Thursday, November 26, 2015

Movie Review

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The back story for "Tower Heist," a spiffy crime caper starring Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy, is that the location of the tower was originally Trump Tower and the name of "The Donald"'s namesake Manhattan retail and residential Fifth Avenue high-rise was to have been included in the movie title.

Add to this a plotline echoing that of the Bernie Madoff investment scam whereby the wealthy and average investor lose life savings and you have the makings of movie that could have gone in one of two directions: playing it straight or playing it for laughs.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

"In Time" is a reasonably good science fiction thriller -- to a point.

That point is reached about three-quarters of the way through the movie when the screenwriter seems to have run out of ideas and plot devices.

In "In Time," Justin Timberlake plays Will, given the gift of time by a wealthy man. Will decides to exact revenge on a government system whereby consumer products are purchased literally "on time." One pays with minutes, hours, days, months and years taken off one's life on earth.

Monday, October 24, 2011

"The Big Year" is a humorous look at the competitive sport of bird-watching. The title refers to a contest to see the greatest number of bird species in one year.

Kenny Bostick (Owen Wilson) of Montclair, N.J., tries to top his annual tally of 732 bird sightings. Pitted against him is Brad Harris (Jack Black), an up-and-coming birder, and Stu Preissler (Steve Martin), a Vail, Colo., experienced bird watcher for whom his big year may be his last hurrah.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"The Ides of March" is a compelling, tension-filled political thriller with a superb cast.

George Clooney directs and stars in the movie, which is as up-to-date as your newspaper, radio, television or web site headlines.

"Ides" is a deeply-cynical look at presidential politics. Clooney plays Mike Morris, a fictional Pennsylvania governor seeking the Democrat party presidential nomination.

Monday, October 10, 2011

You'll laugh.

You'll cry.

It's your choice.

Choice is an underlying theme in the movie, "50/50," where the title refers to the 50 percent chance of a cancer patient to survive.

The cancer patient, Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), is a successful 27-year-old Seattle public radio station reporter, diagnosed with a rare form of spinal cancer.

His buddy, Kyle (Seth Rogen), who is always on the prowl, becomes his champion.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"There's no crying in baseball," Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks) told us in "A League of Their Own" (1992).

There is crying in "Moneyball" and not only when Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) hears his daughter, Casey (Kerris Dorsey) sing "The Show" (the original was released in 2008 by Lenka). This scene alone should net an Oscar actor nomination for Pitt, who may be a dual nominee (his other Oscar actor nod could be for "The Tree of Life").

Monday, September 26, 2011

"I Don't Know How She Does It" is an entertaining romantic comedy more of a drama with comedy.

Sarah Jessica Parker plays Kate, a high-powered Boston investment firm executive married to Richard (a fine Greg Kinnear), an architect whose career has just taken an upward turn.

Kate's boss (Kelsey Grammer) assigns her to a new account, which requires additional domestic travel, especially to New York City to meet with the prospective client, Jack (a charming Pierce Brosnan).

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"Sarah's Key" is a film that ranges from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other.

It's an important film that, despite a parallel story line that dips into melodrama, should not be missed.

Kristin Scott Thomas plays Julia, a contemporary American journalist living in Paris where she works for a magazine. She investigates the little-known expulsion of some 13,000 Jews to Nazi death camps.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The fall Oscar nominee season has started early with a little help from "The Help."

Look for a best actress Oscar nomination for Viola Davis ("Doubt") for her extraordinary performance as Aibileen Clark, a thoughtful maid in Jackson, Miss., during the Civil Rights Movement.

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.