DC and Warner Brothers’ Justice League enters the movie-sphere lugging a fair amount of baggage. Wonder Woman — 2017’s previous installment in DC’s extended universe — was a success but the two prior outings — Man of Steel (2013) and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) — did little to flesh out the world beyond a couple of ill-shaped, somewhat moody, superheroes not quite sure of their place in the world. While Superman, a.k.a. Clark Kent (Henry Cavill), struggled with his powers of supreme deliverance, questioning every ramification of his actions along the way; Batman, a.k.a. Bruce Wayne (Ben … Continue reading JUSTICE LEAGUE
It’s been said many times before — probably every four years — but rarely has it been said with such vitriol, or rung as true: “Americans are going to get the president they deserve.” Gone are the days of 2008’s campaign of hope and change we can believe in. Nope, nowadays candidates sour the conversation, poison the rhetoric and behave like petulant children. A nation shrugs. We brought this upon ourselves. The same can be said of Zack Snyder’s perverse and uneven superhero slobber knocker, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Picking up during the climatic battle between General Zod … Continue reading BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues – They’re back! After being fired and humiliated by his wife, the greatest news anchorman ever to fill the chair, Ron Burdgundy, and his compatriots are back and they are taking over the global news network. Ron and his crew mastered the 70s and local news, but can they swing with the big dogs in the 80s and round the clock news? Probably not. Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, and David Koechner step into their old roles, Ferrell and his funnyordie.com partner, Adam McKay wrote it and McKay directed it. Time to see if … Continue reading Movie Beat – 12.18.13
American Hustle – It’s all about the con, not the con-artist, but the con. Every business, every transaction, every dream levied is a con in one way or another, and director David O. Russell is out to show everyone how deep the con goes. Christian Bale and Amy Adams are the con artist, Jennifer Lawrence is his ex-wife, Bradley Cooper is the FBI agent needing a little help, Jeremy Renner is the politician who is conning everyone, and Eric Singer and David O. Russell are the writers who concocted this whole shebang. Out in limited release from Sony Pictures. … Continue reading Movie Beat – 12.13.13
To borrow a tagline from another recently rebooted franchise, Man of Steel is not your Father’s Superman. The name ‘Superman’ isn’t even in the title, is only spoken in the movie once, and not even by one of the main characters! The red underpants are missing, the color palette is muted, the All American Boy Scout is toned down, and we are in lot more danger. And I like it.
20 Feet From Stardom – There isn’t that much distance from the band at the front of the stage, and the singers in the back. Only a twenty foot walk, but, as The Boss puts it, “It’s a bit of a walk.” This documentary follows Merry Clayton, Darlene Love, Claudia Lennear, Lisa Fischer, and Judith Hill, all back-up singers, all trying to break into careers with some sort of success, some sort of identification, something that isn’t so difficult, so heartbreaking, so discouraging. Not having your dreams come true is difficult, but is the difficulty easier or harder when you … Continue reading Movie Beat – 06.14.13
Sunday is the Eighty-Fifth Academy Awards Ceremony and with it, the conclusion of the Award Season. Twenty-four categories, one hundred and twenty-two nominees, fifty-two movies… It’s time for Oscar! ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE Bradley Cooper – Silver Linings Playbook Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln Cooper and Jackman both give good performances, Washington and Phoenix both gave great performances, but Day-Lewis is in a league on his own. He’s that good, and it’s entirely plausible that his Lincoln will be considered the Lincoln for years to come. Hugh Jackman – Les Misérables Joaquin Phoenix – The Master Denzel Washington – Flight ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Alan … Continue reading Oscars 2013
2012 was a magnificent year for the movies. They are more diverse, more personal, and more magical than ever. Yes, there was the onslaught of the usual blockbuster fare, sequels left and right, and the mighty flops that were John Carter and Battleship, but there was so much more to discover in theaters this year. It is quite possible that 2012 was one of the best years for the cinema, maybe not on par with 1939 or 1960, but time will tell which of these stories permeate the collective consciousness and hang around and continue to inform our experiences. 2012 also saw a great amount of cinema history as … Continue reading 2012: A Year At The Movies