‘Spotlight’: a beacon for investigative journalism

Apr 13, 2016

‘Spotlight’: a beacon for investigative journalism

In 1976 the film “All the President’s Men” portrayed the true story of Washington Post reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward (Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford) uncovering the Watergate Scandal. It wasn’t the first time in cinema that journalists took center stage, but it ...

'45 Years': When love is lost but can never be forgotten

Apr 6, 2016

'45 Years': When love is lost but can never be forgotten

As divorce rates rise in most of the industrialized world, being with the same partner for 45 years these days calls for a major celebration (perhaps a medal would be more in order), which is exactly what Kate (Charlotte Rampling) and Geoff (Tom Courtenay) ...

'Cop Car': Joy-riding with dire consequences

Apr 6, 2016

'Cop Car': Joy-riding with dire consequences

Do you smell the Bacon? You should: The smoke from the griddle is all over the place in this sweaty-palm inducing neo-noir by Jon Watts (who is slated to direct the next “Spiderman”). Kevin Bacon stars as a scary mustachioed bad cop who gives new ...

Keanu Reeves' concoction of 'The Whole Truth'

Mar 30, 2016

Keanu Reeves' concoction of 'The Whole Truth'

The American judicial system may not have its finest hour in “The Whole Truth” but the film is nonetheless a gripping 90-minute courtroom drama that keeps you on the edge of your seat. The film is unflattering to lawyers and unkind to witnesses — ...

A terrible film saved by the dog

Mar 30, 2016

A terrible film saved by the dog

One of the two stars I gave this film is to honor the combined team of Terry Jones, the director and co-writer (and former member of Monty Python), and Simon Pegg, the star who is never out of a single frame. Actually, make that ...

Documentary delves into the darker side of Kawasaki

| Mar 30, 2016

Documentary delves into the darker side of Kawasaki

Kawasaki in Kanagawa Prefecture is famed for three things: yakiniku barbecue restaurants, sex shops and a high crime rate. Though parts of the city are middle class, a grittier and lower-income image of Kawasaki has persisted through the years. “Sakura no Kino Shita” (“Under ...

Altering the history and gender of 'The Danish Girl'

Mar 23, 2016

Altering the history and gender of 'The Danish Girl'

Are you into Scandinavian design? If you are, “The Danish Girl” will have you swooning. Even the first 10 seconds of the opening scene will provoke design envy and, for those who care about the details, Copenhagen apartment envy, circa 1926. Director Tom Hooper ...

The transformative power of Japan's 'magical girls'

Mar 16, 2016

The transformative power of Japan's 'magical girls'

There is one surprising thing about Japan’s male-dominated — some may say rabidly misogynistic — society: manga and anime support women. True, there are plenty of examples to the contrary (take a short stroll through any Akihabara anime shop if you need proof). But ...