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"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Oct 102013
 
Europa Report

  "Europa Report" is one of the new breed of thrillers (using any combination of "documentary" story-telling, video camera footage, talking heads and real-time action) that has brought us "The Blair Witch Project," the "Paranormal Activity" outings, "Cloverfield," "Apollo 18" and "Troll Hunter." Though this science fiction actioner puts a lot of emphasis on science … More

 Posted by on October 10, 2013 No Responses »
Oct 102013
 
Much Ado About Nothing

  Speaking of vanity projects, here's one that works: director Joss Whedon's "Much Ado About Nothing," a delightful Shakespearean romp gussied up in 21st century garb and surroundings with 21st century sensuality and looks. The film was shot in just 12 days (using the original text), in secret, while Whedon was working on "Marvel's The … More

 Posted by on October 10, 2013 No Responses »
Oct 102013
 
After Earth

  In "After Earth," Jaden Smith stars as Kitai Raige, the failed cadet son of the zen-like general of the United Ranger Corps (Will Smith in a god-like role as Cypher Raige), the military arm of a human race transplanted onto a new world after destroying the Earth 1,000 years earlier. But the kid gets … More

 Posted by on October 10, 2013 No Responses »
Oct 102013
 
The Hangover Part III

  For "The Hangover Part III," director Todd Phillips and stars Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms, Justin Bartha and Ken Jeong reunited for a little "hair of the dog" to pad their checking accounts one last time. In this nasty sequel, the guys of the Wolfpack are happily married and content with their lives … More

 Posted by on October 10, 2013 No Responses »
Oct 102013
 
The Purge

  "The Purge" combines the best of several thriller genres all in one fairly tightly directed and acted outing: there's the near-futuristic "Clockwork Orange" violence-for-violence's- sake scenario, a home-invasion-by-strangers attack, and a "Straw Dogs's" fight-back retaliation. In the near future, in order to reduce crime in America, the government has sanctioned an annual 12-hour period … More

 Posted by on October 10, 2013 No Responses »
Oct 042013
 
This Is the End

  Every once in a while a comedy comes along that pushes the boundaries of what one expects in a movie. "Pink Flamingos," "The Life of Brian," "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," "Borat" and "The Hangover" come to mind. Now add to the list "This Is the End," an outrageous, raunchy comedy directed by … More

 Posted by on October 4, 2013 No Responses »
Sep 242013
 
Room 237

  Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of Stephen King's "The Shining" was released in May 1980 to mixed reviews and a slow but steady boxoffice (topping out at a very respectable $44 million by year's end). As with all of Kubrick's work, it was a multilayered affair, ripe with allusions and meanings. But unlike other Kubrick films, … More

 Posted by on September 24, 2013 No Responses »
Sep 242013
 
In the House

  French master filmmaker Francois Ozon ("Young & Beautiful", "Potiche," "Hideaway," "Angel," "Swimming Pool," "Under the Sand") again pushes the boundaries of storytelling with this genre-busting mystery-thriller-romance about the intrigues created by a 16-year-old student, Claude (Ernst Umhauer), who comes to the fore in a writing class taught by a bored, middle-aged, failed writer, Germain … More

 Posted by on September 24, 2013 No Responses »
Sep 242013
 
Iron Man 3

I was no fan of the first two "Iron Man" movies; I found snarky wealthy industrialist Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and his tin-man-without-a-heart persona rather annoying and the action all too metallic and overwhelming; there just wasn't enough reality to the films. Of course I was in the minority. But that's been rectified by … More

 Posted by on September 24, 2013 No Responses »

42

Jul 262013
 
42

Writer-director Brian Helgeland has had a mixed career (writing "L.A. Confidential," "A Knight's Tale," "The Postman" and "Mystic River," and winning both an Oscar and a Razzie award in 1998 for Best Screenplay for "L.A. Confidential" and Worst Screenplay for "The Postman." His best-known directorial outing previously was Mel Gibson's "Payback" in 1999; with "42," … More

 Posted by on July 26, 2013 No Responses »