Michael Tolkin

Michael Tolkin

Michael Tolkin Quick Links

Pictures Film RSS

Nine Review


Very Good
Based on Federico Fellini's 1963 classic 8 1/2, this musical has a nicely introspective tone as it follows a filmmaker struggling to move forward in his career after a few flops. The music isn't hugely memorable, but the characters are vivid.

Guido Contini (Day-Lewis) is a star director gearing up for his ninth movie.

The press is begging for details, and his producer (Tognazzi) wants to see the script. But with shooting starting in 10 days, Guido has yet to write a word.

Continue reading: Nine Review

Michael Tolkin - Tuesday 15th December 2009 at Ziegfeld Theatre New York City, USA

Michael Tolkin
Michael Tolkin

The Player Review


Extraordinary
From the master of independent cinema, Robert Altman, comes the blackest of satires, The Player. Postmodern, intelligent, suspenseful, funny, brilliant. All of these very useful adjectives apply to this film. There is no way around it: The Player is great.The Player, as I stated, is a black satire from the director of Short Cuts, M*A*S*H, and Nashville. It follows Griffin Mills (Tim Robbins), a villain we love to hate, and, ironically, our main character. Mills is getting postcards. Each one is a threat on his life, and telling others, due to the fact that his position as a studio exec is threatened by up-and-coming producer Larry Levy (Peter Gallagher), is a threat on his career.At the beginning, Mills is charismatic, even likable. But he's quickly shown for the snake that he is. In the words of Tim Robbins, who deserved but was not even nominated for an academy award for his role, "he's manipulative, he's a son of a bitch." It's true, it's all true.The threatening postcards lead him to believe that a writer is sending them. A rejected writer. However, in the cruel industry of movies which kills more ideas than WWII killed people, this does not narrow it down. What does narrow it down is one of the more bizarre moments of the film. He's in the hot tub with Bonnie, story editor and girlfriend (and, by, the way, the only moral character of the movie), when he asks her about his own life. However, unable to formulate it into his own life, he explains it through movies. He gives her a pitch, asks her how long it will be before the writer-in-question becomes dangerous, and she narrows the selection of writers down by providing a five-month time period before danger arrives.Using this, he selects David Kahayne, hack-writer of the bubonic plague of Hollywood: the unhappy ending. David's what movie people call "unproduced", a writer who's a member of the WGA (Writer's Guild of America, which holds a fairly good monopoly on writers in Hollywood) but who hasn't sold a script. He calls his girlfriend June Gudmundsdottir (Gretta Scacchi, pronounced good man's daughter) and finds out where to find him. The surprise there, of course, is that his nickname is, according to June is "the dead man".Kahayne is in Pasadena, enjoying himself at the Rialota watching The Bicycle Thief. Mills confronts him about the postcards, and, in a fit of rage, kills him in a parking lot. Of course, fitting with the Hollywood that it satires so well, he didn't kill the right person. And now, Griffen Mills is being investigated by the police, is falling in love with June, is trying to secure his position as head of the studio, and, on top of it all, fearing for his life.The movie is artistically brilliant and interestingly postmodern. In a very ironic way, the ending is the beginning: a pitch by the mysterious psychotic writer of a movie called The Player, about the events you have just seen. It references itself: naming the record for a tracking shot in an American motion picture (formerly held by Orson Wells' Touch of Evil) while breaking it. Having a main character from D.O.A. being asked if he remembers the film. Talking about eliminating the writers from the artistic process the day after Mills has murdered the writer.There normally isn't much I can say about a film. In my life, there are maybe ten films I could go on and on about, and you have the luck to hopefully see this one. It makes statements. It predicts things. It was ironic at the time it came out and is ironic now.For instance, Griffin Mills is quoted as saying "movies are art, now more than ever" while, at the very same time in the real world, movies were flocking back to the existence of the art film. It is sheltered in a unique ambiguity: June discovers the Mills killed her boyfriend and doesn't care. The good are punished, the bad survive: Bonnie is fired and left for proverbial dead while June and Mills live happily ever after.This is the film for movie buffs. It makes you stop and think about what speeds in front of your face at 24 frames a second. It states things about the industry in a uniquely detached manner, where people talk about all the dark things of the industry as if they were drinking cappuccinos.For instance, another quote by Griffin Mills, asshole producer but satiric god, addresses the elements needed in a modern studio film: "Suspense, laughter, violence. Hope, heart. Nudity, sex. Happy Endings."It is brilliant. It is one that you have to own. It is the movie to watch.

The Hulk Review


Very Good
Months before The Hulk director Ang Lee announced he'd rely solely on CGI to create his colossal star, fanboys from Portland to Poughkeepsie worried about how the not-so-jolly green giant would look on screen. Early trailers fuelled speculation that Hulk would resemble Shrek, which made dedicated Hulk-a-maniacs very angry. And as we know, you wouldn't like them when they're angry.

In the words of the immortal Public Enemy, don't believe the hype. Nothing you've seen does Lee's finished product justice. For the most part, the Hulk looks fantastic. He has texture, and he certainly has mass. There's the occasional slippage to video game-quality graphics, but the aftermath of Hulk's actions, the devastation left in his wake, convince us of his existence. Until you've seen the Hulk smash a tank and wrestle a helicopter in mid-air, you ain't seen nothing.

Continue reading: The Hulk Review

Changing Lanes Review


Extraordinary
After watching the trailer for Changing Lanes, I expected a film similar to Steven Spielberg's road rage drama Duel, where a hatchback and a semi do battle. While Changing Lanes is definitely a clash between two men, much to my surprise, it reaches a deeper and more satisfying level. Changing Lanes is a thought-provoking, sophisticated drama that explores the motivations behind our split second decision-making and the consequences that result.

Ben Affleck is Gavin Banek, a young Wall Street attorney on the fast track to becoming partner at his father-in-law's well-respected law firm. His on-the-go lifestyle takes him from the office to the courthouse, then on to charity events and back to the office for interviews and meetings. Samuel L. Jackson is Doyle Gibson, an insurance agent and recovering alcoholic engaged in a custody battle with his wife for their two young boys. He has just qualified for a new house and is trying to get back on his feet again.

Continue reading: Changing Lanes Review

Deep Impact Review


Very Good
I admit it. I'm a sap for the touchy-feely business sometimes.

Deep Impact makes no apologies for being a sob-fest. I mean, how else do you smash a comet into the earth without killing off a few hundred million people, and breaking a few hearts in the process? As the first disaster-from-space film of the year, Deep Impact sets the bar at an interesting level. It's not an action film, although it has action elements. It's not a thriller, although suspense is in the mix. It's more a drama than anything else, the main story lines being a reporter (Téa Leoni) estranged from her father, a young astronomer (Wood) who finds he can't abandon his girlfriend, and a codgery astronaut (Robert Duvall) who gains acceptance among a younger crew.

Continue reading: Deep Impact Review

The Rapture Review


Excellent
You should watch The Rapture with a group of friends, because the debates you'll have after the movie ends will be as entertaining as the movie itself. Here's a small film that dares to tackle the biggest of the big questions: What is the meaning of life? Does God exist? And if so, what is His master plan?

Pondering all these questions is Sharon (Mimi Rogers), a bored-out-of-her-mind information operator living in the southwest who spices up her dull routine by doing drugs and cruising for swinging couples with her boyfriend Vic (Patrick Bauchau). It's a crummy, dead-end existence that seems to offer no way out.

Continue reading: The Rapture Review

Michael Tolkin

Michael Tolkin Quick Links

Pictures Film RSS
Advertisement

Occupation

Actor


Suggested

Shia Labeouf Got 12 Tattoos While Making American Honey

Shia Labeouf Got 12 Tattoos While Making American Honey

Over the past five years, Shia LaBeouf has gone from promising young actor to unemployable disaster and back again.

Mark Wahlberg Enjoyed The Risks He Took In Deepwater Horizon

Mark Wahlberg Enjoyed The Risks He Took In Deepwater Horizon

In Deepwater Horizon, Mark Wahlberg reteams with his Lone Survivor director Peter Berg.

Relive Kate Bush's 2014 Live Show With 'Before The Dawn'

Relive Kate Bush's 2014 Live Show With 'Before The Dawn'

The live album is set for released in November.

Advertisement
Benedict Cumberbatch Joins David Gilmour Onstage For 'Comfortably Numb'

Benedict Cumberbatch Joins David Gilmour Onstage For 'Comfortably Numb'

The 'Sherlock' and 'Doctor Strange' star joined Gilmour onstage at the Royal Albert Hall for a rendition of the Pink Floyd classic.

Chapter Three Of 'American Horror Story: Roanoke' Explains The Story Behind The Haunting (Spoilers)

Chapter Three Of 'American Horror Story: Roanoke' Explains The Story Behind The Haunting (Spoilers)

Time to learn what Kathy Bates' character has to do with all of this.

Advertisement

Michael Tolkin Movies

The Hulk Movie Review

The Hulk Movie Review

Months before The Hulk director Ang Lee announced he'd rely solely on CGI to create...

Advertisement
Changing Lanes Movie Review

Changing Lanes Movie Review

After watching the trailer for Changing Lanes, I expected a film similar to Steven Spielberg's...

Deep Impact Movie Review

Deep Impact Movie Review

I admit it. I'm a sap for the touchy-feely business sometimes.Deep Impact makes no...

The Rapture Movie Review

The Rapture Movie Review

You should watch The Rapture with a group of friends, because the debates you'll have...

Advertisement
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.