THE HUMBLING is a throwback to a time when attention spans were longer, characters were created out of complex and even contradictory behaviors, and the story was an extension of the characters, not a glib contrivance. Based on the 2008 novel of the same name by Philip Roth, it is a study of Simon Axler, an actor crumbling as he feels his craft drifting away leaving him in limbo between reality and delusion, comedy and tragedy, meaning and nothingness.
Sneaking into theaters without benefit of a press screening, MORTDECAI is a tragically unfunny attempt at lighthearted comedy. Based on the novel Don’t Point that That Thing at Me” by Kyril Bongfiglio, its efforts at whimsy fall flat, while its attempts to attain the quirky begin and end with the waxy curls of Johnny Depp’s… Read More »
A MOST VIOLENT YEAR begins, appropriately enough, with its protagonist, Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac) running. Though this is merely jogging through the snowy landscape of 1981 New York, he will spend the rest of the film running more purposefully either literally, figuratively, or both, as he scrambles to overcome fate and the fickleness of human… Read More »
TOP FIVE starts a little out of chronological sequence with two protagonists walking down a Manhattan sidewalk discussing art and life. Specifically art versus life with one opining that a movie is just a movie while the other disagrees. The man, as we will shortly learn, is Andre Allen (Chris Rock), superstar funnyman and recovering… Read More »
Tommy Lee Jones is a dour man, at least on screen. His carefully cultivated persona is a laconic one of few words and little patience. It is a character that he plays to perfection, and in THE HOMESMAN,he imbues it with a wonderful, understated quirkiness that makes his star quality all the more charismatic. As… Read More »
JOHN WICK is a sleek and unrepentant film about revenge and redemption. Set in a parallel world to ours, one populated by criminals who live by a strict set of rules, conventions, and etiquette, it is a dark fantasy of violence in which the hero isn’t the pacifist, it’s the guy who really loves his… Read More »
THE SHORT VERSION: One of the best films of the year.
Among the many arresting images in THE HURT LOCKER, the one that may be the best at putting the audience in the position of the American army bomb squad fighting a futile war in Iraq, is also one of the most quiet. Its during what started out as a routine mission to gather up bomb-making… Read More »
The Cornetto Trilogy comes to a superb conclusion with THE WORLDS END. Director Edgar Wright again teams with the regular cast of co-writer Simon Pegg as the anti-hero, and Nick Frost as the humorless corporate lawyer, along with newcomers Eddie Marsan as the grinning bunny rabbit of a car salesman, Paddy Considine as the enterperneur… Read More »
Schmidt and Jenko are back, and we should all rejoice. 22 JUMP STREET starts out every bit as funny as 21 JUMP STREET was, and then keeps upping its game. Once more co-written by co-star Jonah Hill (Schmidt), it is an inspired bit of whip-smart silliness that refuses to take itself seriously. On the other… Read More »