We are most often drawn to two types of great performances: the believable expression of extreme emotions in powerful circumstances and the impersonation. When an actor playing a person for which we have a point of reference convinces our imaginations so completely that this is in fact what the real-life figure was like, we are […]
Winter comedy and romance revolves around Valentine’s Day, so things don’t get promising for the genre until February. The types of comedies offered in the early going this year are surprisingly diverse including a couple niche market family comedies, a couple action comedies, a Nicholas Sparks-inspired romance and an Apatow-produced comedy.
Global pandemics make for captivating science-fiction fodder — especially when the infected turn into raging zombies — but let’s say it was a tad more realistic. Let’s say that H1N1 had been as bad as we were prepared for and people were dying left and right. “Contagion” imagines that scenario through the extensive research […]
The winter months are the slowest time of year for family films, which beats me. “Gnomeo & Juliet” was the first big animated/family film of 2011 and it finished 2011 with the second-highest domestic gross of any movie that came out in January or February. The offerings aren’t all that strong for 2012, but don’t […]
Winter is a well-known time of year for studio dumps, for action films that wouldn’t make anything almost any other time of year, for Liam Neeson revenge trillers and phoned-in Nicolas Cage performances. With a lack of dramatic offerings and horror films, I’ve combined them together with thrillers to give you nine films that will […]
A new year, a new start. Will 2012 be a better year for movies and for the box office? Let’s just say if it’s any worse, well then good thing the world is ending in December. The last thing I’d ever want to be is the first new wide release in January. It’s a brutal […]
It’s time to put a lid on the movie year of 2011 and bury it deep, deep within the recesses of the earth. As I’ve done the last couple years, it’s time to reflect on some of the emerging trends within the world of Hollywood. Below you’ll find a series of bold statements about the […]
In an era when a lot of movies don’t know when to shut up, how nice to have “The Artist.” So much of Hollywood is the search for the next big thing (looking at you, 3D), yet the Silent Era and those who clung to its sinking ship back in the late 1920s understood a […]
You’re probably so over 2011 right now. You probably have no interest in the Top 10 Films of 2011 anymore, but allow me to explain why it took until Jan. 3 to publish this list. 2011 left something to be desired at the movies — and that’s being nice. Each year tends to be full of […]
Samurai films tend to lean toward either overly talkative and boring or hyper-stylized to the point that credibility comes into question. Striking that middle ground, however, can lead to greatness, or rather — great honor. Takashi Miike’s “13 Assassins” might not match the great Akira Kurosawa films, but boy does it come close, and it […]
Historical fiction espionage thrillers have a devoted fan base, as do the novels of John le Carré. These folks are an intellectual lot, stimulated by the secret dealings of the world’s intelligence agencies, which during the Cold War were at an all-time high. And they can keep “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” a film that despite […]
Never underestimate Martin Scorsese. Just because “Hugo” lacks in F-words doesn’t mean the master filmmaker is so out of his element that he couldn’t possibly put his stamp on this family-friendly film. In fact, “Hugo” might be the most personal of the director’s catalog.
Be prepared to have your annual “movies are never as good as the books” conversation with family and friends, because Stieg Larsson’s worldwide best-seller “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” has come to theaters (this time without subtitles). Wanting to honor the beloved source material, Sony placed this American version in the hands of serial […]
Actor-turned-director Thomas McCarthy came off as a natural in his first two features as a director: 2003’s “The Station Agent” and 2007’s “The Visitor.” That put a fat old earmark on latest effort “Win Win.” All three films demonstrate an understanding of human motivation and how more often than not, things do not turn out […]
Let it be known that 2011 was a record-setting year at the movies. No previous year in all of film history has had as many … sequels. Yes, a whopping 27 films either directly following or based on previous movies came to theaters this year. “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” is the 27th sequel to […]