Review: The Giver

It’s the future and after some sort of presumed apocalyptic event, society has been rebuilt with all emotion, all differences, all fear and joy removed. The village is neat and symmetric and the family has been replaced by a unit, mother, father, two children of different ages, each in their assigned domicile. Reflecting this is the black and white cinematography: this particular future really is colorless, not just in terms of skin color, but in…Read More

Review: R.I.P.D.

No really, ‘R.I.P.D.’ is not 80% ‘Men In Black’ and 20% ‘Ghostbusters’. Well, maybe it kind of is. In fact, the officers of the “Rest In Peace Department” in the movie are assigned the task of making sure that dead people get the heck off Earth and either up to heaven or down to hell. No lingerers. Guess we better tell all those ghostly malevolent spirits waiting for the next horror film. Based on what…Read More

Review: True Grit

The original True Grit was released in 1969 (see my review) was one of the films that marked the end of the Western in cinema. Primarily about the relationship between hard-as-nails teen Mattie (Kim Darby) and grizzled old marshall Rooster Cogburn (John Wayne, in an Academy Award winning performance), it worked because Mattie was fearless and dogged in her pursuit of justice for the ranch hand who murdered her father, and because Cogburn was a…Read More

Flashback Review: True Grit

WIth the impending release of the Coen Brothers remake of True Grit (starring Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Hailee Steinfeld), it seemed like a good time to go back and watch the original 1969 True Grit, directed by Henry Hathaway and starring John Wayne, Kim Darby and Glen Campbell. The wrinkle: I am not a fan of John Wayne and find that he played the same gruff bully in just about every film I’ve seen…Read More

Review: Tron: Legacy

It’s tricky to create a sequel when the original just wasn’t that good a movie. Tron: Legacy had to be thematically related to the original Tron, but sufficiently cool and visually stunning that audiences wouldn’t care about the first movie. Director Steven Lisberger and his team succeed beautifully and Tron: Legacy proved to be one of the most entertaining films I’ve seen this year. The film follows Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund), son of Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges)…Read More

Review: The Men Who Stare at Goats

“Is this really based on facts?” a fellow critic asked the studio rep at the screening I attended of this film. “Does it matter?” I asked in response, and I was right, it doesn’t. Whether it’s true or just a riff on the craziness of modern military and contemporary culture, it turns out that The Men Who Stare at Goats is a witty and engaging satire in the same vein as the classic war films…Read More