The Pitt News

Staff Picks: Holiday movies to go with a cozy cup of cocoa

Staff Picks: Holiday movies to go with a cozy cup of cocoa

By The Pitt News Staff

November 26, 2018


Filed under Culture, Movies

From “The Polar Express” to “Love Actually,” there is a classic holiday film for everyone — and those are just two of our staff’s favorites.

Rowling writes out representation in ‘Fantastic Beasts,’ focuses on sequel-baiting

Rowling writes out representation in ‘Fantastic Beasts,’ focuses on sequel-baiting

By Victoria Pfefferle-Gillot, Staff Writer

November 19, 2018


Filed under Culture, Movies

While “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” looks as fantastic as its title, the substance of the story leaves viewers with many questions.

Don’t stop him now: Rami Malek shines in ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

Don’t stop him now: Rami Malek shines in ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

By Darren Campuzano, Staff Writer

November 7, 2018


Filed under Culture, Movies

Despite some mixed reviews, “Bohemian Rhapsody” was not a flop. Lead actor Rami Malek stole the show as Queen rock legend Freddie Mercury.

‘Halloween’ returns to form 40 years later

‘Halloween’ returns to form 40 years later

By Apoorva Kethidi, For The Pitt News

October 31, 2018


Filed under Culture, Movies, Top Stories

“Halloween” is back. After 40 years and 10 poor sequels, the franchise finally hits a high note with the latest installation.

Remembering horror film icon Romero at Carnegie Lecture Hall

Remembering horror film icon Romero at Carnegie Lecture Hall

By Maggie Medoff, Staff Writer

October 22, 2018


Filed under Culture, Movies, Top Stories

George A. Romero is the filmmaker behind the classic film “Night of the Living Dead,” and he was remembered over the weekend with the event “Reflection on Romero.”

33rd annual Reel Q Film Festival brings LGBTQ+ cinema to the ’Burgh

33rd annual Reel Q Film Festival brings LGBTQ+ cinema to the ’Burgh

By Siddhi Shockey, Staff Writer

October 15, 2018


Filed under Culture, Movies

For a weekend full of LGBTQ+ themed cinema, film buffs of Pittsburgh headed to the Harris Theater, for the Reel Q LGBT Film Fest.

‘Venom’ disappoints critics, delights sci-fi fans

‘Venom’ disappoints critics, delights sci-fi fans

By Victoria Pfefferle-Gillot, Staff Writer

October 8, 2018


Filed under Culture, Movies

Although “Venom” was met with dismal responses from critics, the film lit up the box office this past weekend, breaking a record for October openings.

Japanese history evoked in new documentary from local filmmaker

Japanese history evoked in new documentary from local filmmaker

By Kim Rooney, Contributing Editor

October 1, 2018


Filed under Culture, Movies, Top Stories

On Sept. 28, the Row House Cinema premiered the documentary “Day of the Western Sunrise,” which details the story of Japanese fishermen.

Silk Screen Film Festival celebrates Japanese culture

Silk Screen Film Festival celebrates Japanese culture

By Maya Best, For The Pitt News

September 26, 2018


Filed under Culture, Movies, Top Stories

The Silk Screen Asian American Film Festival kicked off its 13th year on Sunday with a Japanese music performance and film screening of Shuichi Okita’s 2018 film, “Mori, The Artist’s Habitat.”

‘The Nun’ offers a whole bunch of nun-thing

‘The Nun’ offers a whole bunch of nun-thing

By Apoorva Kethidi, For The Pitt News

September 11, 2018


Filed under Culture, Movies

As Halloween approaches, fans of the horror genre are gearing up for the their favorite time of the year. However, the latest addition to one of the most popular horror franchises might be a let-down.

‘Christopher Robin’ is unoriginal but uplifting

‘Christopher Robin’ is unoriginal but uplifting

By Shahum Ajmal, Contributing Editor

August 20, 2018


Filed under Culture, Movies, Welcome Back 2018

The drama-fantasy is a somewhat slow and cliche, yet heartwarming and beautiful continuation of A.A. Milne’s stories.

Artisan Pittsburgh welcomes fans for Jeff Goldblum Day 2018

Artisan Pittsburgh welcomes fans for Jeff Goldblum Day 2018

By Delilah Bourque, Staff Writer

July 17, 2018


Filed under Art, Culture, Movies

Everyone has celebrities they adamantly adore. For some, they’re heroes of westerns like John Wayne and Clint Eastwood, while for others they’re sex symbols like Angelina Jolie and George Clooney. For a certain group of people, there is one man who perfectly embodies all that a celebrity shou...

Duolingo debuts ‘Something Like Home’ documentary

Duolingo debuts ‘Something Like Home’ documentary

By Jon Kunitsky | Staff Writer

June 26, 2018


Filed under Culture, Movies

Pittsburgh-based education software company Duolingo is most popular for teaching foreign languages to millions of people worldwide through its phone app and online learning program. But the company’s newest marketing project goes beyond the screen and travels into the real world to share the persona...

The Incredibles return without skipping a beat

The Incredibles return without skipping a beat

By Grey McGettigan | For The Pitt News

June 19, 2018


Filed under Culture, Movies

After Disney-Pixar introduced international audiences to “The Incredibles” — a family of five superheroes struggling to live a super mundane life — the project’s creative linchpin, Brad Bird, kept busy. Blockbusters “Ratatouille” and “Tomorrowland” demanded most of his time, but the write...

Pittsburgh Filmmakers to close doors in North Oakland

Pittsburgh Filmmakers to close doors in North Oakland

By Sarah Connor and Victoria Pfefferle-Gillot

May 29, 2018


Filed under Culture, Movies, Top Stories

After 20 years of providing classes to residents of Pittsburgh and students at Pitt, Pittsburgh Filmmakers will end its days in Oakland. Due to financial struggles, Pittsburgh Filmmakers has canceled its fall courses in film and photography, and has made plans to sell its building on Melwood Avenue...

‘Deadpool 2’ delivers laughs and action

‘Deadpool 2’ delivers laughs and action

By Victoria Pfefferle-Gillot | For The Pitt News

May 22, 2018


Filed under Culture, Movies

“Deadpool 2,” released May 18, claims to be a family movie, despite leading with a murder — no different than movies like “The Lion King” or “Bambi,” according to the title character. But based on its R rating and crude jokes, it’s safe to say “Deadpool 2” doesn’t qualify. ...

Sneak peek: Free entertainment for this summer in the City

Sneak peek: Free entertainment for this summer in the City

By Sarah Connor, Culture Editor

May 22, 2018


Filed under Art, Culture, Food & Drink, Movies, Music, Top Stories, Uncategorized

Now that college students have finished their finals and high school students are going to prom, the summer season is truly about to begin. The City of Pittsburgh is ready to celebrate the sunny months with some free outdoor events. Typical summer events — like the Independence Day celebration ...

Pitt Film Fest features city-wide student work

Pitt Film Fest features city-wide student work

By Vikram Sundar | Staff Writer

April 17, 2018


Filed under Culture, Movies

While maintaining a long-distance relationship with his girlfriend in Indiana, Pennsylvania, senior Mark Conner spent many a lonely road trip listening to the cassette tape she had given him — Fleetwood Mac’s “Tango in the Night.” It was during these trips that he came up with the idea for his ...

Isle of Dogs delights with animation, disappoints with representation

Isle of Dogs delights with animation, disappoints with representation

By Vikram Sundar | Staff Writer

April 11, 2018


Filed under Culture, Movies

Wes Anderson has once again proven himself to be one of the most visually innovative auteurs in cinema with his latest film, “Isle of Dogs.” Set in a futuristic Japan, “Isle of Dogs” tells the tale of a headstrong 12-year-old boy named Atari, voiced by Koyu Rankin, who searches for his beloved d...

Former Film Row finds new life in start-up

Former Film Row finds new life in start-up

By Joanna Li | Staff Writer

April 4, 2018


Filed under Culture, Movies, Top Stories

As a teenager, movie fanatic Drew Levinson noticed a run-down brick building with a familiar logo — 24 stars circling a mountain — as he passed it on his way to crew practice from Taylor Allderdice High School. The building sat in the back of his mind until 2009, when he stumbled across a film...

Ready Player One: Riddled with nostalgia

Ready Player One: Riddled with nostalgia

By Vikram Sundar | Staff Writer

April 3, 2018


Filed under Culture, Movies

Film deity and acclaimed director Steven Spielberg takes audiences on a two-hour-and-19-minute nostalgia fever dream with his latest film, “Ready Player One.” Based on Ernest Cline’s popular novel of the same name, Spielberg’s adaptation of “Ready Player One” was shaping up to be the defini...

Reopening the tomb: “Tomb Raider” returns with tired tropes

Reopening the tomb: “Tomb Raider” returns with tired tropes

By Derek Wagner | For The Pitt News

March 20, 2018


Filed under Culture, Movies

The original “Tomb Raider” film, “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” released in 2001, as well as its equally disastrous 2003 sequel, successfully banished the franchise to cinematic purgatory for 15 years. While reboots and remakes made up the majority of films over the past decade, “Tomb Raider” ...

“Spectacles” film series considers religion in film with “My Name is Khan”

“Spectacles” film series considers religion in film with “My Name is Khan”

By Vikram Sundar | Staff Writer

March 15, 2018


Filed under Culture, Movies

Moviegoers and religious scholars gathered for a film screening Tuesday in the hopes of viewing religion through a cinematic lens. Spectacles — a film series that analyzes religious and cultural motifs in movies — screened “My Name is Khan” in room 407 of the Cathedral of Learning from 7-...

Pitt film fanatics offer 2018 Oscar predictions

Pitt film fanatics offer 2018 Oscar predictions

By Vikram Sundar | For The Pitt News

March 1, 2018


Filed under Culture, Movies

Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the film industry will recognize some of the most well-crafted, impactful films of the year at the Oscars Sunday night. But Hollywood’s biggest night will also likely be consumed by social issues such as the Time’s Up movement, which H...

“Annihilation” renovates past sci-fi thrillers

“Annihilation” renovates past sci-fi thrillers

By Derek Wagner | For The Pitt News

February 27, 2018


Filed under Culture, Movies

As my friend and I walked out of the theater after seeing Director Alex Garland’s new film “Annihilation” — both trying to wrap our heads around what we had just witnessed — my friend said, “I feel like this is how audiences felt after seeing ‘2001’ in theaters for the first time.”...

Black Panther revitalizes the stagnant superhero genre

Black Panther revitalizes the stagnant superhero genre

By Vikram Sundar | For The Pitt News

February 20, 2018


Filed under Culture, Movies

Director Ryan Coogler enters new territory with “Black Panther,” peeling back old layers of the formulaic superhero narrative to reveal fresh and exciting elements rarely seen in the genre. Following the enormous box office success of Marvel’s latest entries — “Guardians of the Galaxy Vo...

“Phantom Thread” weaves a tale of style and strange love

“Phantom Thread” weaves a tale of style and strange love

By Vikram Sundar | For The Pitt News

February 8, 2018


Filed under Culture, Movies

Leading man Daniel Day-Lewis sews his way into our hearts once again in the stylish, yet heartfelt “Phantom Thread.” Written and directed by filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson, “Phantom Thread” is an engrossing portrait of the posh, self-indulgent realm of fashion-driven aristocrats in impove...

Pitt alumni produce ‘Body Farm’ film

Pitt alumni produce ‘Body Farm’ film

By Joanna Li | Staff Writer

January 16, 2018


Filed under Culture, Movies, Top Stories

When a friend offhandedly suggested that Brandon Keenan — a 2005 graduate of Pitt’s media communication program — research the strange topic of body farms, he quickly discovered a potential story unfolding before him.   Keenan, 34, has now seen the production of his first feature film, a psycholog...

Fast Films: UPTV hosts 24-hour film festival

Fast Films: UPTV hosts 24-hour film festival

By Siddhi Shockey / For The Pitt News

October 2, 2017


Filed under Culture, Movies

The screen fades to black after the character of Meriwether Lewis gets impaled — by his future self. Lewis uses a power strip as a makeshift time machine and travels back to when he launched a knife into the woods. When he arrives in the past, he appears in the woods and inadvertently becomes the tar...

Asian-American film festival comes back to PGH

Asian-American film festival comes back to PGH

By Lexi Kennell / Culture Editor

September 6, 2017


Filed under Culture, Movies

In an age when the United States prides itself on diversity but is plagued with racism, it’s important to support arts from all different cultures. Opportunities to do just this are everywhere, as long as we keep an eye out for them. The 12th annual Silk Screen Asian American Film Festival will sc...

Pittsburgh’s indie theaters set themselves apart

Pittsburgh’s indie theaters set themselves apart

By Matt Maielli / Contributing Editor

August 21, 2017


Filed under Culture, Movies

Chain theaters and popular franchises are fatiguing after a while — remakes, reboots and sequels, oh my — so why not attend a classic film marathon in a single screen theater to refresh your cinematic palette. Here’s a short list of local, independent theaters that offer both mainstream releases,...

Songs over storyline: music fuels Edgar Wright’s “Baby Driver”

Songs over storyline: music fuels Edgar Wright’s “Baby Driver”

By Matt Maielli / Contributing Editor

June 27, 2017


Filed under Culture, Movies

After watching Edgar Wright’s new film “Baby Driver,” I have no doubt Wright would be a ton of fun at karaoke night. Wright’s newest film prioritizes its soundtrack — packing a whopping 30 tracks — more than any other feature films to come out in the past few years, aside from James Gunn’...

Substance disappears in “Ghost in the Shell”

Substance disappears in “Ghost in the Shell”

By Ian Flanagan / Senior Staff Writer

April 4, 2017


Filed under Culture, Movies

Visually pleasing but ultimately hollow, “Ghost in the Shell” has problems that go beyond the whitewashing. The Ghost in the Shell franchise began with the Japanese manga series in 1989, which then debuted as an anime adaptation in 1995. The new live-action revision piggybacks off the story element...

Carnegie Museums explore humanity’s impact on earth’s crust

Carnegie Museums explore humanity’s impact on earth’s crust

By Prachi Patel and Taylor Pecarchik / For The Pitt News

March 22, 2017


Filed under Art, Culture, Movies, Top Stories

It’s become commonplace to talk about climate change, species endangerment and the impact of humanity on the earth. But that impact has become so large that some geologists are proposing we’ve changed the very rock beneath our feet. To explore this possibility, the Carnegie Museums are pre...

Instead of social commentary, Kimmel sticks to tired jokes

Instead of social commentary, Kimmel sticks to tired jokes

By Ian Flanagan / Senior Staff Writer

February 27, 2017


Filed under Culture, Movies

At the 2017 Academy Awards Sunday night, host Jimmy Kimmel used the Oscars stage to take digs at President Donald Trump — and occasionally to talk about this year’s nominees. During the show, Kimmel — in his first gig at The Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles — spent the majority of his time wr...

Who’s the father?: Television’s tumultuous history

Who’s the father?: Television’s tumultuous history

By James Evan Bowen-Gaddy / Staff Writer

January 12, 2017


Filed under Culture, Movies, Top Stories

When it comes to the origin of the television, there are two competing storylines. One story begins with Russian-born Vladimir Zworykin, lying sick in bed in his family’s mansion, staring out the window. The other begins in Utah with Philo Farnsworth, working on his family’s ranch, plowing a fiel...

“Fences” latches onto August Wilson’s legacy

“Fences” latches onto August Wilson’s legacy

By Ian Flanagan / Senior Staff Writer

January 9, 2017


Filed under Culture, Movies

Denzel Washington added another film to his sparse directorial portfolio and brought Pittsburgh playwright August Wilson to the silver screen for the first time in “Fences” — and the result is exemplary. “Fences” is the first film version of one of Wilson’s works, adapted from the play o...

Papa Yinz: ‘Pittsburgh Dad’ creator Chris Preksta talks indie filmmaking, his locale-inspired web series

Papa Yinz: ‘Pittsburgh Dad’ creator Chris Preksta talks indie filmmaking, his locale-inspired web series

By Emma Maurice / For The Pitt News

November 29, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

Born and raised in the city, 36-year-old filmmaker and “Pittsburgh Dad” creator Chris Preksta definitely considers himself a Pittsburgher but maybe not a full on yinzer — though he’s happy to hang out with them. “I’d rather spend my days around yinzers than those Hollywood-types uppity peop...

Review: Short films show glimpses of growing up, forming relationships

Review: Short films show glimpses of growing up, forming relationships

By Stephen Caruso / Senior Staff Writer

November 22, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

For those who suffer from a short attention span but enjoy a well-told story, the sextuple feature of short films that debuted at the 35th annual Three Rivers Film Festival was an entertaining range of tales, covering everything from alien encounters to costume shops. The films’ directors tried for themes such...

Review: ‘Visaranai’ teases CMU International Film Festival, confronts suffering

Review: ‘Visaranai’ teases CMU International Film Festival, confronts suffering

By Nick Eustis / Staff Writer

November 22, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

Hours before a scuffle between police and students at Pitt last Thursday, Carnegie Mellon University’s International Film Festival showed a film dealing with similar tensions — but in a place halfway across the world. The theme of this year’s festival is “Faces of Conflict,” a theme embodied on...

Review: ‘Tower’ an imaginative, respectful retelling of tragedy

Review: ‘Tower’ an imaginative, respectful retelling of tragedy

By Brady Langmann / Culture Editor

November 22, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

Rarely do moviegoers expect to feel uneasy before the lights dim and the opening titles pop up on-screen.  But it’s hard not to feel a little anxious before “Tower,” Harris Theater’s last screening at the Three Rivers Film Festival on Sunday. It’s likely stuck in American moviegoers’ memory at this poi...

Review: ‘Kamper’ a quirky, challenging intro to Polish cinema

Review: ‘Kamper’ a quirky, challenging intro to Polish cinema

By Ian Flanagan / Senior Staff Writer

November 22, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

In the climax of the Polish romantic drama “Kamper,” the titular protagonist manically tries to escape from his problems as he dances alone in a small, nightclub-like room during a night of unruly drinking. Even with a somewhat selfish lead, the  documentary drama filmmaker Lukasz Grzegorzek creates colorful...

Review: ‘Fantastic Beasts’ missing Rowling’s signature magic

Review: ‘Fantastic Beasts’ missing Rowling’s signature magic

By Ian Flanagan / Senior Staff Writer

November 17, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

  "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" Directed by David Yates Starring Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Colin Farrell Back in 2003, BBC News reported that J.K. Rowling was richer than the queen of England — and Harry Potter fans, it seemed, were willing to put the mone...

Kurlander dreams big for Pittsburgh film industry

Kurlander dreams big for Pittsburgh film industry

By Mackenzie Rodrigues / Staff Writer

November 2, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

Carl Kurlander hated growing up in Pittsburgh. “I was a shy, unathletic kid in a sports town whose mother had been divorced and [run] away from home to become an actress when I was 15 or 16,” said Kurlander. The Squirrel Hill native went on to cultivate a successful career in Hollywood — ...

Professor of horror: Film picks for Halloween season

Professor of horror: Film picks for Halloween season

By Noah Coco / Staff Writer

October 27, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

While most 4-year-old children watch Elmo singing tunes on “Sesame Street,” Diana Anselmo-Sequeira was watching horror movies. Her mom showed her “A Nightmare on Elm Street” at an early age, and afterward she was hooked. The ’90s brought her other formative favorites, “Interview with th...

After #OscarsSoWhite, TV steps up

After #OscarsSoWhite, TV steps up

By Kelechi Urama / Staff Writer

October 19, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies, Television

One of the most talked about scenes in FX’s “Atlanta” happens at the beginning of the first episode. The series’ protagonist, Earn Marks, played by creator Donald Glover, lies in bed with his on-again, off-again girlfriend and daughter’s mother Van (Zazie Beetz). Their playful banter about ...

A walk through the museum and a nice chianti: Soldiers and Sailors to celebrate “The Silence of the Lambs” anniversary

A walk through the museum and a nice chianti: Soldiers and Sailors to celebrate “The Silence of the Lambs” anniversary

By James Evan Bowen-Gaddy / For The Pitt News

October 19, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

When “The Silence of the Lambs” was released in 1991, viewers gathered in theaters around the world and watched in horror as Hannibal Lecter escaped the captivity of his massive one-man cage. Pittsburgh moviegoers might have recognized this scene’s setting as the ballroom in the Soldiers and...

Review: “Ward” an impressive debut for Williams

Review: “Ward” an impressive debut for Williams

By John Hamilton / For The Pitt News

October 17, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

Early on in the student-produced film “Ward,” the protagonist Andy, donning a red shirt juxtaposed against stark white walls, takes a handful of pills and immediately spits them out with regret. Following the incident, Andy — a first-year college student played by Point Park University senio...

“Haze” screens at Pitt, challenges Greek rituals

“Haze” screens at Pitt, challenges Greek rituals

By Ian Flanagan / Senior Staff Writer

October 6, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

When Nick, a wide-eyed first-year, tries to become part of Psi Theta Epsilon in David Burkman’s film “Haze,” he and seven others are given the opportunity to pledge, but — as is tradition — the price of brotherhood is high. From within the Greek system in Burkman’s film, Nick (Kirk Curran) ...

Q&A: Don’t make fun of us, Hannibal

Q&A: Don’t make fun of us, Hannibal

By Dan Sostek / Senior Staff Writer

September 29, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies, Television

As a college student, Hannibal Buress never expected to be found on prominent IMDB pages. Instead, he was on his way to having a listing in the Yellow Pages. If told he’d be a prominent actor and comedian then, Buress assumes he would’ve said, “What are you talking about? ... I’m a business m...

A peculiar tale: “Miss Peregrine’s” another Burton blunder

A peculiar tale: “Miss Peregrine’s” another Burton blunder

By Ian Flanagan / Senior Staff Writer

September 28, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” Starring: Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Samuel L. Jackson Directed by: Tim Burton Grade: C+ “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” fits right in with Tim Burton’s filmography — a visually remarkable fantasy film undone by th...

Extra, Extra: Finding work on the fringes of film

Extra, Extra: Finding work on the fringes of film

By Amanda Reed / Contributing Editor

September 15, 2016


Filed under Campus, City, Culture, Movies, News, Television, Top Stories

When Lena Gallagher walks on set, she can’t just go where she pleases. She has to walk at a specific pace in a specific path multiple times in a row until the director says “cut.” But when  David Fincher’s new series, “Mindhunter,” premieres on Netflix in 2017, you won’t see Gallagher’s...

Island of medicated minds: “Ward” aims to change stigma surrounding mental illness

Island of medicated minds: “Ward” aims to change stigma surrounding mental illness

By Lexi Kennell / Staff Writer

September 7, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies, Television

While directing a script about a first-year college student struggling with symptoms of depression, Zack Williams was trying to manage his own mental illness. The senior communication major’s health fluctuated during the four months he spent filming a movie that takes place in the psychiatric unit...

Beyond stereotypes: Star Trek turns 50

Beyond stereotypes: Star Trek turns 50

By Alexa Bakalarski / Senior Staff Writer

September 7, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies, Television

With its first canonically gay character, the Star Trek franchise went this summer where no mainstream sci-fi blockbuster had gone before. But the progress came with some controversy. The decision to make Hikaru Sulu — played by John Cho in the reboot films — gay in “Star Trek Beyond” caused debate over whether or not a new character or an existing charac...

A Life of Imagination: Wilder Dies at 83

A Life of Imagination: Wilder Dies at 83

By Oliver Jia / For The Pitt News

August 31, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies, Theater

As Gene Wilder, in his eponymous role as Willy Wonka in 1971’s “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” leads a group of awestruck youngsters and parents into his chocolate factory for the first time, he sings, “There is no life I know to compare with pure imagination.” Even in death, Wilder...

Red carpet already rolling for this year’s Oscar race

Red carpet already rolling for this year’s Oscar race

By Ian Flanagan / Culture Editor

August 20, 2016


Filed under Movies

With the final act of the year about to begin, the cinematic world’s attention shifts from the swelter of another overcrowded — and, in 2016’s case, underwhelming — summer blockbuster spell to the festival circuit winners and Oscar bait looking to make their stamp on the awards race. At the...

The death of the summer movie

The death of the summer movie

By Ian Flanagan / Culture Editor

July 19, 2016


Filed under Movies

This summer may go down as one of the most disappointing in recent memory — and the start of a downward trend for Hollywood in many capacities. In the 21st century, we can’t always have the critical and commercial excitement of summer blockbusters like “The Dark Knight” or “The Avengers,”...

‘Ghostbusters’ reboot is more than just in the spirit of the original

‘Ghostbusters’ reboot is more than just in the spirit of the original

By Matt Maielli / Staff Writer

July 19, 2016


Filed under Movies

I ain’t afraid of no girls. Who knew you could bust ghosts and be a lady? Definitely not the small, misogynistic army of internet commenters who have blasted the new film for remaking the ’80s classic with an all-female lead cast. So far they have harassed the stars, sent death threats to director Paul Feig, made the movie’s trailer the most disliked in YouTube history...

‘The Lobster’ leaves plenty to chew on

‘The Lobster’ leaves plenty to chew on

By Ian Flanagan / Culture Editor

June 7, 2016


Filed under Movies

“The Lobster,” for all of its bizarre pleasures, is a film that in some ways defies proper analysis. After developing a curious reputation for itself since its Jury Prize win at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, “The Lobster” arrives to puzzle domestic audiences after A24 acquired its distribution...

First 3 Rivers Screenwriting Conference held Downtown

First 3 Rivers Screenwriting Conference held Downtown

By Ian Flanagan / Culture Editor

May 24, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

Local and national screenwriting talent collided in Downtown Pittsburgh this past weekend. Spearheaded by director and founder Cathy Rescher, the three-day inaugural 3 Rivers Screenwriting Conference was held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center Friday, May 20, through Sunday, May 22. Resche...

‘A Bigger Splash’ rides wave of passion

‘A Bigger Splash’ rides wave of passion

By Nick Mullen / Staff Writer

May 17, 2016


Filed under Movies

After a year of cycling through international festivals, Italian director Luca Guadagnino’s English-language “A Bigger Splash” has made its way to American theaters. As a dialogue-laden, lengthy slow-burner, “A Bigger Splash” relies heavily on quietly mounted suspense and intense character study. ...

Marvel v DC: the battle for the multiplex

Marvel v DC: the battle for the multiplex

By Ian Flanagan / Culture Editor

May 10, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

Eight years after “Iron Man” set the stage — and perfected Marvel’s new brand — Disney’s unprecedented superhero franchise is still running like clockwork. Disney released the 13th entry in its hugely popular canon, “Captain America: Civil War,” last Friday to universal praise and a ...

Culture staff interprets carbonated cameos

Culture staff interprets carbonated cameos

By Culture Staff

April 15, 2016


Filed under Beer Edition 2016, Culture, Food & Drink, Movies, Specials

If you are what you eat, movies are what they advertise. No matter how hard you groan or laugh, there’s no getting around product placement — but some movies do it better than others. In celebration of product placement and our annual beer appreciation edition, The Pitt News recalled some of our favor...

Linklater’s latest his funniest yet

Linklater’s latest his funniest yet

By Ian Flanagan / Staff Writer

April 13, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

Not many films that demand serious thought have exclamation points in their titles, but “Everybody Wants Some!!” earns that right. Director Richard Linklater’s spiritual sequel to “Dazed and Confused” is like a perfected  “Animal House.” Though “Everybody Wants Some” depicts the revelry o...

What not to miss on campus this week

By Jack Trainor / Culture Editor

April 11, 2016


Filed under Art, Culture, Movies, Theater

Donald Trump’s Wednesday visit may be grabbing all the local headlines, but his isn’t the only event worth noting this week. The second to last week of class doesn’t usually garner the same amount of  excitement as the last, but it’s hard not to get excited, as this week offers, among other events, an Acad...

Unlikely allies: ‘Spider-Man’, ‘Deadpool’ redefine a genre

Unlikely allies: ‘Spider-Man’, ‘Deadpool’ redefine a genre

By Jack Trainor / Culture Editor

April 6, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

If "Deadpool" can see, it is because it stands on the shoulders of a web-head. It’s hard to think of anyone more deserving than Ryan Reynolds for delivering us this year’s massively successful “Deadpool.” The film has not only inspired a rapid industry rethinking of what superhero movies can be...

Baldwin lends voice to city

Baldwin lends voice to city

By Jack Trainor | Culture Editor

April 1, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies, Television

Alec Baldwin announced yesterday he is making a considerable donation to the University of Pittsburgh — his voice. The “30 Rock” actor said after he performs with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra on April 16, he will then record new audible crossing signals at intersections throughout Oakland a...

Divided ‘Demolition’ can’t put self back together

Divided ‘Demolition’ can’t put self back together

By Tarun Sathish / Staff Writer

March 30, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

Sometimes fixing something means taking it apart and putting it back together again. That’s the driving mantra behind “Demolition,” director Jean-Marc Vallée’s third film following acclaimed projects “Dallas Buyers Club” and “Wild.” Following the personal struggles Vallée’s la...

‘Batman v Superman’ a decrepit endurance contest

‘Batman v Superman’ a decrepit endurance contest

By Alec Davis / for The Pitt News

March 23, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

Superman may be faster than a speeding bullet, but he’s having trouble outrunning Zack Snyder’s pacing issues. After 2013’s “Man of Steel” earned flack for its grim, self-serious take on Superman — who’s admittedly tougher to drag into the shadows than Batman — Snyder returns with its sequ...

’10 Cloverfield Lane’ a secretive success

’10 Cloverfield Lane’ a secretive success

By Matt Maielli / Staff Writer

March 14, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

Ever since January’s surprise trailer release, “Cloverfield” fans have been pining to know what, exactly, does “10 Cloverfield Lane” have to do with the original? The answer: basically nothing— but that’s not a criticism, just fact. After a car accident leaves her unconscious, Michelle (...

“Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” presents confounding take on war

“Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” presents confounding take on war

By Jack Shelly / Staff Writer

March 2, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

As I walked out of “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot,” I realized I still had absolutely no idea what the title meant. The film, a close adaptation of war correspondent Kim Barker’s 2011 comedic war correspondant memoir “The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” starsTina Fey — ...

Rock solid: host’s comments on diversity outshined awards at Oscars ceremony

Rock solid: host’s comments on diversity outshined awards at Oscars ceremony

By Britnee Meiser / Staff Writer

February 29, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

Sunday night’s 88th annual Academy Awards ceremony was a night of firsts. Industry professionals started the ceremony’s first boycott over the #OscarsSoWhite controversy — which host Chris Rock returned to again and again throughout the night. The academy also nominated a woman for adapting he...

No backup for “Triple 9”

No backup for “Triple 9”

By Tarun Sathish / Staff Writer

February 25, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

What happens when you have to kill the only person who has your back? This might be the only intriguing question director John Hillcoat’s “Triple 9” asks as the latest cops-and-robbers flick, but with a slight twist that ends up pitting a police officer against his partner. When executed we...

Pitt to screen acclaimed documentary

Pitt to screen acclaimed documentary

By Lexi Kennell / for The Pitt News

February 22, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

Not all tragedies end in misery. “Here One Day,” a documentary that follows one family coping with a mother’s suicide, offers hope and a positive message negating the stigma surrounding mental illness. The award-winning documentary will make its Pittsburgh premiere in the William Pitt Union Wednesday, Fe...

‘Eddie’ sails to mediocrity

‘Eddie’ sails to mediocrity

By Ian Flanagan / Staff Writer

February 22, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

Despite its quirky hero threatening to flop the film, “Eddie the Eagle” is the latest true-life Olympic sports drama to dare for an Icarian flight. Following the likes of last week’s Jesse Owens biopic “Race,” “Eddie the Eagle” carves out its individual setting and dramatic structure, b...

‘Zombies’ resurrects Austen classic

‘Zombies’ resurrects Austen classic

By Britnee Meiser / Staff Writer

February 10, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

If suitors were intimidated by Elizabeth Bennet before, imagine her with a sword. Balancing Victorian romance and the zombie apocalypse, “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” is a fast-paced, surprisingly funny genre clash. Based on Seth Grahame-Smith’s 2009 best-selling novel that pulls directly...

‘Caesar’ pales in comparison to past Coen bros’ films

‘Caesar’ pales in comparison to past Coen bros’ films

By Tarun Sathish / Staff Writer

February 3, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

Take a look in the mirror, Hollywood — you might not like what you see. That’s the sentiment behind the Coen brothers’ latest film, “Hail, Caesar!,” which follows Eddie Mannix — a slim, mustachioed and suited Josh Brolin — as a major Hollywood studio “fixer.” His job is to make sure...

Bee joins late night, Stewart club

Bee joins late night, Stewart club

By Matt Maielli / Staff Writer

February 1, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

Samantha Bee may become the first woman in late-night television this week, but she’s also extending the genre’s latest trend — emulating Jon Stewart. While the state of late-night talk shows is unsurprising, what is surprising is that almost half of all late night talk shows lead back to one man: Stewart. He left a void in comedy and journalism with his departure from “The Daily Show,” but his influence on televis...

Hollywood, time to act

Hollywood, time to act

By Tarun Sathish / Staff Writer

January 28, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

Every year in Hollywood’s Dolby Theater, movie stars celebrate themselves together — but now they need to protest together. For the second year in a row, the Oscars caused controversy by not nominating a single actor of color in any of its four acting categories, causing Will Smith — an unnom...

“Anomalisa” an animated achievement

“Anomalisa” an animated achievement

By Ian Flanagan / Staff Writer

January 25, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

While “Inside Out” advanced the potential of modern animated cinema last summer, “Anomalisa” matures the field into serious critical consideration.  “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and “Adaptation” screenwriter Charlie Kaufman derived his stop-motion “Anomalisa” from a pla...

Laskas discusses ‘Concussion’

Laskas discusses ‘Concussion’

By Elaina Zachos / Staff Writer

January 18, 2016


Filed under Art, Culture, Movies

Before a slew of NFL allegations, outcry over football and a blockbuster film, a journalist was chasing her curiosity to concussion research. Jeanne Marie Laskas’ GQ article-turned-book and now film adaptation “Concussion,” didn’t start as the controversial lightning rod it is today. The story, abo...

‘Hateful Eight’ leans on familiar tropes

‘Hateful Eight’ leans on familiar tropes

By Ian Flanagan / Staff Writer

January 12, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

For as much as Quentin Tarantino delights in shocking, bloody spectacles, the director is a cliche of himself in “The Hateful Eight.” The filmmaker’s usual — shock violence, rambling dialogue and hilarity via overt self-awareness — populates his latest work’s whopping three-hour runtime. By non-Ta...

Exit Starman: David Bowie dies at 69

Exit Starman: David Bowie dies at 69

By Amanda Reed / Staff Writer

January 12, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies, Music

In 1977, David Bowie sang “I will be king, and you, you will be queen.” Little did he know how literal that would become. After a nearly 50-year career that transcended musical and societal labels, Bowie’s cosmic career as one of Pop music’s most important figures came to an end when he died Sun...

Golden Globes offers few surprises

Golden Globes offers few surprises

By Britnee Meiser / Staff Writer

January 11, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies, Television

For as much predictability as TV and film awards bring every year, it always feels better when the obvious choice isn’t the same as last year’s. Sunday night’s 73rd annual Golden Globe Awards saw much of the usual winners but with a few highlights that, while expected, will prevent this year’s awar...

The Pitt News editors review “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

The Pitt News editors review “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

By The Pitt News Staff

January 6, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

Long before “The Force Awakens” hit theaters, a conflict started within The Pitt News staff the likes of which hadn’t stewed since 2005 — who would review the newest Star Wars film? After much argument and anticipation, we decided to let the every willing staffer review it, no matter if this wa...

“Danish Girl” a subtle masterpiece

“Danish Girl” a subtle masterpiece

By Tarun Sathish / Staff Writer

January 6, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

Long before Caitlyn Jenner, there was Lili Elbe. Although one of the first traceable transgendered artists, Tom Hooper’s “The Danish Girl” (Artemis Productions, Pretty Pictures, Working Title and others) is certainly not the first trans story on television or film. The film appears at a time when...

Vine star Enick finds comedy in seconds

Vine star Enick finds comedy in seconds

By Annabelle Hanflig / Staff Writer

January 6, 2016


Filed under Art, Culture, Movies

One switch of his camera to selfie mode, and Pitt student Nathan Enick becomes someone else. He’s Sherri, the neighbor who loves to brag about her exceptional baking skills while casually showing off her artisan baguettes. Or he’s Will, the roommate who only sees the light of day for emergencie...

A pop culture review of 2015

A pop culture review of 2015

By Jack Trainor / Culture Editor

January 6, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies, Music, Television

“Back to the Future Part II” may have predicted tablets, flat screen televisions and video conferencing in 2015, but not even Doc Brown could have foreseen Jon Snow’s fate. Last year hosted many unpredictable scenarios and return-to-forms, from Justin Bieber’s chart-topping comeback to “True Detective...

Jumbled ‘Concussion’ tackles too many subjects

Jumbled ‘Concussion’ tackles too many subjects

By Tarun Sathish / Staff Writer

December 31, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies, Top Stories

If anything, “Concussion” teaches us not to lead with the head. “Concussion” is the story of Dr. Bennet Omalu, a forensic pathologist at the Allegheny County Coroner's Office from Nigeria, who discovered chronic traumatic encephalopathy, more commonly known as CTE. CTE is a disease that d...

The case to land Star Wars in Pittsburgh

The case to land Star Wars in Pittsburgh

By Nick Mullen / Staff Writer

December 14, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

Who says Tatooine has to stay in a galaxy far, far away? With the resurgence of the “Star Wars” franchise coinciding with Pittsburgh’s erupting big-ticket film scene, Steeltown seems as poised as any other American city to host the Millennium Falcon. From the plethora of abandoned industrial ...

Phone home: Aliens in film depict human history

Phone home: Aliens in film depict human history

December 14, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

From “Transformers” to “E.T.,” no other media has had a turbulent fascination with aliens as film. The science fiction genre would be moot without consideration of intelligent life somewhere in the infinite reaches of space. Filmmakers’ consideration of aliens and our contact with them h...

Star Wars countdown: Episode VI: “Return of the Jedi”

Star Wars countdown: Episode VI: “Return of the Jedi”

By Matt Maielli / Staff Writer

December 13, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

Welcome to the “Star Wars” countdown and may the Force be with you. Each week leading up to the release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” The Pitt News will retroactively review the “Star Wars” movies chronologically. The countdown concludes this week with Episode VI: “Return of the Jed...

Inarritu’s “Revenant” a triumphant return

Inarritu’s “Revenant” a triumphant return

By Tarun Sathish / Staff Writer

December 9, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

In many ways, Alejandro G. Inarritu’s “The Revenant” is the opposite of his previous project, the Oscar-winning “Birdman.” For one, no character’s career is on the verge of breakout or implosion, as Michael Keaton’s was as “Birdman’s” titular character. But despite its title, “Th...

Star Wars countdown: Episode V: “The Empire Strikes Back”

Star Wars countdown: Episode V: “The Empire Strikes Back”

By Walter Howard / Staff Writer

December 9, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

Welcome to the “Star Wars” countdown and may the Force be with you. Each week leading up to the release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” The Pitt News will retroactively review the “Star Wars” movies chronologically. The countdown continues this week with “Episode V: The Empire Strike...

State budget woes vary among filmmakers

State budget woes vary among filmmakers

By Elaina Zachos / Staff Writer

December 8, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

Lights, camera, no action on the state’s budget is shoving film production crews out of Pittsburgh, hurting the hospitality industry and pulling the curtains on the city’s reputation as the next Hollywood. With Pennsylvania’s state budget in flux since July, the state’s reserved $60 million film...

‘Brooklyn’ sails above stereotypes

‘Brooklyn’ sails above stereotypes

By Ian Flanagan / Staff Writer

December 8, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

From its universal ideas to its Oscar-bait-period-piece aura, everything about “Brooklyn” feels familiar — in a good way. The film’s magnetic central performance in Saoirse Ronan alone could warrant Academy attention, but “Brooklyn” is an otherwise elegant examination of an Irish girl...

Star Wars countdown: “Episode IV: A New Hope”

Star Wars countdown: “Episode IV: A New Hope”

By Dan Sostek / Contributing Editor

December 3, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

Welcome to the “Star Wars” countdown and may the Force be with you. Each week leading up to the release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” The Pitt News will retroactively review the “Star Wars” movies chronologically. The countdown continues this week with Episode IV: “A New Hope.” ...

Knock out: “Creed” one last breath in Rocky franchise

Knock out: “Creed” one last breath in Rocky franchise

By Matt Maielli / Staff Writer

December 2, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

Don’t let the trailer fool you — “Creed” is not just another “Rocky” sequel. At first, another “Rocky” movie, let alone a spinoff, seems ridiculous — at this rate, his retirement comeback count rivals Brett Favre’s. But “Creed” proves that not every comeback has to be one’s own jou...

Q&A: Kicking out of the Bond Girls

Q&A: Kicking out of the Bond Girls

By Walter Howard / Staff Writer

December 2, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

For every Bond film there is a “Bond girl,” destined to shack up with the secret agent.    Then, cut, roll tapes. Since 1962, Bond has received gadgets and Aston Martin cars, and the actresses have been reduced to vessels of the male gaze. With the latest installment of the daring man’s saga s...

American “Secret” not so mysterious

American “Secret” not so mysterious

By Jack Shelly / Staff Writer

November 30, 2015


Filed under Culture, Movies

The appeal of the newly-released movie “Secret in Their Eyes” is not much of a secret. Producers cast some of the most bankable actors in Hollywood and  purchased the rights to remake the 2009 Argentinian blockbuster of the same name, which is arguably the most famous South American film of all ...

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