Sunday, November 29, 2015

Movie Review

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

You're asking for critical brickbats when you title a sequel "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel."

So, here goes: The film is aptly named. It's rarely as much fun as the original, "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" (2011), even though nearly the entire original cast is back.

Tom Wilkinson is not back because the character he played, Graham Dashwood, died in the first film.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

"Kingsman: The Secret Service" is as convoluted as its title.

The movie has a good premise: a young London street punk recruited for a spy agency loosely modeled after The Secret Intelligence Service, known as MI6 (Military Intelligence, Section 6) is groomed in the art of espionage and of being a gentleman.

It's to the "Kingsman" filmmakers' misfortune that they can't decide which storyline is more important: learning to be a spy or learning to become a gentleman.

Friday, March 6, 2015

OK. The serious season of Oscar nominees and recipients is over.

It's time for some guilty pleasure.

"Fifty Shades Of Grey"?


"The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water."

"SpongeBob SquarePants" (which began on Nickelodeon in 1999) was part of the Saturday morning animation TV show ritual for my son, Elias, and me.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

"Still Allice" cuts to the core of human existence.

"Still Alice" examines the essence of communication.

"Still Alice" asks: When is Alice still Alice?

The film drama, "Still Alice," sensitively examines what happens when the brain no longer functions properly.

Alice (Julianne Moore) is a respected Columbia University professor of linguistics and an author. She is married to a successful medical researcher (Alec Baldwin). They live in a beautiful, charming and tastefully decorated Manhattan townhouse.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

"Drum roll, please!"

"Whiplash" has five Oscar nominations, for picture, supporting actor (J.K. Simmons as Terence Fletcher, the hard-driving music teacher), adapted screenplay, editing and sound mixing.

Even for those who don't know the difference between a single paradiddle and a double-stroke roll, "Whiplash" is a must-see for the performance of Simmons alone, the presumptive supporting Oscar recipient. It's the role of a lifetime for Simmons, a noted character actor.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

It's an embarrassment of riches at this year's Oscars.

While 2013 was regarded as one of the best years in a decade for great films, one could make the case, based on the Oscar picture nominees alone for the 87th Academy Awards, that 2014 was even better.

The year 2014 will be remembered as the year of the director.

There was writer-director Richard Linklater's "12 Years a Film," i.e., "Boyhood," filmed over the course of 12 years with the same actors as we see lead actor Ellar Coltrane grow from an elementary school student of age 5 to a college teen of 18.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

"Foxcatcher" is a fictional account of one of the most bizarre crimes in United States history.

"Foxcatcher" is nominated for five Oscars, including actor for Steve Carell in a transformative performance as John E. du Pont, supporting actor for Mark Ruffalo as wrestling coach David Shultz, director for Bennett Miller; original screenplay for E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman and makeup and hairstyling.

Friday, February 6, 2015

"Selma" is a good film. It needed to be a great film.

Nonetheless, "Selma," which purports to tell the behind-the-scenes public and personal politics of the 54-mile march in the African-American Selma Voting Rights Campaign in 1965 from Selma to Alabama's capital of Montgomery, is an important film and should be seen.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Don't be put off by the provocative title, "American Sniper."

Don't be put off by the empty chair.

Clint Eastwood is clearly and firmly in the director's chair for "American Sniper," perhaps the boldest and probably the most controversial film in the career of the 84-year-old director-actor-producer (it's the 37th film Eastwood's directed; he has 67 actor credits).

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

"The Imitation Game" tells a story that needs to be told. It's yet another insightful look into an aspect of World War II and the Greatest Generation.

Alan Turing was certainly one of those, one of the Greatest Generation. Turing and his team of early "gamers" cracked the Nazi Germany Enigma Code.

It's said their success saved some 16 million lives and shortened World War II by two years.

Turing is also credited with inventing, or developing, the first computer, which crunched combinations of letters and numbers to crack the Nazi code.