“Labor Day” is all Schmaltz

What happened to Jason Reitman? Where has the cool, hip son of Ivan Reitman who made sly, hilarious films run off to? Going by his latest, “Labor Day,” my first guess would be up his you-know-what. Frank (Josh Brolin) is an escaped killer who comes across young Henry and his mom Adele (Kate Winslet) in… Continue reading “Labor Day” is all Schmaltz

“Jack Ryan” is Just Fine

Tom Clancy novels were all the rage in the ‘80s. With his meticulous attention to detail and his everyman hero, Jack Ryan, readers gobbled up his books, eventually leading to the first Ryan film, “The Hunt for Red October,” which personally is one of my favorite films of all time. After three actors and three… Continue reading “Jack Ryan” is Just Fine

Coens Hit the Wrong Note with “Davis”

With the exception of “The Ladykillers,” every Coen Brothers movie is watchable. Even the not-so-good ones, like “O Brother, Where Art Thou” or “Intolerable Cruelty.” Their style is so unique, their worldview so perfectly skewed, it’s hard not to look away. Aside from the setting (the early ‘60s folk music scene in New York), “Inside… Continue reading Coens Hit the Wrong Note with “Davis”

“Her” All Kinds of Weird

Spike Jonze is one of those filmmakers that seems much better in theory than reality. His films are all fiercely original and are revered by cinephiles everywhere. But, there’s a detachment to everything he’s made that’s impossible for me to get past. It’s like you’re watching his films from a distance. There’s no intimacy, even… Continue reading “Her” All Kinds of Weird

“The Wolf of Wall Street” is Vintage Scorsese

Jordan Belfort is a crook. Drug addict. Adulterer. The kind of person who will say anything to make a buck. He’s a terrible human being. Belfort is also good looking and wildly charismatic. All of which is probably why his story, which serves as the basis for “The Wolf of Wall Street,” is so intriguing.… Continue reading “The Wolf of Wall Street” is Vintage Scorsese