Catching Up 2013: Crump's Mini-Review Extravaganza

If you’ve ever talked to me about the weather, you probably know that I’m a big fan of cold and snow. Not to the point where I prefer the bitter months of the year to the fruitful days of summer; in point of fact, every season, be it warm or chilly, has its merits in […]

G-S-T Review…The Punk Singer

Sini Anderson’s The Punk Singer is a double-sided coin, with one face that’s somber and another that’s uplifting. Watching the film’s subject, feminist activist and musician Kathleen Hanna, as she takes center stage in archive footage, it’s impossible not to feel inspired by her energy and indomitability; for most of the film, Hanna gives the […]

G-S-T Review…Out of the Furnace

You can take the Oscar bait out of the gritty revenge thriller, but you can’t take the gritty revenge thriller out of the Oscar bait. So goes Out of the Furnace, Scott Cooper’s latest film since 2009’s deplorably hackneyed Crazy Heart; in just under two hours of running time, Cooper never makes the effort to […]

G-S-T Review…The Great Beauty

Maybe the most impressive feat Paulo Sorrentino pulls off with The Great Beauty is one of restraint; in two hours and twenty minutes, not a single reference is made to the man whose actions most strongly inform the backdrop of the Italian filmmaker’s latest picture. That would be Silvio Berlusconi, Italy’s erstwhile prime minister and […]

G-S-T Review…Alexander Payne's Nebraska

Nebraska could well just be subtitled as The Importance of Being Monotint. In a year where everyone and their cool grandma has gone back to black and white, Alexander Payne uses the absence of chroma better than most, or at least in a way that’s more viscerally effective. In two hours, Payne cobbles together a shockingly […]

G-S-T Review…Charlie Countryman

Nobody can fault Charlie Countryman for a lack of trying, that’s for certain. They can, of course, fault it for being a schizophrenic and ultimately useless piece of cinema, but as I cringed at the lesser merits of Fredrik Bond’s debut film, I also found myself yearning to give the whole production an “A” for effort; […]

G-S-T Review…Diana

As a young lad, my measure of acquaintance with Diana, Princess of Wales started and stopped with the following details: she was British, beautiful, and a hair’s breadth from sainthood. Her death in 1997 meant little to me as a sheltered American boy, and only signified that the people I saw on television weren’t immune […]

G-S-T Review…Ender's Game

We’re living in a time when the phrase “unfilmable novel” can no longer serve as an excuse for poor page-to-screen adaptations of quintessential stories on the receiving end of the Hollywood treatment. Over a decade ago, Peter Jackson shouldered the burden of that challenge by taking J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings books and turning […]

G-S-T Review…The Fifth Estate

Here’s the big question hanging over the head of The Fifth Estate: do we contextualize it based on content or structure? Bill Condon’s first post-Twilight film bites off more than it can chew, but it’s difficult to say whether that’s because of the subject matter – being the origins and rise of both Wikileaks and […]

G-S-T Review…Gravity

The written word is a poor medium for articulating Gravity‘s many wondrous qualities neatly and efficiently; more than any other film released in 2013, this one – hailing from virtuoso Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron seven years after the monumental Children of Men – may be best described as an experience. That’s a pretty way of […]

G-S-T Review…Parkland

For those of us who weren’t alive in the 60s, the assassination of John F. Kennedy was a very, very, very bad thing for the United States of America, and for the entire world. So bad, in fact, that Peter Landesman took upon himself the task of dedicating an hour and a half’s worth of […]

G-S-T Review…The Family

The Family is a lot of things; a deliriously violent black comedy, the first real Luc Besson film Luc Besson has made since 2011’s  The Lady (which was itself preceded by a string of children’s movies and fantasy fare), the latest entry in his filmography well beyond his retirement date, and further proof to fuel […]