Tuesday, May 26, 2015
     

Movie Review

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"?

No.

"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.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

"Unbroken" is a harrowing film based on the story of a United States 1936 Olympic runner who was taken prisoner by the Japanese during World War II.

The movie, produced and directed by Angelina Jolie, deserves to be a multiple Oscar nominee in the categories of picture, director, adapted screenplay, actor, cinematography and score.

The movie is based on the biography of Louis Zamperini, "Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption" by Laura Hillenbrand.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

"Into the Woods" is very dark.

The feature film based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tales is dark not only in subject matter. It's also dark literally.

Agreed: A majority of the movie's action takes place in the woods. However, filmmakers can make allowances.

With "Into the Woods," director Rob Marshall (Oscar director nominee, "Chicago," 2003) has filmed many of the scenes in shadow, with characters' faces dimly lit, and under the towering blackened bark of trees.

"Into the Woods" is all about what happens after the "happily ever after" happens.