Tag Archives: Drama

Fifty Shades Darker

SLIP INTO SOMETHING A SHADE DARKER.  Some time after breaking up with Christian (Jamie Dornan), Ana (Dakota Johnson) agrees to renegotiate their relationship… but a mysterious woman (Kim Basinger) from Christian’s past shows up. The sequel to Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) was helmed by an old pro at steamy thrillers, but it’s hard to … Continue reading Fifty Shades Darker

Ex Machina

TO ERASE THE LINE BETWEEN MAN AND MACHINE IS TO OBSCURE THE LINE BETWEEN MEN AND GODS. Programmer Caleb Smith (Domhnall Gleeson) wins a contest for a one-week visit at the isolated home of his company’s mysterious CEO (Oscar Isaacs); once there, he’s introduced to a new creation, a robot (Alicia Vikander) with artificial intelligence. … Continue reading Ex Machina

45 Years: Solid and Fragile

DO WE REALLY KNOW OUR LOVED ONES? My parents have been married for 44 years. I’m fascinated by couples who have stayed together that many decades. I find it almost mysterious, this bond that evolves between two people. Sometimes people end up depending on each other for the wrong reasons, resulting in a bitter relationship … Continue reading 45 Years: Solid and Fragile

The King of Comedy

IT’S NO LAUGHING MATTER.  Autograph hunter Rupert Pupkin (Robert De Niro) idolizes the legendary late-night TV host Jerry Langford (Jerry Lewis) and does everything in his power to launch a standup-comedy career on Langford’s show. After Raging Bull (1980), Martin Scorsese turned to comedy with a story partly inspired by a Johnny Carson stalker. Following … Continue reading The King of Comedy

28 Days

THE LIFE OF THE PARTY… BEFORE SHE GOT A LIFE.  After spectacularly ruining her sister’s wedding, writer Gwen Cummings (Sandra Bullock) chooses 28 days in rehab rather than going to prison… but she has no intention of taking it seriously. A more earnest drama from Betty Thomas than we’re used to, but still with a … Continue reading 28 Days

Woman in Gold

THE FIGHT FOR JUSTICE NEVER ENDS.  California resident Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren) hires young attorney Randy Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds) to help her retrieve Gustav Klimt’s painting ”Woman in Gold” from Austria; a portrait of her aunt, the Nazis stole the painting from her family. A reality-based story about a significant battle over artwork that reached … Continue reading Woman in Gold

Shawshank Redemption: Making the Big House Home

FEAR CAN HOLD YOU PRISONER. HOPE CAN SET YOU FREE.  The top 10 list that Internet Movie Database users have put together over the years is full of great movies. For many years now the number one slot has been occupied by a film that wasn’t a huge hit at the time. It received very … Continue reading Shawshank Redemption: Making the Big House Home

I Am Michael

ONE MAN. TWO LIVES.  After suffering panic attacks that he initially mistakes for a heart condition, gay activist Michael Glatze (James Franco) finds God and starts turning his back on his sexuality. The real-life story of a man who chose the Christian right over his old life is a sad portrait of a man who’s … Continue reading I Am Michael

Dunkirk: Surviving the Beach

AT THE POINT OF CRISIS, AT THE POINT OF ANNIHILATION, SURVIVAL IS VICTORY.  About 25 years ago, Christopher Nolan and his wife Emma Thomas were crossing the English Channel together with a friend. They were in a small sailing yacht headed for the northeastern French town of Dunkirk, but what initially looked like a pleasant … Continue reading Dunkirk: Surviving the Beach

Wonder Boys

UNDEPENDABLE. UNPREDICTABLE. UNFORGETTABLE. Pittsburgh university professor Grady Tripp (Michael Douglas) teaches creative writing while desperately trying to finish the follow-up novel to the book that made him famous; one of his students (Tobey Maguire) is peculiar and brilliant… Curtis Hanson followed the success of L.A. Confidential (1997) with this dramedy set in a wet and … Continue reading Wonder Boys