Monthly Archives: January 2017

DGA nominations — Will Best Directors continue to direct Best Pictures?

Regarding that headline, here’s the old Oscar maxim. “Best Directors direct Best Pictures.” If your director doesn’t get nominated, your picture, even if nominated, doesn’t stand a chance at winning Best Picture. So “La La Land,” “Arrival,” “Manchester by the … Continue reading

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Movie Preview: “CHiPs,” the first trailer

Upon first hearing they were turning the lame ’80s TV series “CHiPs” into a movie, I thought — “Well, they cast it right.” Whack-job funnyman and car nut Dax Shepard and funny-when-he-wants-to-be Michael Pena? That works. The trailer, with its … Continue reading

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Movie Review: Adios, “Bye Bye Man”

“The Bye Bye Man” is a moldy slice of Wisconsin-set cheese, a horror film that manages as many unwanted laughs as frights. But there was just enough here — maybe in the pitch, if not the script — to attract … Continue reading

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Movie Review: “Elle” makes Verhoeven relevant again

Michelle lets it slip, almost casually, in a restaurant — at a group dinner with friends. “I guess,” she hems and haws, “I was raped…I feel stupid for bringing it up.” But we already know that. We’ve seen the brutal … Continue reading

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Movie Review: Keaton sizzles on the griddle as “The Founder”

The legends of America’s great robber barons are equal parts inspiring and appalling. And damned if “The Founder” doesn’t get that balance just right. Director John Lee Hancock (“The Blindside”) tells the story of McDonald’s tycoon Ray Kroc with old fashioned … Continue reading

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Movie Review: Scorsese’s mad movie prayer is answered with “Silence

It’s tempting  to write off any religious-themed picture from master filmmaker and ex-seminary student Martin Scorsese as an indulgence, a grasping attempt at cinematic atonement for a  path not taken and a lifetime of making movie violence. “Silence” does nothing … Continue reading

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Movie Review: Affleck returns to the Dennis Lehane well once-too-often with “Live by Night”

Ben Affleck’s gangster epic “Live by Night” doesn’t fail through lack of ambition. It’s an over-reach, a sprawling tale of love, betrayal, violence and “the demon rum.” It’s built on a book by Mr. Can’t-Miss Movie Material, Dennis Lehane, who … Continue reading

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Movie Review — “Underworld: Blood Wars”

In a global economy roiled by uncertainty, there’s something to be said for going easy on anybody doing a dirty job just to get by. But there’s a better argument for making Kate Beckinsale, her agent and her financial planner … Continue reading

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Movie Review: Greece collapses and lovers find that they’re “Worlds Apart”

Three generations of Greeks struggle with intercultural romance amidst the turmoil of modern Athens in “Worlds Apart,” a romantic melodrama by Greek writer, director and actor Christoforos (Christopher) Papakaliatis. This wistful, melancholy yet hopeful romance has a warmth that singes, … Continue reading

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Hugh Laurie wins “Best Golden Globes” speech — again

I don’t make it a habit to watch the Golden Globes. Yeah, “La La Land” may be destined to win the best picture Oscar. But as they unloaded all their love on various Brits last night (“The Crown”? Ahem.) for … Continue reading

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