Varun Bhuchar


Articles


Arts

Well-cast ‘X-Men’ film continues series success

Hollywood’s most reliable cash cow, the superhero film, has returned this summer. From A-listers like Spider Man to the obscure Ant Man, each will get its time on the silver screen. While sometimes exhausting, many of us will watch these movies anyway — they’re just so much fun.


Arts

‘Other Woman’ ditches laughs for clichéd tropes

Women have a representation problem in film. There simply aren’t enough women in movies, and when they are, the characters seem to be hideous caricatures of what two middle-aged white guys think women act like. As someone who loves movies, this saddens me. As much as I love watching men struggle through conflict in movies, I like seeing films with women front and center because it’s a nice change of pace. Women deserve better representation in the media, and as of late, there have been several television shows and movies working to promote that trend.


Arts

‘Hemingway’ revives British gangster film

Before he was known for playing wizened, old British men, Michael Caine got his start playing young and fiery gangster characters in British films. Armed with a Cockney accent, Caine often played lovable rogues who tried to navigate London’s seedy underbelly. About 40 years later, Jude Law steps into a similar role in “Dom Hemingway” (2013), where he plays the titular character.


Arts

‘Under the Skin’ provides a creepy, satisfying critique

In “Under the Skin” (2013), Scarlett Johansson drives a large white van around Scotland picking up young men for the time of their lives. She’s as beautiful and enchanting as ever, and these lads can’t resist her charms. When she takes them home, she leads them to her room, disrobes, puts them in a preserving fluid and sucks out their organs.


Arts

‘Budapest’ showcases Anderson’s refined style

It’s impossible to talk about Wes Anderson without describing his aesthetic. Ever since his second full-length film, “Rushmore” (1998), Anderson has created a fantastical style that looks like it was ripped from the pages of a storybook. Though his aesthetic has evolved throughout the years to become even more stylized, it has remained distinctly “Wes,” rendering many of his films instantly recognizable to viewers.


Arts

‘Lunchbox’ delivers cinematic goods

After years and years of watching Indian movies with my parents, I’ve come to the conclusion that 99 percent of Indian cinema is not very good. Movies that shouldn’t last more than 80 minutes get drawn out to three-hour musical extravaganzas complete with an army of backup dancers, a multitude of European locations and strategically blowing wind. Add in clichés, musical cues that attempt to tell you how to feel, horrifically bad acting, dialogue that makes it sound like the writer hasn’t contacted human beings for 20 years and editing done by someone who just discovered Windows Movie Maker, and you’ve got to wonder how on Earth this industry stays financially solvent.


Arts

‘Bad Words’ proves a g-o-o-d time for viewers

The fourth season of “Arrested Development” was a pivotal one for its protagonist, Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman). Since the show began, Michael played the straight man, the only sane person in a family of mess-ups and thieves. Yet as the show continued, Michael’s façade slowly began to crack, and the latest season showed him as about as unlikable as the other members of his family.


Arts

‘Muppets’ plays to laughs from parents, not kids

The Muppets puppet characters, a mainstay of American pop culture long before current Dartmouth students were born, were effectively rebooted with “The Muppets” (2011). Infused with meta-humor and modern sensibilities, the film brought the lovable scamps back into the cultural zeitgeist. The film’s follow-up, “Muppets Most Wanted” (2014), seems to have done away with all of that. The half-hearted effort relies too much on the reputation of its main characters and lacks any attempt to build on established tropes.


Arts

‘Gravity’ walks away with 7 Oscars, not best picture

One of the closest Oscar races in history concluded last night with “Gravity” (2013) as the overall winner with seven total awards, including best director and best visual effects. “12 Years a Slave” (2013) garnered three prizes and nabbed the most coveted best picture award.