January 15, 2009
... Benjamin Button What it's about : In 1918, Benjamin Button (the never-better Brad Pitt, above) is born with an old face, dilapidated plumbing and wrinkled skin over an infant body. Then he ages backward. Rated: PG-13 The scoop : Every chapter of Button's story brings a fresh air of discovery. And the movie's emotional completeness leaves you poised between sobbing and applauding - it comes from a full comprehension not just of one man's life, but of the intersection of many lives over the course of the 20th century.
January 9, 2009
Revolutionary Road is a small-spirited depiction of a golden couple in mid-1950s America. As they crash on their own failed hopes and dreams and fall into the trap of a comfortable, convenient life, you wonder whether you'd keep watching were it not for Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. The movie never draws you into their summer of discontent. Revolutionary Road isn't just a failed literary adaptation. It's a failure of the worst kind: It doesn't even make you want to read Richard Yates' deservedly legendary book.
December 25, 2008
The Reader ** The Reader wonders what would have happened if Benjamin Braddock had discovered that Mrs. Robinson was a Nazi war criminal. OK, that summary may be a little flippant, but not much. And it suggests the forced solemnity at the heart of this forced allegory about guilt, responsibility and how much succeeding generations should pay emotionally for the sins of their fathers. Ralph Fiennes, in one of his most emotionally stilted performances, plays Michael Berg, a German lawyer who, as a wide-eyed teenager, had an affair with an older woman, a streetcar conductor named Hanna Schmitz (Kate Winslet)
October 5, 2007
85 Bil Keane Family Circus cartoonist 56 Karen Allen Actress 53 Bob Geldof Rock singer 32 Parminder Nagra Actress 32 Kate Winslet Actress
January 7, 2007
EXTRAS: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON -- HBO Video -- $29.98 Before decrying the sad state of TV comedy, check out the first six episodes of the HBO series, Extras, from Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, creators of the original BBC version of The Office. From poignancy and pathos, to slapstick and sex-romp farce, Extras offers an emotional range unmatched since the days of M*A*S*H (1972-'83 CBS). Gervais (pronounced Jer-vase), who starred as narcissistic office manager David Brent in the original version of The Office, here plays Andy Millman, an embittered 40-year-old movie extra endlessly scheming for a speaking part.
December 15, 2006
When Hollywood was still adult, they were called "women's pictures." They revolved around eternal issues like the tension between personal happiness and wifely duty or motherhood, and the shape these issues took could range from powerhouse tearjerkers such as Imitation of Life to no-holds-barred melodramas such as Mildred Pierce. Today they are called "chick flicks," and they refer to any movie that a girl or a woman is most likely to attend alone or with her gal pals, or with her local chapter of Oprah's Book Club.