Almodóvar proves himself an apt technician at sustaining suspense in
the thriller genre. Antonio Banderas returns to work with Almodóvar
for the first time in over 20 years, since his memorable performance
Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!.
The years have been kind to Banderas, who brings his A game to a
deliciously diabolical role.
Sandler tightens his embrace of broad family hijinks with this story
about a set of adult twins (Sandler plays both brother and sister,
yeah!) who bicker, bicker, bond, bicker some more and then bond one
last time during their annual holiday gathering. The movie kicks off
(and ends) with real-life twins engaged in a bit of filmed back and
forth about their relationships. The off-the-cuff banter and some of
the contrasting visual juxtapositions contain the real gems lacking
in what gets sandwiched in between.
the producers of 300 comes this neo-mythic tale of Theseus
(Henry Cavill), the mortal chosen by the gods to lead the fight
against Hyperion (Mickey Rourke), a ruthless king intent on awakening
the vanquished titans to defeat the gods and destroy all of humanity.
Sean Durkin introduces Martha (Elizabeth Olsen) as a member of a
commune, one of the compliant women who have surrendered to the
domestic duties, the listless routine, the second-class status, and
the waiting to share the bed of Patrick (John Hawkes), the
paterfamilias of this clan
Director Clint Eastwood and screenwriter Dustin
Lance Black have as a subject one of American history's most
enigmatic, polarizing figures in J. Edgar Hoover, and yet J. Edgar
almost never offers the buzz of discovery. It's merely a 50-year
kaleidoscope of American history, with the founder of the modern
F.B.I. serving as Forrest Gump.
Whether they admit it or not, the horror
genre has a special place in the heart of most movie buffs. That
affinity is usually traced back to childhood, a period during which we
are far more open to spooky, supernatural occurrences; the terrifying
possibility of a crazy guy in a mask wielding a chainsaw; or the
likelihood of a maniacal, blood-thirsty leprechaun cracking jokes and
(John Cho) and Kumar (Kal Penn) aim to save 3-D effects and Christmas
in their latest adventure, but first they’ve got to unite after
drifting apart. Cho and Penn have lost their stoner bromantic mojo.
Steve James is apparently incapable of making an uninteresting
documentary, even when his subject matter might presumably be
thoroughly played out. James, who has already garnered enough
film-festival awards to merit multiple mantelpieces, tackles
Chicago's soaring crime rate, and in particular the work of
CeaseFire, a community-based interventional program founded by
epidemiologist Gary Slutkin.
Fast paced and fluffy,
Tower Heist is a spectacle-laden comedy with widespread
appeal. Even Alan Alda's Bernie Madoff-styled antagonist gets a soft
treatment so as not to offend the "1 percent" of potential
audience members his evil character represents.
It is time to take Jessica Chastain seriously. Forget the offensive she has launched on theaters in 2011 — The Tree of Life, The Help, The Debt, Take Shelter, Coriolanus, Wilde Salome and Texas Killing Fields, the final three titles of which have been relegated to impending status for regional viewers, although I was able to catch Coriolanus and Take Shelter
during the Toronto International Film Festival.
Writer-director Andrew Niccol (Gattaca, Lord of War) knows his way around a tricky premise but with In Time ends up wasting his precious commodity on the action hijinks, which are not as inspired as we might expect and cannot beat the clock with the inherently rich human drama.
based on Hunter S. Thompson’s early years as a journalist circa 1960, The
Rum Diary casts Johnny Depp once again as Thompson’s surrogate, this
time a young writer named Paul Kemp. Flailing in his attempts at
completing a novel, Kemp accepts a job at an English-language
newspaper in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where the atmosphere is
considerably less than quietly professional.
spent most of his career destroying the world in grand
computer-generated fashion, German writer-producer-director Roland
Emmerich (Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow,
2012) apparently is ready to transition into a new filmmaking
as Emmerich sets his sights on ripping apart the notion that William
Shakespeare was the actual author of the titles ascribed to his name.
off from the finally-adjourned Shrek franchise, Puss in
Boots is a well-crafted DreamWorks animated movie that succeeds
in spite of the aid of its extraneous 3-D treatment. Screenwriter
Tom Wheeler deftly blends together nursery rhyme elements toward a
comical fantasy that includes an enjoyable dose of cute animal
The Devil. Beelzebub. Mephistopheles. Baphomet. Scratch. Old Nick. Lucifer. SATAN. The supernatural being who tempts man’s
soul to sin and ruin from his fiery underworld throne goes by many names
(and if Jagger and Richards are to be believed, he wants us to guess
them, too). He’s a creature — mythical or otherwise, depending upon
where you fall ideologically — of many different faces, as well.