Saturday, December 27, 2014
     

Movie Review

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

How amazing is "The Amazing Spider-Man 2"?

Pretty amazing.

Thanks to terrific casting, "TASM2" pulls you in and makes the characters and storyline stick.

Andrew Garfield ("The Social Network," 2010) is a slender, tentative, conflicted Peter Parker-Spider-Man. He is tremulous of voice, with a perplexed look, complete with furrowed brow, and body language that's more puppy dog than pit bull. Even in the Spider-Man suit, Garfield projects world-weariness and a snarky attitude.

Friday, May 9, 2014

"Bears."

The title says it all.

It's as simple as that in the Disneynature documentary about a family of Alaskan Kodiak Brown bears.

Wait.

Where's the voice of Morgan Freeman?

Morgan Freeman is the go-to guy for voice-overs, television commercials and animal kingdom documentaries. "March of the Penguins" (2005) wouldn't have been the same without the voice of Morgan Freeman.

John C. Reilly narrates "Bears."

Yes, that John C. Reilly, known for playing goofy, doofus-like clods in comedies, i.e., "Step Brothers" (2008).

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" is a return to form for the action genre.

The Marvel Comics superhero sequel wisely eschews an overdependence on computer-generated imagery. Instead, the film concentrates on character development, dialogue scenes between the main characters and several impressive live-action scenes.

"Captain America" bristles with the kinetic energy of some of the best of the action-movie genre, including "The Terminator" (1984), "Total Recall" (1990) and "Die Hard" (1988).

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"The Grand Budapest Hotel" is an actor-studded comedy-drama that bristles with the joy of cinema. The film is a concoction of dizzying dialogue, madcap pacing, larger-than-life characters, bizarre encounters, manic escapades and stunning visuals.

While the film seems to have little to do with Budapest, Hungary, it is inspired by the sense of time and place of Eastern Europe sometime between the wars: World War I and World War II.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

You've probably heard the Borscht Belt joke with the punch-line "So how do you start a flood?"

With an eye toward "Game of Thrones," "Lord of the Rings," "Thor" and the action-fantasy movie genre, you wonder if director Darren Aronofsky ("Black Swan," 2010; The Wrestler," 2008) had that question in mind when he pitched "Noah" to studio executives with "What's the most famous ship in the world other than the Titanic?" and "Did you know that there's never been a feature movie made about the Biblical story of Noah?"

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

For a sock puppet, Kermit the Frog has come a long way in his career.

Jim Henson's Muppets first appeared on a Washington, D.C., TV show 1955 - '61. "The Muppets Show" was televised nationally 1976 - '81. There have been numerous spin-off TV shows and television specials.

There've been seven previous Muppet theatrical feature movies: "The Muppet Movie" (1979), "The Great Muppet Caper" (1981), "The Muppets Take Manhattan" (1984),"The Muppet Christmas Carol" (1992), "Muppet Treasure Island" (1996), "Muppets From Space" (1999) and "The Muppets" (2011).

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sometimes, you have to catch films before they get away. Even if you miss them at the multiplex, neighborhood theater or indie and foreign-films art house, certain films are must-sees whenever and wherever.

The following three films are well worth seeing. Each is linked by a magnificent obsession or passion. So, put on your film-hunting gear and don't forget the popcorn.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

If you're of a certain age and can get past the fact that it's not in sketchy black and white, "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" is quite entertaining.

If you're a younger parent or a youngster, you may find the animated feature thoroughly entertaining.

"Mr. Peabody & Sherman" was originally a segment on producer Jay Ward's 1960's television cartoon series, "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show."

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The 86th Academy Awards are over. The Oscars have been handed out. However, many of the movies that received Oscars are still playing in theaters.

It was a great year at the movies in 2013. It was a record-breaker at the box office. It was a year for critically acclaimed and or commercially successful movies directed by and starring African-Americans, as well as for those starring women. And it was a year when six of the nine best-picture nominees were based on real events.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

"The Monuments Men" is anything but monumental.

That's too bad. The fact-based story about the United States' military mission to recover world-renowned works of art confiscated and hidden by the German Nazis during World War II has the earmarks of a bonafide thriller: priceless art, war, Nazis and a stellar cast, including and directed by George Clooney.

A catalogue of attributes doesn't always add up to a great work of art, much less entertaining cinema. "Monuments Men," at times, is a monumental bore.