'Irrational Man': The muddled world of Woody Allen

Jun 15, 2016

'Irrational Man': The muddled world of Woody Allen

In the manner of Captain Renault in “Casablanca,” I was shocked — shocked! — to find so much dialogue in a modern-day movie. But then “Irrational Man” is a Woody Allen venture and, apparently, Allen is unaware, or has chosen to ignore, that couples ...

'Money Monster': Jodie Foster's thrilling investment

Jun 8, 2016

'Money Monster': Jodie Foster's thrilling investment

Money is the new sex at the movies. Actually, if we’re honest, maybe it was also the old sex. Whatever — in our overly consumerist society, money is on everyone’s mind and more filmmakers are discovering the excitement that a stock chart can generate. ...

'Southpaw': Boxing that lacks punching power

Jun 1, 2016

'Southpaw': Boxing that lacks punching power

Just because you’ve seen this story before doesn’t mean you shouldn’t see it again … I think. “Southpaw” is an excessive, some may even say maniacal, retread of boxing movie classics such as the “Rocky” franchise, “The Fighter” and “Raging Bull. But it’s so ...

A little 'je ne sais quois' from Eric Rohmer

| May 25, 2016

A little 'je ne sais quois' from Eric Rohmer

Everything we know about French films, we learned from Eric Rohmer. At least for Japanese cinema lovers, that’s what it felt like, especially in the late 20th century. Until his death at age of 89 in 2010, Eric Rohmer directed 53 films and every ...

'Macbeth': What's done is done again

May 18, 2016

'Macbeth': What's done is done again

Few storytellers can match Shakespeare for his vast range of timeless themes and awesome characters. Imagine what the Bard could have accomplished if he had had a laptop and smartphone. Among his works, “Macbeth” — a compelling study of a husband-wife team whose thirst ...

'Beyond The Reach': Desert thriller runs dry on substance

May 11, 2016

'Beyond The Reach': Desert thriller runs dry on substance

I couldn’t stop thinking about sunscreen during the first two minutes of “Beyond the Reach.” After 15 minutes I was trying to conjure up images of polar ice caps and northern lights. This is what happens when fragile people like me are overexposed to ...

'Six Four': Japan held hostage by the Showa Era

May 4, 2016

'Six Four': Japan held hostage by the Showa Era

‘Don’t you understand what is to have a child taken from you? How could you be a policeman and not understand that?” That’s a line from “Rokuyon” (“Six Four”) the latest addition to Japan’s host of films about kidnapping. “Six Four” is distinctive in ...