Friday, April 18, 2014
     

Movie Review

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"The Grand Budapest Hotel" is an actor-studded comedy-drama that bristles with the joy of cinema. The film is a concoction of dizzying dialogue, madcap pacing, larger-than-life characters, bizarre encounters, manic escapades and stunning visuals.

While the film seems to have little to do with Budapest, Hungary, it is inspired by the sense of time and place of Eastern Europe sometime between the wars: World War I and World War II.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

You've probably heard the Borscht Belt joke with the punch-line "So how do you start a flood?"

With an eye toward "Game of Thrones," "Lord of the Rings," "Thor" and the action-fantasy movie genre, you wonder if director Darren Aronofsky ("Black Swan," 2010; The Wrestler," 2008) had that question in mind when he pitched "Noah" to studio executives with "What's the most famous ship in the world other than the Titanic?" and "Did you know that there's never been a feature movie made about the Biblical story of Noah?"

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

For a sock puppet, Kermit the Frog has come a long way in his career.

Jim Henson's Muppets first appeared on a Washington, D.C., TV show 1955 - '61. "The Muppets Show" was televised nationally 1976 - '81. There have been numerous spin-off TV shows and television specials.

There've been seven previous Muppet theatrical feature movies: "The Muppet Movie" (1979), "The Great Muppet Caper" (1981), "The Muppets Take Manhattan" (1984),"The Muppet Christmas Carol" (1992), "Muppet Treasure Island" (1996), "Muppets From Space" (1999) and "The Muppets" (2011).

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sometimes, you have to catch films before they get away. Even if you miss them at the multiplex, neighborhood theater or indie and foreign-films art house, certain films are must-sees whenever and wherever.

The following three films are well worth seeing. Each is linked by a magnificent obsession or passion. So, put on your film-hunting gear and don't forget the popcorn.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

If you're of a certain age and can get past the fact that it's not in sketchy black and white, "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" is quite entertaining.

If you're a younger parent or a youngster, you may find the animated feature thoroughly entertaining.

"Mr. Peabody & Sherman" was originally a segment on producer Jay Ward's 1960's television cartoon series, "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show."

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The 86th Academy Awards are over. The Oscars have been handed out. However, many of the movies that received Oscars are still playing in theaters.

It was a great year at the movies in 2013. It was a record-breaker at the box office. It was a year for critically acclaimed and or commercially successful movies directed by and starring African-Americans, as well as for those starring women. And it was a year when six of the nine best-picture nominees were based on real events.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

"The Monuments Men" is anything but monumental.

That's too bad. The fact-based story about the United States' military mission to recover world-renowned works of art confiscated and hidden by the German Nazis during World War II has the earmarks of a bonafide thriller: priceless art, war, Nazis and a stellar cast, including and directed by George Clooney.

A catalogue of attributes doesn't always add up to a great work of art, much less entertaining cinema. "Monuments Men," at times, is a monumental bore.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

It's not nearly as surprising as who will receive an Oscar at the 86th Academy Awards, as who has not received a competitive Oscar.

The list, to name a few, includes Alfred Hitchcock, Cary Grant and Peter O'Toole.

That said, the year 2013 is memorable for brilliant directing, brave acting and superb productions. It was a year for the ascendancy of African-American directors and actors, as well as for fact-based stories.

This year, there could even be a WeightWatchers honor in the first category:

Friday, February 21, 2014

Usually, the merchandise tie-in, toys and product promotions occur immediately before, during or after the release of a major motion picture.

With "The Lego Movie," the toys were there first.

Lego (from the Danish, "leg godt" (play well) is the brainchild of Ole Kirk Christiansen, a carpenter in Denmark. From 1949 to 2013, an estimated 560 billion Lego were manufactured. The colorful interlocking plastic bricks and accompanying gears, figurines and parts are connected imaginatively to construct vehicles, buildings and displays.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Some people sleep with their mobile phone in bed, or right next to them on a nightstand.

For others, their hand is often wrapped around their mobile phone.

Still others seem lost if they don't know where their phone is.

While the term "significant other" usually applies to a spouse, partner or companion, it could be argued that the mobile phone has became a significant other for some.