Thursday, July 24, 2014
     

Movie Review

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"Begin Again" is one of the most unromantic romantic comedies in recent memory.

There's little romancing, but lots of talking about romance, and plenty of singing about romance in "Begin Again."

The film is of chief interest for the performance of its star, Keira Knightley, who finally breaks free of her bodice-bound costume drama roles, namely those in "Anna Karenina" (2012),"The Duchess" (2008), "Silk" (2007), "Atonement" (2007), "Pride & Prejudice" (2005) and "King Arthur"(2004).

Thursday, July 17, 2014

"Earth To Echo" echoes several summer sci-fi and coming-of-age movies, notably "Cloverfield" (2008), "The Goonies" (1985), "Stand By Me" (1986), "E.T." (1982) and "American Graffiti" (1973).

While "Earth To Echo" is derivative, it is "the" discovery of the 2014 summer movie season so far, with performances by four pre-teen relative unknowns in their big-screen leading role debuts.

"Earth To Echo" is simply a lot of fun. It's uncomplicated, unassuming and naive in its story of teen-age angst. It can be enjoyed by young and old alike.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

"Transformers: Age Of Extinction" is a transformative movie-going experience.

It's one of those movies that makes you feel differently after you depart the movie theater.

The fourth installment of "Transformers" (seen in Imax 3-D for this review), delivers for fans of the series as this summer's No. 1 blockbuster movie so far.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

After Frank Sinatra and before Bruce Springsteen (those other Jersey Boys), there was The Four Seasons, one of the top pop groups of all time, having sold 100 million records.

The Four Seasons were so popular, the group rivaled The Beatles on the record charts, resulting in the 1964 Vee-Jay promotional album, "The Beatles vs. The Four Seasons: The International Battle Of The Century."

The Four Seasons' recordings influenced not only Springsteen, but Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys and a generation of songwriters and hitmakers.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The animated feature sequel, "How To Train Your Dragon 2" (HTTYD2), could have been subtitled "The Dragon Whisperer."

Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel), the lead Dragon Rider, cajoles his charge, Toothless (Randy Thom) back to the fold.

The challenge this time around in "HTTYD2" is that of Drago (voiced by Djimon Hounsou), the evil overlord of the dragons. He controls the dragons to control humans.

Hiccup must overcome the challenge to rally the Vikings and their dragons to ensure his role as heir-apparent and become chief of the Vikings on the island of Berk.

Friday, June 20, 2014

"Chef" has the ingredients to become this summer's sleeper hit.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Walt Disney Studios officials may have thought: Who better to reimagine "Sleeping Beauty" than the "imagineers" (as Disney has called its creative team)?

Thus, "Maleficent," which purports to tell us, in prodigious voice-over narration, the story that we weren't told.

The original fairytale, as told in Disney's classic 1959 animation feature, "Sleeping Beauty," appears charming and quaint in comparison to "Maleficent."

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

"With a purposeful grimace and a terrible sound,

He pulls the spitting high tension wires down."

"Godzilla,"

Blue Oyster Cult

"Godzilla" is one big dumb beast of a movie.

"Godzilla" has impressive computer-generated special effects, excellent production values and a cast of fine actors.

That can't rescue a poorly conceived story, predictable screenplay and choppy directing.

"Godzilla" is front-loaded with a back-story about nuclear power plant official Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) and his scientist wife Sandra (Juliette Binoche).

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Oscar season gathers steam with "The Railway Man."

If Academy Award voters remember the September through December Oscar season is a ways up around the bend look for multiple Oscar nominations for "The Railway Man," including actor (Colin Firth) and actress (Nicole Kidman).

"The Railway Man" is superbly accomplished cinema. It's an unconventional film about an unconventional topic that resonates on multiple levels in the contemporary international socio-political climate. "The Railway Man" is transformative.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

How amazing is "The Amazing Spider-Man 2"?

Pretty amazing.

Thanks to terrific casting, "TASM2" pulls you in and makes the characters and storyline stick.

Andrew Garfield ("The Social Network," 2010) is a slender, tentative, conflicted Peter Parker-Spider-Man. He is tremulous of voice, with a perplexed look, complete with furrowed brow, and body language that's more puppy dog than pit bull. Even in the Spider-Man suit, Garfield projects world-weariness and a snarky attitude.