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.
Paul W.S. Anderson’s new
retelling of Alexandre Dumas’ classic tale features his usual
action-oriented antics — explosions galore and hi-tech freeze-frame
combat sequences — as well as his muse, Milla Jovovich.
Nothing about this true story
really feels organic and competently structured, but as it passes
from moment to moment, the movie begins to score a few sentimental
baskets and maybe it even starts to believe in itself enough to win a
The creator behind this horror
phenomenon (Oren Peli) has been able to successfully pass it on to
others, first to director Tod Williams, and now
to Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman (of Catfish fame) with little or no negative return on
the creative investment.
Elizabeth Winstead headlines capably enough as a researcher with
enough smarts and common sense to recognize the true potential of an
unknown and constantly evolving thing discovered by a team of
scientists in Antarctica in this John Carpenter rerun from
Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.
“We don’t get over our fathers.” This comment, from Martin Sheen, came during a recent interview with the star of The Way,
a new film written and directed by Sheen’s son Emilio Estevez, who was
also presented and seated next to me. The father-son team was back home —
Sheen is a Dayton native — as part of a bus tour promoting the film,
and both men were more than willing to chat with me about El Camino de
Director David Frankel
takes a story of single-minded pursuit and squeezes it into a convenient
package — albeit one that doesn't feel as though it has all that much to
do with the subject at hand. Inspired by Mark Obmascik's fascinating nonfiction
Big Year follows three avid birders
trying to identify the most individual bird species in North America over the course
of one calendar year.