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"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Mar 222016
 
'Daddy's Home' Review

"Daddy's Home" is a by-the-book comedy about mild-mannered radio executive Brad (Will Ferrell) and his trials and tribulations as he tries to become the best step dad possible to his new wife's (Linda Cardellini) two kids. Unfortunately, when biological father Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) shows up unexpectedly, Brad's idyllic family life is turned upside down and … More

 Posted by on March 22, 2016 No Responses »
Mar 152016
 
'Carol' Review

This adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's ("The Talented Mr. Ripley," "Strangers on a Train") seminal novel "The Price of Salt" follows two women from very different backgrounds who find themselves in an unexpected love affair in 1950s New York. As conventional norms of the time challenge their attraction, an honest story emerges to reveal the resilience … More

 Posted by on March 15, 2016 No Responses »
Mar 152016
 
'The Big Short' Review

It's been seven years since the housing market bubble burst and the world was pushed into a major economic recession. How did it happen? Greedy and corrupt Wall Street investors and bankers — taking advantage of lowered federal regulations — made subprime housing loans to people who couldn't afford them, then packaged the loans as … More

 Posted by on March 15, 2016 No Responses »
Mar 152016
 
'Sisters' Review

When it comes to clicking together in comedy routines, it's undeniable that Tina Fey and Amy Poehler can make magic — but not in this film. The pair play the Ellis sisters, the seemingly-responsible Maura (Poehler) and the impossibly hotheaded Kate (Fey), who return home to clean out the old junk in their bedroom after … More

 Posted by on March 15, 2016 No Responses »
Mar 012016
 
'The Danish Girl' Review

Alicia Vikander and Eddie Redmayne give tour-de-force performances in this quietly enthralling love story inspired by the lives of married artists Einar and Gerda Wegener. Set in 1920s Copenhagen and Paris, the film follows the transformation of successful landscape artist Einar into Lili Elbe — a woman inside him that he has had difficulty keeping … More

 Posted by on March 1, 2016 No Responses »
Feb 232016
 
'Spotlight' Review

Upholding the grand cinema tradition of films about hard-working journalists who expose corruption and malfeasance ("All the President's Men" comes to mind immediately) is director Tom McCarthy's "Spotlight," a superbly directed and acted dramatization of the Boston Globe's Pulitzer Prize-winning "Spotlight" team investigation into allegations of child sex abuse within the local Catholic Archdiocese — … More

 Posted by on February 23, 2016 No Responses »
Feb 222016
 
'Steve Jobs' Review

"Steve Jobs" is an interesting if not in-depth look at Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple and one of the chief architects of the digital age. The film — almost a theatre piece, with its emphasis on dialogue over action and its three-act structure — is set backstage at three iconic product launches spearheaded by … More

 Posted by on February 22, 2016 No Responses »
Feb 222016
 
'Trumbo' Review

The Hollywood Blacklist — the persecution of Hollywood screenwriters, actors, directors, musicians, and other entertainment professionals for their political beliefs — destroyed careers and families for more than a decade, beginning in 1947 when the House Un-American Activities Committee began investigating "Communist infiltration" of Hollywood's creative community. "Trumbo" is a stirring dramatization of the fight … More

 Posted by on February 22, 2016 No Responses »
Feb 092016
 
'99 Homes' Review

"99 Homes" is the grueling down-to-earth flip side of "The Big Short," an indie film that looks at the 2008 economic melt down from the bottom up. In sunny Orlando, Florida, construction worker Dennis Nash (Andrew Garfield) is evicted from his home by a charismatic, gun-toting real-estate broker, Rick Carver (Michael Shannon). Humiliated and homeless, … More

 Posted by on February 9, 2016 No Responses »
Feb 092016
 
'Spectre' Review

"Spectre" is the 24th "official" James Bond/007 big-screen adventure (not including the 1967 "Casino Royale" and the 1983 "Never Say Never Again") and — despite the naysayers — it continues the Bond tradition of mixing fast-paced action sequences and stunts with high-tech gadgets, nasty megalomaniac villains, and a little bit of love-interest. Daniel Craig returns … More

 Posted by on February 9, 2016 No Responses »