Boyhood – film review – C

I don’t write many film reviews anymore because of my increasing work in fiction.  However, I make it a point to watch as many films as possible when I think they are going to be talked about come Oscar time.  According to many film critics, this is one of them. In Boyhood, the camera follows…

“Maleficent” film review – B

  First, I’m not thrilled with the live-action remake of animated classics trend, most notably Disney classics.  I’m warning you now that Cinderella comes out next March with Helena Bonham Carter as the fairy godmother.  Second, I’m also not thrilled with changing the story for marketing sake.  In the case of Maleficent, Disney went for a better reaction, especially…

Philomena – film review (A-)

There are many “wrongs” in Philomena.  You can debate them politically or rank them in degrees of more or less “wrong,” but only two thing matter.  First, none of the wrongs can be undone.  Second, when one learns of a “wrong” that has been done, what do you do next?  Do you learn?  Do you…

Back in the Day: “Say Anything” (April ’89)

In my continuing series called “Back in the Day,” we visit a teen classic.  Please pay a visit to The Cinematic Katzenjammer to read all about the real “biggest loser.” Say Anything (1989) Written and directed by Cameron Crowe Starring John Cusack and Ione Skye “…an honest reveal of what happens when losers take a…

“12 Years a Slave” – Film Review (A+)

    I was warned before watching 12 Years a Slave that it would be graphic and painful to watch.  It was.  I was told Chiwetel Ejiofor was equally worthy as Matthew McConaughey for his Best Actor Oscar in Dallas Buyers Club.  He was.  More than a generation ago, I watched Roots, which to me…

Back in the Day: “Dead Calm” (April ’89)

      In this week’s “Back in the Day,” we pick on, I mean, look at a good thriller that was Nicole Kidman’s breakthrough role as a damsel in distress – and wet clothes – aboard a yacht with a lunatic.  Back in the 80’s, many a teenage boy scoured the HBO guide to…

Back in the Day: “Lean on Me” (March ’89)

  In this next episode of “Back in the Day,” I stretch 25 years back and look at Morgan Freeman’s first lead role.  More important than how good or not-so-good a movie it might have been are the personal connections I still have to it.  Click on the picture above and learn a few things…

“American Hustle” – film review (A-)

American Hustle is about 2 hours 18 minutes long.  I’m very certain you’re going to love the first 2 hours 5 minutes.  After that, well, opinions will differ.  The film opens with the graphic “Some of this actually happened.”  Although the film uses the term “Abscam,” the story is a very loose translation of the…

Back in the Day: “Her Alibi” (Feb. 1989)

If you happen to remember seeing this bad 1989 film, all I can say is someone owes you two hours of your life back.  It’s my latest dig into the past for my series called “Back in the Day.”  To read the rest, click on the movie poster below…

Primer – film review (C++)

(The C++ is a joke for the computer crowd) It’s probably unfair to review Primer, an independent sci-fi time travel film, in the same way as other films.  For one, its budget was $7,000.  Yeah, only three zeroes.  One person, Shane Carruth, is listed as writer, director, actor, editor, and music composer.  He had to…