Today, channels cater to the least individual viewer, producing vanilla content designed only to echo the ideas already being circulated in popular culture. Public, independent programs are the last bulwark of integrity in the battle against the monotone emanating from our televisions.
Nearly a decade in the works, American Masters - American Ballet Theatre: A History feels more like an eccentric personal meditation, or a love letter to the art form, than a historical trek through the company's 75 storied years.
It does not seem quite possible that Jack Nicholson could be turning 75 today. He seems ageless, particularly when you revisit his best films. And that's just what we should all do to mark the occasion.
Just when you start believing there's no hope for anything daring and original coming out of Movieland, something gets released that surprises you. The Artist is one such movie -- and what's new about it is that it's old.
Almost fifteen years after Titanic, with six Oscar nods and one win to her credit, Kate Winslet is an actress at the peak of her powers -- no longer a precocious ingénue, but a professional who's conscientiously developed her craft.
Mindless kiddie fare opens at around four thousand screens across the country. When at last a brilliant, provocative film for grown-ups gets produced, it merited four screens. Doesn't this strike you as just a trifle lopsided?
This weekend's release reflects the industry's increasing reliance on that forbidden joy of my childhood -- the comic book -- to justify its existence. But many of the nation's critics readily drank the Thor Kool-Aid.
The late Deborah Kerr was the kind of star and personality we rarely see anymore: a lady first and foremost, who, even playing women of dubious virtue, projected an innate sense of class, dignity, even nobility.
If you hear some young, unschooled person say, "Oh, Dustin Hoffman, he played Ben Stiller's kooky dad", point them towards the other memorable characters that more accurately reflect this performer's invaluable contribution to film.
We are so collectively mired in the hyper-superficial, materialistic, flashy "moment of now" that we haven't paused to acknowledge a man who helped bring some of the finest British films ever made to the screen.
There are plenty of films out there that make us hopeful about life and living. Film noir is a guilty pleasure where we witness the denizens of society's bottom rungs stamping on each other's feet for a higher, safer position.
Science fiction movies are like that food you don't eat much but sometimes find yourself in the mood for. Dated as some of these titles are, they're still great fun for those partial to the genre, or game to get acquainted with it.
Great activist movies portray the ongoing struggle between the welfare of working people and larger societal forces, seemingly beyond their control, that threaten their integrity, livelihood, and often, their very survival.