149 posts categorized "MOVIE REVIEW"
BOY CULTURE RATING: *** out of ****
In Still Alice, an articulate, accomplished linguistics professor (Julianne Moore) begins to forget things. She gets lost. She repeats herself. She suspects she could have a brain tumor, but the real answer is even more devastating—at the age of 50, she has early-onset Alzheimer's disease.
Her workaholic husband (Alec Baldwin), handsome son (Hunter Parrish) and warring daughters—one archly perfect (Kate Bosworth), one studiously rebellious (Kristen Stewart)—have to cope with this out-of-the-blue development, and must make choices about their own lives and about the woman who is at the core of their family.
Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland were hired to adapt the film from Lisa Genova's highly regarded novel of the same name, and wound up directing it. The partners in creativity and in love have crafted a no-frills, achingly intimate document of what often is a breathtakingly swift decline, one which allows Moore precious little space in which to do anything more than be. The result is a moving, unaffected, ephemeral performance of the type for which she is renowned, and a performance which could become the one that finally brings her the Oscar she's richly deserved for many years.
Baldwin, always so good, may have burned himself with his long stint on 30 Rock and as a frequent SNL host; he has snarky resting face, which distracts from his character and from the film. Stewart, on the other hand, gives a mature performance that perfectly complements Moore's. The others aren't really fleshed out enough to judge.
Ultimately, the film is so hands-off it sometimes feels a little underdeveloped. That hurts it as an overall artistic statement, making it feel like an unadorned TV movie at times, but that approach does nothing to damage Moore and Stewart's effortless shared depth.
As a postscript: It may surprise some to know that Westmoreland's directing career was launched in gay porn in the '90s, and that his work with Glatzer includes the broadly comic The Fluffer (2001), set in that milieu. Less of a surprise is that the men co-directed the affecting drama Quinceañera in 2006.
The Hollywood Reporter says Annie is a stinker, but the David Rooney review is filled with gems:
“Come back, John Huston, all is forgiven.”
“The overwhelming impression from this very loose remake — directed with a stunning lack of musicality by Will Gluck (Easy A, Friends With Benefits), who co-wrote the witless screenplay with Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada) — is that the creative team doesn't actually like the material much.”
“All but a handful of the existing songs have been shredded, often retaining just a signature line or two and drowning it in desperately hip polyrhythmic sounds, aurally assaultive arrangements and inane new lyrics.”
“...bland R&B/hip-hop Muzak...”
“Every ounce of charm has been pulverized out of the musical in a strained effort to drag it into the social-media age.”
“Putting aside the grating performances, the clumsy direction, the visual ugliness and the haphazard development of story, character and relationships, the movie is hobbled by its intrinsic unsuitability for contemporary retelling.”
“This movie's notions of joy are aggressively fabricated...”
“If there's a more awkward musical number ever committed to film, I can't recall it right now. Oh wait, there is one later with the big finale, "I Don't Need Anything But You," in which Wallis, Foxx and Byrne get to — gulp — dance, while everyone else stands and sways, wearing frozen smiles. These scenes make you wonder if Gluck has ever seen a movie musical.”
“Cameron Diaz...mistakes strident and obnoxious for funny, giving Cannavale some competition for broadest shtick.”
“Even in a movie Auto-Tuned to within an inch of its life, Wallis clearly is no singer. And Byrne, who can usually be relied upon to add some sparkle, is as wan here as her feeble vocals.”
“Not to pour salt on Sony's unfortunate hack-attack wounds, but if Annie was less downloaded than other releases illegally leaked online, it might be because audiences are not stupid and caught a whiff of what was in store.”
BOY CULTURE RATING: *** out of ****
Though it's long overdue, Alan Turing (1912—1954)—the genius who led a group that cracked the code of the Nazis' Enigma machine and helped win WWII for the Allies—is being toasted as a hero. The father of the modern computer received a posthumous pardon in 2013 and is the subject of a major motion picture, The Imitation Game, which documents his unique mind and the mistreatment (he was prosecuted for being gay and chemically castrated) that led to his suicide at age 41.
The film is a respectful, if simplified, treatment of Turing's life, which was also the subject of a 2012 documentary called Codebreaker. In it, Benedict Cumberbatch turns in a beautifully modulated performance as the socially stunted Turing, with Keira Knightley as Joan Clarke, an adventurous woman whose mind Turing respected even though his sexual orientation precluded the romance she desired. They nearly married, Turing was so fond of her—but he cared too deeply for her to allow her to enter into a sexless union.
BOY CULTURE REVIEW: **** out of ****
Writer Stephen Beresford and director Matthew Warchus (1999's Simpatico with Nick Nolte, Jeff Bridges and Sharon Stone) have crafted the perfect '80s gay movie in 2014's Pride, which tells the feel-good-'n'-Socialist story of Great Britain's striking miners of the summer of '84 and the unlikely alliance between them and a group of gay activists.
In 1984, with miners on strike and being starved out by heartless right-wing PM Margaret Thatcher (her face in the film begs for boos), a grassroots group calling itself LGSM (Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners) decides to align itself with the cause of the miners, recognizing fellow underdogs. Their efforts are met with some resistance from the workers, who don't look too kindly on perverts and fairies, but they are ultimately welcomed and open minds even as they work to collect donations.
Male models Instagramming in their undies.
Mad Men's other brother.
Japanese pop group AKB48 attacked by saw-bearing fan.
Facebook director slams media in epic rant.
Kanye's wedding speech was puke-inducingly narcissistic.
Pro Normal Heart review: “Sometimes yelling is required.”
Pro Normal Heart review: Bomer & Parsons rule, shoulda been a miniseries.
Positive Normal Heart review: “...for mostly better, sometimes worse...”
Meh Normal Heart review: Characters die too fast. (Um, hello?)
Meh Normal Heart review: Good acting, bad directing.
B- Normal Heart review: “AIDS isn't the public health issue it once was.”
Normal Heart slam: Bad timing? Too much man-on-man sex?
Elton John: “Today, as ever, silence equals death.”
Illinois has a long tradition of Republican closet cases.
It's always a good moment to see Hugh Jackman's butt.
Bieber gives $545,000 to AIDS research.
Rugby players are rather attractive, don't you think?
ABOVE: Extended The Flash trailer, starring Grant Gustin...who I spoke to!
Cher & Bruce Jenner reportedly dating. So rich on so many levels.
Military dudes with socks on their cocks.
Is Barnes & Noble about to come to THE END?
Grace of Monaco is apparently even worse than it looks.
Ellen DeGeneres & her '70s prom date reunite.
Ricky Martin gets pampered on Instagram:
Is Miley more popular than Jesus?
NASCAR fans' tribute to RuPaul quotes.
Beyoncé, Jay-Z and Solange are “moving on as a family.”
Watch this attack cat make mincemeat of a wayward guard dog.
Prince Harry's 1st-ever tweet.
BOY CULTURE REVIEW: **** out of ****
Vivian Maier died in a Chicago nursing home in 2009 in her eighties without ever having published her work, without ever having seen thousands of the images she shot and without owning a single negative—everything had been unceremoniously sold at auction along with the rest of her worldly possessions for a few hundred bucks a box once she was injured in a fall. Cheap, considering she had taken well over 100,000 images with her trusty, stealthy Rolleiflex from the late 1940s until some time in the 1990s.
When a historian and second-generation flea marketer, John Maloof, started scanning some of the negatives he'd bought in 2007, he sensed they were good. How good, he wasn't sure. Until posting a batch on Flickr, when users flipped out, reassuring him he had unearthed the work of a brilliant photographer. He bought up as much of Maier's output from other buyers as he could, eventually winding up with about 90% of it. Next, he began cataloguing everything—no easy task since Maier, about whom he knew absolutely nothing, had apparently been a packrat.
When her obituary pinged his Google search in 2009, Maloof learned a bit more about Maier—she'd been a nanny, a private figure, French.
But what else? And had she seen herself as an artist?