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Marshall Fine

Movie Review: Results May Vary

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.27.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Andrew Bujalski's Results is a surprising little romantic comedy that never goes where you expect, even as it creates a story built on a triad of characters striving to be better -- in some way. As Bujalski seems well aware, there's who you think you want to be and who you really are. The distance between those two points is where things get interesting.

Movie Review: San Andreas -- Rumble. Tumble. Yawn.

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.27.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Each generation of special effects creates its own avalanche of disaster films: movies about disasters that are themselves disastrous.

The Maron/Maron split

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.20.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

No one is more surprised to find Marc Maron sitting securely atop a tidy little media empire than Maron himself. As his self-titled series on the IFC channel, Maron, enters its third season, there's a marked fork in the path between the fortunes of Marc Maron, the TV character, and Marc Maron, the actor who portrays him.

Movie Review: 1001 Grams -- The Measure of Life

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.14.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

I am a big fan of Norwegian filmmaker Bent Hamer. The Norwegian films of his that have made it to American screens -- Kitchen Stories, O'Horten and now 1001 Grams (currently in limited release) reveal a miniaturist dealing in microcosms that reveal the world.

Movie Review: Mad Max: Fury Road -- Taking the Long Way

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.12.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

"Fury Road" is less a sequel than a reimagining of this post-apocalyptic mythology.

Movie Review: The D Train -- Hop Aboard

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.08.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

As squirm comedies go, The D Train is a breed apart, a film that puts new spin on the bromance. 

Nils Lofgren: The Sun Hasn't Set on This Boy Yet

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.06.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

As I sat at B.B. King's Blues Club and Grill in New York Monday evening watching Nils Lofgren do a stunning 90-minute solo show, I was hurtled 40 years back in time, when writing about rock'n'roll was as much a passion for me as writing about movies.

Movie Review: Avengers: Age of Ultron -- The End Is Nigh

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.01.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

These feel like cinematic end times -- not in terms of Hollywood movies (that horse is already out of the barn), but in the pack-mentality, "hey, it's good enough" approach of critics to the colossus that bestrides summer movies, otherwise known as the Marvel Universe.

Live from the Tribeca Film Festival: Wrapping Up

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.24.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

When I'm in New York, the Tribeca screenings have to get in line with all the other things on my calendar -- and most of those take precedence over spending Saturday or Sunday at a multiplex in Battery Park City watching films I probably wouldn't review even if they were released.

Movie Review: Ex Machina -- Mechanical

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.24.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Ex Machina is both tastily minimal and frustratingly simplistic. Alex Garland's directing debut (he wrote 28 Days Later and Sunshine) is, in essence, a three-hander about three people in a house. OK, a high-tech mansion, but you get the point. 

Finding Neverland: Family-friendly

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.20.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

If Finding Neverland isn't a brilliant musical, it's still an entertaining one, using all sorts of stage legerdemain to entrance an audience looking for good old-fashioned Broadway magic.

Movie Review: Child 44 -- Leave This One Behind

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.18.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Certainly the pedigree of Child 44 makes it seem promising. But the timing of the release -- April, a pre-summer graveyard -- and the fact that it wasn't screened for critics until shortly before opening both mitigate against it. 

Movie Review: Alex of Venice -- Mopey

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.18.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

The directing debut of actor Chris Messina, Alex of Venice is as notable for what it doesn't do as for what it does. This is the story of a married parent suddenly forced to realign priorities when their spouse walks out. Think Kramer vs. Kramer - and then make the central character a woman instead of a man.

Live from the Tribeca Film Festival: Friday, April 17

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.18.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

I rarely miss either the Sundance or Toronto film festivals each year -- but my relationship with the Tribeca film fest has been spottier. Partly that's due to scheduling: For a variety of reasons, I've been out of town for large chunks of the festival each of the past couple of years. 

Chris Messina Heads for Venice

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.16.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

His acting career is percolating nicely -- featured role on a hit sitcom, parts in Oscar-winning films such as Argo and respected series such as The Newsroom -- but Chris Messina couldn't pass up the opportunity to direct a film of his own.

Movie Review: True Story -- Faking it

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.15.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

True Story is not a bad movie; indeed, it's a creepy little tale that has moments that will unnerve you. But the limitations of its script and of Jonah Hill's performance in the central role keep it from transcending its shortcomings.

Victor Levin Rallies for Romance With 5 to 7

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.03.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

At a time when the romantic drama is all but on the endangered-species list, writer-director Victor Levin tacked straight into a headwind with his new film, 5 to 7. The romance is the story of a love affair between a 25-year-old would-be writer and an older, married Frenchwoman.

Movie Review: Woman in Gold -- The Art of Justice

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.01.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Does it matter that Woman in Gold, Simon Curtis' moving drama about a woman seeking the return of art the Nazis stole from her family 50 years earlier, seems stenciled from a familiar template?

Movie Review: While We're Young -- Aging Ungracefully

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.26.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Films about the generation gap tend to pit parent versus child, old values against new, youth versus age, experience against optimism. Which is what makes Noah Baumbach's While We're Young such a treat...

Movie Review: Get Hard -- Hardly

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.24.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart seem like a match made in the acquisitions or marketing department, aiming for the merger of two different comedians' respective audiences, which don't necessarily overlap.

Movie Review: The Gunman -- Cashing the Check, Paying the Price

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.18.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Unfortunately, the script, while making broad political points, otherwise plays as by-the-numbers action fodder.

Movie Review: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel -- Checking out

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.05.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

No one wants to be deemed second-best, yet there it is, right in the title of the film: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The result when you succumb to sequel-itis: Let's take this delightful little surprise hit and try to duplicate its success without doing anything original. 

Movie Review: An Honest Liar -- Art of Deception

Marshall Fine | Posted 05.04.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

As this entertaining and touching nonfiction film reveals, that has been Randi's most important work over the years: debunking charlatans who profit from their supposed ability to contact the dead or otherwise harness the supernatural. 

Movie Review: Maps to the Stars -- Cul-de-sac

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.29.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Writer Bruce Wagner's script for David Cronenberg's Maps to the Stars is of a piece with his other work. It blends a cynical vision of people with an even darker examination of the worship of the superficial that is Hollywood life.

Movie Review: Focus -- Hard to Miss the Misdirection

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.28.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Focus works hard and does manage to generate entertainment. But, the strain shows, and the creative team (also responsible for writing Bad Santa and I Love You Philip Morris) can't seem to blend wit with plot complexity.