Wednesday, January 28, 2015
     

Movie Review

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

If you're curious about the origins of hip hop and rap music, "Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest" is a good place to start.

The engaging film provides insight into the creative tensions, personality clashes and business and personal decisions that are part of professional music careers.

The documentary film is directed by Michael Rapaport, an actor perhaps best known as Frank on TV's "My Name is Earl" and a teacher on "Boston Public," and the boxer in Woody Allen's feature film, "Mighty Aphrodite" (1995), in his big-screen directorial debut.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

You may be familiar with the popular movie, "The Horse Whisperer," a 1998 fictional feature movie directed by and starring Robert Redford.

The documentary film, "Buck," a Sundance film festival audience winner, takes a look at the man behind the mythology of the horse whisperer.

Buck Brannaman is no myth. But he is legendary. No less than Robert Redford, who is interviewed in "Buck," marvels at his technique.

Brannaman apparently was the inspiration for Nicholas Sparks' "Horse Whisperer" novel and was a consultant for the movie version.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

"Captain America: The First Avenger" is an entertaining addition to the Marvel Comics universe. It's possibly the best among the offerings since "Iron Man."

Director Joe Johnson ("Jurassic Park III," "October Sky," "The Rocketeer," "Honey, I Shrunk The Kids") captures the flavor of the World War II era when Steve Rogers is transformed into Captain America.

Johnson has a knack for period pieces, especially those of the pre- and circa World War II era. "Captain America" has a warm sepia tone. The sense for the first part of the movie is that of "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"The Music Never Stopped" is based on a case study of Dr. Oliver Sacks, physician, author and professor of neurology and psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center.

Sacks wrote "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat" (1995); "Awakenings" (1990), which became an Oscar-nominated movie starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro; and "Musicophilia: Tales of Music and The Brain" (2007), basis for a PBS-TV "Nova" series show.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

It's said that three times is the charm. If that's true, then the third, and supposedly final, in the trilogy, "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," is the best of the series.

The third "Transformers" is not only a summer blockbuster, it is a summer movie event.

If you intend to see "Transformers" in the Imax 3-D format, you might want to make a reservation.

Several of the screenings sold out opening day at an area multiplex.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"Cars 2" takes its audience for a ride. That's not necessarily a good thing.

The sequel lacks the charm of the 2006 original animated feature. It borrows standard plot devices and smashes them together in an attempt to take a, ahem, different turn.

The Pixar Animation looks great. The spiffy polish of the cars (and the rust on the tow truck, Tow Mater, as well), the renderings of glass, trees, inflatable promotional balloons, road surfaces well, just about everything is remarkable.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"Green Lantern" "The Green Hornet," "X-Men," "Thor."

Welcome to this summer's edition of comic book superheroes at the cinema.

It's all a blur. The 3-D glasses didn't help.

"Green Lantern" is based on the DC Comics character first introduced in 1940. DC revived the Green Lantern comic book in 1959 and again in 1970 and plans a relaunch in the fall.

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.