Secrets Are Out in God’s Pocket

Review of God’s Pocket, Directed by John SlatteryGod’s Pocket is the directorial debut of John Slattery, one of Mad Men’s stars, and is an odd film that never finds its voice, featuring too many storylines that never end up telling a larger narrative. Perhaps the only theme connecting them all is the nature of small towns--both their insularity and their knack for gossip. Perhaps the greatest draw to watching the movie is that we only have a few more films of Philip Seymour Hoffman yet to be re … [Read more...]

Putting “God” back into Godzilla

Review of Godzilla (2014), Directed by Gareth EdwardsThe new Godzilla film comes out 60 years after the original 1954 movie that emerged from the Toho studios in Japan. The reboot is both entertaining and a thoughtful nod to Godzilla’s origins as a commentary on humans meddling with nature. Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) is a manager of a Japanese nuclear power plant that is brought crumbling down due to seismic activity. He is convinced that the disaster was not natural, not the result of an e … [Read more...]

Easy Ride, Awful Film

Review of Easy Rider, Directed by Dennis HopperI wrote earlier of my shameful admiration for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. That movie, released in 1969, is a classic of the era, a milestone of subversive cinema, a major way-station on the road to counter-cultural celebration of anti-heroes. It won lots of awards and adorns the lists of greatest movies. It is also hilarious and awesome.Easy Rider was also released in 1969, is also a classic of the era, is also on the American Film … [Read more...]

Locke Stumbles at Just One Point

Review of Locke, Directed by Steven KnightLocke is an engrossing study of an individual person, at an important crossroads in life, facing multiple pressures both past, present, and future. It also happens to take place in a car with only one actor. Reminiscent of Gravity and All is Lost, the film is minimalist in its cast, but what makes Locke even more risky for the director (Steven Knight) is that it all happens in a car. There is no circumstantial excitement, no crashes, and the driver … [Read more...]

Spidey makes a welcome return to the big screen

Review of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Directed by Marc WebbOn paper, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 seems like the last film we need right now. The reboot of the Spider-Man franchise two years ago already felt too-soon. Three villains make appearances, including one we’ve already seen interpreted on the big screen. And the world isn’t exactly suffering from a lack of superhero films right now. Yet in the face of all of that, director Marc Webb brings the beloved webslinger back with surprising pu … [Read more...]

CAST INTERVIEW: The new Spider-Man digs deeper

It’s easy to feel like you could have been Peter Parker.“He has all of the same problems that we all have – girl problems, money problems,” says Andrew Garfield, who plays Peter and Spiderman in the second installment of The Amazing Spider-Man franchise. “But when he puts on the suit, it’s a massive release. He can breathe. Spider-Man always knows the right thing to do – he’s a vessel for good, heroic energy, and saving people.”This selfless instinct makes Peter a praiseworthy hero, yet t … [Read more...]

The Merciful Railway Man

Review of The Railway Man,* Directed by Jonathan Teplitzky*This review is not based on the book in any wayBased on the autobiography of Eric Lomax, The Railway Man is the story of a British veteran of WWII who must deal with what Patti Lomax, his wife, calls, “war injuries of the mind.” The film pivots back and forth between the romance of an older Eric (Colin Firth) and Patti (Nicole Kidman) and Eric’s younger self suffering at the hands of his Japanese captors. The Railway Man is a deeply C … [Read more...]

Museum Hours Teach Art and Life

Review of Museum Hours, Directed by Jem CohenMuseum Hours is an illustration of how to appreciate art and the lessons it offers. A Canadian woman named Anne (Mary Margaret O’Hara) finds herself in Austria to attend to a hospitalized cousin who is in a coma. On her initial search for the hospital, Anne enters the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna looking for directions. She finds the answers from the elderly Johann (Bobby Sommer), one of the museum’s security guards. A friendship blossoms as … [Read more...]

Dom Hemingway – the myth, the legend, and so on and so forth

Review of Dom Hemingway, Directed by Richard ShepardIn Richard Shepard’s latest film, Dom Hemingway, Jude Law plays the title character, a middle-aged, cockney-accented, safecracking bro with a crass but impressive knack for rhetoric who just spent 12 years in prison. He lives life only from the highest mountaintop or lowest valley – big, bold, and to the fullest. He spares no words. His fingers are magic. Supremely confident. Bombastic. Always boozing. Lover of women, drugs, and money. The w … [Read more...]

Captain America becomes a hero for the 21st century

Review of Captain America: The Winter Solider, Directed by Anthony Russo, Joe Russo, and Joss WhedonFor a film with hardly a single original moment, Captain America: The Winter Soldier performs surprisingly well. Wrap Bourne, Minority Report, and Olympus has Fallen into a Marvel film and you get Chris Evans at his finest, beating up the baddies and saving the day in the capital of the free world.It seems every new Marvel film has been upping the ante on action sequences, and the Winter … [Read more...]