Tag Archives: Michael Gambon

Hail, Caesar!

LIGHTS. CAMERA. ABDUCTION. In 1951, Hollywood fixer Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) juggles a busy life, including trying to find out where the studio’s biggest star (George Clooney) has disappeared… The Coen brothers on familiar turf, with yet another kidnapping and a comedy set half a century ago. The biggest appeal here is how lovingly the … Continue reading Hail, Caesar!

1066: The Conquest We Never See Onscreen

I recently finished a book called “The Norman Conquest” by Marc Morris, a riveting account of the most famous invasion of what is now the British Isles, one that changed England’s history fundamentally. I didn’t know much about this period. As a school kid, I had been made to understand that the Battle of Hastings … Continue reading 1066: The Conquest We Never See Onscreen

Quartet

FOUR FRIENDS LOOKING FOR A LITTLE HARMONY.  When the famous soprano Jean Horton (Maggie Smith) arrives at Beecham House, a home for retired musicians, old feelings are stirred up. Dustin Hoffman’s directing debut is a pleasant adaptation of a stage play that fuses drama and comedy in a very British manner. The story is simple … Continue reading Quartet

The Book of Eli

Some will kill to have it. He will kill to protect it. Some time after a nuclear catastrophe, Eli (Denzel Washington) arrives in a small town run by Carnegie’s (Gary Oldman) vicious gang; when they learn that Eli has a very powerful book they do everything to grab it. The Hughes Brothers’ first movie in … Continue reading The Book of Eli

Luck

A true labor of love for Deadwood creator David Milch, this ambitious and star-studded look at the power players, horse trainers, gamblers and hangers-on at a race track in L.A. was abruptly canceled after the deaths of three horses. Considering the fact that Milch took his sweet time building the stories and character portrayals, the … Continue reading Luck

Page Eight

  At the same time as Johnny Worricker (Bill Nighy) is getting to know his neighbor (Rachel Weisz) better, he receives a report with explosive contents from his long-time friend and boss, MI5 Director General Benedict Baron (Michael Gambon). Originally intended as a feature film, this intimate and quiet portrayal of an aging agent nevertheless fits … Continue reading Page Eight

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2: Closing the Book

IT ALL ENDS. There are people who enjoy the Harry Potter books and films… and then there are Potterheads, the fanatics. I’ve always belonged in the former category. I read the first novel, then concentrated on the movie adaptations. I did care about what would happen to Harry and his friends, but never had the … Continue reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2: Closing the Book

The King’s Speech: Royal Pains

IT TAKES LEADERSHIP TO CONFRONT A NATION’S FEAR. IT TAKES FRIENDSHIP TO CONQUER YOUR OWN.   After watching this brilliant drama, I knew I had to consult YouTube for the speech King George VI made after Britain’s declaration of war against Germany. Sometimes, historical events portrayed in films absurdly seem a bit small in comparison … Continue reading The King’s Speech: Royal Pains

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

NOWHERE IS SAFE. The treacherous Snape (Alan Rickman) is now running Hogwarts while Harry, Ron and Hermione (Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson) try to find and destroy the Horcruxes, objects that control Voldemort’s (Ralph Fiennes) powers. The seventh film in the series has razzle-dazzle to spare as always, a majestically staged first part of the … Continue reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

The Good Shepherd: Guarding the Flock

THE TRUE STORY OF THE BIRTH OF THE CIA THROUGH THE EYES OF A MAN WHO NEVER EXISTED. Robert De Niro should work as a director more often. His first film in that capacity, A Bronx Tale (1993), had a ring of truth to it and so does this story about the rise of the CIA after WWII, a pet … Continue reading The Good Shepherd: Guarding the Flock

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

DARK SECRETS REVEALED. When Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) returns to Hogwarts for another year, Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) wants his help in trying to learn what a new teacher knows about Voldemort. Director David Yates made the previous film as well, but this sixth chapter feels like more of the same without the passion and tension that … Continue reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince