Film & TV

In a Star-Studded Farewell, David Letterman Signs Off

Chris Michaud

The show as expected featured no sit-down guest interviews, relying heavily on clips of Letterman shows going all the way back to his 1980s morning show on NBC. It opened with news footage of former President Gerald Ford intoning, out of context: "Our long national nightmare is over," referring at the time to the Watergate scandal. In succession, presidents George H. and George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and finally Barack Obama all repeated Ford's pronouncement verbatim, with Obama adding, "Letterman is retiring."

‘American Sniper,’ ‘Strange Magic’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

Director Clint Eastwood’s meditation on the life of Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle was the hit of the movie award’s season. It won only a single Oscar (for sound editing), but it was up for six awards including best picture, and it grossed more than all the other best picture nominees combined. In other words, the film was a critical darling as well as a box-office smash, a combination that is difficult to achieve.    

Remembering Montgomery Clift: The Forgotten Forerunner

Megan Walsh

Montgomery Clift has faded from our cultural landscape so completely that even the most enduring images from some of his most important films aren't of him. Take From Here to Eternity, for example: a film remembered more for dramatic kissing in the surf than the conflicted young man who starred in it.So first the question is: who is Montgomery Clift? Clift was a movie star of the late ‘40s and early ‘50s who blazed brightly in the early part of his career before an inevitable deterioration, considered by those in the know to be one of the greatest actors of all time. 

Sex, Death and Artificial Intelligence Clash in ‘Ex Machina’

Lee Polevoi

In Ex Machina, a new film by Alex Garland, a 26-year-old programming whizkid named Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) wins a company lottery. The prize? Spend a week at the remote and sleekly futuristic home of the company’s billionaire founder Nathan (Oscar Isaac), and conduct a test to determine if Nathan’s latest invention actually possesses the long-sought-after holy grail of science – artificial intelligence (AI). 

‘Still Alice,’ ‘Blackhat’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

Alice Howland (Moore) is a  brilliant linguistics professor who has a warm and loving home life and a rewarding career where she is respected by students and colleagues. Then she begins forgetting things. At first, the problems are relatively minor. She loses track of where she’s going in a lecture. It’s an embarrassing moment, but little more. Then after getting lost while going for a jog around her college campus, she decides to seek medical help. 

‘Selma,’ ‘ Fifty Shades of Grey’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

King is portrayed brilliantly by David Oyelowo, a British actor who skillfully captures the nuances of King’s posture, voice and demeanor. Oyelowo’s work was rewarded with a best actor nomination for a Golden Globe, and his performance ranks among the best of 2014. Although the movie revolves around King – and thus Oyelowo –DuVernay assembled a fine supporting cast that includes Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King, Common as James Bevel, Oprah Winfrey as Annie Lee Cooper and Tom Wilkinson as Lyndon B. Johnson. 

Why ‘American Sniper’ Applauds the Soldier But Condemns the War

Annie Castellani

The film depicts the immense courage members of the US military possess, as well as the profound personal sacrifices they make in pursuit of what they believe to be a noble goal. And it gives voice to veterans dealing with PTSD and the broken homes they leave behind. At the same time, this intimate look at an American soldier in the midst of an unwinnable conflict – one who is singularly focused on protecting his brothers-in-arms to the detriment of everything sacred in his life – sends a cautionary message. 

‘The Gambler,’ ‘The Wedding Ringer’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

In “The Gambler,” Mark Wahlberg stars as Jim Bennett, a man who has never learned to quit while ahead. Despite being born into one of the wealthiest family’s in America, Jim’s gambling addiction has left him desperate, broke and hounded by low-life loan sharks. His problem is so severe that any cash he acquires is immediately lost to high-stakes wagers in blackjack and roulette.   

Chinese Film ‘King of Masks’ Focuses on Themes of Love, Tradition and Redemption

Gabriella Tutino

The film, set in 1930 Sichuan, follows a street performer who is versed in the Sichuan opera art of changing silk masks quickly; this skill earns him the name ‘The King of Masks.’ After one of his performances he is approached by another Sichuan opera artist, Master Liang, who is known for his transformations and stage-acting as a woman (his most popular role being The Living Bodhisattva). Master Liang asks the King to join his troupe.

‘He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not’ Features Audrey Tatou in an Intriguing Romantic Thriller

Sandra Bertrand

When it comes to games of the heart, the French are very deft players.  And that’s never been more the case than when Audrey Tautou, that wickedly charming screen gamin, walks into a flower shop and orders a rose for her beloved.  In Laetitia Colombani’s black comedy, He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, “a rose is not just a rose is not just a rose” in Gertrude Stein’s apt phrase, but a symbol of some very dark and dirty business of the heart ahead.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Film & TV