‘Hyde Park’ a better bio than ‘Lincoln’
“Hyde Park on the Hudson,” starring Bill Murray, is a brave revelation of President Franklin Roosevelt during a critical period of his presidency in 1939. Murray, the talented comedian from “Saturday Night Live” and many movies since then, now may finally get his Oscar for Best Actor.
Franklin Roosevelt was a man, evidently, who was not happy in his marriage to Eleanor (Olivia Williams). As a result, Roosevelt had liaisons with several women ...
‘Hitchcock’ a delight from start to finish
In 1959, Alfred Hitchcock had just come off the success of “North by Northwest” starring Cary Grant and was looking for his next vehicle. He found a book about a psychopathic killer to be to his liking, but no one, not even his wife, liked the story.
Paramount was uninterested in producing such a ghastly picture, so Hitchcock produced it himself for $800,000. He connected with that story in a deeply psychological way.
In “Hitchcock,” Alfred H...
‘Rise of the Guardians’ great holiday fun, but too scary for little ones
In “Rise of the Guardians,” North (Alec Baldwin) is the name of the character who stands in for Santa Claus, although he is a drastic reconfiguration of the lovable Christmas patriarch.
North is tall and imposing, and not just a little scary. He speaks with an intimidating Russian accent and has a big, black fur collar instead of white. In fact, the entire movie is full of imposing and scary characters and situations. Even the reindeer are wi...
Cinema Therapy 'Skyfall' brings Bond̓s rich past back to life
The first minutes of the new James Bond spy-thriller, “Skyfall,” are thrilling and live up to the franchise legacy. The action, the music and the tension were all pitch perfect. Then Mr. Bond is killed. How he comes back to life is never explained.
Convalescing, his eyes flash with lightening in the dark, ever-seeing, his ears are like satellite dishes, scanning all for signs of danger that might be lurking. That’s the Bond we have in Daniel C...
'The Sessions' broaden more horizons than 'The Details'
Mark O’Brien (John Hawkes) is a quadriplegic in “The Sessions.” He is seeking advice about a sticky subject from his priest, Father Brenden (William H. Macy), since he is a devout Catholic. The priest is hard-pressed to give advice to this unusual, yet still cherished and valued, parishioner.
This role as advisor becomes even more difficult when the man asks for advice about paying a sex therapist to have his first, and possibly only, sexual e...
'Chasing Mavericks' a wild, but bumpy, ride
The surfing movie “Chasing Mavericks” seemed to have it all: a true life story about a young surfer who finds the hidden surfing spot and conquers it with the help of a cool, seasoned surfer.
It seemed it would be a for sure triumph and be even better than 2011’s “Soul Surfer.”
Young Jay Moriarity (Jonny Weston) has lost his father, so he’s looking for stability in his life. His mother (Elisabeth Shue) is distracted with her own financial tro...
̔Seven Psychopath's is Tarantino Lite
“Seven Psychopaths” is from the writer/director Martin McDonagh, who wrote and directed the widely acclaimed “In Bruges.” He teams up again with Colin Ferrell, his country man, to make a “a movie within a movie.” It becomes clear in the first scene we are in for a lot of violence. A masked man walks up and shoots two hit men in the back of the head. Lovely.
Meanwhile, Marty (Colin Ferrell) is writing a screenplay in LA, but he’s struggling bec...
'Argo' takes filmmaking to a whole new level
“Argo” is the story of the 1979 American Embassy takeover in Iran. Ben Affleck directed and starred in this taut, tense thriller, which might even deserve the oft-used descriptor “tour de force.”
Affleck may finally be coming into his own. Affleck the actor is photographed by Affleck the director as being super cool under pressure. The rest of the actors do well playing the roles of desperate hostages who have their doubts about the whole ent...
CINEMA THERAPY 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' grows on you
In “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” Charlie (Logan Lerman) is suffering from suicidal thoughts, but keeps them under control with medication as he enters high school. He faces his freshman year with trepidation, but succeeds at finding friends who make his life worthwhile. He isn’t dorky, just socially inept. His skills do improve, however. Lerman almost doesn’t fit the role since he looks like a young Rob Lowe, but he pulls it off with good...
CINEMA THERAPY ' ̔The Master' leaves unanswered questions
“I am a writer, a doctor, a nuclear physicist [and] a theoretical philosopher, but above all, I am a man,” says Lancaster Dodd (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) in “The Master.”
Joaquin Phoenix plays Fredie Quell, a WWII vet with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who happens upon the sailing ship of guru mindbender Lancaster. Lancaster takes to him for the most preposterous of reasons: he can mix a potent blend of alcoholic spirits, which includes...