New in Theaters:
Even the Rain

A director shooting a gripping epic about the tyranny of Christopher Columbus gets a lesson in humility in Icíar Bollaín’s potent satire about First World humanitarian hubris running up against Third World realities. Though the film as a whole is about as subtle as an anti-imperialist polemic by Howard Zinn — it’s actually dedicated to the late, truculent left-wing historian — and not without some serious structural flaws, its burning spirit has an unimpeachable potency…
Even the Rain is playing now in limited release and should expand over the next couple of months. Try to seek it out. You can read the full review at filmcritic.com.

New in Theaters:
Of Gods and Men

The Psalm that introduces Xavier Beauvois’s lacerating elegy doesn’t leave much mystery as to where things are headed: “You shall die like men and fall like princes.” There is an air of predestination that clouds Of Gods and Men, giving it the feel of some ancient allegory told and retold by scholars throughout the ages…
Of Gods and Men opens today in limited release. You can read the full review at filmcritic.com.

Filmology:
February 21st

“If they move, kill ‘em!”
Today’s entry from Filmology is The Wild Bunch (1969), Sam Peckinpah’s absurdly war-like elegy for the end of the Old West and for a time when bad guys could just head down Mexico-way whenever things got dicey.
My book, Filmology: A Movie-a-Day Guide to a Complete Film Education, is now for sale in both paperback and ebook formats.

New in Theaters:
Unknown

For all the skittery flashbacks and paranoid atmospherics, there isn’t much to Unknown in the final reckoning—and this isn’t a bad thing. At least it doesn’t dig into the seeming metaphysical mystery suggested in early scenes, and its schematic screenplay, doesn’t quite abandon its more interesting questions, concerning identity and purpose. But a couple car chases and furniture-breaking fights later, the fact that Unknown is a Joel Silver production is increasingly apparent. Again, this is not the worst thing…
Unknown opens in wide release today. You can read the full review at PopMatters.

Filmology:
February 8th

“Hope always dies last.”
Today’s entry from Filmology is The Lives of Others (2007), Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s brilliantly paranoid, thrilling, nerve-jangling investigation of Cold War life in East Germany.
My book, Filmology: A Movie-a-Day Guide to a Complete Film Education, is now for sale in both paperback and ebook formats.

New in Books:
Prophets of War
A book could have been made from the story of a single fighter plane alone. William D. Hartung’s Lockheed Martin exposé starts with a sharp and concise reckoning of how the company made the full-court press in order to keep its problematic F-22 Raptor fighter program alive. It’s a thrilling piece of journalism, combining deep background knowledge of the program’s particulars with a keen grasp of the political machinations that swirled around its long undeath…
Prophets of War is on sale now. You can read the full review at PopMatters.