I've known and respected Mamet's directorial work since the gritty House of Games (1987) and have remained a fan through last year's The Spanish Prisoner. Without fail, Mamet works on gritty, hard-edged con-artistry-related flicks like these. So it's with no small amount of skepticism that I greeted the G-rated Winslow Boy.
Continue reading: The Winslow Boy Review
Feast of July is a lousy movie, but it allows no such opportunity. From the first frame to the end, this film is nothing but sheer boredom, an Art Movie that wants to be oh-so-classy and ends up not even approaching a "feast," but rather becoming more fodder for the cinematic gristmill.
Continue reading: Feast Of July Review
Whether the feature film version of "Bridget Jones's Diary" -- that exalted, best-selling ode to 30-something single gals -- properly captures the oversized pajamas-and-Haagen Dazs essence of "singleton" romantic vexation, I cannot say.
I am male and I haven't read the book, and either one of these facts excludes me from being a bona fide member of the cult following that has built up around this lovelorn English Everywoman. Everything I know about Bridget's struggles with smoking, men and her weight I have gleaned from friends' enthusiastic reviews of the two Helen Fielding novels, which I'm told are written as diary entries in the heroine's first-person short-hand. (I hear both books are v., v. good.)
But I do consider myself something of an expert on (and an unabashed fan of) winsome romantic comedies, and on that front, I'd have to say this movie is a winner.
Continue reading: Bridget Jones's Diary Review
OK, let's just get this part out of the way right now:Who'd have imagined David Mamet -- that controversial master of brash,profanity-laced male head-butting -- could (or would even want to) directa G-rated masterpiece about the prim and proper society folk of EdwardianEngland?
Best known for his dialogue-driven, testosterone-saturatedstage plays ("Glengarry Glen Ross") and screenplays ("TheEdge"), Mamet seems the most unlikely directorfor a project such as "The Winslow Boy," a deceptively simpledrawing room drama about a family defending its sacred honor to the financial,emotional and medical detriment of its members.
The film is adapted from Terrence Rattigan's 1946 play-- loosely based on real events -- about the pursuit of justice for anupper-crust 13-year-old boy kicked out of a prestigious private schoolfor stealing a five schilling postal order.
Continue reading: The Winslow Boy Review
In "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason," the "singleton" Everygal neuroses of its titular British sweetheart have gone from endearing to downright insufferable.
Although still played warmly and winningly by the perfectly plus-sized Renee Zellweger, upon the advent of her still-fresh relationship with dashing, adoring, and a tad bit stiff barrister boyfriend Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), Bridget has become an embarrassing bundle of infuriating stock insecurities.
Jealous, suspicious, clingy, marriage-obsessed and irrational, in effect she's the antagonist in this romantic-comedy sequel. The hero is Mark -- whom she landed at the end of 2001's "Bridget Jones's Diary" -- for putting up with the torrent of rampant, relentless sitcom antics that stream unflatteringly and unchecked from the girl's vacillating self-confidence.
Continue reading: Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason Review
Jackie Chan told me in an interview last year (which I failed to get written up -- sorry!) that the sequel to his kung-fu comedy-Western "Shanghai Noon" was "five times better than the first one." I didn't believe him. Jackie, I apologize.
Riding high on Chan's chemistry with Owen Wilson -- reigning king of the acerbic ad-lib -- "Shanghai Knights" is hilariously tongue-in-cheek and packed with comical homages to everything from the Keystone Kops and Harry Houdini to The Beatles and "Taxi Driver."
Although it might not quite measure up to Chan's claim of quintuple the quality, it is one of those rare multiplex delights: A sequel that bests its predecessor in nearly every way.
Continue reading: Shanghai Knights Review
There's a reason why this is perhaps the best-reviewed British film of the year: it's...
As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...
Bridget has always known how to get herself into a muddle - catastrophic muddles at...
After battling the dating scene and finally finding love with Mark Darcy, Bridget Jones is...
Harry Potter and his friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, continue their search for Voldemort's...
Reminiscent of all-night encounter movies like Before Sunrise or In Search of a Midnight Kiss,...
After years of marriage, Alfie and Helena are getting divorced, this is mainly due to...
In the last three years, Renée Zellweger has lost all 25 pounds of her Bridget...
David Mamet scores again, and in the unlikeliest of films.I've known and respected Mamet's directorial...