Thursday, August 21, 2014
     

Movie Review

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.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

"The Adjustment Bureau" accomplishes a nifty trick: It turns a potentially dry treatise on free will versus fate into an action film.

We have novelist Philip K. Dick, who wrote the short story, "Adjustment Team," on which the screenplay is based, to thank for that.

"The Adjustment Bureau" posits the ultimate in conspiracy theories, with the Bureau an FBI or CIA of cosmic chiropractors who adjust one's fate.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

"Blue Valentine" is yet another example of Hollywood de-glamming for an Oscar.

The Oscar hunt here takes place in the semi-hinterlands of Pennsylvania namely, Carbondale, Lackawanna County, and Honesdale, Wayne County.

On the hunt for an Oscar is Michelle Williams, nominated for an actress Oscar for her role in "Blue Valentine," as an emotionally-conflicted mother and wife.

Alas, the Oscar went to this year's uber-favorite Natalie Portman for her role in "Black Swan" as an even more psychologically-troubled young woman.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The ironically-titled "Biutiful," a foreign film Oscar nominee, has an actor Oscar-nominated, note-perfect performance by Javier Bardem.

Bardem (supporting actor Oscar winner, 2007's "No Country for Old Men") submerges his devastating handsomeness to portray a man facing a fatal disease, life-threatening and spirit-crushing poverty in the back streets of contemporary Barcelona, Spain.

This is not the sunny Barcelona of Woody Allen's 2008 glib comedy, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," in which Bardem also starred.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

"The Eagle" is a compelling swords and sandals adventure movie based on a legendary story with solid direction, acting and action.

The movie is directed by Kevin Macdonald, who directed the acclaimed "The King of Scotland" (2006), for which Forest Whitaker received an actor Oscar.

Jeremy Brock ("The Last King of Scotland") wrote the screenplay, based on the novel, "The Eagle of the Ninth" by Rosemary Sutcliff.

"The Eagle," while it has action aplenty, is thankfully without a lot of graphic violence in its four major battle scenes.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Will the internet trump the radio star?

That's the question with Oscar frontrunners "The Social Network" and "The King's Speech."

The 83rd Academy Awards will be presented at 8 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood and Highland Center in Hollywood and telecast on ABC-TV.

"The King's Speech" leads nominees with 12 Oscar nominations. "True Grit" is next with 10 nominations. "Inception" received eight.