Review: Saving Mr. Banks

When my children were younger, we must have watched the Disney classic live-action film Mary Poppins dozens of times. It’s light, it’s sweet, it has some great songs, and even now I find myself referencing the “practically perfect in every way” scene with my teen. It also had a ghastly performance by Dick Van Dyke too: his Cockney accent is atrocious, just painful to hear, but that’s another discussion entirely. What people who watch Mary…Read More

Review: Total Recall

2012 will be remembered as the summer of visually amazing science fiction tentpole movies, with the greatest example being the extraordinarily expensive but ultimately incomprehensible Prometheus. The new film Total Recall joins this parade, with production design that is so clearly inspired by the wonderful Blade Runner exteriors, with some Fifth Element car chases and Star Wars stormtroopers tossed in for good measure, that it’s a delight to watch. Better, director Len Wiseman and his…Read More

Review: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

If you’ve never seen a Terry Gilliam film before, you’ll be baffled and likely frustrated by the storytelling style and visual exaggeration that are trademarks of his weird and wonderful movies.  A former member of the comedy team Monty Python, a peculiarly English sense of humor suffuses his films too, from Time Bandits to The Adventures of Baron Munchausen to Brazil. In the spirit of disclosure, I am a big fan of Gilliam’s work and have looked…Read More