Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Whatever stage in life he’s at, Noah Baumbach has not stopped writing characters who fret about their own lives, where they’ve been, and where they’re headed. I get the feeling he’s a man who is always in tune with some level of dissatisfaction with his life. One shouldn’t confuse that with unhappiness. I think it’s probably natural to wonder about what you’ve done, the choices you’ve made, and whether you could be doing something better or more important. What separates Baumbach from most other people is that he’s attuned to those feelings probably in everyone around him. That’s why he’s so good at writing dialogue and characters that so precisely and concisely sum up complex emotions.
Monday, April 27, 2015
There’s hardly a more heartbreaking story of a once great acting talent becoming a washed-up caricature of bombast and overacting than Al Pacino. He was such a marvel in the 70’s. He was good-looking with the most expressive eyes of any actor of his generation. His delivery was subtle and always perfect. When I look at him now, I don’t even see the same man. His sad hangdog face obscures the depths that used to reside within. Every now and then, as in Donnie Brasco, he has flashes of greatness once again. Some have been giving similar accolades for his latest, a heartfelt story of redemption called Danny Collins, written and directed by Dan Fogelman.
Thursday, April 2, 2015
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I has an unwieldy title thanks to the decision long ago to divide the third book in Suzanne Collins’ trilogy into two movies. Let’s face it, this is a business decision much more than an artistic choice. It’s a means o doubling revenue for a single story. I feel no discussion of this series can be complete without considering that decision.
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
The Judge, directed by David Dobkin from a screenplay by Nick Schenk and Bill Dubuque, is a perfect example of soft, flat, non-challenging, placating material that is made to appeal to a demographic of people who watch movie as a means of sedation. Because it stars two very fine actors in Robert Duvall and Robert Downey, Jr., and because it’s a courtroom drama, it is easily digestible to the broadest possible audience.