Movies

“Miles Ahead” is Poignant, Timely, and Oscar Bound I would bet anyone that this film gets nominated for a few Oscars in December. Don Cheadle is almost certainly a Best Actor contender for his portrayal of Miles Davis. Sadly, part of my reaction is due to the political reaction during awards season over the paucity of nominations and roles for African American actors. In other words, the film and the acting are deserving of praise, but because this film (without presuming to) responds to the controversy, it draws even more energy than it might have on its own merits. [pullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Cheadle plays a man whose muse is at once his savior and slaver: in one frame his eyes flash fear

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John LeCarre’ is the greatest spy novelist alive today. He has been the greatest for decades. Since The Spy Who Came in from the Cold debuted in 1963, his métier has been Cold War espionage, the Russians and the British: MI6 against the KGB and all its sister agencies in Eastern Europe. Many of his books were made into BBC series, and others became feature films. I found it remarkable that based his 1995 book of the same name, The Night Manager miniseries debuted on AMC Tuesday of this week. It’s remarkable because the story centers on a super-rich British national who runs arms and manages laundered money from the Caribbean (some of it perhaps for members of parliament or the ministry) and in the

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Criminal, starring Kevin Costner, has a good cast and a compelling plot, but more than once during the movie I muttered “Ug, Gamah!”—which is “Oh, come on!” with a mouthful of popcorn.  I have a story to inject here. It was the Camelview Theater (which to my horror, was torn down last fall) near Fashion Square Mall in Scottsdale, Arizona. I was attending a private screening of “The Postman,” a Costner-starred-and-directed film.  My friend Linda saved the seats while I got the popcorn and soda. When I got to the salon, she was sitting in a rear section that had been roped off for cast and crew. She waved me in. Some guys from the film had invited her to sit in the reserved section.

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Sometimes, moments after I read and digest it, there’s a headline that has an ominous quality about it. When I read about the leak of material from the Panamanian law firm Massack Fonseca, I sensed a socio-seismic event that could send shockwaves through the upper crust of the globe. There is so much material here—much it in a web of phony corporations and cutouts–that it will take weeks and months for all of it to come out. There are already hundreds of journalists working on the story, and there can be no doubt that it will include more big, big names. This gradual flow of facts might be for the best: there is so much pure Truth here that, like light or oxygen, we can’t

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Sally Field is as charming as she’s ever been, even when she’s playing someone who has her not-so-charming moments. Hello, My Name is Doris is a worthy little independent film about a 60-something single woman who bursts out of her shell and her sheltered world when she forms and feeds a crush on a new employee at work. “John” is at least young enough to be her son, but he’s authentic enough to show her some attention. Because Doris is hyped-up on a steady diet of romance novels, her imagination is working overtime with every interaction they have: she’s a kind of “Dona” Quixote and John her “Dulcineo.” The supporting cast does well enough, but Tyne Daly, in the role of a best friend, stands out

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A Token of the Holly King By William Hecht Weekday afternoons at two o’clock, he began to look for her. Each time the little bell sounded to announce that the door to Ye Olde Coffee and Tea Shop had been opened, he would turn his head. As three o’clock grew near and brought with it the possibility that she wouldn’t arrive that day, he began to resent the other customers who instead appeared in the door at the sound of the bell. He imagined that she must have begun working at one of the neighborhood shops in mid-November, and that she probably arrived at work in late morning and took a break in the afternoons. Though it was nearly Christmas and she visited most weekdays,

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Terrence Malick is a director’s director and an art film icon. He doesn’t make movies so much as he creates long gorgeous slideshows to music and a little dialogue. He attracts great acting talent. He wins awards.  And people walk out of his movies and sometimes ask for their money back. [pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]It’s like walking through a museum and focusing on a collection of masterpieces from one period, and being infused by the spirit of that time.[/pullquote] As with most “art” films, it helps to know in advance that the director is a stylist. I have heard his work referred to as “impressionistic.” That description comes close. It’s like walking through a museum and focusing on a collection of masterpieces

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If you have never heard Sean Connery sing, then you have your first reason to see this film. If you want to work on your Irish accent and refine your understanding of leprechauns, pots of gold, banshees and other magical elements of lore from the Old Country, then you have two. [pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Sean Connery was only twenty nine years old and, believe it or not, he sings pretty well. [/pullquote] Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959) is pure Disney, pure Irish, and a perfect delight–especially on March 17th.  Sean Connery was only twenty-nine years old and, believe it or not, he sings pretty well. As I am one quarter Irish–my grandmother a Murphy clan matron–all credit for whatever creativities

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My reaction after the first 20 minutes of this film was that it had a lot in common with Room (see review MoviesMarketsandMore.com). The comparison fades soon enough, but this low-budget cousin of the original Cloverfield does well to keep to the suspense within the enclosure of a bunker and a very limited cast of three. Speaking of which, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Michelle is superb and more or less carried the film for me; we can expect to see a lot more of her in the future. [pullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The mystery is finally resolved, and every viewer will have to decide how satisfied they are. I was left with some questions, but you can rely on a sequel where it

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Over the past several months, hundreds of reporters, pundits, and celebrities from around the world have put in their respective two cents on what they thought of Donald Trump—both as person and as political player. While there have been any number of witty or even insightful assessments offered, I haven’t yet found the one that has me declare “Voila!” as if to announce the perspective that finally relieves the collective fascination and disbelief. So I might as well throw my hat into the ring. I don’t want to get personal about Trump as I would much prefer to understand the vacuum that drew him in, or the social context that favors someone of his posture and demeanor. It occurred to me in trying to deconstruct

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