gatsby

Gatsby Fails to Resonate

I wanted to love the Great Gatsby adaptation so much.  I tried, I really did.  But when a studio moves a prominent release from prime Oscar season to the following summer, that’s usually a bad sign for the movie’s prospects.  And in this case, smoke meant fire. Fitzgerald’s Great American Novel is set in the…

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The Town: Just keep directing, Ben

Rating: 3 stars (out of 4) Is The Town ‘Heat meets The Departed,’ as the ads portray?  No—it’s better.  Is it Gone Baby Gone, Ben Affleck’s scintillating first directorial effort?  Not quite, although comparing anything with a Dennis Lehane adaptation (hello, Mystic River and Shutter Island) is unfair.  Should it put the final nail in…

children1

Children of Men: Beauty amidst chaos

Rating: 4 stars (out of 4) “With Inception hitting theaters, we take a look at movies that take a dark view of the future.”  So declared the Rotten Tomatoes website today, and in the same spirit, I revisit 2006’s criminally underappreciated sci-fi classic. Every once in a while, a movie comes out that puts together…

shutter island

Shutter Island: Live as a monster or die as a good man?

Rating: 4 stars (out of 4) In a revealing late chapter of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry asks Professor Dumbledore whether their poignant interaction has been taking place for real or merely in his head.  “Of course it is happening inside your head,” Dumbledore responds, “but why on Earth should that mean that…

blind side

Blind Side: What are the real parts again?

Rating: 1 star (out of 4) Hollywood studios like to propagate the idea that romantic comedies are suitable for both men and women.  Blind Side isn’t a rom-com, but doubtless this idea still came to them—hey, let’s combine Sandra Bullock (the women) and football (the men) to draw in maximum viewers.  Add the holiday season…

The Best True Sports Movie

It comes down to this: If you consider Bull Durham a romantic comedy, then Friday Night Lights is the greatest sports movie ever. The barren, washed-out landscape of west Texas in 1988 provides the canvas for wrenching emotional manipulation in this true story.  Based on H.G. Bissinger’s book chronicling a drama-filled football season of the Permian Panthers,…