Conviction isn’t wholly convincing
In this film based on a true story, brother and sister Kenny (Sam Rockwell) and Betty Anne Waters (Hilary Swank) have the kind of fierce devotion to each other more often seen in movie lovers or mafiosi. Their ...
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Eastwood’s latest magnum opus fires blanks
It’s strange to think that the famously adamantine Clint Eastwood would be so easy to brush off nowadays but, somehow, his movies have become overwhelmingly wishy-washy. It’s fitting, then, that a t...
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
RED is long in the tooth and other dated expressions
In RED, oldness is of the essence. Apparently, it is a movie about patronizing the elderly. RED stands for “Retired, Extremely Dangerous,” and refers to a once-elite team of aged and variously cuddl...
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Philip Seymour Hoffman’s directorial debut lacks grandeur
When did we first register the greatness of Philip Seymour Hoffman? Was it as early as his turn on that old Law & Order episode in 1991? Was it not until he’d worked his way up to playing the raucous rock...
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
The Social Network depicts Facebook’s unfriendly birth
The Social Network feels like a strange and satisfying blend of two worlds. On one hand, it’s a classic Hollywood screwball comedy in which brainy dialogue ping-pongs with dizzying speed between uber-brai...
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps spells everything out
It is an ancient stockbroker, and he stoppeth to shill a book. The grizzled ex-tycoon is Gordon Gekko; his memoir, written after two decades in the clink, is titled Is Greed Good? Viewers of a certain temperame...
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
I’m Still Here doesn’t fake it or mean it
I'm still here is a portrait of a self-tortured artist in the process of torturing himself—and others.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Resident Evil takes zombies—and fans—for granted.
Resident Evil newbies may find the fourth installment of the film series lacking in backstory. Zombie fighter Alice (Milla Jovovich) confines explanations to brief expositions via a clumsy conceit of a video di...
Clooney shows his bad side, and it isn’t good.
For a rough idea of what was going through George Clooney’s head when he signed on to The American—apart from the set’s proximity to his Italian villa—look no further than the only other...
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Laura Poitras’ film gives a rare perspective
The Oath features a story so strange it feels more like fiction than fact. Few news programs or investigations of 9.11 and its aftermath have plumbed terrorism with this kind of insight. It is an eerie moment i...
Wednesday, September 1, 2010