MOVIES

‘Ocean’s 8’ Bobs

‘Ocean’s 8’ Bobs

Beginning with a visual blur, as several current movies do, the all-female Ocean’s 8 takes a while to take shape, settling into a generic caper movie groove which is ultimately as satisfying as its advertising. Sandra Bullock leads but doesn’t...

‘Cavalcade’ (1933) Proceeds with Gallantry

‘Cavalcade’ (1933) Proceeds with Gallantry

The title of this movie, which won 1933's Best Picture at the Academy Awards, tells you how to regard this movie. The epic motion picture, based upon a play by Noel Coward, plays as a pictorial procession. It's a tale of one couple and the ravages...

Elia Kazan’s ‘Boomerang!’ Comes Back

Elia Kazan’s ‘Boomerang!’ Comes Back

Reader's Digest published Fulton Oursler's article in its December 1945 edition which, in turn, became the basis for director Elia Kazan's second of 19 feature-length motion pictures, Boomerang! (1947). An especially relevant and taut film it is,...

Roundup: 2018 TCM Classic Film Festival

Roundup: 2018 TCM Classic Film Festival

With a festival theme of classic movies originating with literature, Turner Classic Movies' 2018 TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood satiated, enticed and, on occasion, stirred in audiences the power and wonder that the original filmmakers...

‘Spellbound’ (1945) Entertains

‘Spellbound’ (1945) Entertains

Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound (1945) co-starring Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck is a light psychological mystery. Seen by this writer for the first time in nitrate at a screening at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood during the 2018 TCM Classic...

Revisiting Family-Themed ‘Sounder’ (1972)

Revisiting Family-Themed ‘Sounder’ (1972)

Last week, I attended the world premiere restoration of a 1972 movie directed by Martin Ritt about a dog and a boy and the parents who guide and watch over them in the uplifting, family-themed Sounder. Introduced at the TCM Classic Film Festival in...

‘A Star is Born’ (1937) Radiates

‘A Star is Born’ (1937) Radiates

Hollywood's first Technicolor movie starts with words on a screen play and goes to a great American story of a self-made soul from there. Janet Gaynor stars as a waif from North Dakota named Esther Blodgett. Wispy Esther loves the movies, I mean...

‘I Take This Woman’ (1931)

‘I Take This Woman’ (1931)

This rarely seen pre-Production Code gem has its charms. Don't expect a marvelous, grand or lush motion picture. If the abundance of riches presented by the prospect of watching Carole Lombard and Gary Cooper together in a love story entices you...

Avengers: Infinity War Offers More of the Same

Avengers: Infinity War Offers More of the Same

The new mega-movie in the Avengers series, Avengers: Infinity War, based on the Marvel Comics books, is more of the same. Sufficiently energetic and loaded with dozens of characters, inside jokes and various tie-ins to other movies, franchises and...

Preview: TCM Classic Film Festival 2018

Preview: TCM Classic Film Festival 2018

"From Page to Screen" is the theme for this year's annual Turner Classic Movies (TCM) festival. It's the perfect theme for the early 21st century as the freedom of speech slips into serious peril under threat from the government. With a host of...

Why ‘Chappaquiddick’ is a Breakthrough

Why ‘Chappaquiddick’ is a Breakthrough

That this movie exists is a cinematic achievement. Whatever my criticism, whatever its flaws, the movie about an American government official's deliberate, historic conspiracy — a real, proven conspiracy of corruption, deceit and silence, ahem,...

Lady Bird is a Flat Slice of Post-9/11 Life

Strictly a slice of late teenage life, Lionsgate's Lady Bird skips, coasts and lightly cajoles with postcard pictures of Sacramento living set to an appropriately go-along-get-along score ingrained with wry mother-daughter, female best friend...

Light ‘Argo’ Dramatizes Escape from Iran

Ben Affleck's 2012 movie, Argo, reduces the so-called Iran hostage crisis (1979-1981) to an episode of smaller proportions with satisfactory results. This isn't great cinema, and it leaves a lot of meaning, context and history out of the picture,...

Movie Review: Sergeant Rutledge (1960)

Movie Review: Sergeant Rutledge (1960)

I didn't plan to see John Ford's Western Sergeant Rutledge, an undeservedly unknown movie about a hero who is black, on the blockbuster opening weekend of Marvel Studios' overdone movie about a black superhero (Black Panther). But doing so...

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