Tag Archives: Willem Dafoe

Murder on the Orient Express

EVERYONE IS A SUSPECT.  In 1934, famous detective Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) finds himself on the Orient Express where a notorious businessman (Johnny Depp) is murdered. Another star-studded version of Agatha Christie’s most famous mystery is similar to the slightly superior 1974 movie and has no new twists to offer. Which is probably a good … Continue reading Murder on the Orient Express

John Wick

DON’T SET HIM OFF! After losing his wife, former ace assassin John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is attacked by the clueless son of a Russian mobster (Michael Nyqvist), which sets him off on a murderous spree. An action-thriller that became a hit for Reeves as a hugely skilled and ruthless killer and, amusingly, builds a whole … Continue reading John Wick

Finding Dory

AN UNFORGETTABLE JOURNEY SHE PROBABLY WON’T REMEMBER. One year after the events of Finding Nemo (2003), Dory begins to remember a few things about how she got separated from her parents; together with Marlin and Nemo, she sets out to find them. This 3D sequel is stunningly beautiful, showing just how amazingly technology is moving … Continue reading Finding Dory

Out of the Furnace

SOMETIMES YOUR BATTLES CHOOSE YOU.  After serving time in prison, steel mill worker Russell Baze (Christian Bale) learns that his younger brother Rodney (Casey Affleck), who did tours in Iraq, competes in bare-knuckle fights. A grim drama from the director of Crazy Heart (2009) set in an economically depressed Pennsylvania borough. The working-class locations feel … Continue reading Out of the Furnace

The Fault in Our Stars

ONE SICK LOVE STORY.  16-year-old Hazel (Shailene Woodley), who is dying of cancer, meets 18-year-old Augustus (Ansel Elgort), who has survived bone cancer, at a support group and they strike up a connection… A box office success, and a breakthrough for its young stars who are very likable; Woodley also delivers a performance that is … Continue reading The Fault in Our Stars

Mississippi Burning: Death by Cop

1964. WHEN AMERICA WAS AT WAR WITH ITSELF. There are many heinous cases that must have compelled federal authorities to finally back comprehensive civil-rights legislation that specifically targeted the South. One of the worst is the disappearance of three civil-rights workers, two white and one black, in Mississippi in 1964 who were later found murdered. … Continue reading Mississippi Burning: Death by Cop

Nymph()maniac: Vol. II

Joe’s (Charlotte Gainsbourg) story of her days as a nymphomaniac continues, and we learn that her experiences became increasingly desperate… Darker in tone than Vol. I, this one has a grisly abortion scene, some bloody BDSM action and silly adventures among gangsters. What started out as a mildly intriguing project turns very unpleasant, with pretensions … Continue reading Nymph()maniac: Vol. II

A Most Wanted Man

A Chechen refugee arrives in Hamburg illegally; he’s believed to be a terrorist, but intelligence agent Günther Bachmann (Philip Seymour Hoffman) sees a chance to catch bigger fish. Anton Corbijn delivers another spy thriller after The American (2010) and he’s well-suited to portray the stylishly gray world of John le Carré. This adaptation depicts the … Continue reading A Most Wanted Man

Born on the Fourth of July: All Quiet on the Southeastern Front

A STORY OF INNOCENCE LOST AND COURAGE FOUND.   It took a while for me to realize that the date I revisited this film on Bluray was July 4th. I may be daft, but so is anyone who doesn’t consider this film to be another example of just how patriotic Oliver Stone is. Along with … Continue reading Born on the Fourth of July: All Quiet on the Southeastern Front

Grand Budapest Hotel: Fighting a European Sickness

In February 1942, the Jewish writer Stefan Zweig and his wife were found dead in Brazil after committing suicide. In his native Austria, World War I had turned Zweig into a pacifist; when Hitler rose to power in Germany, the author fled to America and stayed in New York City for a while before moving … Continue reading Grand Budapest Hotel: Fighting a European Sickness

John Carter

LOST IN OUR WORLD. FOUND IN ANOTHER.  Edgar Rice Burroughs (Daryl Sabara) comes across John Carter’s (Taylor Kitsch) personal diary of how he was transported from 19th century Arizona to Mars where he became involved in a war. Andrew Stanton’s live-action directing debut came with a price tag so hefty it almost put Disney in … Continue reading John Carter