Monday, March 30, 2015
     

Movie Review

Friday, February 15, 2013

"Django Unchained," with five Oscar nominations, has been on my must-see list of movies in theatrical release.

Still, there was trepidation about seeing "Django Unchained." I delayed seeing Quentin Tarantino's latest opus and an opus it is because of advance word about its depiction of graphic violence and the extensive use of the "N" word.

That said, "Django Unchained" deserves the Oscar Picture, Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor (Christoph Waltz), Cinematography and Sound Editing nominations.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The French really know how to do depressing.

They also have a way of finding that silver lining in the most cloudy of lives and circumstances. Essentially, the French romanticize pain.

"Rust and Bone" ("De rouille et d'os"), directed by French film-maker Jacques Audiard, is inspiring, despite the tragedy that befalls its protagonist, Stephanie (Marion Cotillard).

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

"Zero Dark Thirty," an Oscar picture nominee and an American Film Institute movie of the year, is an intense cinema-going experience.

"Zero Dark Thirty" is nothing less than an account of the decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and The Pentagon and bin Laden's killing by United States Navy S.E.A.L. Team 6 in May 2011.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

"Silver Linings Playbook" is amazing, entertaining and profound.

Writer-Director David O. Russell draws from life experience to create a compassionate, funny and charming portrayal of Pat Solatano (Bradley Cooper), a young man with mental health problems who is trying to get his life back together.

He's released into the care of his Philadelphia area parents, Pat Sr. (Robert De Niro) and Dolores (Jacki Weaver). Pat Jr. only wants to get back with his estranged wife, Nikki. However, Pat Jr. meets a young woman, Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a widow who has her own problems.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

"Les Miserables" is an astounding movie, rivaling the best movie musicals ever.

The Top 10 all-time movie musicals, according to an American Film Institute list from 2006, are: 1. "Singing in the Rain" (1952), 2. "West Side Story" (1961), 3. "The Wizard of Oz" (1939), 4. "The Sound of Music" (1965), 5. "Cabaret" (1972), 6. "Mary Poppins" (1964), 7. "A Star Is Born" (1954), 8. "My Fair Lady" (1964), 9. "An American in Paris" (1951), and 10. "Meet Me in St. Louis" (1944).

While even a list as prestigious as that of AFI is debatable, put "Les Miserables" on your must-see list.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Les Miserables was published by the French novelist Victor Hugo in 1862. The musical of the same name was written originally in French and performed in Paris in 1980, before an English adaptation opened in London in 1985. The show got bad reviews, which were overcome by positive word-of-mouth endorsements. The three-month run sold out. "Les Mis" opened on Broadway in 1987 and ran continuously until 2003, posting 6,680 performances. The only wonder about the new film version is that it was so long in arriving.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

If you're ever invited to the Apatows, you may want to politely decline.

That's because, based on writer-director Judd Apatow's "This Is 40," filmed in and around his Four Season hotel interior decor-styled Los Angeles area home, you will be subjected to a barrage of rude, lewd and crude invective, diatribes and behavior.

"This Is 40" is an often desperate attempt at comedy. I found the movie mostly insufferable. "This is 40" is Judd Apatow's home movie.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Suspense. Intrigue. Shock. Irony. Dark humor. Romance.

These themes are often the stuff of legendary director Alfred Hitchcock's films, most of which are now regarded as classics of cinema.

These themes are also the stuff of "Hitchcock," a semi-biographical film about Hitchcock (an uncanny Anthony Hopkins), his wife Alma Reville (a fine Helen Mirren) and the producing, filming and 1960 premiere of "Psycho."

Hitchcock's "Vertigo" (1958) is now regarded by movie critics and movie-goers as the greatest movie of all-time, eclipsing director Orson Welles' "Citizen Kane."

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Despite its title, there's not too much that's unexpected in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey."

There are goblins, wizards, trolls, rock monsters and, of course, dwarfs.

This should please fans of the J.R.R. Tolkien (1892 - 1973) novels, on which "The Hobbit" is based, as it did my son, Elias, who accompanied me to a 3D screening of "Unexpected Journey."

It was the second time Elias saw "The Hobbit" movie. The first time he saw it was in the regular format. Elias said the 3D version enhanced some scenes, but it's not necessary to see "The Hobbit" in 3D.

Friday, December 21, 2012

As the end of the year 2012 rapidly approaches, director Ang Lee's remarkable "Life of Pi" is one film to put on your holiday season list.

"Life of Pi" recounts a deeply-moving spiritual journey that is fascinating and thought-provoking, and will linger with you long after you've viewed it.

Many of the images provide a relaxing, meditative quality that lift "Life of Pi" from that of movie-going to that of a cinematic experience. Those who enjoy wildlife, nature films, folk tales, parables and fables will enjoy "Life of Pi."