Norman Jewison

Norman Jewison

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The Geffen Playhouse presents its annual Geffen fundraiser

Norman Jewison - The Geffen Playhouse presents its annual Geffen fundraiser honoring The Walt Disney Studios Chairman, Alan F. Horn and Steve Martin with the Distinction in Theater Award - Arrivals - Los Angeles, California, United States - Sunday 23rd March 2014

65th Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards (DAG)

Lynn St. David-Jewison and Norman Jewison - 65th Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards (DAG) Los Angeles California United States Saturday 2nd February 2013

Lynn St. David-Jewison and Norman Jewison
Kathryn Bigelow and Norman Jewison
Kathryn Bigelow and Norman Jewison

37th Annual Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards held at the InterContinental hotel - Arrivals

Norman Jewison - Director Norman Jewison Friday 13th January 2012 37th Annual Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards held at the InterContinental hotel - Arrivals

37th Annual Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards held at the InterContinental hotel - Arrivals

Norman Jewison - Director Norman Jewison and wife Friday 13th January 2012 37th Annual Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards held at the InterContinental hotel - Arrivals

AFI Fest 2011 premiere of 'Shame' held at Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Norman Jewison and Grauman's Chinese Theatre - Margaret Ann Dixon, Norman Jewison Hollywood, California - AFI Fest 2011 premiere of 'Shame' held at Grauman's Chinese Theatre Wednesday 9th November 2011

Norman Jewison and Grauman's Chinese Theatre
Norman Jewison and Grauman's Chinese Theatre

...and Justice For All. Review


Good
Sorry to break it to you, but the line "The whole system's out of order!" does not appear in ...And Justice for All., Norman Jewison's send-up of the American legal system and one of the films with the most complicated punctuation ever to be released

The actual line that Al Pacino bellows out in the film's final scene, in case you're wondering, is this: "You're out of order! You're out of order! The whole trial is out of order! They're out of order!" Nah, doesn't quite roll off the tongue the same way, does it?

Continue reading: ...and Justice For All. Review

Fiddler On The Roof Review


Essential
As an art form, musicals are dubious at best. Musicals started out bloated and cliché-ridden in the days of Busby Berkeley, and thanks to Andrew Lloyd Webber and Co. many of today's musicals are even more bloated and cliché-ridden. Like Vegas shows and daytime soaps, most Broadway musicals seem so bad to me that I have never understood how any human being could get any entertainment value out of them --- much less millions of people.

So it has always been amazing to me that a few musicals actually aspired to be clever, serious-minded works of art. And several of them (My Fair Lady, Singin' in the Rain, South Pacific, West Side Story) have been made into classic films as well. In my opinion, Fiddler on the Roof stands at the top, both as a musical and as a film.

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Rollerball (1975) Review


OK
Norman Jewison had a bomb in 1975 with Rollerball, a futuristic tale (set in 2018) in an era when war, poverty, nationality, and even individuality have been snuffed out. To appease the masses, a sport called rollerball has been devised -- a more brutal roller derby with motorcycles thrown in for good mix.

It's hardly 1984, but Jewison's dystopia has its moments, namely when rollerball champ Jonathan E. (James Caan) is skating around the course, thrashing his opponents into ground beef. When he squares off against evil corporate honcho Bartholomew (John Houseman, unforgettably uncomfortable in "the future"), the scenes are priceless.

Continue reading: Rollerball (1975) Review

Fiddler On The Roof Review


Essential
As an art form, musicals are dubious at best. Musicals started out bloated and cliché-ridden in the days of Busby Berkeley, and thanks to Andrew Lloyd Webber and Co. many of today's musicals are even more bloated and cliché-ridden. Like Vegas shows and daytime soaps, most Broadway musicals seem so bad to me that I have never understood how any human being could get any entertainment value out of them --- much less millions of people.

So it has always been amazing to me that a few musicals actually aspired to be clever, serious-minded works of art. And several of them (My Fair Lady, Singin' in the Rain, South Pacific, West Side Story) have been made into classic films as well. In my opinion, Fiddler on the Roof stands at the top, both as a musical and as a film.

Continue reading: Fiddler On The Roof Review

Moonstruck Review


OK
A good romantic comedy should be a balm for the soul. Moonstruck doesn't provide that. It's quaint and amusing and full of good performances. It's the kind of movie you can watch with your grandmother and enjoy. The movie is not without its charms. Too bad it doesn't just whisk you into a world of wonder -- it tries to keep you prisoner.

Moonstruck tells the story of Loretta (Cher, in her Academy Award-winning performance), a thirtysomething Brooklyn widow, who is apparently happy in her humdrum life. She lives with her parents, goes to work, and looks for nothing more. Life becomes too difficult when extremes enter the picture. Her fiancé, Johnny (Danny Aiello), fits her life model to a T, a supremely ordinary man in every way, including romance. Loretta has to practically walk him through his proposal, and she always kisses him first. For Loretta, that's fine. She loved her last husband and that caused her nothing but heartache. "When you love them, they drive you crazy," her mother explains.

Continue reading: Moonstruck Review

A Soldier's Story Review


OK
Shockingly dated, this A Few Good Men precursor follows military justice in an all-black army regiment during World War II. The problem isn't the theme -- which is timeless -- or Denzel Washington -- who was 30 years old at the time but looks like a teenager. The problem is the photography and the schmalzy production values, which look like they're years ahead of the Hallmark era. Norman Jewison won copious praise for this film back in 1984 and even got an Oscar nomination, but the cheeseball '80s presentation of some serious subject matter (racially charged murder investigation) just doesn't fly today.

Best Friends Review


Grim
When Best Friends is less than halfway over, you'll long for a much better '80s rom-com like Seems Like Old Times, also starring Goldie Hawn in one of her endless roles from the era as (basically) herself.

Hawn is partnered rather tragically here with Burt Reynolds. They play the titular best friends -- screenwriters -- who decide to get married, only to realize that romance is far more difficult than friendship. I mean, there's in-laws! An old and groping father is about as funny as Friends ever gets, as the movie's one-liners fall down flat one after another. That's probably because the film is based on the real life of writers Valerie Curtin and Barry Levinson, and frankly not much amusing seems to have happened during their brief marriage.

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The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) Review


Good
A bit kitschy in plotting, and very kitschy in production (with multiple frames of action occuring simultaneously), not to mention an overpowering, cheeseball score, the original Thomas Crown Affair could have been quite a silly sight.

Continue reading: The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) Review

Jesus Christ Superstar Review


OK
I've never seen Jesus Christ Superstar or Godspell on stage, and while I appreciate the desire to spread the word of God via mass media (especially if it involves singing), I've just never been able to get into these overwrought productions (see also Hair), especially if they were made in the 1970s.

WhileSuperstar is a period piece set during the last weeks of Jesus's life, it also contains strange anachronisms like guns and cars -- designed to tell us, presumably, that Jesus's works are still relevant today. But it also misses the point on a lot of those lessons -- why, during his rampage against the money changers, is he destroying the stands of people selling glassware and vegetables? Thou shalt not eat greens? Hmmm.

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The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming! Review


OK
Now terribly quaint (just look at the title!) and not nearly as funny as film historians would lead you to believe, The Russians Are Coming! is nonetheless quite daring for its day. In 1966, the Cold War was close to its peak, and Norman Jewison took a chance on a little book called Off Islanders, abbout a Russian sub that runs aground on a New England island. Hilarity (er...) ensues, a la Catch-22, with plenty of military mismanagement (on both sides of the fence) and romances in halting English. Alas, I just don't see this one: Alan Arkin makes for one awfully oddball Russian.

Continue reading: The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming! Review

Norman Jewison

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