I ran across Anthony Minghella's The Talented Mr. Ripley on HBO last night. It was late and had been a long day. I figured I'd watch a few minutes, wind down, then hit the sack. Of course, I couldn't take my eyes off it for the duration.
Kevin Macdonald directed one of my absolute favorite movies of the last ten years, the twisty political thriller State of Play. As such, I was especially excited when I had opportunity to chat with the director about his latest project, Black Sea (now in theaters).
Jude Law as a disgruntled submarine captain, who has been fired unjustly by a corporation and lost his beloved family tragically, is terrific in Black...
Black Sea, a crisply tense film from Kevin MacDonald, is always compelling and even, occasionally, surprising. While submarine films inspire the guessing game of who will be the next to die horribly and who might survive, Black Sea never quite goes where you expect it, thanks to the script by British playwright Dennis Kelly.
It's a cliché of the season to list award favorites, but it is also a thrill to be able to recommend so many good films.
Say whatever else you want to about 2014, here's one thing I know for sure. It had 365 days. And since new movies opened on screens across the USA on a great many of those days, I feel compelled to consider the year in films.
I'm a newspaper book columnist -- was an English major! -- and yet shamefully realized last summer at age 31 that'd I'd never read "Anna Karenina."
Tthe hardships of living under the claustrophobic and brutal Belarusian regime of death squads, disappeared persons and jailings has gone under the radar. Hopefully, this documentary will boost concern and ignite interest and support for those who are suffering.
Woody Allen is up to his old tricks. Real ones, like pulling a rabbit out of a hat. In previous films he's played the magician role himself, but in Magic in the Moonlight he allows the dreamy Colin Firth to handle the willing suspension of disbelief.
Having seen it again, I can report that it's every bit as lively, as thoroughly hilarious and as consistently heart-tugging here as it was there, if not that much better for the cast members having enriched their performances while working at them longer.
Maybe it's because the studio movies at this time of year are so universally dreadful, but I find myself drawn to the smaller films that bite and snarl and generally have bad manners: Bad Words, The Raid 2 and, this week, Dom Hemingway.
I was on drugs back then: coke, booze, Xanax, anything I could get my hands on, really. It was 2002, and while Philip Seymour Hoffman's Hollywood career was skyrocketing, mine was a flameout from a jet engine careening backward down the wrong runway.
"When I think about brutality, I think about the destruction of love. I see my piece Love Story as an x-ray; a recorded moment of a relationship disintegrating."
I've seen over half a dozen Macbeths over the course of my career. We're going to have Romeo and Juliet running off-Broadway the same time it is running on Broadway. I'm often asked: Why? Yes, they are Shakespeare classics. But do people really want to see them again and again?
You've clocked two months of solid work since Christmas break and it's time for another escape.
Film: Side Effects (2013) Cast includes: Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Channing Tatum (Magic Mike), Jude Law (Enemy at the Gates), Ca...