Wednesday, June 29, 2016
     

Movie Review

Friday, June 20, 2014

"Chef" has the ingredients to become this summer's sleeper hit.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Walt Disney Studios officials may have thought: Who better to reimagine "Sleeping Beauty" than the "imagineers" (as Disney has called its creative team)?

Thus, "Maleficent," which purports to tell us, in prodigious voice-over narration, the story that we weren't told.

The original fairytale, as told in Disney's classic 1959 animation feature, "Sleeping Beauty," appears charming and quaint in comparison to "Maleficent."

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

"With a purposeful grimace and a terrible sound,

He pulls the spitting high tension wires down."

"Godzilla,"

Blue Oyster Cult

"Godzilla" is one big dumb beast of a movie.

"Godzilla" has impressive computer-generated special effects, excellent production values and a cast of fine actors.

That can't rescue a poorly conceived story, predictable screenplay and choppy directing.

"Godzilla" is front-loaded with a back-story about nuclear power plant official Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) and his scientist wife Sandra (Juliette Binoche).

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Oscar season gathers steam with "The Railway Man."

If Academy Award voters remember the September through December Oscar season is a ways up around the bend look for multiple Oscar nominations for "The Railway Man," including actor (Colin Firth) and actress (Nicole Kidman).

"The Railway Man" is superbly accomplished cinema. It's an unconventional film about an unconventional topic that resonates on multiple levels in the contemporary international socio-political climate. "The Railway Man" is transformative.

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).