September 24, 2010
RIDLEY SCOTT plus Russell Crowe plus Cate Blanchett plus Robin Hood should have added up to a spectacular movie, but Scott's "Robin Hood" was somewhat less than that. For that reason, it was regarded a failure, but the movie has much to make it recommendable - Crowe's gladiatorial performance, Scott's typically bold vision and attention to detail. You get more of that on the DVD, which arrives as Scott's extended director's cut, with some meaty extras including a substantial making-of documentary recounting the filmmaker's attempts to make something historical from a mythological icon.
June 24, 2011
ED HELMS' "Hangover 2" made 40 times as much money and was about half as funny as his indie comedy "Cedar Rapids," released a few months earlier, now on DVD. Helms stars as an impossibly square guy who attends a regional insurance convention, where he's hazed and ultimately helped by fellow delegates (John C. Reilly, Anne Heche, Isiah Whitlock Jr.). The movie is offbeat and has a good heart - it's unusually generous to its Midwestern characters, and resolves itself in surprising ways.
March 11, 2011
A FEW WEEKS back, JP Morgan admitted foreclosing, illegally, on the homes of soldiers fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. JP Morgan contended that it didn't know its actions violated federal law. The bank believed, I guess, that tossing military families out of their homes was merely indecent, and morally grotesque. In other words, business as usual. To understand how a bank that has been rescued, backstopped and subsidized by your tax dollars might come by this arrogance, check out the Oscar-winning documentary "Inside Job," a two-hour primer on the recent financial meltdown.
March 28, 2013 |
Somewhere, as his former team prepares to face La Salle on Thursday in their unlikely West Regional matchup, Gary Thompson must be thankful the NCAA conducts its tournament at neutral sites. In Philadelphia basketball's long and rich history, it's doubtful any coach ever enjoyed a visit here less than the late Wichita State mentor. After his No. 2-ranked Shockers were upset by St. Joseph's in the 1964 Quaker City Tournament final, Thompson called Palestra fans "horrible," the officials "atrocious," and the whole experience "a damn farce.
May 23, 2011
"The Awful Truth" (1937, B&W) with Irene Dunne. Directed by Leo McCarey. "Bringing Up Baby" (1938, B&W) with Katharine Hepburn. Directed by Howard Hawks. "Holiday" (1938, B&W) with Katharine Hepburn. Directed by George Cukor. "His Girl Friday" (1940, B&W) with Rosalind Russell. Directed by Howard Hawks. "My Favorite Wife" (1940, B&W) with Irene Dunne. Directed by Garson Kanin. "The Philadelphia Story" (1940, B&W) with Katharine Hepburn and Jimmy Stewart. Directed by George Cukor.
January 13, 2011
AFTER 20 YEARS of distinctive movies, cult favorites and even an Oscar-winner, the Coen brothers now have something they've never had before - a big hit. One that is, to borrow (and sanitize) a phrase from "O Brother Where Art Thou," gosh-darn bone fide. In "True Grit," they have their first $100 million movie. Actually $110 million, and counting. That's the good news. The bad news is, the Hollywood Reporter has compared it with "The Blind Side," which must shake the "Big Lebowski" auteurs to their core.
December 16, 2010
THE NEXT TIME Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci team up for a movie, it may be to play characters from a video game. That's the dream of David O. Russell, who's currently working on a movie version of "Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. " Mark Wahlberg is already on board as Nathan Drake, and Russell wants De Niro as Drake's father, Pesci as his uncle. "I'm writing the project with Mark, and with De Niro and Pesci in mind," said Russell, who's pitched the idea to both men, whom he's admired as a longtime Martin Scorsese nut, and addicted fan of the movies "Goodfellas," "Casino" and the fight classic "Raging Bull.