Tag Archives: Richard Jenkins

Kong: Skull Island

ALL HAIL THE KING.  In 1973, a military expedition takes a group of scientists and representatives of a mysterious organization called Monarch to an island in the Pacific that harbors many secrets. The giant ape is brought back to the screen as part of a cinematic monster universe, following Godzilla (2014). This 3D adventure keeps … Continue reading Kong: Skull Island

The Hollars

Graphic novelist John Hollar (John Krasinski) leaves New York City to visit his mother (Margo Martindale) who’s in hospital with a tumor, but he’s instantly drawn into the problems of his whole family. Krasinski’s second film as a director has everything you expect from a typical indie comedy-drama, down to the predictable guitar arrangements. Martindale … Continue reading The Hollars

White House Down

IT WILL START LIKE ANY OTHER DAY. The same day as John Cale (Channing Tatum) is visiting the White House with his daughter, hoping to land a job with the Secret Service, the Executive Mansion is overtaken by terrorists. The same year as we saw Olympus Has Fallen, there was another action movie depicting the … Continue reading White House Down

Hannah and Her Sisters: Saved by the Marx Bros

There’s every reason for Mia Farrow not to enjoy watching this movie. Some of it was shot in her actual apartment, and she has talked about the creepy effect of sitting in one’s apartment flipping through channels and finding a movie that takes place exactly where you’re sitting. Then there’s also the fact that her … Continue reading Hannah and Her Sisters: Saved by the Marx Bros

Spotlight: Breaking a Catholic Curse

BREAK THE STORY. BREAK THE SILENCE.  There’s a scene near the end of the film that will get the adrenaline pumping in any journalist. That’s when the Boston Globe printing presses start rolling and the scoop everybody’s been working on is finally published. The film takes place in 2001-2002, before the Internet started killing printed … Continue reading Spotlight: Breaking a Catholic Curse

Sea of Love

DECEPTION IS DANGEROUS. DESIRE IS DEADLY. In a novel attempt to catch a serial killer who shoots men after finding them in the newspaper singles column, New York city detective Frank Keller (Al Pacino) places his own ad in the paper… On first sight, this thriller doesn’t look like much; the final revelation of the … Continue reading Sea of Love

Olive Kitteridge: Til Death Do Us Part

THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A SIMPLE LIFE.   Six years ago, Frances McDormand read “Olive Kitteridge” by Elizabeth Strout. This was at a time when the actress had watched The Wire (2002-2008) and realized how a sprawling story could be told in a television format. In McDormand’s mind, “Olive Kitteridge” could not be made … Continue reading Olive Kitteridge: Til Death Do Us Part

The Cabin in the Woods

YOU THINK YOU KNOW THE STORY. A group of college kids head out to an empty cabin in the woods, unaware that something monstrous awaits them… and that it’s manipulated by a mysterious organization. The writers, who have worked on several TV shows, created this piece of horror satire that salutes scary movies, but also … Continue reading The Cabin in the Woods

The Company You Keep

After the arrest of a former Weather Underground activist (Susan Sarandon) who’d been a fugitive for the last 30 years, reporter Ben Shepard (Shia LaBeouf) turns his attention to a seemingly honest Albany lawyer (Robert Redford). The 1970s terror organization is portrayed in rather simple fashion as consisting of essentially decent people who made undeniable … Continue reading The Company You Keep

Eat Pray Love

LET YOURSELF GO THIS AUGUST. Elizabeth Gilbert (Julia Roberts) has pretty much everything, but is still unhappy and feels lost – perhaps a culinary trip to Italy, a bit of praying in India and a love affair in Bali will take care of things? Gilbert’s Oprah-endorsed new age book gets its inevitable film adaptation that … Continue reading Eat Pray Love

Jack Reacher

THE LAW HAS LIMITS. HE DOES NOT. When Pittsburgh police arrest a man they believe shot and killed five people, he has only one request – that they contact Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise), a mysterious former Army investigator. Cruise goes Clint Eastwood in this first adaptation of one of Lee Child’s pulp novels; he may … Continue reading Jack Reacher

Killing Them Softly

After a robbery takes place at a mob-related poker game, professional enforcer Jackie Cogan (Brad Pitt) is hired to look into it. Director Andrew Dominik reunited with Pitt from The Assassination of Jesse James… (2007) for a gangster movie with ambitions. Exactly what those are remains unclear; frequent attempts to tie the story to the … Continue reading Killing Them Softly

Dear John

WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH A LETTER THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING? In 2001, John and Savannah (Channing Tatum, Amanda Seyfried) meet and fall in love, but their relationship is tested at the start of the Afghanistan War when John decides to re-enlist. It’s very hard to see what Lasse Hallström saw in this simple romantic story, … Continue reading Dear John