Thursday, 31 March 2016
While on a joyride with the headlights turned off, two men hit and kill another man carrying a satchel full of money...
Very competently produced crime thriller with a good cast, but the plot is a series of improbable coincidences, and the finale is a full ripoff from The Silence of the Lambs.
On second view: still agree with my initial impression, nevertheless watchable.
The tumultuous early history of the Central Intelligence Agency is viewed through the prism of one man's life.
A detailed history lesson exemplified through the biography of a tragic anti-hero.
On second view: subtle and atmospheric, and the cast is impressive.
Maltin***1/2: "Gripping story...De Niro's treatment uses THE GODFATHER as its dramatic template, quite successfully. Damon is excellent and surrounded by well-chosen actors in every part, no matter how small."
Wednesday, 30 March 2016
Tuesday, 29 March 2016
In 1942, a Polish prostitute is murdered in Warsaw, and suspicion falls on three generals, and a major of German Intelligence seeks justice despite the ongoing atrocities committed during WWII.
Despite good pruduction value the movie goes on way too long at a slow pace, mixes too much historic events with the plot and never really arouses much interest for its crime mystery.
Halliwell**: "A curiously bumpy narrative which is neither mystery nor characzer study but does provide a few effective sequences and impressive performances. The big budget seems well spent."
Maltin*1/2: "A WW2 whodunit, film has potential but gets lost in murky script, lifeless performances. A dud."
Monday, 28 March 2016
Saturday, 26 March 2016
Werner Herzog gains exclusive access to film inside the Chauvet caves of Southern France, capturing the oldest known pictorial creations of humankind in their astonishing natural setting.
Fascinating and mind-boggling documentary about mankind's oldest known art.
On second view: wins through repeated viewings; an what would it be without Werner Herzog's Teutonic intellectual speculations?
Maltin***: "Compelling documentary...capture a sense of genuine physical and historic wonder. Herzog's philosophical naarative maunderings sometimes veer into the obtrusive but mostly he lets the spectacular images speak for themselves."
Friday, 25 March 2016
A husband and wife who recently lost their baby adopt a 9-year-old girl who is not nearly as innocent as she claims to be.
OK horror thriller with a great cast is at times suspenseful, but the story is old hat and the actual resolution something of a letdown.
Maltin**1/2: "Formulaic "bad-seed"-type horror movie still manages to offer up plenty of creepy Gran Guignol moments and sports a genuine you-won't see-it-coming twist that sets it apart from others in the overworn genre...Some of this goes way over the top, yet remains a gulty pleasure for genre fans."
Wednesday, 23 March 2016
Tuesday, 22 March 2016
Set in 1965 New England, a troubled girl encounters mysterious happenings in the woods surrounding an isolated girls school that she was sent to by her estranged parents.
Above-average horror movie which offers some spooky atmosphere, but disappoints with its solution: a haunted forest.
Maltin BOMB: "One-note horror film is thoroughly unpleasant, when it's not dull or idiotic. A real ordeal to sit through."
A New York socialite, deeply troubled and in denial, arrives in San Francisco to impose upon her sister.
Intense variation on A Streetcar Named Desire convinces thanks to subtle direction, a great ensemble and a spectacularly good performance by Cate Blanchett.
Maltin***1/2: "Fascinating study...you can't take you eyes off her, especially in Blanchett's riveting, Oscar-winning portrayal. Allen's sharp-edged screenplay offers food for though about ethics, morals, friendship, family, and our consumerist society. It also provides great parts to a superb ensemble of actors, with an especially eye-opening performance by Clay as Hawkin's ex. Many people see this as a variation on A Streetcar Named Desire."
Monday, 21 March 2016
Sunday, 20 March 2016
Saturday, 19 March 2016
Friday, 18 March 2016
A young woman stirs things up in a western town by raising sheep instead of cattle, and organizing the local women to demonstrate for women's suffrage.
Likable gender comedy typical for its star, this time staged as a Western, convinces thanks to Doris Day's professionalism; the male chauvinism presented, however, is hardly bearable by today's standards.
Halliwell (no star): "Tediously whimsical, unsuitably cast women's lib comedy with so few laughs that it may require to be taken seriously."
Maltin**1/2: "Uninspired Western spoof..."
A young girl catalyzes the rescue and rehabilitation of Sonador, a race horse with a broken leg.
Feel-good family movie, all tastefully done, but just not adding anything new to the often-told story.
Maltin**1/2: "Routine account...Pleasant enough family film, although it's corny and awfully predictable."
A chronicle of Gertrude Bell's life, a traveler, writer, archaeologist, explorer, cartographer, and political attaché for the British Empire at the dawn of the twentieth century.
Strangely stodgy and undramatic illustration of an otherwise highly fascinating biography; at least, first-rate production and some wonderful photography compensate for the tedium.