Peter Steinfeld

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The Homesman Screening at the AFI Film Festival

Hailee Steinfeld and Peter Steinfeld - Photographs from the American Film Institute Film Festival and a screening of 'The Homesman' in Los Angeles, California, United States - Wednesday 12th November 2014

Hailee Steinfeld
Hailee Steinfeld
Hailee Steinfeld
Hailee Steinfeld
Hailee Steinfeld

21 Review


Weak
With the ongoing popularity of high stakes poker, greenlighting a film like 21 would appear to be a Tinseltown no-brainer. After all, you've got the true story of how a group of MIT students broke the bank in Vegas by applying their highly trained analytical minds toward counting cards, beating Sin City's blackjack tables in the process. It's a mega-dose of Mensa wish fulfillment. But leave it to Hollywood to fiddle with the facts. Ben Mezrich's non-fiction book entitled Bringing Down the House centered on a group of mostly Asian geniuses grifting casinos for all the cash they could. Somehow, that translated into a cast consisting of Kevin Spacey, Jim Sturgess, and Kate Bosworth.

When Ben Campbell (Sturgess) learns that Harvard Medical School will cost $300,000 for tuition, room, and board, he sees no possible way of paying the bill. While studying one night, he is approached by Jason Fisher (Jacob Pitts) who invites him into the secret world of Professor Micky Rosa's (Spacey) card-counting club. With an elaborate system of formulas, buzzwords, and signals, Rosa and his students have been hitting Las Vegas on weekends and winning big. They now want Ben to join their clandestine cabal. At first, he says no. But thanks to the seductive sway of juicy Jill Taylor (Bosworth), Ben acquiesces. Soon, he is leading the group toward untold riches -- and the investigative glare of casino security agent Cole Williams (Laurence Fishburne).

Continue reading: 21 Review

Analyze That Review


Grim
Analyze This was a very successful 1999 comedy starring Robert De Niro as a mob boss on the verge of a nervous breakdown and Billy Crystal as his unwilling shrink. The movie pulled off a few laughs, most notably by demonstrating De Niro's ability to turn his tough-guy movie persona on its head. Analyze That is a superfluous sequel representing little more than an opportunity to cash in on that prior success.

The new movie picks up with legendary Mob boss Paul Vitti (De Niro) nearing the end of his term in Sing Sing and Dr. Ben Sobol (Billy Crystal) dealing with the recent death of his legendary father. After a series of attempts on his life, Vitti puts on a semi-catatonic act to avoid the general prison population and save his own life. The FBI, baffled by this turn of events, brings in Sobol, his former psychiatrist, to consult on the case, ultimately releasing Vitti into Sobol's custody. Thus, the reluctant doctor is forced to once again try to mend Vitti's fractured psyche, in addition to housing him and finding him an honest job. Needless to say, this wreaks havoc with the poor doctor's already troubled personal life.

Continue reading: Analyze That Review

Be Cool Review


Terrible
Ten years after he forcefully established himself as a Hollywood player, smooth-talking mobster Chili Palmer (John Travolta) is prepared to flee the biz. His breakout smash Get Shorty opened the door to multiple money-grabbing sequels (wink, wink), and the once-enamored movie buff has been turned off by the homogenized studio system. "Movies are too corporate," Chili gripes when telling a friend (James Woods) that he's thinking about trying something new.

He's right, especially when describing his own meaningless sequel. Be Cool, the long-gestating follow up to Barry Sonnenfeld's hit gangster-in-paradise comedy Get Shorty, has been manufactured to the hilt to appeal to all demographics yet entertains none.

Continue reading: Be Cool Review

Drowning Mona Review


Unbearable
If you've ever found yourself in a theater watching a movie like Throw Momma from the Train or Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead, then you'll understand my experience with Drowning Mona. Drowning Mona is one of those films that you might hear about and shrug it off as a bad idea. Then you'll see a trailer and realize that your first instinct was right. There is no logical reason for you to ever see this movie. It looks unfunny, moronic, and you have already crossed it off the list of all the movies you are potentially interested in ever investing your time in. But despite all of that, you somehow end up forking over eight bucks for the privilege to see it. And your worst fears are realized.

Suffice it to say that Drowning Mona is a bad film. It is a very bad film. Let us count the ways.

Continue reading: Drowning Mona Review

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