By all accounts, authors Kami Garcia and
Margaret Stohl have fashioned a more literate set of romantic teen
stories, beginning with Beautiful Creatures, that traffic in the tried-and-true world of forbidden love between mortals and supernatural beings.
In The Last Stand, a few opening weekend masochists forced themselves to watch as Schwarzenegger’s small border town sheriff and a ragtag collection of kooky deputies fought against a supposedly elite extraction team seeking to transport a notorious racecar driving drug kingpin back across the border.
Sometimes the true pleasure of a film,
especially a documentary, is having the opportunity to bask in the
presence of someone you wish you could invite into your home for dinner
or head off on an epic road trip with.
Rust and Bone captures much of the
dynamic between Ali and Stephanie without excessive dialogue; there are
few situations where they feel the need to explain themselves. They are
creatures of action, full of passion, which at times, results in
unintended emotional carelessness.
Zero Dark Thirty begins in
darkness, not the pitch of night or space; rather simply, it starts with
the black frame and voices. Instantly, we recognize the voices as those
belonging to desperate callers on Sept. 11, 2001.
The “story” of Roger Michell’s new film, Hyde Park on Hudson, derives from the personal letters of Daisy (Laura Linney), the nominal protagonist who happens to have been a distant cousin of President Franklin Roosevelt (Bill Murray).
Summing up a year’s worth of movies can
be tricky. Top 10 lists often yield more questions than answers. The
subjective nature of the endeavor inevitably reveals personal interests,
quirks and prejudices, all of which can be either intriguing or
infuriating depending on whether you agree with a given compiler’s
This Is 40 is only the fourth feature film directed by Apatow (following The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up and Funny People), but he has tickled our funny bones onscreen as a producer (Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Superbad, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Bridesmaids) and a writer (Fun with Dick and Jane, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, Pineapple Express).
Consider this a mission or statement of
purpose for next year’s film coverage. The seed of the idea began at
this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, where I decided to go,
as I stated, where the frames took me.
I’ve long had a soft spot for books about
the movies. My space-challenged loft features a shelving unit,
embarrassingly overstuffed from floor to ceiling, dedicated to the topic
— from collections of critical essays and reviews to interviews with or
biographies on filmmakers to wide-ranging histories of an art form
that’s still in its relative infancy.
Director Sacha Gervasi attempts to frame Hitchcock as a love story between the director and his wife Alma, a rekindling of their passion for one another without actually presenting evidence of the initial spark or the carefully laid foundation between them.
Right off the bat in Lincoln,
director Steven Spielberg gives us one of his signature moments, a
framing device in the story that is supposed to be based on historic
facts that smacks of pure invention and threatens to derail our
investment in, not just the individual moment, but the film as a whole.
Slowing down, in the Buddhist way,
is all about opening oneself up to the cacophony of life. Audiences should keep this notion in mind during screenings of The Sessions,
the new film from writer-director Ben Lewin, featuring John
Hawkes in one of those quietly human performances.