Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Review: ‘Hitchcock’ A Breezy, Disposable Effort Saved By Anthony Hopkins & Helen Mirren’s Dedicated Performances

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
  • |
  • November 21, 2012 12:04 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Hypnotic, beautiful, and perilous in equal measure – one needn’t glance anywhere else but at the leading ladies of Alfred Hitchcock’s films to garner their intense influence. Yet as dramatized in “Anvil!” director Sacha Gervasi’s loving biopic, “Hitchcock,” the real authority lingered off the set at home, shielding her husband quietly from failure and ruin. What follows is a peek behind the curtain on Hitchcock’s marriage to Alma Reville (the couple played by Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren), while charting their pangs of jealousy and pressure during the turbulent making of “Psycho.” Based on Stephen Rebello’s book, “Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho,” the source material proves there’s indeed a compelling story to be told here, but while Gervasi’s comedy-drama presses charmingly on this period in Hitchcock’s career, the film ultimately collapses under its own lightweight intentions of tribute-turned-romance.

Review: Spike Lee's 'Bad 25' A Comprehensive & Warm Look At The Making Of Michael Jackson's Album

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • November 21, 2012 11:01 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
A couple of years ago, before he set up his low-budget comeback film “Red Hook Summer," Spike Lee was planning another NYC-set project, “Brooklyn Loves MJ,” with the story taking place on the night of the death of pop superstar Michael Jackson in June 2009. Said to star Samuel L. Jackson, Julianne Moore, Anthony Mackie and more, the film never came together (although Lee told us recently that he hoped to get it going again), but the director’s been able to pay tribute to the late King of Pop in a couple of other ways. For one, he’s helped to organize a semi-annual Brooklyn Loves MJ party (although it didn’t take place this year or last for various reasons). And then there’s the director’s latest film, and his second of 2012, “Bad 25.” The subject matter is less weighty for the man behind such stirring docs as "4 Little Girls" and "When The Levees Broke," but the results are no less pleasing for this effort, which delves into the making of Jackson's Bad, the fifth biggest-selling LP of all time.

Review: 'Life Of Pi' Is An Inspiring & Visually Stunning Tale Of Faith, Hope & Self-Discovery

  • By Rodrigo Perez
  • |
  • November 20, 2012 4:37 PM
  • |
  • 2 Comments
Taiwanese-born American film director Ang Lee’s career is difficult to pin down. He’s constructed nuanced and well-crafted dramas of various milieus and textures (from “The Ice Storm,” and “Sense and Sensibility” to the more erotic “Lust/Caution” and “Brokeback Mountain”) and orchestrated films of more action-oriented visual pizzazz and flair as well ("Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," "Hulk"). Perhaps bridging all of his eclectic interests, Lee configures a lovely and winning formula for the dazzling and emotionally rich “Life Of Pi.”

Review: Blood & Water Flow Freely In Jacques Audiard's Beautiful & Moving 'Rust & Bone'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • November 20, 2012 4:01 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
What is it we do to survive? Who is it we love? Who is it we fight? What are the forces seen and unseen that push our lives in directions we could have never expected? These are the questions that Jacques Audiard tackles in his latest, "Rust And Bone," a beautiful, moving story of two fractured lives that somehow, together, combine into a single (if unconventional) whole.

Review: 'Red Dawn' Intermingles Inept Jingoism With Casual, Wrongheaded Racism

  • By Gabe Toro
  • |
  • November 20, 2012 11:40 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Why is it that films that spend the longest time on the shelves feel so unfinished? Reportedly filmed three years ago, Dan Bradley’s strikingly incompetent “Red Dawn” is now being dumped in theaters, stitched together with scotch tape and falling apart at the seams, letting casual racism and misanthropy to spill out the sides.

Review: 'Inventing David Geffen' Is Wildly Entertaining, But Never As Insightful As It Should Be

  • By Christopher Schobert
  • |
  • November 20, 2012 9:56 AM
  • |
  • 3 Comments
David Geffen is so powerful, wealthy and connected that he could probably kill this review right now were he so inclined. He is a show business titan; a controversial figure who is revered—and feared—by equal measure. He is perhaps the closest thing we have to the kingpins of old, the Selznicks, the Zanucks. (How fitting that Geffen now lives in Jack Warner’s stunning old mansion.) But like Harvey Weinstein, what most differentiates Geffen from the other powers-that-be in his ranks is an ability to spot talent. As “American Masters: Inventing David Geffen” reveals, he helped break artists as far reaching as Laura Nyro, Jackson Browne, and even Guns N’ Roses.

Review: 'In The Family' A Sincere, Heartbreaking Indie Drama

  • By Christopher Bell
  • |
  • November 18, 2012 11:49 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
It’s tough for the drama. For every movie that is successfully earnest and sincere in its heartbreaking story, about fifty others are willed into the cinema that rest on familiar tropes, forced emotions lacking any legitimate heart, and a trusty sensational score that knows just when to blare. Their power is so considerable that it’ll make a pessimist out of even the least bitter moviegoer. But when that anomaly does come along, it needs to be held high, trumpeted so fiercely that it drowns out all of the other hollow tearjerkers. So here we shall declare Patrick Wang’s “In the Family” that able wonder to which we shall champion with fervor.

Rome Review: 'Tar' With James Franco Is A Dreamy Collage Of Pretty But Overfamiliar Aesthetics

  • By Jessica Kiang
  • |
  • November 17, 2012 1:53 PM
  • |
  • 15 Comments
It's difficult to know quite what to make of 'Tar,' a multi-authored project seemingly coaxed into being by the sheer force of James Franco's current artistic cachet. Playing In Competition in the XXI sidebar of the Rome Film Festival, the film represents the work of twelve newbie directors -- NYU film students all -- and attempts to create an impressionistic interpretation of the work of poet CK Williams, who himself appears occasionally, reading from his collection. Championed by and starring Franco, amongst a starry cast including Mila Kunis, Jessica Chastain, Henry Hopper, Bruce Campbell and Zach Braff, the film shifts around in time and mood, using four different actors (Franco one of them) to depict Williams at different stages in his life, with the scenes sometimes playing out with internal dialogue and mini-storylines, and other times played mute, with snatches of poetry voiced over.

AFI Review: 'The ABCs Of Death' Won't Win Over Non-Horror Fans, But That's OK

  • By Ryan Gowland
  • |
  • November 16, 2012 6:05 PM
  • |
  • 4 Comments
Horror anthologies have been on the rise of late, with movies like "Trick 'r Treat," "Chillerama" and the found footage anthology "V/H/S" keeping the tradition alive. The latest anthology is "The ABCs of Death," which combines 26 shorts in what is less of an interwoven narrative like "Trick 'r Treat" or even a loosely connected anthology like "V/H/S" and more of a "Spike and Mike's Festival of Animation" of horror shorts, and we're not just saying that because of the use of animation and claymation. The end result provides a range of quality, from the inspired and creative to the lazy and insipid, but one that horror fans will certainly devour.

Review: 'La Rafle' A Somber, Flat, Occasionally Moving Reminder Of One Of France's Darkest Moments

  • By Mark Zhuravsky
  • |
  • November 16, 2012 10:00 AM
  • |
  • 2 Comments
If we accept that Holocaust films have become a genre onto themselves, espousing survival against impossible odds or perhaps bravery in the face of organized genocide, a chance to hold on to a shred of humanity when up against deplorable conditions, then it's fair game to discuss the cliches many lesser and greater films about the time period trade in. One of the key cliches, a foundation really, is the film taking a moment to establish the vibrant and diverse Jewish communities, frequently caught unawares, expecting mere discrimination while the specter of annihilation creeps up and swings open the doors of stifling cattle cars. It's a chance for a film to show how people who aren't so different from their non-Jewish neighbors are reduced to second class citizens, enemies of the state, and finally subhuman vermin, barely fit to work themselves to death. It's also not particularly compelling to see after the tenth go-round, and that is where Roselyne Bosch's "La Rafle" stumbles out of the gate with a pacing that suggests a stern history lesson, despite warm performances from the cast and a polished look.
More: Review

Email Updates

Recent Comments