Month: March 2015
Powerful and bold performances from young women have dominated the cinematic landscape early in 2015, from Dakota Johnson’s career-changing performance in “Fifty Shades of Grey” to a Disney blockbuster in “Cinderella.” While the year’s most gripping performance from a leading actress so far — Jennifer Lawrence in the limited release “Serena” — has been relegated to the second tier of cinema known as video … Read More Insurgent: Up-and-down Divergent entry a step in right direction
Somewhere in between “Maleficent” and “Snow White and the Huntsman” lies the latest live-action fairytale feature film adaptation, Disney’s “Cinderella,” starring Lily James in the title role and Cate Blanchett as the evil stepmother. A very familiar tale to most moviegoers, “Cinderella” doesn’t stray much from conventional Disney retellings of the fairytale, though there is an added emphasis on Cinderella’s parents prior to their … Read More Cinderella: Disney hits the mark with live-action adaptation
Shouldn’t it be a given by now that it’s not a good idea to mess with Liam Neeson’s family? It’s getting to the point where these stories don’t even really need to be told. Viewers can just replicate an entire Liam Neeson movie in their mind based on the most simplistic plots. Reteaming with the director of such lackluster Neeson action films as “Unknown” … Read More Run All Night: Haven’t we learned already?
Not much needs to be said about big budget R-rated films “Chappie” and “Unfinished Business,” which both crashed and burned commercially and critically this weekend. Hollywood can sift through the wreckage for what’s left of Vince Vaughn’s career at another time. But there’s something to be said for an upward trend in cinema that shined brightly this week on the big screen as the … Read More Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: Sequel avoids traditional pitfalls
What might have been a touching look at how a close-knit family deals with tragedy in the wake of the mother’s early onset Alzheimer’s diagnosis becomes a trite farce that twists the emotional knife in the backs of its viewers during the independent drama “Still Alice.” The film is most notable for Julianne Moore’s Oscar-winning performance as a 50-year-old linguistics professor who slowly loses … Read More Still Alice: Oscar contender not up to muster
Pair a three-time Academy Award-nominated actor with an Oscar-winning actress and put them in a hauntingly beautiful period film and it would seem like a recipe for instant success. Yet “Serena,” the third on-screen pairing between Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, takes major missteps that equal or slightly outpace its positive strides, making for an uneven and mundane film as a whole. Most of … Read More Serena: Cooper, Lawrence make most of uneven frontier drama
There’s a lot of layers to the latest offering from Will Smith, who starts the long road back from cinematic wasteland with the romantic drama-comedy heist film, “Focus,” co-starring “Wolf of Wall Street” starlet Margot Robbie. There’s the con, led by Smith as the consummate con artist, practiced in deceit. There’s the romance, with Robbie slithering her way into Smith’s gang and into his … Read More Focus: Smith, Robbie have decent chemistry in romantic heist flick