September 19, 2014 |
"THE Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby" is billed as a look at divorce, knitted together from separate he-said, she-said movies about a busted marriage. That turns out not to be true - the movie is indeed combined from two separate POV movies, but it's not about divorce. It's about the events that precipitated the break-up - not revealed until the movie is at least an hour old, and the less said about those events the better. Trouble is, saying less, or saying nothing, about those events means you must steer clear of the movie's actual subject, which the movie handles well when all is finally revealed, and the actors get to do their best scenes.
April 15, 2013 |
Here's what you won't see in Trance , Danny Boyle's flashy, frantic thriller about a missing Francisco Goya masterpiece and the thugs and mugs trying to find it: a flurry of scenes from great art-heist movies like The Thomas Crown Affair (the 1999 remake, that is) and some classics of the genre. "We actually had a montage of a lot of movies - you know, all the ones you'd expect - culminating with that scene in Dr. No where Sean Connery sees the stolen painting in Dr. No's lair - and of course it's a Goya painting of the Duke of Wellington!"
April 12, 2013 |
THE TEST for Danny Boyle in "Trance," a movie built around amnesia and hypnosis, is to mesmerimize you into forgetting how much you hate the amnesia premise. Amnesia? I remember when Franka Potente put that question to Matt Damon in "The Bourne Identity," and made a face, so the movie could signal that it was on our side. The unabashed "Trance" dives in with Boyle's typical enthusiasm, even doubles down with hypnosis - James McAvoy is a high-class auctioneer who gets hit on the head during an art heist, then is put under hypnosis to remember what happened during the robbery.
April 17, 2011 |
When Robert Redford first heard of The Conspirator , a project being pitched by a new indie distributor intent on making films steeped in American history, he thought, ho hum, another script about Abraham Lincoln , the Civil War, the assassination. "My feeling was, well, Lincoln - that's territory well-traveled by book and film and documentary, so why go there?" recalls the actor and filmmaker whose latest work opened Friday. "But then when I read it, I realized this is fascinating, this is a story that nobody knows - tied to an event that everybody knows.
June 25, 2010
Green Zone . 1/2 (Universal Pictures, '10) $29.98. 115 mins. A U.S. Army officer questions his country's mission when his hunt for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq reveals covert intelligence. With Matt Damon, Jason Isaacs, Brendan Gleeson, Khalid Abdalla. R (violence and profanity) The Last Station . 1/2 (Sony Pictures Classics, '09) $27.96. 112 mins. The declining health of Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy, who denounces material wealth, leads to a battle between his wife and a chief follower over his fortune.
June 27, 2008 |
As hyperactive action pics go, Wanted goes at zooming speed, whooshing this way and that, tracking bullet trajectories with you-are-there POV shots, defying space, time and gravity as a tattooed Angelina Jolie and her mean-faced minions wreak havoc from the Chicago El to the railways of Eastern Europe. Train travel, in fact, is a big part of the movie, although Jolie and James McAvoy - Wanted's office-drone-turned-hero - prefer to ride the trains from on top. The view's better up there, even if you have to duck for tunnels.
June 26, 2008 |
There's a growing inventory of movies about mousy guys who get major mojo makeovers when they discover hidden gifts. Titles include "Jumper," about a guy who can teleport around the globe, and "21," about a math whiz who realizes his MIT brain can beat the house in Vegas. To date, most of these movies have displayed the complexity of a beer commercial, and followed a kind of anti-Spider-Man theme - with great power comes money, cars, girls. They seem to be aimed (surprise)
February 29, 2008 |
Set in a color-saturated, quasi-present-day London - but a London where most everyone (even the Brits) speaks like Yanks - Penelope stars Christina Ricci in the title role. Her Penelope is a wealthy girl from the venerable Wilhern clan, but she was born with a terrible curse: a pig's snout where her nose should be. And it won't go away until someone tumbles for her with all his heart and soul. Penelope grew up in cloistered luxury, sheltered from the outside world. Her parents (Richard E. Grant and Catherine O'Hara)
December 7, 2007 |
It would be the last night of Briony Tallis' childhood, that sultry summer evening in 1935 when the imaginative 13-year-old bolted from her family's baronial estate to hunt for her runaway twin cousins. As the precocious novelist inhaled the animal smells of grazing cattle and rutting humans, she fancied she saw something not just naughty but criminal. Point of view is everything, is it not? Like L.P. Hartley's The Go-Between , Atonement is a genteel horror story contemplating how an innocent, Briony (played by the startlingly fine Saoirse Ronan)