Thelma & Louise (R)

November 24, 2014

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Road trips are said to change the course of the traveler’s life: they turn over a new, confusing chapter in the story of one’s normal routine. They’re also really kind to the medium of cinema. I say that with some confidence, because we’ve been catered to a wonderfully welcome number of films which have a journey at its sweating fulcrum. My favorite Indian director recently made a new film called “Highway,” which circled around a kidnapped girl who finds freedom in captivity through the magic of the road. The film had a very strong reaction from the masses, drawing a line of conflict between the people (including me) who loved it like crazy and the people who hated it. The director explained that he was glad to get a mixed response; it shows that people are not blindly accepting his vision, as is the case with an aware audience. Before signing off from that interview, he said his personal favorite was “Thelma And Louise.” (more…)

Grumpy Old Men (PG-13)

November 22, 2014

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Despite its heavy promotion and legendary all time cast, 1993’s “Grumpy Old Men” managed to slip by me unviewed for twenty years – akin to the way Thanksgiving slips by as the holiday ugly stepchild, sandwiched between its more popular siblings Halloween and Christmas. The comedy stars a handful of aging Hollywood legends (4 of the 6 stars would pass away between 1997 and 2005) and while it has its shortcomings, does a decent job of entertaining its viewers. (more…)

Death Becomes Her (PG-13)

November 20, 2014

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Death Becomes Her,” the 1992 Robert Zemeckis fantasy/comedy, is at once about vanity and about stagnation. And it’s also just a goofy time at the movies (or your couch, since this is doubtless where you’ll find it, reading this review in 2014). While light and a bit droll, the acting is top notch, featuring laughable yet perfect performances from its leads, and offers humor in the right places. It’s a predominantly female character-driven movie, with Bruce Willis sandwiched in-between Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep, and features a lot of talk of the undead and the occult, especially towards its end. Whatever observations the film has, however, are better off taken lightly; this is a movie to have fun with, and is best enjoyed at the not-so-serious level. (more…)

My Cousin Vinny (R)

November 14, 2014

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Two youths are wrongly accused of murder and call a family-friend-lawyer to defend them, and the result is this, 1992’s “My Cousin Vinny,” a comedy that is both funny and warm. The lawyer is played by Joe Pesci, renowned for gangster roles in films like “Goodfellas” and “Casino,” but who here is able to create a likeable Brooklyn trial attorney who has never gone to trial. A host of other characters, such as Marisa Tomei who plays his fiancée, Fred Gwynne who plays a hilarious courtroom judge, and “The Karate Kid’s” Ralph Macchio round this film out. We’re not talking grade-A comedy here, but rather a film that somehow works despite its quirky elements. (more…)

Leaving Las Vegas (R)

November 10, 2014

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In a film full of lonely shots, perhaps the most solemn is a fade out of an unused tricycle as the film’s protagonist, Ben, packs up his house to move to Las Vegas to die. Ben has a terminal disease, its name is alcoholism, and this film, “Leaving Las Vegas,” does anything but make it look sexy. Unlike the film “Barfly,” this is not a film of addiction without consequence, but one that portrays, in an almost autobiographical way, the nature of alcoholism, pain, and loneliness. Las Vegas is full of people, full of life, lights, and excitement. But this is not an exciting film, but a bitter, funereal look at two people nearing the ends of destructive paths. (more…)

Pretty Woman (R)

November 6, 2014

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At the beginning of “Pretty Woman,” we have a business tycoon who can’t drive a sports car and a hooker that can’t get a date. Julia Roberts plays the hooker, and Richard Gere plays the tycoon, and the result couldn’t be sweeter. Garry Marshall, who directed a plethora of romantic comedies, such as “Runaway Bride” and “The Other Sister,” shows his talent here by allowing a conservative script to give way to excellent performances, the result a toned-down and heartwarming tale. “Runaway Bride” would re-unite Gere and Roberts, which fans were no doubt clamoring for. The movie is sweet, in an almost quaint way, and not at all what you’d expect given its description. (more…)

Wild Target (PG-13)

November 5, 2014

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When I fist watched the preview for “Wild Target” I instantly predicted two things. The first was that I would immediately fall in love with the star, Emily Blunt. The second was that the movie would become an all time favorite. The 2010 movie reinforces the concept that one thing the Brits do extremely well is comedy. Based on the French film “Cible Emouvante” and directed by Jonathan Lynn (“Nuns on the Run,” “My Cousin Vinny”) “Wild Target” hits the mark of funny better than a sharpshooter. (more…)