Caryn James

'Non-Stop': Liam Neeson and Killers on a Plane (Review & '60 Mins.' Video)

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 26, 2014 12:30 AM
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  • 1 Comment
I will see Liam Neeson in anything, which doesn't mean I want to. So it was a relief to find that Non-Stop -- Taken meets Speed on a plane, with a dash of Agatha Christie -- was as breezily entertaining as a commercial action thriller is supposed to be.

DVD: Julianne Moore, Steve Coogan in the Exquisite 'What Maisie Knew'

  • By Caryn James
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  • August 12, 2013 9:10 AM
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  • 0 Comments
If they hadn't kept the title, you might not guess that Scott McGehee and David Siegel's What Maisie Knew was based on Henry James' novel -- and that's high praise for this contemporary, Manhattan-set variation, with Julianne Moore as a rock singer and Steve Coogan as an art dealer. A lovely example of how to extract the essence of a book and make it new on screen, the film borrows James' challenging narrative strategy, telling the story of a child of divorce -- a scandalous event when the book was published in 1897 -- from the little girl's point of view. As Maisie observes her parents and their new relationships, she sees far more than a 6-year-old can understand.

Jimmy Kimmel Hosts the Emmys (UPDATED With New Video)

  • By Caryn James
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  • September 23, 2012 11:45 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Jimmy Kimmel was a perfectly smooth host for the Emmys, though not a perfect fit. One of his trademarks, prankish humor – he asked viewers to Tweet that Tracy Morgan had passed out – didn’t translate to an awards show. His other trademark, irreverently taking swipes at the self-importance of show busines, was oddly missing. That was left to a few clever nominees. What worked best were the pre-arranged comic bits by winners and the people they beat. Julia Louis-Dreyfus read an acceptance speech Amy Poehler had supposedly slipped into her hand (that piece of paper was too big and crumpled to be anything other than a prop). Even better, Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert wrestled Jon Stewart to the ground to keep him from heading to the stage when The Daily Show won Best Variety show.

"You Gotcha!": Andy Samberg Plays Sarah Palin (Video)

  • By Caryn James
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  • March 11, 2012 11:12 AM
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  • 0 Comments
There are Sarah Palin impersonations eerily close to reality: Tina Fey’s instant-classic comic version, and Julianne Moore’s dramatic one in the current HBO film Game Change. Then there’s Andy Samberg’s Sarah, unveiled on SNL.

Game Change: Julianne Moore, Sarah Palin and Lamebrain Politics

  • By Caryn James
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  • March 7, 2012 8:45 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Sarah Palin can whine all she wants, but no reasonable person believes that the creators of Game Change went out of their way to make her look shallow and ridiculous – she didn’t need any help with that. But the HBO film will certainly play better to people who see Palin as a blight on politics. This behind-the-scenes dramatization of her abrupt choice and disastrous campaign as John McCain’s running mate is a fast, smart and totally enjoyable tragi-comedy. Julianne Moore is an impressive Palin clone, right down to her confident walk and wave. But Game Change is also a cynical (if all too obvious) cautionary tale about the bubble-headed way elections work today. Palin just happens to be the best example we have.  

Being Flynn: Yes, De Niro's Still Great

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 29, 2012 7:36 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Being Flynn is a perfectly good title for a film about an aimless young man who works in a Boston homeless shelter, where his long-vanished father turns up one night. But the memoir it is based on has a GREAT title: Another Bullshit Night in Suck City. Despite that loss,  the acerbic, thoughtful, colorful drama of Nick Flynn’s book comes through in Paul Weitz’s film. Even more impressive, it delivers Robert De Niro’s fullest role and strongest performance in years as the father, Jonathan Flynn, a proud, self-deluded writer on a relentless downward spiral.

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