Streams

Mark Jenkins

Mark Jenkins appears in the following:

'We Are Your Friends' Gets A Blissful Beat, Sometimes

Thursday, August 27, 2015

In the climactic development of We Are Your Friends, a Los Angeles DJ has a breakthrough. Cole (Zac Efron) constructs a dance track from sampled sounds of his recent life, including zippers, staple-guns and remarks by the Girl Who Got Away and the Friend Who Died. Both the song and ...

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'Learning To Drive' On Well-Traveled Roads

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Driving, stunned mainstream-media accounts of Gen-Y tastes report, is becoming less popular. But learning how to operate a car still serves as a straightforward metaphor for accepting responsibility and acquiring new skills. So straightforward, in fact, that Learning to Drive is barely capable of a left turn.

This amiable, mostly ...

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Generation Y Satire Meets Screwball Comedy In 'Mistress America'

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Brooke is a New York spin-class instructor who plans to open a restaurant that will also be a hair salon and a community center, and furthermore has an idea for a TV show called Mistress America. This sort of aspirational multi-tasking is also characteristic of the movie that shares the ...

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'The End Of The Tour' Is A Film For David Foster Wallace Buffs

Friday, July 31, 2015

Some David Foster Wallace fans recoiled when they heard that sitcom veteran Jason Segel had been cast to play the Infinite Jest author in a movie. But Segel stretches impressively beyond expectations in The End of the Tour, an intriguing if not altogether convincing film. The actor is not just ...

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'A Gay Girl' Who Was Not What She Seemed

Friday, July 24, 2015

Imagine discovering a blog written by an attractive, vivacious woman who lives in a city torn by civil war. Imagine corresponding with that woman, falling in love with her, and receiving erotic messages and nude photos from her. Then imagine hearing that this online lover has been kidnapped, probably by ...

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A Widely Praised Documentary Gets An Even Better Second Chapter

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Almost three years ago, Joshua Oppenheimer unveiled The Act of Killing, a startling documentary about the 1965-66 mass killings in Indonesia. Its audacious ploy was to encourage unrepentant murderers to re-enact their deeds in the form of scenes from action flicks, a tactic that was extremely well-received by Western critics.

...

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Coming Back As A Better Slab Of Beef Isn't All It's Cracked Up To Be

Thursday, July 09, 2015

The rich are different from you and me. They can buy fresh bodies when the old ones wear out.

Well, at least they can in Self/less, a movie that raises provocative questions about identity and then doesn't think about them at all. In this sci-fi fantasy, rebottling your soul in ...

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Investigating The Drug Trade In 'Cartel Land'

Friday, July 03, 2015

Observing the consequences of the Mexican drug trade on both sides of the U.S. border, Cartel Land toggles between Arizona and the state of Michoacan, about 1,000 miles to the south. Only the latter of the twinned storylines really pays off, but that one is riveting.

Up north, director Matthew ...

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'Escobar: Paradise Lost' Finds Young Love Overshadowed By Violence

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Filmmakers can struggle to prevent their swaggering villain from upstaging their innocuous hero. Writer-director Andrea Di Stefano clearly didn't worry about that when making Escobar: Paradise Lost. If he did, he wouldn't have cast Benicio del Toro as the bad guy.

Playing Colombian cocaine baron Pablo Escobar, the charismatic del ...

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The House Music Of Paris Takes Center Stage In 'Eden'

Thursday, June 18, 2015

A subtle portrait of an EDM Adam, Eden is neither a star-is-born fable nor a soul-is-lost parable. In 1992, teenage Paul (Felix de Givry) gives his life to Paris' house-music scene. Two decades later, he reluctantly takes it back.

This bilingual drama continues in the restrained mode director ...

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A Poet Can Indeed Be Trouble In 'Set Fire To The Stars'

Thursday, June 11, 2015

"How much trouble can one poet be?" That's literature professor John Malcolm Brinnin's rhetorical response to his buttoned-way-down colleagues' fears about a writer's proposed visit to New York in 1950. Today, the query can't be heard as anything other than an inside joke. For the poet is Dylan Thomas, who ...

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A Simplified Brian Wilson In 'Love And Mercy'

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Wouldn't it be nice if Beach Boy Brian Wilson's troubled life were as easily understood as Love & Mercy makes it appear? Where the Pet Sounds auteur is known for multi-part harmonies, director Bill Pohlad's biopic is a series of simple duets.

Scripter Oren Moverman, who shares credit with Michael ...

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'Gemma Bovery': Retelling A Classic With A Light Touch

Thursday, May 28, 2015

French director Anne Fontaine's Gemma Bovery is a comic reworking of Madame Bovary, but that's merely the first of the movie's several layers. The bilingual film is adapted not from Flaubert's classic but from British cartoonist Posy Simmonds' graphic novel, set in contemporary times and with the Boverys as a ...

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In 'The Seeds Of Time,' One Man's Quest To Save Our Food Supply

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Cary Fowler is an easygoing, soft-spoken Tennessee native who travels the world with an urgent message: The human race may starve to death. If that threat becomes likely, however, people can turn to the biological archive that director Sandy McLeod's documentary calls The Seeds of Time.

The ...

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Why 'Forbidden Films' Remain Officially Locked Away

Thursday, May 14, 2015

At the beginning of Forbidden Films, documentarian Felix Moeller's camera warily contemplates a fortified bunker. The contents are, a curator warns, "literally explosive" — Nazi propaganda films on highly flammable nitrocelluloid stock.

The sequence is suitably ominous, but it turns out that the storage facility's thick walls and earthen berm ...

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'The D Train' Rumbles On With Another Hunk/Schlub Comedy

Thursday, May 07, 2015

"Inappropriate," today's foremost throat-clearing adjective, is the appropriate response to The D Train. This squirm-till-you-snicker comedy is about two immature males confronted with sexual possibilities they can't handle. One of the guys is 14; the other is his father.

Dad is Dan Landsman (Jack Black), who lives in Pittsburgh with ...

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In 'Marie's Story,' A Tale Of Teaching And Faith

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Marie Heurtin was born, blind and deaf, just five years after Helen Keller, and experienced a similar liberation through the discovery of sign language. The French girl's tale is the harsher one, since Keller didn't lose sight and sound until she was 19 months old, and was able to communicate ...

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'24 Days' Retells A Brutal Crime With Little Explanation

Thursday, April 23, 2015

24 Days recounts the grisly fate of Ilan Halimi, the young Jewish Parisian who in 2006 was kidnapped, held for ransom and tortured beyond what his body could endure. But it's not Ilan who addresses the camera at the beginning of the film. It's his mother, Ruth Halimi (Zabou Breitman).

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'Monkey Kingdom' Is Best When It's All Monkeys All The Time

Thursday, April 16, 2015

As much fun as a tree full of toque macaques, Monkey Kingdom is arguably the most entertaining of Disneynature's eight features. But purists will recoil as soon as The Monkees theme enters, and there are times when the story told by narrator Tina Fey probably doesn't reflect the extraordinary images ...

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Listening To The Ho-Hum Of The Machine

Thursday, April 09, 2015

The latest British movie to play the imitation game, Ex Machina, is the directorial debut of novelist-screenwriter Alex Garland. This time, the stakes are higher than the Nazi conquest of Europe. The talky sci-fi puzzler turns on nothing less than the potential displacement of humans by artificially intelligent cyborgs.

Then ...

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