Category Archives: Movies

Zootopia Is My Happy Place

I don’t think I’ve had such a good time at the movies since Little Miss Sunshine. If you just want to smile—and laugh—and clap—and feel like dancing all over the theatre—don’t miss this. And don’t watch it at home (which you will want to do … Continue reading

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The Boys in the Boat and the O-Ring Theory of Development

I can’t keep track of the number of times I’ve done a post just to point at one of Phil Windley’s posts. But there’s a good reason: Phil’s a highly discriminating thinker and writer who hits some nails right on the … Continue reading

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Ex Machina: One Very Fine Machine

About a third of the way into this movie I found myself thinking that film has become such a high art form, attracting so much talent the world over, that either we’re going to run out of ideas or our heads … Continue reading

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Whiplash is the Best Titled Film – and Possibly the Best Film – of 2014

When I wrote my review of The Imitation Game in January, I said it set the high-water mark for film in 2014. And, when viewed from the perspective of all aspects of filmcraft, it did. But when I finally saw Whiplash … Continue reading

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Selma

It is very hard, being a white man who was only seven years old at the time, to even think I can appreciate what it was like to cross the Edmund Pettus bridge on Bloody Sunday, March 7, 1965. But Selma takes … Continue reading

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The Imitation Game: Alan Turing Unsung No More

As each year closes, I find myself thinking about the “high water mark film”—the movie that did the most in the past year to raise the bar for filmmaking as a whole. This doesn’t mean it will be the Best Picture … Continue reading

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Interstellar: See It in the Biggest Baddest IMAX Theatre You Can

Christopher Nolan is quite possibly my favorite living director. Inception soars among any other film in the last decade; as far as I’m concerned, the fact that it was not nominated for Best Director is one of the most damning omissions in Academy history. … Continue reading

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Guardians of the Galaxy

When I first heard our 70+ year old neighbor remark that GOTG was the most entertaining movie she’d she’s seen in years, I knew I had to go. And within the first two minutes I realized why. This is not another Star … Continue reading

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Her

My wife was reluctant to see Her because she thought it might simply be a quirky story that had garnered favor with the Hollywood in-crowd. I convinced her to go only after Spike Jonze won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. … Continue reading

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Gravity

It’s hard for a major Hollywood film with big stars and flashy trailers not to over-telegraph the story and under-perform the hype. Gravity does not fit that mold. In fact, it does not fit any mold. It is breathtakingly original … Continue reading

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The Way, Way Back

Time’s so tight these days (putting my boys through college and working on Respect Network) that I only have time to blog about the really special movies. The Way, Way Back is one of them. My wife and I saw it last … Continue reading

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Silver Linings Playbook

When you have a cast bringing together Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, and Jacki Weaver, you can’t help but start out skeptical that they can reach the full potential of what all that enormous talent is capable of … Continue reading

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Love, Crazy, Stupid, Love.

I hate it when life gets so busy there’s not time for blog posts. They start to stack up mentally in a queue like unread books. Since the holidays are still too far away to look to them for spare … Continue reading

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A Love Letter to J.K. Rowling

For me, it all ended — magnificently — in the cozy confines of the Empire Theatre on Block Island, RI. Having raised our two boys reading Harry Potter books out loud, and seeing several of the movies on various July … Continue reading

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Super Super 8

J.J. Abrams brings the same Red Bull energy and Maserati plot to Super 8 as he did to 2009’s Star Trek (the movie that compelled me to start adding film notes to my blog). But it feels much more intense … Continue reading

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When Josh Spector posted a link to this commercial…

…it was before the triple disaster hit Japan. Now visit his blog and watch this commercial and see how powerful it is now. Thanks Josh. And thanks to Ernesto Diaz for tweeting about it.

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Walter Murch on Why 3D Won't Last

Roger Ebert’s journal has an outstanding letter from film editor Walter Murch that makes a rock-hard case as to why 3D is a film fad that will fade (let alone catch on on TVs). As much as I loved Avatar, … Continue reading

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127 Hours

Don’t be put off by the appalling truth of the story! Danny Boyle is a genius, James Franco is terrific, and Aaron Ralston is more of a true hero than you could ever imagine. You will be so glad you … Continue reading

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The Social Network

The book was frankly a “tech soap opera” as one industry friend put it, so when I saw that the Tomatometer for The Social Network was 97%, my jaw was on the floor. After I saw the movie the first … Continue reading

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Inception

About half-way through this movie, I found myself wondering how Christopher Nolan every got it made. No Hollywood exec would ever believe a movie with a plot this complex and layered could find a wide audience. Wrong. It is to … Continue reading

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