REVIEW: The Natural [1984]

The only homer I know has four bases in it. There’s a lot going on in Barry Levinson‘s The Natural and baseball is the least of it. The film had always been a blind spot for me as I’m not a fan of the sport and thus could never bring myself to watch—”classic” status or not. So the opportunity to sit down and experience it on the big screen after enjoying a lengthy interview session between Ben Mankiewicz and Levinson courtesy of Turner Classic Movies became my excuse to drop…

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REVIEW: Black Mass [2015]

“If nobody sees it, it didn’t happen” The story of Southie crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger (Johnny Depp) is perfectly suited for a sprawling, character-driven cinematic adaptation because of the corruption level involved. Based on the book by Boston Globe reporters Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill, Black Mass screenwriters Mark Mallouk and Jez Butterworth take us through an in-depth look at a local gangster making good on his promise to watch out for South Boston just as he helps ruin it with drugs and murder before ultimately transforming into an…

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Toronto International Film Festival 2014 Preview

We may have two consistent film festivals here in town showcasing small releases and restored classics, but you might not realize how close we are to one of the biggest in the world. Most “in the know” will center on five events when thinking about the best of the best film festivals and while Venice, Cannes, and Berlin are an ocean away and Sundance is across the country, The Toronto International Film Festival is less than a two-hour drive via the QEW into Canada. Even better than proximity, though, is…

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REVIEW: What Just Happened [2008]

“That’s a good school” Barry Levinson’s What Just Happened made me ponder that exact question as I walked out of my screening. Sadly, the answer I settled on was: not much. I think Robert De Niro’s producer Ben said it best when being completely honest with Stanley Tucci’s screenwriter about his new florist-set script—“it’s not a movie”. That is exactly what I would have said when this script was green-lit to become what it now is. No disrespect to Art Linson who adapted the screenplay from his own comic memoirs…

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REVIEW: Bandits [2001]

“Do you smell burning feathers?” A true overlooked movie, Bandits is a gem waiting to surprise people. With a guy like Barry Levinson directing, having classic comedies like Diner and Toys, (another ill-received winner) under his belt and dramedies like Rain Man, you know you will be entertained. If you still feel unsure after finding out it stars Bruce Willis and two of the best actors working today in Billy Bob Thornton, (when not playing the vulgar schlub he has lately), and Cate Blanchett, you don’t enjoy cinema. This trifecta…

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Top 25 Films of 2001

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 90 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #25: Monsters, Inc. directed by Pete Docter #24: Tape directed by Richard Linklater #23: Bandits directed by Barry Levinson #22: Session 9 directed by Brad Anderson. #21: Super Troopers directed byJay Chandrasekhar #20: Spy Game directed by Tony Scott. #19: Le Pacte des loups[Brotherhood of the Wolf] directed by Christophe Gans #18: AI: Artificial Intelligence directed by Steven Spielberg. #17: A Beautiful…

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