The Agony And The Ecstasy

You know a film is not that good when the best contemporaneous review one can find of it was from the notoriously bad New York Times film critic Bosley Crowther. Who was Bosley Crowther, you ask? Well, he was the  ...

Viva la Libertà (2013)

"Viva la Libertà" has little to do with libertà but everything to do with politics, personality, and fooling all the people all the time. We're in contemporary Italy, where Enrico (Toni Servillo--"La grande belleza," "Il Divo"), a senator and  ...

Movies 2014: The Best & the Rest

I used to care about movies a lot more than TV growing up, because the small screen was so formulaic and predictable while the big one had all the memorable, high-quality stuff.  That equation’s pretty much flipped 180 degrees in  ...

Mr. Turner (2014)

The brilliant film “Mr. Turner” examines the great, albeit, peculiar, British Romantic landscape and seascape painter, Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851). Writer and director Mike Leigh (“Secret and Lies,” “Topsy Turvy”) has made a remarkable dramatic film, which presents a  ...

“National Gallery” (2014)

How do we look when we’re looking at art? That’s one of the intriguing facets of this gorgeous art tour of London’s National Gallery. Frederick Wiseman’s documentary, "National Gallery", which opened in November, shows us many scenes of faces looking  ...

Yankee Doodle Dandy–on DVD

No film in the James Cagney filmography best illustrates what can only be called "The Cagney Conundrum" than does the 1942 Michael Curtiz film, "Yankee Doodle Dandy". What is "The Cagney Conundrum," you ask? It is the fact that James  ...

“The Apartment” (1960) DVD Review

It’s amazing, for a film that won the Oscar for Best Picture the year it was released, and was made by one of Hollywood’s Golden Age directors, how underrated Billy Wilder’s 1960 black and white drama-comedy "The Apartment" is. This  ...

Two Days, One Night (2014)

Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne have made many notable films from “La Promesse” to their Palme d’Or winners “Rosetta” and “L’Enfant,” but they had never worked with a movie star as big as Marion Cotillard until now with “Two Days, One  ...

Clouds of Sils Maria (2014)

  The movie’s title, “Clouds of Sils Maria,” refers to a natural phenomenon found in the Sils Maria municipality of Switzerland for which the fictional play within the film, “Maloja Snake,” is also named. Both titles designate the same  ...