Bob Balaban Page 3

Bob Balaban

Bob Balaban Quick Links

News Pictures Video Film Footage RSS

Bob Balaban - NY Premiere of 'The Intern' to Benefit Tribeca Film Institute at The Ziegfeld Theater at Ziegfeld Theater - NYC, New York, United States - Tuesday 22nd September 2015

Bob Balaban

Bob Balaban - Special screening of 'I'll See you in My Dreams' held at the Tribeca Grand Screening Room - Arrivals at Tribeca Grand Screening Room - New York City, New York, United States - Monday 11th May 2015

Bob Balaban
Bob Balaban

Bob Balaban - Shots of a host of stars as they arrived and took to the red carpet for a Special screening of 'Mad Men' which was held at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, New York, United States - Monday 23rd March 2015

Bob Balaban

Bob Balaban - A variety of stars were snapped as they arrived at the 2015 New York Film Critic Awards at which were held at the Tao Downtown restaurant in New York City, New York, United States - Monday 5th January 2015

Bob Balaban - Stars were photographed arriving at the Opening night of 'This Is Our Youth' at the Cort Theatre in New York City, New York, United States - Thursday 11th September 2014

Bob Balaban, Kevin Costner and Jason Binn - DuJour Magazine's screening of 'Black and White' held at UA Cinema in East Hampton - Arrivals - East Hampton, New York, United States - Sunday 3rd August 2014

Bob Balaban, Kevin Costner and Jason Binn
Bob Balaban, Kevin Costner and And Jason Binn
Bob Balaban
Bob Balaban
Jason Binn, Bob Balaban and Kevin Costner
Bob Balaban and Kevin Costner

Alec Baldwin and Bob Balaban - Opening night of 'Clever Little Lies' held at the Guild Hall - Arrivals - Southampton, New York, United States - Saturday 19th July 2014

Alec Baldwin and Bob Balaban
Hilaria Baldwin and Alec Baldwin
Hilaria Baldwin and Alec Baldwin
Hilaria Baldwin and Alec Baldwin

Bob Balaban - The Hampton premiere of 'And So it Goes' at Guild Hall in East Hampton - Arrivals - East Hampton, New York, United States - Sunday 6th July 2014

Bob Balaban

Bob Balaban, Blythe Danner and Marlo Thomas - The Guild Hall of East Hampton: 29th Academy Of The Arts Lifetime Achievement Awards at Sotheby's - New York, New York, United States - Monday 10th March 2014

Bob Balaban, Blythe Danner and Marlo Thomas
Bob Balaban, Blythe Danner and Marlo Thomas

Bob Balaban - 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party held at Sunset Tower in West Hollywood - Los Angeles, California, United States - Sunday 2nd March 2014

Bob Balaban
Bob Balaban
Bob Balaban

Bob Balaban - New York premiere of The Grand Budapest Hotel at the Alice Tully Hall - Outside Arrivals - New York City, New York, United States - Wednesday 26th February 2014

Bob Balaban

Bob Balaban - U.K. film premiere of 'The Monuments Men' held at the Odeon Leicester Square - Arrivals - London, Ukraine - Tuesday 11th February 2014

Bob Balaban

Bob Balaban - 'Monuments Men' U.K. film premiere held at the Odeon Leicester Square - Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Tuesday 11th February 2014

Bob Balaban
Bob Balaban
Bob Balaban
Bob Balaban
Bob Balaban
Bob Balaban

George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Dimitri Leonidas and Harry Ettlinger - 'The Monuments Men' photocall at the National Portrait Gallery - London, United Kingdom - Tuesday 11th February 2014

George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Dimitri Leonidas and Harry Ettlinger
George Clooney

George Clooney, Matt Damon, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bill Murray, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville, Dimitri Leonidas and Justus von Dohnanyi - Photo call for The Monuments Men, 64th Berlin International Film Festival, (Berlinale), at the Hyatt Potsdamer Platz - Berlin, Germany - Saturday 8th February 2014

George Clooney, Matt Damon, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bill Murray, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville, Dimitri Leonidas and Justus Von Dohnanyi
George Clooney
George Clooney, Matt Damon, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bill Murray, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville, Dimitri Leonidas and Justus Von Dohnanyi
George Clooney, Jean Dujardin and Matt Damon
George Clooney, Jean Dujardin and Matt Damon
John Goodman, George Clooney and Jean Dujardin

Video - George Clooney Arrives At 'The Monuments Men' Premiere With His Parents - Part 1


George Clooney arrives at the world premiere of 'The Monuments Men', in which he directs and stars, at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York. He is accompanied on the red carpet by his parents Nick Clooney and Nina Bruce Clooney.

Continue: Video - George Clooney Arrives At 'The Monuments Men' Premiere With His Parents - Part 1

Oscars 2014 Predictions: The Star-Studded 'Monuments Men'


George Clooney Matt Damon Cate Blanchett Bill Murray John Goodman Bob Balaban

In the 1940s, a group of men unite to try and save history in the alternative World War II epic that is The Monuments Men. They’re not attempting to bring down the Fuhrer, infiltrate a lab to steal secrets or secure a key territory in the fight against fascism though; they’re preserving culture by protecting the architecture and history of an endangered people.

Watch the Monuments Men trailer

The film is led by a ridiculous cast, consisting of the Oscar darling George Clooney, the ever-busy Matt Damon, the irrepressible Cate Blanchett, cult comedy heros Bill Murray & John Goodman, and the multi-talented Bob Balaban.

Continue reading: Oscars 2014 Predictions: The Star-Studded 'Monuments Men'

The Monuments Men Trailer


It's the 1940s and with World War II at its most fierce, Hitler's Nazi army is threatening whole worlds of culture and history. He wants entire generations to be wiped from time but America isn't going to let it happen. The government set up a Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program, enlisting seven men - from art historians to museum curators - to march headfirst in the conflict and rescue important art masterpieces and artefacts from the thieving hands of the Nazis. Having only been given basic training and with very little time to waste, the brave men thrust themselves in the face of danger to protect mankind's history no matter what the consequences. With enemies everywhere and a terrain covered in landmines, the journey will not be a straightforward one.

Continue: The Monuments Men Trailer

Video - Amanda Setton, Jon Voight And Tony Shalhoub Arrive At 'Hitchcock' Premiere NY


A host of TV stars were snapped on the red carpet at the 'Hitchcock' premiere in New York. Among them were Anvil frontman Steve 'Lips' Kudlow who knows the movie's director Sacha Gervasi from when he used to be a roadie for the band.

Continue: Video - Amanda Setton, Jon Voight And Tony Shalhoub Arrive At 'Hitchcock' Premiere NY

Howl Review


Extraordinary
Oscar-winning documentarians Epstein and Friedman turn their skills to a narrative feature. Sort of. This is essentially a movie based on a poem, but it also tells a remarkable life story and grapples with hugely important issues.

Published in 1956, Allen Ginsberg's poem Howl launched the Beat Generation with its mix of soulful yearning and rage at injustice. When the publisher (Rogers) faces charges that the poem is obscene, Ginsberg (Franco) refuses to attend the trial in San Francisco. And after hearing the lawyers (Strathairn and Hamm) and witnesses (Parker, Daniels, Nivola and Williams), the judge (Balaban) rules in favour of both artistic expression and freedom of the press.

Continue reading: Howl Review

Rage Trailer


Watch the trailer for Rage

Continue: Rage Trailer

Bernard And Doris Review


Good
HBO lined up two big stars to tell the story of billionaire tobacco heiress Doris Duke and her loyal yet shady butler Bernard Lafferty. Susan Sarandon and Ralph Fiennes star in Bernard and Doris and give it a go, but the truth is that they are both miscast, Sarandon especially, and that error subverts what is otherwise a witty half drama/half comedy.

Racing through the final years of Doris's troubled life in typically episodic biopic fashion, the teleplay introduces us to an aging but still feisty woman who doesn't suffer fools gladly and manages her sprawling estate and her finances with an iron fist. When a butler delivers cantaloupe that is chilled incorrectly, Doris fires him on the spot.

Continue reading: Bernard And Doris Review

Dedication Review


OK
Justin Theroux, the director of Dedication, wants to have it both ways, and in this case there's no shame in that. The film aims to mix romantic comedy with indie darkness; the ideal result would be a film with the charm and sweetness of a vintage rom-com with the honesty, wit, and/or realism of a screenplay free of Hollywood fingerprints. Dedication, though, feels like it has its signals crossed -- it zigs when it should zag, and settles for laziness at the most inopportune moments.

Henry (Billy Crudup) is withdrawn, anxious, and openly hostile, and almost certainly suffers from some sort of low-grade mental illness. Despite his unfriendly exterior, he is also an author of children's books who has found success with his only friend and illustrator, Rudy (Tom Wilkinson). When Rudy is unable to complete a sequel to their wildly popular book about a mischievous beaver, their publisher (Bob Balaban) dispatches Lucy (Mandy Moore) to help Henry finish the book. At first, they're at odds, but, well, you know the rest.

Continue reading: Dedication Review

Prince Of The City Review


Good
Before there was The Departed, before there was Donnie Brasco, there was this tale of cop corruption and undercover work, directed by a down-the-rabbit-hole Sidney Lumet. Based on a true story, Prince features a rather bland Treat Williams as Danny Ciello, who goes undercover to expose corruption in (where else) the NYPD. Naturally, he soon learns that just about everyone is on the take, including his own partners. Eventually, Ciello himself becomes suspect for his prior drug use. The film starts off strong as Ciello starts delving into the underworld of corrupt cops, but eventually starts to repeat itself and bog down as it hits its third hour. Fortunately, numerous supporting stars keep it largely worth watching.

Continue reading: Prince Of The City Review

Trust The Man Review


Extraordinary
Something has made Bart Freundlich step away from torrid family melodrama, and thank goodness for it. The writer-director's Trust the Man is a grown-up and intelligent version of a romantic comedy, and for all that it is fluffy and simple entertainment, it's also very good.

Julianne Moore, who has kept her talent for comedy a secret, plays Rebecca, a successful (if neurotic) actress who spends much of her time spurning advances from her bored, sex-addicted stay-at-home husband, Tom (David Duchovny). Tom's best friend is Rebecca's younger brother Tobey (Billy Crudup, ditto on the keen and heretofore hidden comedy prowess), a slacker freelance writer who is far more preoccupied with his therapist, his parking spot, and his own mortality than he is with the mounting frustration of longtime girlfriend Elaine (Maggie Gyllenhaal), an aspiring children's book author with a ticking biological clock.

Continue reading: Trust The Man Review

Trust The Man Review


Extraordinary
Something has made Bart Freundlich step away from torrid family melodrama, and thank goodness for it. The writer-director's Trust the Man is a grown-up and intelligent version of a romantic comedy, and for all that it is fluffy and simple entertainment, it's also very good.Julianne Moore, who has kept her talent for comedy a secret, plays Rebecca, a successful (if neurotic) actress who spends much of her time spurning advances from her bored, sex-addicted stay-at-home husband, Tom (David Duchovny). Tom's best friend is Rebecca's younger brother Tobey (Billy Crudup, ditto on the keen and heretofore hidden comedy prowess), a slacker freelance writer who is far more preoccupied with his therapist, his parking spot, and his own mortality than he is with the mounting frustration of longtime girlfriend Elaine (Maggie Gyllenhaal), an aspiring children's book author with a ticking biological clock.Each couple is in one of those familiar ruts always showing up in advice columns. Since Tom became a house husband, sex is pretty much his only hobby, and it makes Rebecca less and less interested. And Elaine wants to know when Tobey will snap out of his immature haze, marry her already - after seven years of dating - and give her babies.Their problems are not unique, certainly, and hardly groundbreaking, but they are relatable, as are their strategies for coping. Being savvy modern New Yorkers, they mostly rely on a steady dose of therapy, meeting for meals at an endless parade of Manhattan eateries, and talking. Lots and lots of talking, over coffee, at a hot dog stand, on the phone, Tom with Tobey, Elaine with Rebecca, Rebecca with Tobey. These people are nothing if not self-involved and self-aware.But surprisingly, they are not as annoying as hyper-verbal, problem-ridden New Yorkers of the movies can often be. Freundlich created characters who are whiny indeed, but are so darn affable and charming that they aren't aggravating about it. Though Rebecca and Elaine are clearly set up to be "right" in their relationship woes, they easily could have been uncommunicative nags. And the guys bumble around with clueless selfishness, dipping into infidelity and cloaking themselves in smart ass comments and defiant irresponsibility. But Freundlich dresses them both in such a charming mien that they are precisely the men that women fall for despite themselves. Plus, everyone clings to witty sarcasm as the defense mechanism of choice, making them entertaining and likable despite (or because of) their faults.It certainly helps that the entire cast is first rate and playing to their considerable strengths. Duchovny is charming and every inch a leading man, even within an ensemble, and Gyllenhaal can make even baby mania appealing. But both Crudup - always packaging himself as a "serious actor" despite his pin-up idol good looks - and Moore, who is arguably one of the best actresses working today, are winsome and goofy and veritable revelations of comedic acting. He's gawky and playful and she's self-deprecating and sharp, and both need to vow, right now, to do more grown-up comedies. We know how funny they can be; they can't hole up in serious drama forever.The leads are aided by a wonderful supporting cast that is really a parade of hilarious cameos - Bob Balaban and Garry Shandling as psychiatrists, Ellen Barkin as a book editor interested in a little more than Elaine's manuscript, Eva Mendes as a friend of Tobey's from college who still causes him to embarrass himself horribly.Trust the Man does have a few issues - for all that it is intelligent and mature, it's still a slight and breezy romantic comedy. And though Freundlich is a sharp writer, he goes a little adrift in the third act, not really able to wrap everything up without resorting to the handy clichés of the genre and an overly tidy little bow. But as far as quibbles go, these are rather small, when compared to the funny and entertaining whole.Trust the lady, too.

Lady In The Water Review


Good
Is it possible for a film to be cheesy and interesting all at once? That's the question posed by M. Night Shyamalan's latest effort, Lady in the Water, a film that manages to throw in enough twists and turns to keep you engaged until the last schmaltzy drop.The film begins, appropriately enough, with a fable. A cave-painting style animation lays the groundwork for the fairy tale that's about to play out in a sleepy apartment complex called The Cove. After this ultimately unnecessary introduction, we meet Cleveland Heep (Paul Giamatti), caretaker of the complex, and a gaggle of eccentric residents. One night Cleveland spies someone in the residential pool who isn't supposed to be there. Slipping and falling in, he's saved from drowning by the mysterious stranger, a young woman named Story (Bryce Dallas Howard). Like its heart, the film wears its post-modernism on its sleeve.Through a legend meted out in fits and starts by an elderly, vaguely stereotypical Chinese woman and her daughter, Cleveland learns that this woman is, in fact, a narf, which is not, as one might suspect, some kind of undercover DEA pixie, but is instead a water nymph meant to bring great change and awakening and yadda, yadda, yadda. But before you can say "ancient Chinese secret," Cleveland finds out that there are monsters in this legend, as well, and must spend the rest of the film trying to negotiate safe passage home for Story by enlisting help from the motley tenants.Finding out who these helpers are and just how they will help is part of the fun and frustration of the film. Although Shyamalan manages to find neat and clever ways to fit them into his puzzle, the puzzle itself seems to be manufactured as the film progresses. Every ten or fifteen minutes, the plot stops so that the woman and her daughter can, in often clumsy exposition, reveal another part of the myth that they inexplicably left out before. A game like this is much less fun if it seems like the rules are just being made up as you go along.At the same time, the elements that make for any good Shyamalan film are here. There are very few directors (Spielberg and Scorsese among them) who virtually shot for shot find the most interesting place to put the camera, and Shyamalan is one. He also knows how to cast a film, and Giamatti's performance here ranks easily with Willis' in The Sixth Sense or Gibson's in Signs. In what should be one of the film's most saccharine moments, he delivers a nearly tear-worthy speech.Which brings us, inevitably, to the cheese. Being a fairy tale, Lady in the Water is susceptible to moments of artifice, and with lines like "The great Elon is coming," it can be hard not to chuckle. On the other hand, writers like Joss Whedon manage to bring the fanciful into the modern without taking the viewer out of the moment (and it would be very interesting to see him write and Shyamalan direct a project like this).There is maybe half of a great film here. In many ways, this is Shyamalan's Close Encounters, in which in an ordinary man discovers he's living in an extraordinary world. And many of the themes of faith, purpose, and self-discovery explored in Signs and The Sixth Sense are all touched upon here, but are posited in a far less convincing way. Lady in the Water is not without its magical moments, but you really have to want them.Let's narf tonight!

Best In Show Review


Extraordinary
Just when you thought the mockumentary had mocked everything worth mocking, here comes a new gem of the genre that will have you rolling in the aisles once again.

Up for skewering this time around is the dog show, as Best in Show takes the absolutely inane shenanigans of dog breeders and handlers, impaling their obsession with a caliber of wit unseen since This is Spinal Tap made rock gods look like buffoons.

Continue reading: Best In Show Review

Jakob The Liar Review


Weak
Goooooooooooooooooooooooooood Morning, Auschwitz!

Continue reading: Jakob The Liar Review

Deconstructing Harry Review


Very Good
The Wood-man cometh, and he goes for broke this time.

Pretty much taking pot-shots at everyone he's ever known, every establishment he can think of, every vice there is, and--mostly--himself... that's your basic summary of Deconstructing Harry. Allen is vulgar and crass, wholly unlikeable... but hysterical. Maybe the funniest part of the film is the cast of stars he's lined up, all of whom do nothing but get spit upon the whole time! Suckers! (The movie is told half in reality, half as visualizations of writer Harry Block's (Allen) stories, thus, the large cast.)

Continue reading: Deconstructing Harry Review

Ghost World Review


Excellent
It's been seven years since director Terry Zwigoff impressed moviegoers with his documentary Crumb, an uncomfortable look at pop comic artist R. Crumb and his disturbing, grotesque, dysfunctional family. Zwigoff's ability to make viewers squirm and laugh at the same time is again in full bloom, with the fictional Ghost World, a funny, sympathetic look at a whole new group of awkward, unhappy people.

Based on a comic/graphic novel by Daniel Clowes (who co-wrote the screenplay adaptation with Zwigoff), Ghost World provides the point-of-view of young Enid, just out of high school, and aimless in both direction and identity. In the able hands of Thora Birch, who's already suffered the ennui of suburbia in American Beauty, Enid is a caustic, sarcastic, yet charming, sweetie. Birch is in practically every scene of the film, and anchors it with perfect tone.

Continue reading: Ghost World Review

Capote Review


Excellent
Capturing the inspirational process of a quirky character can be a daunting task. You have to weigh informational material with a big personality, and keep these two balanced over the course of a changing story without getting bogged down with proving a truth or allowing an actor to get so overwhelming that you miss the entire point of the film.

Hence why Philip Seymour Hoffman is such a perfect choice to play Truman Capote in a film about the research that became the book In Cold Blood. Not only does he look like him and sound like him, but because Capote was such an enormous personality in his own right, the smallest glimpse into Hoffman's movements or talk speaks volumes. He conveys so much with so little, and he's able to provide an amazing performance of the four years it took to write his biggest seller.

Continue reading: Capote Review

The Last Good Time Review


Weak
Er, I'm guessing the last good time is when old fogie Armin Mueller-Stahl gets to bonk hottie Olivia d'Abo. The rest of the movie (when d'Abo is wearing clothes, that is) is unmemorable -- some wandering tale about Armin's tax problems and Olivia's abusive boyfriend. Two ships passing in the night and all that. Written, produced, and directed by character actor Bob Balaban.

Gosford Park Review


Good
If Robert Altman had been given The Remains of the Day, the end product might have looked something like this.

Gosford Park is the name of an English country estate, where, in 1932, a gaggle of royals and wannabes -- including a horde of locals plus a popular British actor and a Charlie Chan-obsessed Hollywood movie producer -- gather to attend a weekend hunting party. Upstairs, it's the usual hoity-toity, drawing room chitter-chatter, while downstairs an army of servants does little but gossip about the visitors above.

Continue reading: Gosford Park Review

Absence Of Malice Review


Very Good
Another bash the media film, but 15 years before its time. Am I the only one that had trouble buying the Newman-Field romance? Didn't think so.

A Mighty Wind Review


Excellent
Christopher Guest's latest feature A Mighty Wind is purely and gloriously Guestian. If you've seen his last two films, Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show, you know exactly what I mean by that.

For the rest of you, Guestian movies are mockumentaries that usually send up some peculiar topic (community theater, dog shows), star a troupe of the same handful of very talented comedy actors (with a heavy Second City bias), are for the most part improvised, are always directed by Christopher Guest, and are typically hilarious. Also, they all apparently have three-word titles. Yes, Guestian films follow a formula, but yet they end up being some of the most original, creative movies I ever get to see. And, A Mighty Wind, while not the best of Guest's trio of ensemble comedies, is no exception; it's definitely Guestian all the way.

Continue reading: A Mighty Wind Review

The Mexican Review


Good
Brad and Julia! Julia and Brad!! Together for the first time!!!

Or not. The Mexican has the distinction of being a romance that manages to keep its lovey-dovey costars further apart than any film since Sleepless in Seattle. Not that there was any way around it. Brad Pitt's Jerry is a completely hapless bagman for a shifty mob boss (Bob Balaban), sent from L.A. to Mexico to retrieve the titular objet d'art -- an antique pistol.

Continue reading: The Mexican Review

Catch-22 Review


Extraordinary
A wry and sarcastic (and thick as hell) book about the ridiculous duplicity of war? Sounds like a movie to me.

And so it did to Mike Nichols and Buck Henry, collaborators on The Graduate who conspired once again to make one of the greats of cinema. While Catch-22 has none of the cachet of other war movies (and we'll get to that...), it's by far one of the best out there, ranking with Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, and Apocalypse Now as one of the greats.

Continue reading: Catch-22 Review

A Mighty Wind Review


OK

Writer-director Christopher Guest -- king of the mockumentary genre -- returns to his musical oddball roots in "A Mighty Wind," a "This Is Spinal Tap" for the 1960s folk-pop crowd.

As amusingly deadpan as 2000's dog-show-spoofing "Best In Show" and 1997's community-theater send-up "Waiting for Guffman" -- and featuring many of the same actors -- Guest's new film is similarly quirky, ironic and inexplicably endearing as it follows the preparations for a big concert featuring the reunions of several aging, corny, melodiously mellow fictional folk bands that were never as harmonious off stage as they were on.

It's a picture packed with wonderfully pokerfaced performances from the likes of Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Bob Balaban, Fred Willard, Parker Posey and Guest himself -- most of whom play washed-up but unnervingly (sometimes unnaturally) chipper singer-songwriters. It features a steady stream of Guest's hilarious non-sequiturs (references to Shetland pony polo leagues and a low-budget record label that saved money by not putting holes in the center of its LPs) that are sure to please fans of his other flippant flicks.

Continue reading: A Mighty Wind Review

Gosford Park Review


Very Good

You may need a program to keep track of the two dozen-plus characters in Robert Altman's soap opera, murder mystery, chamber comedy-of-manners "Gosford Park."

Carpeted with dry wit and filled to the rafters with salacious secrets and unspoken animosity, the film takes place at an English country estate in 1932 and unfolds from two points of view -- above stairs, where a multitude of aristocrats size each other up in subtle sociological war games, and below stairs, where their gossipy maids and valets fall into a strict pecking order based upon whom they serve.

The estate is the home of the aloof upper-crusters Sir William and Lady Sylvia McCordle (Michael Gambon and Kristin Scott Thomas) and it's gathering place for their many coattail-riding relatives, including Aunt Constance (the wonderful, quizzically austere Maggie Smith) who habitually puts on airs as if she's not living off an allowance from the McCordles.

Continue reading: Gosford Park Review

Jakob The Liar Review


OK

In considering whether or not to see "Jakob the Liar," the question you have to ask yourself is this: Just how much sappy, Robin Williams sentimentality can I stand?

If your tolerance is low (did "Patch Adams" give you hives?), you'd best skip this one -- an insistently uplifting fable of a Jew in Nazi-occupied Poland who keeps the spirits up in his prison-like Jewish ghetto by making up news broadcasts about the course of the war.

One of those rare films in which Williams really acts (as opposed to playing a variation on himself), "Jakob" isn't a bad film, but it still has "please take me seriously" written all over it.

Continue reading: Jakob The Liar Review

The Majestic Review


Good

A heartfelt and surprisingly successful revival of the cinema-idyllic world of Frank Capra movies, "The Majestic" stars Jim Carrey as a blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter with amnesia who stumbles into a small coastal hamlet where he's mistaken for a long-lost native World War II hero.

Affable alchemy is the specialty of director Frank Darabont -- the man behind the affecting sentimental sincerity of "The Shawshank Redemption" and "The Green Mile" -- and he's just about the only big-budget, soft-sell director in the business who could pull off this kind of potentially cloying picture without sending it into sugar shock. Capra's legacy is in good hands for these 150 minutes.

Darabont opens "The Majestic" with a terrific establishing shot of Carrey's melancholy mug as he listens to off-camera studio executives castrate his latest script. Despite his fresh-off-the-bus enthusiasm for Tinsel Town, Peter Appleton (Carrey) is already weary of being a B-movie hack after just one picture, the cheesy "Sand Pirates of the Sahara" (which Darabont shows us in delightfully authentic snippets featuring Bruce Campbell as the swashbuckling, pith-helmet hero and Cliff Curtis as an evil, wild-eyed sheik).

Continue reading: The Majestic Review

Ghost World Review


Good

It seems only natural that eccentric underground director Terry Zwigoff would follow up his acclaimed documentary of eccentric underground cartoonist R. Crumb with an adaptation of an eccentric underground comic book. But "Ghost World" is more than an adaptation -- it truly looks and feels as if the pages of the 1990s teen alienation anthology have come alive.

Every shot is photographed like a frame in a comic book. The palate of primary colors is an homage to the art form (although not directly to "Ghost World," which was drawn in black and white). The terse but pithy characters even speak in musing snippets short enough to fit in a dialogue bubble. And each of those characters is so well drawn -- in terms of performance, body language and wardrobe -- that simply looking at a still from the movie you can glean their entire personalities.

Published in the mid-90s, "Ghost World" was a comic about two misanthropic out-crowd teenage girls set adrift after high school graduation in a loathsome, nondescript semi-suburban world of Starbucks and strip malls. They have a plan to find McJobs and get an apartment together, but stubbornly proud pariah Enid (played with pitch-perfect, sardonic, anti-social waywardness by "American Beauty's" Thora Birch) is procrastinating, subconsciously unwilling to grow up and become just another cog in the wheel.

Continue reading: Ghost World Review

Best In Show Review


OK

Mockumentary maestro Christopher Guest -- the driving force behind "This Is Spinal Tap" and "Waiting For Guffman" -- aims his satirical squirt gun at obsessive dog owners in his latest tongue-in-cheek, interview vérité offering, "Best In Show."

Casting a wide net across kitchy Americana, Guest's cameras capture a handful of mildly lunatic canine caretakers as they travel to and prepare for a prestigious dog show.

There's Harlan Pepper (played by Guest), a North Carolina fishing shop owner and the proud papa of a sad-eyed bloodhound he's convinced is psychic. There's cross-eyed, buck-toothed Gerry and trampy Cookie Fleck (Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara), a middle-aged suburban couple with no kids but a pampered Norwich Terrier that is their pride and joy.

Continue reading: Best In Show Review

Bob Balaban

Bob Balaban Quick Links

News Pictures Video Film Footage RSS
Advertisement

Occupation

Actor


Bob Balaban Movies

Isle Of Dogs Trailer

Isle Of Dogs Trailer

Imagine a world without dogs. It hardly bears thinking about, but in this dystopian look...

The Grand Budapest Hotel - Featurettes Trailer

The Grand Budapest Hotel - Featurettes Trailer

While preparing to film 'The Grand Budapest Hotel', director Wes Anderson and company scouted for...

Fading Gigolo Movie Review

Fading Gigolo Movie Review

With a witty observational script, amusing characters and a jazzy sense of life in New...

The Monuments Men Movie Review

The Monuments Men Movie Review

For an amazing true story performed by such a strong A-list cast, this is an...

Grand Budapest Hotel Trailer

Grand Budapest Hotel Trailer

Gustave may be aloof and snobbish in many ways, but he's also extremely charming with...

Fading Gigolo Trailer

Fading Gigolo Trailer

Strapped for cash, handsome but middle-aged bookshop worker Fioravante decides to accept an offer of...

The Grand Budapest Hotel Trailer

The Grand Budapest Hotel Trailer

Charismatic but somewhat aloof concierge at the Grand Budapest Hotel, Gustave H, is less than...

The Grand Budapest Hotel Trailer

The Grand Budapest Hotel Trailer

Gustave H is a charismatic and over-friendly concierge at the Grand Budapest Hotel whose conduct...

The Monuments Men Trailer

The Monuments Men Trailer

'The Monuments Men' is based on the true story of seven unlikely museum directors, curators...

The Grand Budapest Hotel Trailer

The Grand Budapest Hotel Trailer

Gustave H is a flamboyant and largely charismatic concierge at the Grand Budapest Hotel whose...

The Monuments Men - Alternative Trailer Trailer

The Monuments Men - Alternative Trailer Trailer

The Monuments Men are a group of seven scholars from art historians to museum curators...

Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.