It sounded so promising: a reverent remake of Godzilla with top-notch actors, an indie director with rich potential, and a serious take on the story. Why, then, is this Godzilla so underwhelming? Most audience members may cite the general lack of Godzilla himself in the movie. Oh, if you wait around until the third act, you'll see plenty of him… read more!
Movie Titles: G
This film may be getting a better reaction than it deserves - even from me - because, let's face it, with Ben Affleck making his directorial debut, the automatic reaction is that it's going to stink. And because it doesn't stink - not at all, in fact - having one's expectations surpassed might make Gone Baby Gone a great movie… read more!
I've never been a big reader. I can make it through six books per year if I'm diligent. This year, one of the books I read was Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl – because my wife read it and enjoyed it (except for the ending), and then she gave it to me, suggesting that I too would enjoy it (except for… read more!
Weeks before the Wall comes down in 1989, a diehard socialist in East Berlin (Katrin Sass) has a heart attack, lapsing into a coma and missing the action. When she awakens eight months later, East Germany is no more, and her 20-year-old son (Daniel Brühl) takes it upon himself to keep his mother from dying of shock upon seeing these… read more!
Low-key drama about crusading television journalist Edward R. Murrow, who in 1954 decided (with the producer and staff of his proto-60 Minutes news program See It Now) to confront bullying Communist witch-hunting senator Joseph McCarthy. It's interesting that this film was released at the same time as Bennett Miller's Capote. Though on the surface the two stories have nothing in… read more!
A lot of critics have been writing off The Good Shepherd, an epic tale of the early years of the CIA, as boring and overlong. Personally, I found it surprisingly engaging - though it does lack the suspense you'd expect from such provocative material. The tone of The Good Shepherd is in fact an overwhelmingly sad one, as it follows… read more!
Neil Jordan is a talented filmmaker with plenty of critical hits - Mona Lisa, The Crying Game, The Butcher Boy - and an equal amount of misses - Interview With the Vampire, High Spirits, In Dreams. And star Nick Nolte, well, you either like him or you don't, and I usually don't. So walking into my local theatre to see… read more!
...but not a good movie. This isn't the sort of picture I'd usually pay to see. But I was in Ashland, Oregon, my wife was working at a concert that night, and I had nothing else to do, so I trotted down to the local theater, paid my seven bucks (cheaper than a matinee in Los Angeles), and watched this… read more!
It's been a while since I got to review a theatrical release that a friend of mine participated in. In this case, the friend in question is Susanne Wuest, who stars in this brutal Austrian chiller. In fact, my short film 20 Matches was written specifically for her, but alas, she was always too busy to return to Los Angeles to make it (the script was on… read more!
Robert Altman is definitely one of those hit-or-miss directors, his stinkers far outnumbering his classics. (Note how everybody still lauds him as "the director of Nashville and The Player" while glossing over lesser recent efforts like Dr. T and the Women and The Gingerbread Man.) But he scores a direct hit with Gosford Park, a wry take on Agatha Christie… read more!
Another ridiculously weird comic/gross-out movie from the fevered mind of Japan's most prolific - and most notorious - filmmaker, Takashi Miike. One of his five(!) credited films from 2003, this is probably the only one which will see a release in the US. Whether this is because it's the strangest or the least strange, I don't know, and won't unless… read more!
Can one call this movie anything other than a "confection"? After regaining art house box office relevance with his charming if twee Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson stays in the madcap period picture wheelhouse with this caper comedy, set in the 1930s in a fictional Eastern European country called Zubrowka. Ralph Fiennes, a newcomer to the Anderson stable of actors (many… read more!
Wong Kar Wai makes a kung fu movie. What more do you need to know, really? Dramatizing the life of the legendary Wing Chun master Ip Man, best known (read: only known) to Westerners as the man who taught Bruce Lee, The Grandmaster scurries through the biographical details and focuses on gorgeous, balletic fight scenes between Ip (played by Wong… read more!
During the "golden age" of 3D in the 1950s, the majority of films that employed this gimmick were genre pictures. Aside from a couple of standouts like House of Wax and Creature from the Black Lagoon, most were silly B-movies. But for a year or two, Hollywood was semi-serious about this technology: a handful of major titles, specifically Kiss Me… read more!
I read F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby back in college. Because it was homework, I found it boring. Then a couple of years ago, I watched the 1974 Robert Redford adaptation of the novel, because it was directed by Jack Clayton, who helmed one of my favorite films The Innocents. I found it boring too. I don't know why… read more!
Considering the countless superheroes that Marvel has taken to the big screen, it must be kind of embarrassing to be Marvel's longtime rival DC, who until now has only managed to make movies out of Batman and Superman – again and again and again. But now we finally get the cinematic debut of their Superfriends cohort Green Lantern. I never read the comics, but the story… read more!
Faithful, intelligent adaptation of the Stephen King story, with Tom Hanks as a guard on death row in a Southern prison during the 1930s and Michael Clarke Duncan as a new inmate who seems to possess healing powers. Adept combination of typical King elements: light humor, dark deeds, cute secondary stories (in this case, a mouse named Mr. Jingles), likeable,… read more!
Ben Stiller stars as Roger Greenberg, a lonely fortysomething from New York who has just flown out to Los Angeles to housesit for his rich brother, off with his family on a working vacation in Vietnam. Roger arrives with some serious baggage: back home he suffered a nervous breakdown and was committed to an institution for a while. That doesn't… read more!
That Grindhouse fizzled at the box office may have something to do with the reality that most moviegoers don't have the same love for the exploitation films of the '70s and early '80s that Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez do. Still, while I am no big fan of either director, I got a visceral kick out of Grindhouse, their "double… read more!
Timothy Treadwell was an amateur filmmaker and animal lover who, for thirteen summers, would go up to the Alaskan wilderness in order to film the local grizzlies and bond with them. In 2003, he and his girlfriend were killed and eaten by one of their subjects. Veteran director Werner Herzog somehow was allowed access to Treadwell's 100-odd hours of video… read more!