Comedian Mike Birbiglia steers viewers through a less-than-brilliant early career and personal traumas in “Sleepwalk With Me,” an autobiographical comedy that, while low on oomph, is novel and likable.
Part romantic comedy, part comedian-condition survey and part sleep-disorder horror flick, the film is the latest incarnation of Birbiglia’s 2008 off-Broadway show, which also resulted in a best-seller and a segment on NPR’s “This American Life.”
Birbiglia and stage director Seth Barrish share directorial credits. Both also co-wrote the screenplay, with two others. Read More
The fall movie slate is perhaps the most exciting. Roller-coaster rides have ended, and it’s time for serious stuff in the warm-up to awards season, where real risks are taken. But it’s also Halloween, bringing spooky flicks. This year, there will be kisses, screams and gunshots, one or two great, lasting works of art, and amazement. Read More
When a gunman opened fire on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin on Aug. 5, it became clear that the battle against racism in America is far from over, especially when it comes to white supremacist groups. But not all skinheads are created equal; some want to change. “Erasing Hate,” a documentary about one of these people, screens at 7 p.m. Sept. 2 at the United Film Festival in The City. The touring independent-film showcase, which runs Aug. 31 through Sept. Read More
Perhaps the first movie brought to you by 5-Hour Energy and Google Maps, “Premium Rush” zigs and zags around the plot almost as much as champion bike courier Wiley (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) weaves his way through Manhattan traffic.
It’s a good thing that adrenaline tends to short-circuit logical thinking; the plot is mostly nonsensical, but you’ll be too thrilled by the literal twists and turns to care. As stories go, this one’s pretty basic: Wiley picks up an envelope at NYU and has to deliver it to Chinatown by 7 p.m. Read More
Directed by David Cronenberg, who adapted it from Don DeLillo’s 2003 novel, “Cosmopolis” is a deeply subversive, deeply intelligent movie for grown-ups. It’s also a brilliant vehicle for Cronenberg’s pet theme: the elusive point at which thought meets the human body.A million miles from “Twilight,” Robert Pattinson stars as Eric Packer, a 28-year-old multibillionaire. “We want a haircut,” he announces to his security man (Kevin Durand), referring to himself in the plural. And he is two people: a figurehead who symbolizes wealth as well as a flesh-and-blood human being. Read More
Falling somewhere between a cute gimmick film and a thoughtful consideration of old age, the sci-fi indie “Robot & Frank” centers on a fading former jewel thief who establishes a meaningful connection with a household automaton.
A winning directorial tone and a masterful lead performance turn this nutty premise into something credible, touching and human in this inspired buddy comedy. Read More
The 1976 version of the movie “Sparkle” is often connected to an Aretha Franklin album featuring Curtis Mayfield songs — even though the Queen of Soul isn’t in the film.
The new “Sparkle” greatly improves on its source material: screenwriter Mara Brock Akil keeps and adds depth to the characters, while director Salim Akil gives the movie visual flair while letting the songs propel the story forward. Read More
Julie Delpy created the love interest in her new movie “2 Days in New York” with one person she wanted to play the role: Chris Rock.“I’ve always liked his stand-up comedy, he loves French movies, he’s interested in different things. I had met him once, spent about 10 minutes with him, and he stuck in my mind,” she says, over the phone. Thanks, in part, to a connection between their old-school talent agents, she secured him for the part, admitting, “It’s not an obvious indie actor choice.” Read More
“The Odd Life of Timothy Green” is certainly odd for a Disney film.Based on a story by Ahmet Zappa, it’s about loving married couple — played by Joel Edgerton and Jennifer Garner — who can’t have children, but “invent” one. They write attributes on pieces of paper, place them in a box and bury it in the garden; the next morning, a young boy, covered in dirt and leaves, appears. Read More
The lead characters in “Celeste and Jesse Forever” are having a very saggy breakup, and the film’s exploration of two best friends learning to live apart starts out crisp — with funny, weird and engaging dialogue — but soon slogs down into very familiar territory. Read More