Wednesday, July 30, 2014
     

Movie Review

Monday, November 19, 2012

Daniel Day-Lewis is Lincoln. In a long life I have seen only a handful of actors who in a handful of films so completely encompass their characters that I forget it's only acting. Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump comes to mind. The recent Time Magazine cover story on Spielberg's new film claims that after the acclaimed director tapped the acclaimed actor for the title role, Day-Lewis insisted on a year's hiatus to study the acclaimed president he would play.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Imagine having raspy-voiced John C. Reilly and whiny-voiced Sarah Silverman yelling, cajoling and yakking at you for one hour and 48 minutes.

That's one way to describe "Wreck-It Ralph," a garishly-colored, frantic, not very funny animated feature from Walt Disney.

The words of Vanellope, a Bratz doll style character voiced by comedian Sarah Silverman, used to describe Ralph, a Shrek-like character voiced by John C. Reilly ("Step Brothers," "Chicago" supporting actor Oscar nomination), best describe "Wreck-It Ralph" itself: "so freakishly annoying."

Thursday, November 8, 2012

"Cloud Atlas" is an epic in concept, screenplay, casting, directing, cinematography, editing, sound and production design. "Cloud Atlas" is akin to the Hollywood epics of Cecil B. DeMille.

"Cloud Atlas" recalls what big studios films do best and yet it's an indie film at heart, albeit one with a $100-million budget. "Cloud Atlas" shows us new ways of looking at the world, and new ways of thinking about the universe.

This is bold, ground-breaking cinema. It's the kind of film you may need to and want to see more than once. "Cloud Atlas" is cinematic poetry.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Each decade, one and sometimes a handful of films is embraced by and-or define and seem to symbolize a generation of high school and college-age youth.

In the 1950s, of course, it was "Rebel Without A Cause" (1955).

The 1960's brings "The Graduate" (1967) to mind.

In the 1970s, there was "American Graffiti" (1973), "Saturday Night Fever" (1977), "Grease" (1978) and "Animal House" (1978).

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

"The Master" is one of those films that audiences and reviewers either love or hate.

Since I try not be a "hater," put me in the category of "strongly dislike" regarding "The Master."

My opinion has to do with "The Master" writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson, whose films are fascinating and confounding mish-mashes of big ideas, intriguing characters and performances connected by often incoherent storylines and punctuated by shock-value scenes.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

"Argo, an action-thriller that boasts impressive acting and directing, is based on a true spy story, "The Canadian Caper."

"Argo," directed by and starring Ben Affleck, tells the story about the United States Central Intelligence Agency bankrolling a fictitious Hollywood movie production to rescue Americans from Iran during the 1979 - '81 hostage crisis when Islamic student militants stormed and took over the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran.

CIA agent Tony Mendez (Affleck) poses as a Canadian movie producer to scout locations for "Argo," a science-fiction movie.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Forget about the trouble with the chair.

There's no trouble with Clint Eastwood in "Trouble with the Curve."

Eastwood is as delightfully cantankerous as ever as an elderly baseball scout named Gus who still pours over stacks of newspapers rather than log onto the computerized "Moneyball" statistical analysis approach to assess high school, college and other Major League Baseball prospects.

Friday, September 28, 2012

"Lawless" is a brutal drama based on a true story said to have taken place during the Great Depression in 1931 in Franklin County, Va.

With the advent of Prohibition in 1920, following passage of the Volstead Act as the 18th Amendment in 1919, the making and drinking of alcoholic beverages was banned in the United States.

Monday, September 17, 2012

"Robot & Frank" is a cute comedy-drama that presents issues about growing old and health care for the elderly in a very entertaining way.

The film by movie producer turned first-time feature director, Jake Schreier, and TV writer-producer and first-time feature screenwriter, Christopher D. Ford, should garner an actor Oscar nomination for Frank Langella, previously nominated for his stunning portrayal of former President Richard Nixon in director Ron Howard's "Frost-Nixon" (2008).

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The envelope, please.

That's the plot device on which, ahem, rides "Premium Rush," one of late summer's most adrenaline-charged movies.

The title refers to the speed, priority or experience of a New York City bicycle-courier delivering a high-priority message.

Never mind the definition. This film is the fastest thing on reels. You'll grip the arm of your movie theater seat, the person next to you (best to know him or her first) or your reporter's notebook (as was my case).