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, 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
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, 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
Bob Balaban - Premiere of The Grand Budapest Hotel, the opening film of the 64th Berlin International Film Festival, (Berlinale), at the Berlinale Palast. - Berlin, Germany - Thursday 6th February 2014
Bob Balaban - Opening ceremony and premiere of 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' at 64th Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) at Berlinale Palast at Potsdamer Platz square. - Berlin, Germany - Thursday 6th February 2014
Bob Balaban - the 13th Annual USTA Serves Opening Night Gala at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 26, 2013 in New York City. - New York, NY, United States - Tuesday 27th August 2013
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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