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Marshall Fine

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

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.27.2015 | 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 02.26.2015 | 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. 

Movie Review: Wild Tales -- Hang On Tight

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.20.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Truth in advertising. Damian Szifron's Wild Tales is exactly that: an anthology of surprising and unexpectedly wild short stories. Though it feels like there's going to be a connection, the individual stories share neither characters nor plotlines. Instead, they align along a similar theme: revenge, with an occasional overlay of class struggle.

Movie Review: McFarland USA -- On the Right Track

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.19.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Sports movies starring Kevin Costner: It could be a category on Jeopardy. But that's not really a bad thing. While the Costner oeuvre has its share of titles devoted to athletic themes, he hasn't made many bad ones.

Movie Review: Kingsman: The Secret Service -- Bloody Entertaining

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.12.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

When James Bond rebooted with Daniel Craig in Casino Royale, the blend of old-school spy tale and modern-action sensibility seemed right -- if still a little restrained. Imagine now what would happen if James Bond were put in the hands of someone who was willing to not just rethink the secret-agent film but blow it up all together.

Movie Review: What We Do in the Shadows -- Bloody Funny

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.12.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Written and directed by the team of Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, this film presents a flock (coven? pride? school?) of vampires sharing a flat in contemporary New Zealand. The documentarians supposedly not only have been granted access to film the vampires' private lives but have been promised that the vampires won't eat them.

Movie Review: Jupiter Ascending -- Not Terrible, Not Great

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.04.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

There aren't many films from the past 15 years that bowled me over the way The Matrix did. Unfortunately, the Wachowskis -- Andy and Lana -- haven't come close since then.

Live From Sundance: Wednesday, Jan. 28

Marshall Fine | Posted 01.28.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

I make a point of knowing as little as possible about the films I see at the Sundance Film Festival (or any other film festival -- or just films in general, for that matter) before I see them because I want to see them with a blank slate.

Live From Sundance: Tuesday, Jan. 27

Marshall Fine | Posted 01.28.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

There is plenty to distract you at the Sundance Film Festival, from parties to gifting suites (which journalists are invited to report on but never to actually visit) to other film festivals going on in Park City at the same time.

Live from Sundance: Monday, Jan. 26

Marshall Fine | Posted 01.27.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Craig Zobel's Z for Zachariah is a post -apocalyptic love triangle that is haunting and lovely -- a distinct change of pace from Zobel's last film, the chillingly neon-lit Compliance.

Live From Sundance: Sunday, Jan. 25

Marshall Fine | Posted 01.26.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

I hit the ground running, arriving not-quite midway into the 2015 Sundance Film Festival in time to crank out a five-movie day on Sunday. That's less a testament to my stamina than to luck and logistics.

Movie Review: The Boy Next Door -- Get a Fence

Marshall Fine | Posted 01.22.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

How can J-Lo ignore The Boy Next Door? She can't, obviously, because he's a blazing wackjob with an erotic obsession for his new neighbor.

Movie Review: Black Sea -- In Deep Water

Marshall Fine | Posted 01.21.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

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.

Movie Review: Blackhat -- System failure

Marshall Fine | Posted 01.14.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Here's my first problem with Michael Mann's Blackhat: Chris Hemsworth doesn't have the talent to make me believe he's smart enough to be an MIT-educated, world-class computer hacker.

Movie Review: Match -- Who's Your Daddy?

Marshall Fine | Posted 01.13.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Stephen Belber's Match is a slight but affecting film built around a stirring central performance by Patrick Stewart.

2014: My Favorite Films of the Year

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.28.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

If I were going to make a 10-best list, it would probably include films like Boyhood, The Imitation Game and Selma, among others that will be on everyone's list. But, as good as those films are, none of them are on my list of favorites.

Movie Review: Two Days, One Night -- Your Money or My Life

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.25.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

But their newest, Two Days, One Night, pulled me in almost instantly and held me to its gripping conclusion. It's a small story -- an individual's fight for her economic life and that of her family in the suburbs of Liege, Belgium.

Movie Review: Into the Woods -- We All Die. The End.

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.25.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods arrives on the big screen 27 years after it opened on Broadway -- and with the same second-act problems that have plagued it through the years.

Movie Review: Unbroken barely scratches the surface

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.23.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

I happened to see Angelina Jolie's Unbroken before I read the Laura Hillenbrand book about the life of the amazing Louis Zamperini. My guest for an ...

Movie Review: American Sniper - Shooting blanks

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.23.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

The two most disappointing films of the season should have been two of the most gripping: Unbroken (also opening on Christmas) and Clint Eastwood's ...

Movie Review: Big Eyes ...of the Beholder

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.22.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

At heart, Big Eyes is a just a drama about a codependent relationship that strays into abusiveness, in which the wife finally finds the strength to ...

Movie Review: The Gambler -- Snake-eyes

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.22.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

I bristle whenever Hollywood decides that it's time to remake a film from the recent past (although, with a history of cinema that only extends a little over 100 years, it's ALL the recent past).

Movie Review: Selma -- The March Goes On

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.21.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Fifty years separate the events in the film and the headlines of 2014 and it feels as though little has changed.

Movie Review: The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies'

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.17.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Jackson has done something that will likely never be done again: It's not just that he got these movies made the way he wanted -- but that the way he did it was of such consistently high quality.

Movie Review: Mr. Turner -- Go Toward the Light

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.16.2015 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Had he been born in a different time and place, painter J.M.W. Turner might have been a member of the Hudson River School, a group of artists who worked in the second half of the 19th century, after Turner's 1851 death.