Thursday, December 12, 2013 1:14 pm
Heaping seven nominations on both the con-artist melodrama "American Hustle" and the grimly historical "12 Years a Slave," the Golden Globes nominations set up a showdown of contrasts: comedy and drama, light and dark, white and black.
Friday, January 18, 2013 7:25 am
2012 has been widely hailed as an exceptional year for film, but I’m at a loss as to where all these great films are supposed to be. (But then, if we’ve lowered our standards of “greatness” to the point that something like “Silver Linings Playbook” is being proclaimed as a masterwork ... .)
Friday, July 13, 2012 7:49 am
I fancy myself a halfway intelligent person, but I always seem to make the most head-smackingly stupid mistakes. A “for instance” would be the fact that I didn’t realize the News-Sentinel had an early deadline for the Fourth of July holiday, and found myself prepping for a late screening of “Magic Mike” as I discovered that the Lodi Living section was getting ready to go to press. It seems my stupidity knows no bounds.
Friday, June 22, 2012 7:31 am
It has occurred to me that I discuss my personal goings-on a bit less than my fellow News-Sentinel columnists do, but in the interest of partial disclosure, I must confess that life has gotten significantly more difficult for me in the past few months. I’ve started a new job that requires many long, grueling, thankless hours in an undesirable environment. The possibility of complete physical and mental collapse is now very real.
Friday, June 15, 2012 8:11 am
So far, this has been the year of Every Bad Thing. International strife is intensified with each passing day. The world’s economies are teetering on the verge of collapse. No matter who U.S. voters elect as president, we all are completely screwed in one way or another. The list of horrible things that are occurring or await us is too ponderous to even attempt to enumerate, and that’s without even getting into the personal burdens that have been weighing on my mind, rendering me an insomniac. Yet the thing still troubling me most out of all this turmoil is the fact that it’s getting harder and harder to find a decent movie.
Friday, May 4, 2012 7:32 am
This week, we venture even further into “The Cabin in the Woods” with an in-depth examination of the film’s deft deconstruction of gender-based archetypes. I kid, I kid ... as much as it would please me to spend the next many weeks harping on (thus far) the year’s best film, surely it is time to move on.
Friday, February 3, 2012 7:30 am
February typically serves as a dumping ground for weak studio
films that offer an easy alternative to “mainstream” audiences who
don’t see Oscar bait, but this year has brought some welcome
Friday, January 20, 2012 7:37 am
Typically, I spend the first six weeks or so of each new year
playing catch-up with all the Oscar bait that was released around
Christmas. But as it turns out this awards season didn’t produce as
many true prestige pictures as expected, so starting next week
we’ll be returning to new releases with a look at Steven
Soderbergh’s acclaimed action flick “Haywire,” followed by a review
of the Liam Neeson vs. wolves survival thriller “The Grey” (I’ll
also briefly return to the 2011 awards contenders with a piece on
“The Artist,” if it ever opens in the Lodi-Stockton area).
Friday, January 13, 2012 7:43 am
Hope you all enjoyed my top 10 list last week, and gleaned some
useful recommendations. This week I’ll take a very quick look at
“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” which made my “most promising films I
didn’t see” list but ended up being one of the most spirit-crushing
disappointments of the year. I honestly don’t have much to say
about such an empty film, so I suppose I might as well squeeze in
my predictions for the Oscar nominations, set to be announced on
Tuesday, Jan. 24, at which point you will surely marvel at my
peerless prognosticative abilities.
Friday, September 16, 2011 8:13 am
We’re moving into the fall movie season this week with a look at
Steven Soderbergh’s disease pot-boiler “Contagion,” with a review
of Nicolas Winding Refn’s hotly anticipated crime thriller “Drive”
coming next time. After that we’ll hit a bit of a lull with
(tentatively scheduled) reviews of the lighthearted inside-baseball
flick “Moneyball” and the cancer dramedy “50/50,” but I’m confident
that things will pick up again soon. And, as I said before, be on
the lookout for periodic horror-themed DVD picks as we approach
Marion Cotillard and Chin Chan star in “Contagion.”
Friday, September 2, 2011 8:02 am
Times like these, you have to seek comfort wherever you can find
it. I often look to movies for some extra degree of solace, and it
seems that sometimes it can be found in the unlikeliest of
Friday, August 26, 2011 8:10 am
We’re back to standard reviews with a largely ambivalent look at
the “Fright Night” remake, which if nothing else has at least
gotten me psyched for the roster of horror and thriller titles
rolling out over the next few weeks.
Friday, August 19, 2011 8:26 am
I had intended to tackle “30 Minutes or Less” this week, but
horrible reviews and the film’s highly questionable subject matter
have tilted me toward using this column as an opportunity to take a
quick look back on the summer movie season as it winds down, and
preview some promising fall/winter releases.
Saturday, January 16, 2010 12:00 am
The end of the decade coincides with the 10-year anniversary of
this column, and what better way to mark the occasion than with an
obsessive ranking of the decade's best films?
Thursday, September 24, 2009 10:00 pm
Still waiting for things to pick up on the movie front.
Friday, June 15, 2007 10:00 pm
Given that the third entry in a series of films is usually the
weakest link - a tradition that has continued in full force over
the course of this summer movie season - "Ocean's Thirteen" should
be seen as a success if for no other reason than its clear
improvement over its most recent predecessor. It's not as tightly
plotted or clever as "Ocean's Eleven" (not many heist flicks are),
but it's most definitely a return to form for filmmaker Steven
Soderbergh and his all-star cast after the narcissistic,
self-congratulatory claptrap that was "Ocean's Twelve."
Friday, December 29, 2006 10:00 pm
I usually preface my year-end roundups with some brief comments
about the year in movies, but in this case, I think the less said
about 2006, the better.
Friday, April 14, 2006 10:00 pm
The screen is black, as a male voice reads a passage from
Dante's Inferno, while another voice reads the translation in