Sunday, December 21, 2014
     

Movie Review

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

"Dr. Seuss' The Lorax" splashes a rainbow palette across the screen, sets up exciting chase scenes, has voice talent that bursts excitedly from its big-headed computer animated characters' mouths and sets up a half-dozen brassy pop-rock song sequences.

What's not to like?

Plenty.

For one thing: the gentle, quivery, almost naive drawings of Theodor Seuss Geisel (1904-1991, writing and drawing under the pen name of Dr. Seuss), coupled with those charming couplets and wacky wordplays are far from the hyper animation of "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax."

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

"A Separation," the 2012 Oscar foreign film recipient and screenplay nominee, is a glimpse into the troubled lives of two couples in Iran.

The film, in Persian with English subtitles, has seamless, beautiful and moving performances so believable you don't think that you're watching a film.

Simin (Leila Hatami) files for divorce from Nader (Peyman Moadi), who has a full-time job and is caring for his elderly father (Ali-Asghar Shahbazi), who has Alzheimer's disease. The couple has a pre-teen daughter Termeh (Sarina Farhadi).

Saturday, March 3, 2012

"Gone is a B-Movie starring an A-List actress.

Amanda Seyfried, formerly of Allentown, plays Jill, a Portland, Ore., kidnap victim who escapes her captor and believes he's back, after the disappearance of her sister, Molly (Emily Wickersham), who is her room-mate.

Jill reports her sister's disappearance to the Portland police, who don't believe her, just as they didn't believe her concerning her own kidnapping two years before. That's partly because the authorities involuntarily committed Jill to a hospital psychiatric ward over her allegations.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The 84th Academy Awards promises to be predictable. Even host Billy Crystal is back. That means snarky jibes and lots of laughs.

But will Hollywood still love Oscar tomorrow?

The day after the televised ceremony, 7 p.m. Feb. 26, ABC, Kodak Theatre, Hollywood and Highland Center, Los Angeles, will there be surprises to chat about around the cyber water cooler?

It may be the last year the awards will originate from the Kodak Theatre. That's because Kodak, in its bankruptcy filing, is apparently being allowed to cancel its long-term naming-rights contact for the theater.

Friday, February 17, 2012

"Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" is a profound film of incredible power, fine performances and superb cinema craft.

The film, a picture Oscar and supporting actor Oscar (Max von Sydow) nominee, has been somewhat overlooked on the road to the Academy Awards. "ELIC" was Oscar-worthy in additional categories.

"Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" comes to terms with 9/11 as perhaps has no other theatrical feature, among them, "United 93" (2006),"World Trade Center" (2006), "Reign Over Me" (2007) and "Dear John" (2010).

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Glenn Close is extraordinary in "Albert Nobbs." While Viola Davis of "The Help," is the front-runner in the Oscar actress category, Close, an Oscar actress nominee, will leave you in awe in a film that is dramatic, thought-provoking, and has a bit of humor.

In addition to Close, "Albert Nobbs" has an outstanding cast, especially Janet McTeer, a supporting actress Oscar nominee. The role played by McTeer has a twist. We won't play spoiler.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

I didn't so much like "The Iron Lady" as greatly admire and respect this fascinating film, especially Meryl Streep's extraordinary channeling (How else to describe her uncanny abilities?) of Great Britain Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, first female occupant of 10 Downing Street.

Monday, January 30, 2012

"The Artist" is one of the front-runners for the 84th Academy Awards.

With 10 Oscar nominations, "The Artist" was second only to director Martin Scorsese's "Hugo," with 11 nominations.

Oscar nominations for "The Artist" are: motion picture, director (Michel Hazanavicius), actor (Jean Dujardin), supporting actress (Bérénice Bejo), original screenplay (Hazanavicius), score (Ludovic Bource), art direction, cinematography, costume design, and film editing

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

"Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" and "Carnage" are two distinctive movies with wildly different approaches to drama.

First, there's "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy," a big-screen adaptation of John Le Carre's 1974 British spy novel featuring George Smiley (Gary Oldman), a middle-aged intelligence agent who, after being into forced retirement, is called back to uncover a Soviet mole in the "Circus," code name for the Secret Intelligence Service.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The character played by Charlize Theron in "Young Adult" is so unlikeable as to turn you off to the entire film.

That would be too bad.

It's a testimony to Theron's acting ability that she can infuse audiences with such disdain.

That said, "Young Adult" is thrown off balance because of a lack of equal-weight casting opposite Theron.

Remember, Theron received an actress Oscar for "Monster," in which she had Christina Ricci, a very strong actor, to play off against.