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Caryn James

'The Monuments Men' Cast On Jimmy Kimmel: Matt Damon and Bill Murray Steal the Show

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 7, 2014 4:32 PM
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The cast of George Clooney's The Monuments Men have been everywhere lately, promoting a film that will need all their high-profile popularity to lure viewers in. Critics have rejected it. It is very rotten on Rotten Tomatoes. I found the World War II adventure about recovered art strangely flat. (You can read my review here.)

George Clooney Saves the World (Or At Least Art) in 'The Monuments Men'

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 29, 2014 12:25 PM
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  • 1 Comment
The Monuments Men begins with a captivating scene, set in Belgium during World War II. We see close-ups of a work of art -- van Eyck's oversized Ghent Altarpiece—hear banging, then see priests crate up the individual panels of the painting, put them in a truck in the dark of night and send it off for safekeeping.

Chiwetel Ejiofor As a 1930's Jazz Musician in the New Miniseries 'Dancing on the Edge'

  • By Caryn James
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  • October 19, 2013 9:01 AM
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  • 1 Comment
There are many reasons 12 Years a Slave is so eloquent and powerful, from Steve McQueen's fluid direction to John Ridley's first-rate screenplay and the cast of actors unafraid to play some of the worst and most heroic elements of character -- but at its heart, the film rests on Chiwetel Ejiofor's performance as a free man turned slave, whose strength, outrage and resilience never begs for the audience's easy sympathy. Anyone who has followed his career knows that performance is no fluke. In earlier films, he has often been the very good center holding a mediocre work in place (Kinky Boots, Dirty Pretty Things).

Can Denzel Washington Save Zemeckis' Bogus 'Flight'?

  • By Caryn James
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  • November 2, 2012 11:03 AM
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  • 0 Comments
From the vapid, saccharine Forrest Gump to the overwrought, improbable Flight, Robert Zemeckis has remained a master of manipulation. That Oscar for Gump? Flight’s closing night slot at this year’s New York Film Festival? Forget them and look at the films: emotionally pandering and commonplace, all dressed up in awards-ready fancy clothes.

Review: Terror Meets Humor in Ben Affleck's 'Argo'

  • By Caryn James
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  • October 10, 2012 9:01 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Argo places us so much in the middle of the furious crowd storming the American Embassy in Tehran -- and the captives inside who see it coming -- that the episode is viscerally frightening. Back home, the Hollywood players who create a fake movie as a cover for the CIA rescue mission of Americans is full of hilarious lines sending up the movie business. One of the wonders of Ben Affleck’s extremely entertaining film is how easily he shifts from the threatening to the comic, keeping a steady balance.

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