Film & TV

An Eerie Plot and Hyperrealistic Narrative Dominate Thriller ‘Six Minutes to Midnight’

Christopher Karr

It’s worth mentioning that Six Minutes to Midnight (a rather outdated reference to the Doomsday Clock, if today’s moviegoers even know what that is) has a few unintentional laughs. It’s tough not to giggle when Jim Broadbent, when threatened with being scalded by the contents of a squealing tea kettle, says, with the kind of conviction that only a master craftsman can muster, “I’m not a bloody traitor. He’s half German, half English. I helped the English half of ‘im.”

‘The Courier’ Retells True Story of Spy Caper During the Cuban Missile Crisis

James Fozard

The well-written, poignant drama includes the famous speech, “We will bury you” by  Kruschev, the memorable speech by President Kennedy on the Cuban missile build-up, and several dramatic meetings between British intelligence and the CIA regarding  the merits of using the businessman as the courier. The cinematography and music are quite effective in capturing the settings and transfers of the spy materials and clandestine meetings of the traitor and courier.

Watching the Golden Globes: And the Best Films of 2020 Were…

Forrest Hartman

If Boseman wins a Golden Globe for his performance (he is nominated for best actor in a drama), some will believe it is out of sympathy. That thought should be dispelled now, as it diminishes his incredible work. In “Ma Rainey,” based on the like-titled August Wilson play, Boseman plays Levee Green, a trumpet player in a music world where black artists are mercilessly abused. Although capable of writing and playing with the best, Levee is relegated to backing Ma Rainey (Viola Davis, also nominated for a Globe), a black diva who has achieved enough fame and success to hold sway over white record producers.

The Story of Remarkable Teacher Pedro Santana Hits the Screen

Sandra Bertrand

With every encounter, the camera captures the magnetism of the man. Teaching in a Covid-free environment, he lights up the room with his smiles, kisses, and hugs. In the words of a colleague, “He always thought about the kid that was on the bottom.” But as one former student admitted, he “lets you know what he really thinks.”  “How are your grades?” became a familiar mantra to his charges.  He expected the best and to the amazement of his family, teachers, parents, and even nay-sayers, he got it.

‘Lapsis’ Paints a Picture of a Realistic but Grim Future

Ulises Duenas

While director Noah Hutton does a great job of illustrating the world he’s created through small scenes that show you how disingenuous the cabling company is and how desperate people are to make some extra cash, the film is still lacking. On one hand, Hutton replicates the dialogue and actions of human beings quite well. On the other, he does it so well that it becomes dull. The whole movie feels like a pilot to the miniseries.

A Chilling Cat-and-Mouse Game Ensues in ‘The Little Things’

Garrett Hartman

The performances are terrific, with Jared Leto giving a particularly superb performance as the  prime suspect, Albert Sparma. Leto creates an eerily charming antagonist who perfectly plays to the air of mystery, doubt, and confusion the film aims to create.  In typical noir style, the film offers no heroes -- which is utilized to serve the film’s theme on obsession and the nature of justice. Instead of conflicted characters who falter clearly behind the lines of right and wrong, these  characters always seem to be in the middle of the road.

New Film ‘PAINT’ Depicts the Underside of Creating Art

Sandra Bertrand

To be or not to be—an artist.  For anyone who’s ever pursued painting as a career—house painters excluded—you might want to think again.  There are enough cliches about the profession to fill MoMA’s walls: “You have to live miserably to be an artist.”  “We can’t edit our psyches.”  “I’m not a decent human being, I’m an artist.” “We show up late.” There’s more you’ve probably come to easily recognize, but the ones I’ve quoted are all in Michael Walker’s film, PAINT

Hollywood Veteran Dennis Dugan Tackles Modern-Day Romance in ‘Love, Weddings and Other Disasters’

Forrest Hartman

Dugan’s career has many highlights, including a much-loved acting stint as Captain Freedom on the TV drama Hill Street Blues. He has been even more successful in the director’s chair, with credits garnering more than $1 billion total. His directorial works include Problem Child (1990), Happy Gilmore (1996), Big Daddy (1999) and Grown Ups 1 and 2 (2010, 2013). For Love, Weddings and Other Disasters he tapped into his talent, not only writing, directing and producing, but playing the key supporting role of Eddie Stone.

City Dreamers: How Four Women Architects Took on the World

Sandra Bertrand

Based in Philadelphia, their projects have included campuses and museums here and abroad, such as the University of Pennsylvania, the Seattle Arts Museum, as well as the Sainsbury Wing of London’s National Gallery and the Nikko Hotel in Japan.  Revered as a teacher, Scot Brown's students and notables such as Frank Gehry and Rem Koolhaas petitioned to give her the prestigious Pritzker prize retroactively after Venturi unfairly became the sole recipient. The effort was denied. (She has said the petition is her prize, a better reward.)

Welcome to the Wonderful, Wacky World of Wes Anderson

Christopher Karr

Still, one is hard-pressed to think of a filmmaker who’s as absolutely singular as Wes Anderson, and even harder-pressed to think of a fanbase best described as completists. I’m not sure that a casual Wes Anderson fan exists. Once you twirl into his world, it’s easy to get lost there—drunk on his outlandish, affected aesthetics, dazzled by his constricted idiosyncrasy, baffled by his reinvention of what cinematic language can look like.

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