The Big Picture

Ben Fritz of the Wall Street Journal loves movies. He is passionate about the experience of communally watching a film, the unique ability for artists to tell their stories, and the Hollywood business machine behind it all. But man, he hates franchise features. From Marvel and DC to Star Wars and Star Trek to dinosaurs and robots,…

Suspenseful. Alluring. Slow.

Stoker is a surprisingly wonderful indie film written by an American television actor, directed by a Korean known for violent action flicks, all told in a suspenseful vein that Alfred Hitchcock would find suitably satisfactory, especially with the themes presented within: a loner child, daddy issues, an ignorant mother, a suspicious uncle, and death, death,…

A most excellent look at a personage of historical significance

Daniel Day-Lewis steals the show as the title character in Lincoln, but by all rights, the film itself could have been named Amendment XIII as the second act’s energy, as well as most of the third, is focused on the debate in the House to abolish slavery nearly leaving Lincoln as a mere witness to…

The "Fake Picture" becomes a real hit

In the film Argo, producer Lester Siegel, played by Academy Award winner Alan Arkin, puts forth real effort into making a fake film a success as a perfect ruse to rescue six wanted Americans hiding at the Canadian Ambassador’s residence during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis. The triple-threat of Ben Affleck (Argo‘s Producer-Director-Star) must have…

The Town

Let’s admit to a solemn truth here: heist flicks are as formulaic as any other genre film. One grand heist leads to another, more often than not there is at least one car chase, the alpha male falls for a woman, said male decides to leave his life of crime, which leads to his final…

A Great Newspaper Story

State Of Play, the film from director Kevin McDonald and screenwriter Tony Gilroy, successfully incorporates the high points from the successful BBC miniseries of the same name but does something the series could not, which is the incorporation of the near-irrelevance of print media into a much-better-than-standard conspiracy thriller. In the film, seasoned newspaper writer…

Pick up your Crazy Heart

Country music, and I mean good, soulful music that both comes from and punches you in the heart, often tells an honest story, sometimes exaggerated. That story can have ups and downs, tell tales of love lost and love found, and probably makes more than one reference to drinking all night, bowling alley bar assumed….

Adventureland

Every couple of years a nostalgic film of note comes along allowing the previous generation to remember their glory days of old. Director Greg Mottola provides this with Adventureland, his follow up to the comedic hit Superbad. Set smack in the late ’80s, Adventureland tells the coming-of-age tale, which such movies are ought to do,…

The Adjustment Bureau

A mash of sci-fi, fantasy and rom-com, The Adjustment Bureau works quite well as a suspend-your-disbelief narrative goes, mostly due to the believable chemistry between likable stars Matt Damon, a senator-to-be, and Emily Blunt, an NYC dancer. Writer/director George Nolfi chose not to go easy with his first-time outing and adapted a Philip K. Dick…