I had my doubts that this film would
be the blockbuster it was touted to be since two other recent movies receiving
similar promotional fanfare were disappointing: "The Master" is incomprehensible
and "Cloud Atlas" is uninteresting. While "Life of Pi" is
no masterpiece, it is a very enjoyable picture beautifully depicted under
extremely difficult circumstances.
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Movie Review: “The Extra Man” (-)
September 6, 2010
This picture could have been a real romp and lots of fun. Instead, I found it pretentious, overrated, and over the top.
The story is very simple and inane. A young man from New Jersey, Louis Ives (Paul Dano), has lost his job at a prep school. Louis is uncertain about hissexual orientation and occasionally engages in cross dressing. He moves to Manhattan and rents a room in the apartment of Henry Harrison (Kevin Kline), a much older man.
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“Daniel and Ana” (+)August 30, 2010
The film’s script could have been taken from the notes of Havelock Ellis, a psychiatrist whose books dealt with sexual episodes experienced by his patients. When I was in high school so many years ago in Newark, New Jersey, his books were read by students looking for a sexual thrill. They were often read in the school library rather than being checked out. God forbid your teacher should find you reading one of them, or worse, your mother should find one of his books under your bed. Also, French postcards were regularly exchanged by the male students.
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Movie Review: “A Film Unfinished” (+)
August 23, 2010
An unfinished Nazi propaganda movie titled “Das Ghetto” was filmed in theWarsaw Ghetto in 1942. The movie was found among otherNazi propaganda pictures in East Germany, but a soundtrack was never located.
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Movie Review: “Cairo Time” (-)
August 16, 201
Most critics gave this picture a good review, which is why I went to see it. In my opinion, their assessments were overstated. The film is like a charlotte russe - mostly air and little substance.
The movie is a travelogue set in Cairo. Juliette (Patricia Clarkson) is seeking to visit her husband, Mark (Tom McCamus), who is working in Gaza. She is in Cairo awaiting his arrival. When Mark is delayed in Gaza on business, his former assistant, Tareq (Alexander Siddig), offers to act as her escort.
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Movie Review: “The Disappearance of Alice Creed” (+)
August 16, 2010
This film is a good illustration of what is referred to as a “sleeper.” It is fabulous, and although it opened about two weeks ago, I’ll bet nine out of ten moviegoers have never heard of it, and most of them never will. When I saw it last Friday night at the Cinema Village East, there were only a dozen people in the audience. If you like film noir, don’t miss this movie.
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Movie Review: “Agora” (-)
August 9, 2010
A.O. Scott’s New York Times review of this film last May was a treat to read. He provides a history lesson on the moment in time when Rome dominated Egypt and, in particular, the city of Alexandria. If you have access to the Internet, do retrieve his review.
Regrettably, I did not have the same sentiments about the film as Scott. However, I loved the sets of Alexandria. The only picture that rivals the probable accuracy of those stunning sets of Alexandria, which looks like ancient Rome on which it was apparently modeled, is “I, Claudius.” That BBC mini-series magnificently set forth the extraordinary character of Claudius and the culture and physicality of Rome, including its architecture.
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Movie Review: “Life During Wartime” (+)
August 9, 2010
This depressing film would have been more accurately described if it had been named “Despair.” Everyone in it suffers enormously.
The movie focuses on three sisters.
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Movie Review: “Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky” (+)
July 19, 2010
This film received mixed reviews from other critics. I enjoyed it immensely and think it is well worth seeing. I would also urge you to rent the 2009 film, “Coco Before Chanel,” starring Audrey Tautou. That picture is devoted to Coco’s youth and ends with the death of her true love, Boy Capel, an Englishman who died in an auto accident. Seeing the earlier film will enhance your enjoyment of this movie.
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Movie Review: “The Girl Who Played With Fire” (+)
July 19, 2010
This is the sequel to Stieg Larsson’s first novel, “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.” If you haven’t read that book or seen the film, I urge you to do so before seeing this picture. If you don’t, it will be difficult to follow the storyline, especially when the occasional flashbacks are shown.
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