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Monthly Archives: October 2015
The Commandant is carefully tutoring his boy soldier, Agu. He teaches him discipline. He inflames the child’s rage at the government troops who summarily executed his father and gunned down his fleeing brother. Final test? Draw blood. “Agu,” the silky-sinister … Continue reading
Kind of a dismal fall at the box office, for those bothering to take notice. Since most people aren’t going to the movies, that “take notice” seems to be a rare quality, relatively speaking. “Burnt” is a star vehicle for … Continue reading
The first time I visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., it was on a school day. And whole classes of teenagers filled the chilling exhibits — the halls of photos, prison clothes and uniforms, the railcar full of shoes, … Continue reading
“Woodlawn” is a formulaic football film with some meat on it. It’s a faith-based “Remember the Titans” built on solid performances, the occasional feel-good (inspirational) moment and a script that lacks focus, if not ambition. Woodlawn was a newly-integrated high … Continue reading
“The Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse” takes the Living Dead/Walking Dead/Brain-eating Dead as seriously as this worn-out genre deserves. Which is to say, not very seriously at all. You poor stay-at-home shut-ins parsing every scene in that AMC soap … Continue reading
The most shocking thing about “Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension,” is that four hacks fought to have their names listed in the credits under “screenplay.” Seriously. It’s the same house, or location. It’s the same set-up — family spooked/stalked by … Continue reading
“Burnt” is Bradley Cooper’s “Cocktail,” a trendy, slick and superficial romance built around a seriously one-dimensional performance. It’s a foodie movie whose credits are riddled with big-name chef consultants — Gordon Ramsay, Mario Bitali. The meals are Michelin Guide ready … Continue reading
We don’t really remember that decade of bad Sandra Bullock movies that came before her Oscar winning turn in “The Blind Side.” We just remember how she looked. The pratfalls might be half-hearted, the misty-eyed appeal to sentiment might be … Continue reading
Here’s what shooting your heist picture in a single take gives you — breathless tension. The viewer can sense the lack of edits, the feeling that you’re hurtling along, with the characters and the hand-held cameraman, on a downward spiral. … Continue reading
We see the mistakes before the principals do. That’s what makes the news-story-gone-wrong drama “Truth” so compelling. The audience knows that the “60 Minutes” team investigating then-President George W. Bush’s shady service in the Air National Guard “doesn’t have it” … Continue reading