Catching up with ‘Milk’ in the Bible belt

Posted by · 6:40 am · December 20th, 2008

In 1977 Harvey Milk was elected to position as city supervisor in San Francisco. Milk, an openly gay man, was the first of his kind. Rather than concealing his sexual orientation, he wore it proudly, and used his influence in a largely gay section of San Francisco to do good. He became an effective advocate […]

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Memo to Christopher Nolan: Come back!

Posted by · 7:22 am · October 31st, 2008

By now you’ve probably read Geoff Boucher’s substantial interview with Christopher Nolan at the Los Angeles Times. As Kris mentioned, it’s strategically placed to launch “The Dark Knight” into the awards season. And Nolan has, in my view, a very strong claim for a Best Director nomination. Whether or not he receives it has more […]

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Adapting Philip Roth

Posted by · 10:05 am · October 7th, 2008

The author’s novels have suffered a tough road to the screen.

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Could a preemptive DVD release bolster ‘Visitor’ star Richard Jenkins in this year’s Best Actor race?

Posted by · 2:27 am · August 25th, 2008

As you may have noticed, Anchor Bay Entertainment has announced that “The Visitor,” my mid-year pick for best film, will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on October 7th. I’ve long argued that films, especially very good ones, are bolstered in the Awards race by their DVD release and this could be a starting gun […]

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Ahem…Oscar possibilities for ‘Vicky’ OUTSIDE of Cruz?

Posted by · 7:40 pm · August 20th, 2008

I’m not the first to grant accolades to Woody Allen for his immensely pleasurable and beautiful new film, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.” It’s every bit Mr. Allen: funny, pretentious, absurd, cynical, honest, witty and fair. We have debated in this space a few times the merits of Mr. Allen’s recent work. He was hailed by critics […]

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‘The Road’ on page and screen

Posted by · 7:55 am · July 15th, 2008

This weekend I opened Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer-Prize winning novel “The Road.” For whatever reason –- fright perhaps -– I’d hadn’t read it before now despite accolades from critics and friends. In June, Guy Lodge wrote a thoughtful entry about Dennis Lehane and how his books have easily transitioned to the screen. He likened him to […]

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Edward Norton and the not-so-jolly green giant

Posted by · 9:51 am · June 24th, 2008

What can be said of the fearless Edward Norton, who recently became an on-screen comic book hero?  I never understood his choice to take on the role of Bruce Banner, a.k.a. The Incredible Hulk.  And now, post-release, I’m still puzzled. He walked into a franchise that became a fast mess just five years ago.  And […]

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Four Girls in New York

Posted by · 5:34 am · June 2nd, 2008

Is there anything to say about this film “Sex and the City” that is driving women into movie houses all across the United States? According to box office reports this morning, the film made $55.7 million in 3,285 theaters. It generated a reputable $16,968 per screen average according to Nikki Finke. It dominated the Friday […]

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Is ‘Silhouette City’ this year’s ‘Jesus Camp?’

Posted by · 1:11 pm · May 18th, 2008

Clive James, in his review of “American Movie Critics” for the New York Times Book Review in 2006 wrote, “…it’s the movie itself that tells you it means business. It does that by telling a story. No story, no movie.” “Silhouette City,” a new film by Michael Wilson, is a documentary about the rapid rise […]

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What do we learn from film festivals?

Posted by · 8:47 pm · May 14th, 2008

Mr. Lodge was quick to cover the opening film of the Cannes Film Festival, perhaps the most elite in all of cinema, and one that was a springboard for several 2007 Oscar films, “No Country for Old Men,” certainly (“4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days” was shamelessly excluded from Oscar consideration, although it won […]

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No Oscar for ‘Valkyrie’ in 2008

Posted by · 9:49 am · May 12th, 2008

I have to admit, I was looking forward to “Valkyrie,” Bryan Singer’s film about the plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler in 1944. Yes, I’m aware that the film stars Tom Cruise, but the remaining cast, Bill Nighy, Kenneth Branagh and Tom Wilkinson was intriguing. The film also re-united Singer with Christopher McQuarrie, his screenwriter from […]

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1973: the best year in film?

Posted by · 3:49 pm · May 11th, 2008

Mr. Foote has prompted several interesting discussions about the Best Picture and Best Director winners and losers, as well as the best film of the 1980’s. Taking the discussion a bit broader, I thought it might be appropriate to ask: what is the best year in film? 1939 stands out, certainly. “The Wizard of Oz,” […]

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About The Joker, or Heath Ledger, remembered

Posted by · 7:02 pm · May 5th, 2008

In a post earlier today, Kris linked to the new trailer for “The Dark Knight” starring Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Michael Caine . . .I could continue. It’s an exceptional cast complete with some of the finest actors from different demographics, Maggie Gyllenhaal, especially, as a needed upgrade from Katie Holmes. This trailer gives us […]

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Chiwetel Ejiofor: an actor to watch

Posted by · 12:52 pm · May 1st, 2008

As both Kris and I have suggested, this is likely to be the year of Robert Downey Jr. I’m pleased to see that he’s getting rave reviews for his work in “Iron Man,” and I’m glad to know that it isn’t a mess the way many comic book adaptations become (“Hulk” and “Batman & Robin,” […]

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The independent film not to be missed

Posted by · 6:59 am · April 22nd, 2008

Every year the best of independent cinema convenes at a series of festivals and awards programs, most notably the Independent Spirit Awards. In February, Jeff Nichols, a first-time filmmaker, won an ISA for his first feature length film “Shotgun Stories.” The effort chronicles a deadly family feud between two sets of brothers that ensues upon […]

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On Robert Downey Jr.

Posted by · 9:00 am · April 20th, 2008

It was only a few years ago that the inimitable Robert Downey Jr. was in our living rooms as a result of repeated drug arrests. I recall several instances where I felt as if he’d never recover. Fortunately, he did, and on May 2 Mr. Downey will appear as a comic book hero in “Iron […]

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