Friday, July 11, 2014
     

Movie Review

Monday, June 20, 2011

A new Woody Allen film at the start of the summer movie blockbuster season is, well, out of season.

Allen, who has virtually cranked out a film per year since long about 1969, used to release films with the predictability of falling leaves.

Just about when Allen's fans would be putting on their corduroys, a post-Memorial Day Allen film would be just around the corner on art cinema marquees.

That was back when Allen made nearly all of his films within walking distance of his Manhattan apartment.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

By now it's de rigueur to ascribe psychological issues to comic book heroes when their escapades are translated to the big screen.

We've seen this with Superman's abandonment issues, Batman's post-traumatic stress over the slaying of his parents and Iron Man's figurative -- and literal -- change of heart.

We humans seem to like our heroes to have feet of clay, going back to Greek myth and, in the Judeo-Christian tradition, the Bible's Old Testament (King David is a prime example).

So, why should we feel any differently about superheroes, albeit mutants?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

If it's, as the Disney World ride song goes, "a pirate's life for me," then 3-D would seem the way to go.

While you're at it, add Imax.

But should you for ""Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides"?

Well, of course, you don't really want to be a pirate (other than at Halloween). "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," as with the Orlando, Fla., theme park attraction, provides a fun ride.

That's what it's all about, after all: Entertainment.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

There's almost a genre of independent films with seemingly ironic names for actual geographic places as their titles.

For example, there's "Paris, Texas," "Scotland, Pa." and "Truth or Consequences, N.M."

And now there's "Lebanon, Pa."

Bethlehem Steel is long-gone from Lebanon, when thirtysomething Will (Josh Hopkins), a Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, advertising firm account executive arrives in his green "Punch Buggy" (retro VW Beetle) for his father's funeral.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

"Thor," the latest 3D comic-book to cinema extravaganza, is as mono-syllabic as its title.

And we're not only referring to the dialogue, which rarely ventures past more than two syllables.

"Thor" is not a bore. Thor the character is boring, which is odd. He is, after all, the God of Thunder.

Chris Hemsworth, sure to be a huge star post-"Thor," is a combination of Brad Pitt boyish good looks; Arnold Schwarzenegger physique and Pierce Brosnan reserve.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The movie, "Arthur," while not dethroning the original comedy starring Dudley Moore, has its court jester moments of mirth.

Russell Brand, reprising the title role, has no easy task. Dudley Moore is still King "Arthur."

Brand, gifted actor that he is with an uncanny ability for spontaneous monologue, dialogue, wordplay and body language, try as he might, can only do so much to make us forget that we are, in fact, viewing a man whose life is out of control.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

"Hop" gets the jump on the Easter holiday with an easy-going, oft-times laugh-out loud funny twist on the Easter Bunny tale.

The movie combines live action and animation seamlessly. Compare "Hop" to "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" (1988), one of the first contemporary cinema era merging Computer Generated Imagery with live action, and you will see how far Hollywood's technical wizards have advanced in two decades.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"Diary of A Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules" is about as poor an excuse for a sequel that one could imagine.

And, while anti-bullying programs and efforts are in place in most school districts and the home, you'd never know it from "Wimpy Kid."

Bullying is the premise for this mostly insufferably unfunny comedy.

Without the older brother Rodrick (Devon Bostick), a high school student, bullying his younger brother, Greg (Zachary Gordon), a seventh grade middle school student, there would be no movie. That the brothers "make nice" toward the end of movie scores some points.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The movie, "Paul," has a great title, is very funny and has a sweet storyline.

Of course, you might say that this reviewer is biased about the title.

I happened to see the movie, "Paul," on the birth date of my late father, whose name is also Paul, and who would've been 105 on March 19.

Still, "Paul" is one of those movies that exceeds expectations.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The career of Allentown native Amanda Seyfried should survive "Red Riding Hood" relatively unscathed.

You may not.

It's not often a movie is so bad you feel compelled to bolt half-way through.

The couple in front of me at the screening of "Red Riding Hood" did just that.

Alas, your dedicated, steadfast, professional movie reviewer stayed to the very end of "Red Riding Hood." For the big reveal, see "Credit Readers Anonymous" below.