Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for April, 2019

By J.D. Lafrance

I’ve never been a big fan of Steven Spielberg’s post-1980s film career as he juggled big budget box office blockbusters (Jurassic Park) with obvious bids for Academy Award validation (Amistad). It has been the more offbeat films, like Munich (2008) and Catch Me If You Can (2002) that I’ve preferred over the likes of Schindler’s List (1993) and Saving Private Ryan (1998). To me, Catch Me If You Can has a looser, more freewheeling feel to it reminiscent of Spielberg’s earlier films, like The Sugarland Express (1974) or Jaws (1975). The film is based on the life of Frank Abagnale Jr., a clever con man who managed to steal millions of dollars during the 1960s and 1970s by convincingly assuming the identity of a Pan American World Airways pilot, a Georgia doctor and a Louisiana lawyer – all before his 19th birthday. He would become the youngest person ever placed on the FBI’s Most Wanted List. Not only did Catch Me feature a more playful Spielberg, but demonstrated Leonardo DiCaprio’s genuine acting chops – something he hadn’t really done since What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993). The film began a terrific run for the young actor who went on to star in films directed by Martin Scorsese, Ridley Scott and Christopher Nolan.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

by Sam Juliano

The warmer weather is becoming more regular in the transition month that is sure to expel the chill once and for all.  The fourth month of the year often is rain-soaked while the allergy season is initiated.  In just a bit over two weeks the Tribeca Film Festival will launch and Lucille and plan to attend many screenings.  The annual school Washington D.C. trip will be staged only few days after Tribeca ends and moi will again be serving as a chaperone for the seventh year consecutively.  Jim Clark’s latest in his ongoing Ingmar Bergman series will publish this week as will the most recent J.D. Lafrance film review.  The Third Annual Allan Fish Online Film Festival will be held the second week of May, and once again Jamie Uhler will serve as chairman.  We are taking a break this year from genre countdowns, so the AFOFF will be the only group project staged at the site.

We are wishing our dear friend John Grant a speedy recovery from a health issue that seems now to be mostly sorted out.

Two-time Caldecott Medal winner Sophie Blackall and two of this past year’s Caldecott honorees, Oge Mora and Grace Lin appear at Brooklyn’s Word Bookstore for Sunday presentation!  Lucille, Jeremy and I have seen and met the great children’s literature author-artist Sophie Blackall (Hello Lighthouse) many times over the past years, but we were so honored to meet and chat with the young and fabulously talented Oge Mora and Grace Lin, who won Caldecott Honors this year for their sublime masterpieces, “Thank You Omu” and “A Big Mooncake For Little Star” at a noontime book presentation for kids and adults at the Word in Brooklyn as well. All three are not only stupendous talents, but they are humble, effervescent and lovely human beings! (All three winning books were reviewed in this past year’s Caldecott Medal Contender series at WONDERS IN THE DARK). (more…)

Read Full Post »

By J.D. Lafrance

Jack Nicholson had one of the best runs of any actor during the 1970s and that’s saying a lot when you consider it was at a time when the likes of Robert De Niro, Gene Hackman and Al Pacino, among others, were doing some of their very best work. Nicholson actually made a big splash with his scene-stealing supporting role in Easy Rider (1969), which kickstarted a fantastic run of films, beginning with Five Easy Pieces (1970) and continuing with notable efforts like The King of Marvin Gardens (1972), The Last Detail (1973), and Chinatown (1974) – and this is before the halfway point of the decade! Perhaps his most fruitful collaborator during this period was filmmaker Bob Rafelson whom he co-wrote The Monkees movie Head (1968) with and went on to direct Nicholson in Five Easy Pieces and The King of Marvin Gardens. Five Easy Pieces is one of those complex character studies that typified some of the best American films from the ‘70s.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

by Sam Juliano

The nine hour version of the 1924 masterpiece Greed by Erich Von Stroheim has been found in a Berlin warehouse!  The Holy Grail of Holy Grails has now, miraculously become a reality.  This is that “everything stops” moment we can always hope for but never attain………..anyway, April Fools!!!!

The fourth month has arrived and with it comes rain, the allergy season, warmer weather, and for Lucille and I the annual Tribeca Film Festival, which commences late in the month this year, overlapping into May.  I am starting now to get my notes and suggestions together to put together a crammed schedule.  Lucille, who is coming along beautifully will again be my prime mate for a slew of screenings.  More about Tribeca as we get closer to the date in a few weeks.  J.D. Lafrance’s latest (and marvelous) weekly film review published this past week considers Oliver Stone’s 1987 Wall Street.  The great Jim Clark will be posting again soon following up on his stellar essay of Ingmar Bergman’s The Magician.  This past week Lucille and I saw two movies in theaters:

Hotel Mumbai based on the unspeakable terrorist attacks in Bombay and specifically at the Taj Hotel, in a multi-day operation that claimed the lives of 174 in the city, where 300 or more were wounded is a difficult film for me to recommend, and as as a lifelong friend and former English teacher stated “it can never be watched more than once”, yet it is exceedingly well-made, riveting and superbly acted (by Dev Patel, Anupam Kher, Arnie Hammer, Nazarin Boniardi and others) that I must award it a 4 of 5 rating. There are times I thought of the action flick “Die Hard” but of course the near-sadistic atrocities in that fateful event (India’s 9-11 to be sure) are only too real. The heroism, the matter of a split second determining life or death and shockingly the non-existence of the Indian military and police is mind boggling during this monstrous siege. We took in the 10:00 P.M. screening last night at the Ridgefield Park Starplex. (more…)

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts