Wednesday, January 28, 2015
     

Movie Review

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

"The Imitation Game" tells a story that needs to be told. It's yet another insightful look into an aspect of World War II and the Greatest Generation.

Alan Turing was certainly one of those, one of the Greatest Generation. Turing and his team of early "gamers" cracked the Nazi Germany Enigma Code.

It's said their success saved some 16 million lives and shortened World War II by two years.

Turing is also credited with inventing, or developing, the first computer, which crunched combinations of letters and numbers to crack the Nazi code.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

"Unbroken" is a harrowing film based on the story of a United States 1936 Olympic runner who was taken prisoner by the Japanese during World War II.

The movie, produced and directed by Angelina Jolie, deserves to be a multiple Oscar nominee in the categories of picture, director, adapted screenplay, actor, cinematography and score.

The movie is based on the biography of Louis Zamperini, "Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption" by Laura Hillenbrand.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

"Into the Woods" is very dark.

The feature film based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tales is dark not only in subject matter. It's also dark literally.

Agreed: A majority of the movie's action takes place in the woods. However, filmmakers can make allowances.

With "Into the Woods," director Rob Marshall (Oscar director nominee, "Chicago," 2003) has filmed many of the scenes in shadow, with characters' faces dimly lit, and under the towering blackened bark of trees.

"Into the Woods" is all about what happens after the "happily ever after" happens.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

It is, after all, called "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies."

So, why should it be surprising that about one-third of the nearly two and one-half hour latest installment of "The Hobbit" seems to be taken up with fighting and battles?

Right from the start of "The Battle of the Five Armies," Smaug, the dragon monster, is laying waste to Lake-town. The film picks up where "The Desolation of Smaug" (2013), sequel to "An Unexpected Journey" (2012), left off.

No spoiler alert here: Smaug is slain early on. Where can the film go from here?

Battles.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Miracle of miracles, "Exodus: Gods And Kings," is actually quite good.

There are plenty of miracles in Director Ridley Scott's reimagining of the Torah story, beginning in 1300 B.C., about the Jews' travails and travels to Canaan, the "Promised Land."

You want miracles? "Exodus: Gods And Kings" got miracles.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The producers and filmmakers of "The Hunger Games" were smart to cast Jennifer Lawrence as the protagonist Katniss Everdeen.

Prior to the first installment, "Hunger Games" (2012), Lawrence distinguished herself with a break-out actress Oscar-nominated performance in "Winter's Bone" (2010).

Lawrence received an actress Oscar for "Silver Linings Playbook" (2012), was a supporting actress Oscar-nominee for "American Hustle" (2013) and has dazzled as Raven-Mystique in "X-Men" (2011, 2014).

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

"The Theory Of Everything" has everything going for it: amazing story, fine acting and superb filmmaking.

If that's not enough for Oscar consideration, the film also tugs at the heartstrings. "The Theory Of Everything" represents a triumph of the spirit, of mind over matter and, yes, of faith versus fate.

Monday, December 1, 2014

"Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)" is brutal.

"Birdman" transcends realism.

"Birdman" inaugurates a new genre of cinema: Brutalism.

In "Birdman," Riggan (Michael Keaton) is a former superhero blockbuster movie star, the Birdman of the movie's title, trying to revive his career with a dose of acting reality.

What better way than to direct and star in a stage adaptation of the Raymond Carver short story collection, "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love" (first published in 1981).

Thursday, November 20, 2014

"Interstellar" goes to infinity and beyond.

While we don't have Buzz Lightyear of "Toy Story" fame, Sandra Bullock and George Clooney of "Gravity" (2013) or the crew of "Apollo 13" (1995), we do have the mystery and awe of "2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968) and its sequel "2010" (1984).

In a word, we have: Wormhole.

It's a concept that even Neil deGrasse Tyson, American astrophysicist, author and director of the Hayden Planetarium, New York City, has been at pains to explain in analyzing "Interstellar."

Thursday, November 13, 2014

"Nightcrawler" is an odd name for a thriller about a freelance broadcast news TV journalist.

Apparently, "Pathological Videographer" was already taken.

And "Pathological Videographer" just doesn't have the same ring to it as does "Nightcrawler."

"Nightcrawler" is an apt description of Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) as the pathological videographer.