Tag Archives: Paul Giamatti

Donnie Brasco: A Made(Up) Man

IN 1978, THE U.S. GOVERNMENT WAGED A WAR AGAINST ORGANIZED CRIME. ONE MAN WAS LEFT BEHIND THE LINES.  I was just listening to a political debate about Islamic terrorism. One of the participants talked about how intelligence agencies need to do more than just tap phones; they need to put ”boots on the ground” by … Continue reading Donnie Brasco: A Made(Up) Man

Saving Private Ryan: Spielberg’s Hymn to the Fallen

THE MISSION IS A MAN. Steven Spielberg has directed several masterpieces over the years, but this one is the most controversial. The general sentiment expressed by snobs is that the first 20 minutes, depicting the invasion of Normandy, are outstanding, but the rest is typical Spielberg mush. It’s as if the fact that those 20 … Continue reading Saving Private Ryan: Spielberg’s Hymn to the Fallen

Straight Outta Compton: Lesson of Street Knowledge

THE WORLD’S MOST DANGEROUS TIMES CREATED THE WORLD’S MOST DANGEROUS GROUP. The story of how the rap group N.W.A. started was sanctioned by its two most prominent members, Ice Cube and Dr. Dre, who also served as producers. You’ve even got Cube’s son, O’Shea Jackson, Jr., playing Cube. In other words, it comes as not … Continue reading Straight Outta Compton: Lesson of Street Knowledge

San Andreas

WHERE WILL YOU BE? WHO WILL YOU BE WITH? When a series of devastating earthquakes hits California, LAFD rescue pilot Ray Gaines (Dwayne Johnson) team up with his ex-wife (Carla Gugino) to track down their daughter (Alexandra Daddario) in San Francisco. The star and the director of Journey 2 (2012) reunited for another boisterous 3D … Continue reading San Andreas

The Greatest Hits of 2015

It’s time for that annual list of next year’s highly anticipated Hollywood films. Here’s 2015 for ya. JANUARY: * Blackhat – Michael Mann’s first directorial outing since Public Enemies (2009) is a cyber thriller starring Chris Hemsworth. Its January release makes it hard to really get excited about it.  * Escobar: Paradise Lost – Notorious Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar reaches … Continue reading The Greatest Hits of 2015

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

NO MORE SECRETS. While Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) worries over Gwen’s (Emma Stone) safety now that she knows his secret alias, Spider-Man faces two new enemies. Marc Webb’s attempt to make the greatest blockbuster ever has moments of beauty in its execution, including striking 3D visuals. Unfortunately, many jokes fall flat and the introduction of … Continue reading The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Saving Mr. Banks

WHERE HER BOOK ENDED, THEIR STORY BEGAN.   In the early 1960s, P. L. Travers (Emma Thompson), the author of “Mary Poppins”, finally gives in to Walt Disney’s (Tom Hanks) relentless requests to make a movie out of her book and travels to Los Angeles, fully intent to give the tycoon a hard time… The … Continue reading Saving Mr. Banks

12 Years a Slave: Land of the Unfree

THE EXTRAORDINARY TRUE STORY OF SOLOMON NORTHUP.   The historian Sue Eakin was born in Louisiana five decades after the end of the Civil War and she specialized in the plantation culture of her home state. In the 1960s, she came across a book that had been largely forgotten. “Twelve Years a Slave” by Solomon … Continue reading 12 Years a Slave: Land of the Unfree

Rock of Ages

NOTHIN’ BUT A GOOD TIME. In 1987, small-town girl Sherrie Christian (Julianne Hough) arrives in Los Angeles and is hired as a waitress at a classic rock club that’s been targeted by the Mayor and his crazy-conservative wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones)… This adaptation of the jukebox musical was a box-office flop in spite of the fact … Continue reading Rock of Ages

Cosmopolis

Director David Cronenberg’s adaptation of the critically acclaimed Don DeLillo novel invites us on an icy, claustrophobic journey together with a young billionaire (Robert Pattinson) who’s about to lose everything as riots shake Manhattan. Largely set inside his luxurious stretch limo, it’s a very talky, incongruous experience that takes on increasingly absurd overtones. Worth a … Continue reading Cosmopolis

The Greatest Hits of 2013

It’s time for that annual list of this year’s highly anticipated Hollywood films. Here’s 2013 for ya. JANUARY: * The Last Stand – Arnold Schwarzenegger’s first starring vehicle in ten years. Not expecting great things. * Broken City – Allen Hughes directs this political thriller starring Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe. FEBRUARY: * Warm Bodies … Continue reading The Greatest Hits of 2013

The Last Station

Intoxicating. Infuriating. Impossible. Love. In 1910, Valentin Bulgakov (James McAvoy) finds himself in the middle of a battle between Sophia Tolstoy (Helen Mirren) and her husband’s (Christopher Plummer) most ardent disciples who are trying to take control of the author’s copyrights in the name of “the people”. Mirren and Plummer are very passionate as the … Continue reading The Last Station