Archives

Weekend Preview (12.4.09)

There’s always a one-week burnout period in this second weekend after Thanksgiving. We all sort of hit this wall when we realize Christmas isn’t actually for another three weeks and that we have to work and shop. The novelty wears off briefly but then maybe there’s a little snowfall and you hear some Christmas music […]

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Hit or Miss: Robert De Niro the last 10 years

Everybody’s Fine hits theaters this weekend, a remake of a 1990 Italian film about a widower reconnecting with his kids (at Christmas time, of course), and it has most of us thinking: Yea … so what good movies has Robert De Niro done lately? That’s a head-scratcher. Past his prime, De Niro has yet to […]

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“Mulholland Dr.” (2001) – 3.5/5 Stars

David Lynch’s “Mulholland Dr.” is like one of those video games that the programmers make so amazing yet so impossibly difficult that in order to be fully satisfied you’re forced to buy one of those walkthrough game guides. The film might be a masterpiece, but it’s a Rubix cube of surrealism that prefers to leave […]

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“Shine” (1996) – 4/5 Stars

A great piece of music — and this is especially true of works for piano — conveys a mood or sometimes many moods; it is incredibly affective. While listening you might feel comfortable and at ease at one point and then suddenly chaotic and unsettled at another. This is certainly true of Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. […]

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Weekend Recap: “Blind Side” pushes “New Moon”

I would say about 10 percent of my box office projections are based on what I overhear/word-of-mouth, but when people I never expected started talking about how they saw or were going to see The Blind Side and that it was really good, I up that number. That being the case this Thanksgiving, New Moon was almost […]

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On DVD: Observe and Report

Somewhere between “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” and “Observe and Report,” there has to be at least a decent movie about a mall security guard. Or maybe Hollywood should just forget about this cliché-ripe “genre” altogether. “Observe and Report” is the latest film to shove a tubby comedian (Seth Rogen) into a mock police officer’s uniform […]

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On DVD: Whatever Works

For those wondering what happened to the old Woody Allen, here he is. “Whatever Works” is a script from the 1970s. I noticed that without even knowing Allen has been forthright about it. A few script rewrites — talk about the Taliban and not the Communists — and old Woody works in a modern context. […]

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Review: The Road

The challenges awaiting Joe Penhall and John Hillcoat in adapting and directing (respectively) Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” had to be numerous. This post-apocalyptic father-and-son story about whether struggling to survive as long as possible is worth the pain is a bleak tale and one that grinds along much of the time. It doesn’t have more […]

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“Slaughterhouse-Five” (1972) – 3/5 Stars

Kurt Vonnegut Jr’s book “Slaughterhouse-Five” is a classic and the film version gets by on this fact alone. The rather faithful adaptation is enough to satisfy fans of the novel, but not even the great George Roy Hill can manage to turn Stephen Geller’s uninspired script into a more meaningful movie experience.

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Weekend Preview (11.25.09)

I have a lot of fond memories of seeing movies on Thanksgiving Break as a child. After nearly three months of school, to go to the movie theater and enjoy something during a weeknight knowing you don’t have to go to school the next day is pure bliss. The movies I remember seeing the most? Toy […]

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“Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead” (1990) – 3.5/5 Stars

Tom Stoppard’s “Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead” is a brilliant existential twist on a classic story (Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”) and classic storytelling. It’s sharp, witty, well-acted and thought-provoking in any number of ways, being both memorably absurd and surprisingly truthful.

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On DVD: Angels & Demons

Here’s a link to my Funny People review, another DVD released today If we learned anything from the film adaptation of “The Da Vinci Code,” it’s that Dan Brown’s best-selling religion-centered mystery novels don’t translate into great films. Entertaining, sure, but great, no. The dialogue gets bogged down with historical explanation and the characters get […]

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Weekend Recap: New Moon, New Record

Whoa. I knew you people liked vampires, but you really like vampires. If you haven’t heard by now, The Twilight Saga: New Moon now ranks third in all-time opening weekends with a whopping $140 million take. It also ranks No. 1 in single day ticket sales with the $72.7 million it made on Friday alone. It’s […]

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Archive Review: Amores Perros (2000)

“Amores Perros” is a three-vignette film that’s not so much concerned about creating a harmonic epiphany among its three plot lines, but rather it aims for compelling stories with a brutally honest portrayal of life, love, sin and redemption. Getting a unified message out of the film is about as difficult as translating its title. […]

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Archive Review: “Food, Inc.” (2008) – 4/5 Stars

Robert Kenner’s documentary “Food, Inc.” sounds like something you’ve heard of before. When Eric Schlosser’s book “Fast Food Nation” first woke America up to the horrific way that fast food meat is processed and Morgan Spurlock’s documentary “Super Size Me” exposed the deadly health concerns of too much fast food, most Americans began to associate […]

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