JOY

David O. Russell’s latest, Joy, tells the story of Joy Mangano, an American inventor best known for her self-wringing Miracle Mop. Well, sort of. Joy is partly about how Joy Mangano became Joy Mangano, but it’s also about how family just likes to watch you fail, even if that means they have to lend failure a hand. Russell likes a squabbling family — Flirting With Disaster, The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook — and the more squabbling the better, but with Joy, Russell takes his usual squabbling to an unbearably shrill level, sucking all the humor out of the room in … Continue reading JOY

SERENA

If names were enough to equal box office, Serena would be a bona-fide hit. “Serena! Starring Academy Award® Nominee Bradley Cooper and Academy Award® wining Jennifer Lawrence! Directed by Academy Award® wining director Susanna Bier! Two desperate souls lost in North Carolina’s Smokey Mountains. See it!” Alas, a movie is not comprised solely of stars, but story, character, aesthetic and movement. All of which, Serena lacks. In spades. Set in Depression Era North Carolina, Serena attempts to paint a picture of a rugged America and of rugged and hardened Americans. Attempts, but does not succeed. Cooper plays Pemberton, a tentative … Continue reading SERENA

Movie Beat – 05.23.14

The Angriest Man in Brooklyn – Henry Altmann (Robin Williams) is the angriest man in all of Brooklyn, which is saying something. He better make a change, or all that anger is going to be the death of him. Eventually at least, not today, which is actually what he thinks because a doctor (Mila Kunis) was pissed at him and told him he only has 90 minutes to live. Now he is running around town trying to patch everything up, and no one really cares. That just makes him angrier. Things don’t look good for Henry. Melissa Leo, Peter Dinklage, … Continue reading Movie Beat – 05.23.14

Movie Beat – 11.22.13

Bettie Page Reveals All – She was the original pin-up girl. That magnificent cocktail of beauty, innocence, naughty and nice. What was so compelling about a picture of Betty Page was her joyous approach to sexuality. Anyone looking at her picture would immediately let their mind wander to possibilities and what a good time it would be. Of course, the notorious Mrs. Page came along in a very reserved and conservative time, and she disappeared from view, but her image and legacy lived on. Writer/producer/director Mark Mori found Mrs. Page and got her to narrate her life story, and here … Continue reading Movie Beat – 11.22.13

Oscars 2013

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

Movie Beat – 11.16.12

Lincoln goes wide, Twilight finally comes to a close, and we’ve got ten new releases this weekend. Look out, here we go! 16 Acres – No trailer for this one, and only seeing a very limited release in one cinema this week in New York City, but still worth your attention once it comes to your city or to Netflix. It’s been over ten years since the attack on The World Trade Center, and the rebuilding of those 16 acres at Ground Zero have proven to be extremely complicated as political, financial, and emotional interests converge. The New York Time best summed … Continue reading Movie Beat – 11.16.12