Thursday, September 3, 2015
     

Movie Review

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"Titanic" is worth a second look, especially in 3D on the big screen.

The 3D enhancement of the 1997 blockbuster gives the moviegoer even more of a visceral sense of peril, with rushing water, claustrophobic halls, and the sinking ship breaking apart.

Writer-director James Cameron was mocked when, at the podium when "Titanic" received 11 Oscars at the 1998 Academy Awards including best picture and director, he announced, "I'm king of the world," repeating a famous line of dialogue by Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) from the movie.

Friday, April 6, 2012

"Mirror Mirror" holds the reflecting glass up to a classic fairy tale and the resulting image yields mixed results.

Julia Roberts as The Queen is great fun tearing through the scenery in her gorgeous costumes (the last completed by the late costume designer Eiko Ishioka). The evil queen's mission in life seems to be making Snow White's life miserable.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

"The Hunger Games" is set in a future where the government, known as The Capitol, holds an annual contest where 12-18-year-olds fight to the death for fame and fortune.

"The Hunger Games" is an odd mash-up of TV reality shows ("Survivor") video games ("Mortal Combat") with a bit of "American Idol" thrown in.

Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) has the Steven Tyler role, judging from her flamboyant getup (Lady Gaga meets a Helena Bonham Carter character from a Tim Burton film).

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"Friends with Kids" is "When Harry Met Sally" (1989) meets the "Friends" TV show (1994-2004) meets a comedy by Judd Apatow.

It's also "Bridesmaids" Post-Graduate since four actors in leading roles appeared in that movie.

In "Friends with Kids," Julie (Jennifer Westfeldt, who wrote and directed the film) and Jason (Adam Scott) have been best friends for most of their lives. They see their married New York City friends' lives go from marital bliss to martial law when the babies arrive.

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.