Rocket:” “Mordaunt’s eye indicates a thoughtful filmmaker able to listen to the
winds of what a movie needs. Effortlessly natural, his workmanlike craft
carries the capacity to keep an ear open to happenstance.” —
Rodrigo Perez

Kiss of the Damned:” “If ‘Kiss of the Damned’ has one thing, it’s an identifiable groove,
one that is sustained and very, very infectious. It’s this reason that
some will find the movie a letdown, since these vampires are more
concerned with the existential dread and immortality than the visceral
thrill of ripping someone’s throat out. But for those adventurous enough
to go along with it, the movie weaves an intoxicating spell.”
— Drew Taylor

Oxyana:” “Dunne wisely sidesteps any drama or melodrama in the movie…It’s a pained
and uncompromising look at horrors that have decimated a community.”
— Rodrigo Perez

The Iceman:” “We’re sure that someone will come along and give the form new life one
of these days, but that reinvention of the wheel doesn’t come from Ariel Vromen’s ‘The Iceman’ which is decent enough, but fails to cover ground that hasn’t already been covered many times before.” —
Oliver Lyttelton

What Maisie Knew:”James’ novel may be an indictment of polite English society, but it’s
difficult not to notice how well it translates to 2013 America, with Maisie
caught between an aging rock star and a dogged, selfish financial manager.” —
Gabe Toro

Dead Man’s Burden:” “‘Dead Man’s Burden’ is worth the watch for its sheer beauty, but it’s
also a slow burner of Western tragedy that hails many new talents to
keep an eye on.”
— Katie Walsh

Something In The Air:” “Content aside, the film’s something of a triumph for Assayas as
director, which won’t come as a huge surprise to fans of his work…Virtually every frame of the film is gorgeous in a
sun-dappled kinda way, a seemingly light-as-a-feather handheld camera
telling the story with immense clarity, without ever becoming showy.” —
Oliver Lyttelton

Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia:” “He led an incredible and prolific life — one that could encompass
multiple documentaries. This ultimately becomes the pitfall of ‘
Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia‘ as it tries to make a singular documentary of such a multi-faceted figure.” — Dianna Drumm

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