Movie Review

Commentary
5:00 am
Thu December 19, 2013

'The Hobbit' Is Visually Stunning, But Goes On And On (And On And On)

Credit rottentomatoes.com

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is a visual delight and a miracle of special effects and CGI.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Movie Review: 'Out of the Furnace' Is Well Made, But Isn't Subtle

Woody Harrelson, being vile, and Christian Bale, being unsubtle, in 'Out of the Furnace'
Credit rottentomatoes.com

Out of the Furnace is rated by Entertainment Weekly as the eighth-best movie of the year, and it is well written, well photographed, well acted, and generally worth a lot of praise. It is a serious drama for grownup audiences.

But it is also thoroughly unpleasant, with unsympathetic characters, occasional ugly violence and some artsy camerawork that implies subtlety that isn't there.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Movie Review: 'Philomena' Has Rare Things To Offer

Judi Dench and Steve Coogan in 'Philomena'
Credit rottentomatoes.com

To start with, two bits of advice: if you like grownup, realistic character drama, by all means, see Philomena. And if you have a hearing problem like mine, ask to borrow a pair of earphones the theater has that will enable you to adjust the sound to the volume you need. Because a lot of the dialogue is murmured or even whispered, very confidential, and what I could hear of it convinced me that I wished I could hear it all.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Thu November 28, 2013

McConaughey, Leto Are Oscar-Worthy in 'Dallas Buyers Club'

Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey in 'Dallas Buyers Club'
Credit rottentomatoes.com

Dallas Buyers Club is built on the unusual premise of an apparently bad guy being seduced by circumstances into acting like a good guy whether his heart is in it or not.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Movie Review: 'All Is Lost' Is Unusual And Suspenseful

Robert Redford and his boat battle nature in 'All Is Lost'
Credit rottentomatoes.com

All Is Lost is just Robert Redford and his boat, period.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Movie Review: '12 Years A Slave' Is Brilliant, Unrelenting

Chiwetel Ejiofor in '12 Years A Slave'
Credit rottentomatoes.com

It isn't so much the beatings that make 12 Years A Slave hard to watch-- they will, in any case, not appall the moviegoers who have made the Saw and Hostel franchises profitable, and there are only a few of them-- it's the endless pitilessness of the white characters' attitudes toward the black characters, their utter inability to recognize them as human beings.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Movie Review: 'Ender's Game' A Bit Too Much About Teenage Boys For This Grown-Up

Asa Butterfield puts those teenage video game skills to use in 'Ender's Game'
Credit rottentomatoes.com

Ender's Game is more doggedly devoted to mid-teenaged players of video games than anything I have seen.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Movie Review: Unlikeable Characters In 'The Counselor' Lead To An Unlikeable Movie

The Counselor has this in common with The Butler: that the main character has very little to do with the action of the movie.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Movie Review: 'The Fifth Estate' Inspires Curiosity

Credit rottentomatoes.com

Almost nobody is as ignorant about internets and websites and computers as I am, so I assume that almost anybody will understand The Fifth Estate better than I did.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Despite Its Jumpy Camera, 'Captain Phillips' Is Engaging, Nuanced and Suspenseful

Tom Hanks encounters Somali pirates in 'Captain Phillips'
Credit rottentomatoes.com

Captain Phillips is the supposedly true story of the hijacking of an American cargo ship by Somalian pirates in 2009, and on the whole it's a suspenseful and convincing account with, unfortunately for me, two or three elements that grind me. But they may not bother you, and may actually appeal to you.

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