Saturday, February 15, 2014

On "The Monuments Men"


From The Dispatch:
Clooney and Grant Heslov’s script may overstate this message occasionally, but it’s a solid, tightly directed film. I love its old fashioned sensibilities, its constant (and completely accurate) depiction of characters smoking, its refusal to turn into a dishonestly fast paced thriller. It feels like something from another time, and that’s what’s so refreshing about it. It’s a pleasure to watch these actors work together and create something so instantly beguiling. It may not dig very deep, but it’s an effortlessly entertaining homage to the Golden Age of Hollywood that packs a surprising emotional wallop. 
Click here to read my full review.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

On "The Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts"


From The Dispatch:
Of all the various categories at the Academy Awards, the short film categories tend to be regarded as the most obscure by mainstream moviegoers. Which isn't surprising given that shorts don't often play in movie theaters outside of film festivals, so audiences just don't have access to them they way they do the other Oscar nominees like "Gravity," "12 Years a Slave," and "American Hustle." It's a shame, because audiences miss out on some fantastic films. Short films used to be a staple of the movie going experience decades ago, but have faded away into obscurity, even as they still tend to be stepping stones for directors to gain enough attention to move into feature films. Fortunately, Shorts International has started an annual tradition of releasing the Oscar nominated short films in theaters just before the ceremony, giving the mainstream public in select cities a chance to catch up with all the nominees. 
Click here to read my full review.

On "August: Osage County"


From The Dispatch:
“August: Osage County” is a veritable acting master class, and is worth the price of admission for the actors alone. But more than that, it’s a deeply funny and strangely moving tale of a broken family. There’s something cathartic about Letts exorcising his own demons through his writing. And when brought to life by such world class actors, the results are often electrifying.
Click here to read my full review.

On "Philomena"


From The Dispatch:
It may be one of the smallest of the Best Picture nominees this year. It's not even in the five best of the nine nominees, but it has an undeniable charm about it and leaves a lasting impression. It's the kind of film that sneaks up on you, and the results are at once heartbreaking and heartwarming. Come for Dench. Stay for the film's deeply moving final 15 minutes. 
Click here to read my full review.

On "Her"


From The Dispatch:

“Her” is a strange and unique animal, but a tremulously beautiful one. It finds more truth in this seemingly odd relationship between a man and his computer than most love stories with flesh and blood characters do. That is a feat in and of itself, but Jonze doesn’t stop there. He delivers one of the most deeply felt and profoundly wise love stories to come along in a long time.
Click here to read my full review.