September 16, 2011
NICOLAS WINDING REFN won the best-director award at Cannes for his new movie, "Drive," and should probably win another award for not saying "I told you so. " Although the movie was a big hit at the festival, it wasn't a hit among everybody at the studio that bankrolled it. "I was told, after this movie was completed, by certain people, 'Great, you made this little singular movie, as they would say, but just so you know, this will not make...
April 9, 2010 |
Do not mistake The Greatest for a movie about Muhammad Ali. And do not think its ambitious title indicates its overall quality. Distinguished by a gripping pre-titles sequence and a remarkably nuanced performance by Pierce Brosnan (who executive-produced), The Greatest is a group portrait in grief, inconsistently told. The tone of writer/director Shana Feste wavers wildly from deeply felt empathy with the mourners to melodramatic exploitation of them. Not only are the plot holes so big you can drive a truck through them, Feste literally drives a truck through them.
October 6, 2008 |
No one does disappointment, aimlessness, sorrow and despair like Chekhov. And hardly anyone does Chekhov convincingly on stage - making us recognize ourselves in those impossible tragicomic characters. This magnificent production of The Seagull, transferred from London to Broadway, gets it absolutely and thrillingly right. Early in Act 1, young actress to young playwright: "But there's not much action, is there? It's just a lot of speeches. And I think you always have to have love in a play . . .. " Chekhov's actress has just about defined Chekhovian drama.
October 23, 2009 |
Disarming and unexpectedly poignant, An Education contrasts the knowledge learned inx school with that learned from life. The pupil in question is Jenny, a 16-year-old honors student circa 1961 at a girls' prep school in Twickenham, a middle-class London suburb, who is destined for Oxford. One rainy afternoon, a stranger named David offers to give her a ride home in his shiny sports car. After Jenny is introduced to material pleasures, Oxford looks less like a destination than a dead end. As played by the criminally adorable Carey Mulligan - a winsome actress with Audrey Hepburn eyes, Jean Simmons dimples, an Ellen Page mouth, and her own unforced mirth - Jenny is a book-smart girl hungering for life lessons.
September 10, 2010
Easy A High schooler Emma Stone pretends to lose her virginity - and helps other teens do the same. (Friday) Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps A stockbroker (Shia LaBeouf) gets embroiled with disgraced financier Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) and engaged to his daughter (Carey Mulligan). (Sept. 24) It's Kind of a Funny Story The team behind Sugar and Half Nelson adapts Ned Vizzini's novel about a teenager struggling with depression - and love. (Oct. 8)
September 7, 2010
The Ellen DeGeneres Show (3 p.m., NBC10) - Katie Couric; Kate Gosselin; Gabourey Sidibe. 19 Kids and Counting (9 p.m., TLC) - The Duggars struggles to get used to living with the needs of a preemie. White Collar (9 p.m., USA) - Neal coordinates a very elaborate con to bring himself face-to-face with the murderer of his ex-lover. Warehouse 13 (9 p.m., SYFY) - Pete and Myka use H.G. Wells' time machine to travel back to 1961, where they hope to alter history and keep an unknown killer from turning a group of innocent women to glass.
December 3, 2009 |
Jim Sheridan's "Brothers" opens with a shot of a trouble-plagued young man walking out of prison on the day of his release. His name's Tommy, he's played by Jake Gyllenhaal, and not since Tim Robbins in "The Shawshank Redemption" has a guy looked so out of place and vulnerable behind bars. It's a relief when "Brothers" yanks him out of there, even if the sequence only lasts a minute. As his backstory is filled in, we learn that Tommy in his youth frequently drunk and was angry, perhaps at the love that his father (Sam Shepard)
July 24, 2010 |
The Earth is about to be knocked off its axis: Kate Gosselin and Sarah Palin , the two most powerful cultural forces in America, are about to meet. In Touch Weekly says Kate and her brood of eight will go camping in the Alaskan wilds with Sarah for an episode of TLC's Kate Plus 8 . Palin's retired science-teacher dad, Chuck Heath , will give the kids a hands-on nature lesson. Of love, art, 'n' music vids We already know him as a talented soft-core porn model. Now, high school dropout Levi Johnston , who is about to marry into America's most elevated family, will star in singer Brittani Senser 's music vid, "After Love.
April 8, 2010 |
If you take "Ordinary People," add "Juno," and subtract most of the laughs, you'll be conceptually close to "The Greatest. " Carey Mulligan stars as a pregnant teen who ingratiates herself with the teen father's wealthy family after he's killed in an auto accident. The family, in the hands of writer-director Shana Feste, becomes a suspiciously tidy study in various methods of grieving. The head of the household (Pierce Brosnan) keeps his feelings at bay, while his wife (Susan Sarandon)
September 24, 2010 |
Oliver Stone's bookend to Wall Street , his brazenly entertaining 1987 melodrama that seemed to explain the stock market crash two months prior, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps glistens and bursts like the 2008 banking bubble it chronicles. It boasts sharp performances from Michael Douglas reprising his role as slimy financier Gordon Gekko and Shia LaBeouf as stock analyst Jake Moore, engaged to Gekko's estranged daughter. The film whipsaws between hyperbolic character study and preachy account of the recent financial meltdown.