Film Review: DANNY COLLINS Apr17

Film Review: DANNY COLLINS

DANNY COLLINS Directed and Written by Dan Fogelman Starring: Al Pacino, Annette Bening, Jennifer Garner, Christopher Plummer, Bobby Cannavale Has there ever been a movie about the life of a singer where an actor (or even someone dubbing for him) sang so little? I can’t think of one. In DANNY COLLINS, Al Pacino plays a washed-up rocker who now, at best, performs as a lounge act. He has a signature song but not much else. But when his agent (Plummer) brings him a recently discovered letter from John Lennon applauding Collins’ talent back in the seventies, Danny begins to examine his life. As he prepares to revive his career, he...

Film Review: WHILE WE’RE YOUNG Apr10

Film Review: WHILE WE’RE YOUNG

While We’re Young Written and Directed by Noah Baumbach Starring: Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Adam Driver, Amanda Seyfried, Charles Grodin The basic premise of WHILE WE’RE YOUNG seems oh, so familiar. A forty-something couple, male (Stiller) and female (Watts) yearn for the freedom they find in new twenty-something friends (Driver and Seyfried). Stiller also basks in the adulation Driver lays on him. What makes this film stand out is that Stiller doesn’t really appear burdened with any of the responsibilities you would expect at all. Nor does Watt. An exceedingly indulgent father-in-law (Grodin) finances their projects in...

Film Review: WILD TALES Apr03

Film Review: WILD TALES

WILD TALES Written and Directed by Damian Szifron Starring: Ricardo Darin and many fine Argentinian actors WILD TALES was enormous fun—if you have a tolerance for violence, mayhem, and people exacting revenge or working themselves into states of great rage. There were six stories of varying length. Some a bit too long perhaps but none were a bust and at least half of them were darn brilliant. In each tale, someone has been pushed to the breaking point. Sometimes it comes quickly—like the tale of two women in a café who wait on a man who has done great harm, or more slowly –as in the story of a man trying to save his son from arrest...

Film Review: ’71 Mar27

Film Review: ’71

’71 Directed by Yann Demange Written by Gregory Burke Starring: Jack O’Connell, Richard Dormer, Sean Harris, Sam Reid ’71 takes place in Belfast at the height of the conflict between two factions of the IRA, the northern Protestants, the northern Catholics, the local constabulary and a squad of British soldiers. And is that enough players for you? There may have been more. Trying throwing them into the dead of night, adding thick accents, having several very confusing riot scenes and a fast-moving plot. Newly arrived in Northern Ireland, a British squad is asked to look for firearms in an especially volatile area. One side...

Film Review: GETT: THE TRIAL OF VIVIANNE AMSALAM Mar20

Film Review: GETT: THE TRIAL OF VIVIANNE AMSALAM

GETT: THE TRIAL OF VIVIANNE AMSALAM Written and Directed by Ronit Elkabetz, and Shlomi Elkabetz Starring: Ronit Elkabetz, Simon Abkarian, Menashe Noy In modern Israel, much to my surprise, a divorce is only granted with the consent of the husband. This film concerns the attempts of Vivianne Amsalem to procure such a settlement before a rabbinical jury. This amounts to a five–year process during which we come to learn her reasons for wanting this divorce and his reasons for refusing it. The constant pleas before the jury takes a bit of patience on the part of the audience although not nearly so much as poor Vivianne is asked to give....