The Last Emperor

Scott Holleran on Bertolucci’s muted, mythological, China-themed masterpiece.

At 50, Downbeat ‘Midnight Cowboy’ Made Deep Impact

As the Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight film turns 50, Scott Holleran explores the reasons for the controversial box-office hit and the impact of its legacy.

‘Skyscraper’ Rises to the Occasion

‘Skyscraper’ Rises to the Occasion

Two plot points serve as bookends for the plot and theme of writer and director Rawson Marshall Thurber's Skyscraper. They're mercifully on time and surprisingly simple yet effective. I wish the movie's gratitude theme was layered with more complexity. But this...

Streisand’s ‘A Star is Born’ (1976) Falters

Streisand’s ‘A Star is Born’ (1976) Falters

The second remake of William Wellman's historic A Star is Born (1937) suffers from the same or similar problems as the Fifties' Judy Garland vehicle. Going with the same iconic title as the original and the 1954 film, the 1976 version also puts spectacle over...

Judy Garland Dominates ‘A Star is Born’ (1954)

Judy Garland Dominates ‘A Star is Born’ (1954)

Hollywood's first remake of William Wellman's searing 1937 tragedy, A Star is Born, neither enhances nor detracts from the original. Director George Cukor, working from Moss Hart's screenplay (based upon the original script), mixes music into the story, which remains...

Man Shapes Life on Earth in ‘Heaven Can Wait’ (1978)

Man Shapes Life on Earth in ‘Heaven Can Wait’ (1978)

This year marks 40 years since Paramount Pictures debuted its other big box office hit in 1978. Heaven Can Wait, not to be confused with the delightful Ernst Lubitsch comedy with the same title, was released within weeks of Paramount's popular musical Grease. The...

‘The Incredibles 2’ Satisfies

‘The Incredibles 2’ Satisfies

With the same voice cast and writer and director, Brad Bird, as the 2004 original, this Pixar sequel, which is being released 14 years after its animated characters debuted, offers more of the same. By my estimate, and I enjoyed The Incredibles with qualifications,...

‘Grease’ (1978) Rocks and Rolls

‘Grease’ (1978) Rocks and Rolls

Grease revels in the pure enjoyment of contrasting clean-cut and raunchy un-seriousness. It brings both into alignment and this is its enduring charm. Forty years after Grease debuted in movie theaters to major blockbuster success, the 1978 Allan Carr musical...

‘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 carry the picture. Part...

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