Home / Tag: Film reviews
10.18.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By David Luhrssen
I might have been 10 or I might have been 12. It might have been on a Saturday or a Sunday afternoon back in the three network days when old B movies were off-time filler on broadcast television. I stumbled across a movie set in a castle in the Mojave Desert, a Gothic fantasy amid the cacti inhabited by an obsessive historian creatively enveloping himself in a medieval environment. The castle ...
10.16.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By David Luhrssen
When he last turned to presidential biography for his subject, director Oliver Stone transformed the reign of Richard M. Nixon into Shakespearean tragedy. With W., his insightfully funny satire of George W. Bush, Stone turns the bumbling but affable president and his entourage into Dr. Strangelove. The difference is striking. With Anthony Hopkins in the title role, Nixon was a towering fi...
10.03.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By David Luhrssen
There�s a scene near the beginning of Flash of Genius that neatly and amusingly speaks volumes about its protagonist, Dr. Robert Kearns (Greg Kinnear). One night the electrical engineering instructor at a Detroit college is confronted by his sexy wife Phylis (Lauren Graham). She is in a negligee and in the mood. His focus is elsewhere. Kearns excuses himself and goes outside to his car, opens th...
09.27.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By David Luhrssen
Spike Lee has been fighting World War II long before the release of his latest film, Miracle at St. Anna. His campaign began with a salvo at Clint Eastwood for excluding black faces from Flags of Our Fathers and perpetuating the assumption that blacks contributed little to the U.S. victory. It was not the movie Eastwood wanted to make and the sniping between the two directors probably served to ...
Thursday, Sept. 4, 2008

A comedy of job loss

Most Americans have decided that outsourcing has gotten out of hand, especially after it became a bland euphemism for exporting large numbers of jobs overseas. Anxiety over outsourcing is mounting lately, even in relatively high-level professions such as banking.
Thursday, Sept. 18, 2008

The Coens lighten up

After winning Oscars with the unrelentingly grim No Country For Old Men, the Coen brothers lighten up a little for Burn After Reading. Their new film traverses territory more familiar to the filmmakers. Here, death doesn't descend in the form of an enigmatic hit man who tosses coins for the lives he encounters.
09.15.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By David Luhrssen
Robert De Niro and Al Pacino were among the fresh new faces of �70s Hollywood. But the towering dramatic actors of that now fabled decade never appeared together in a film until the �90s and then only once, in Michael Mann�s tense crime drama Heat (1995). In Heat, they presided over parallel plot lines as master criminal and master detective and converged only late in the story. In Righteous K...
09.13.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By David Luhrssen
The Dark Knight has caught up with Titanic�s record box office ticket sales and is one of the most talked about films in years. It�s the biggest moviegoing phenomenon of 2008, larger even than Sex and the City. Heath Ledger was a rising actor and his role as the Joker in the sequel to the popular Batman Begins would have cinched his stardom had he lived. His death was good publicity for T...
Thursday, Aug. 14, 2008

Milwaukee’s Beachfront Comedy

A remarkable revelation came to Kyle Buckley in a hotel room in the midst of a comic book convention. "If I'm going to make a stupid decision in my life, I might as well do it at 19," read the thought balloon that popped up in his head. Only five days before starting his sophomore year at Milwaukee School of Engineering, he made the potentially stupid decision to drop out, move to Los Angeles and seek work in movies. A few months later his brother Vincent, a cartoonist, followed him. This week the first film by Buckley Brothers Productions receives its world premiere in Milwaukee. Jake's How-To is a funny comedy by the twentysomething siblings about guys, girls and late adolescence . . .
08.10.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By David Luhrssen
Y�all like the Dukes of Hazzard? Then you�ll luv Beer For My Horses, the vanity project written and starring country star Toby Keith. Set in a small Oklahoma town populated by characters with a capital �K,� this county sheriff comedy plays out amidst tractors, pork rind eaters and the beer light of the honky tonk as the local crime busters take on that favorite illegal business in contemporary rur...