Spielberg captures Cold War fears in 'Bridge of Spies'

Jan 6, 2016

Spielberg captures Cold War fears in 'Bridge of Spies'

Mankind owes much to Steven Spielberg. Without him, many of us would never have known the existence of Oskar Schindler (“Schindler’s List”), become aware of the events behind the Munich Olympics in 1972 (“Munich”), seen the U.S. slave trade depicted in a major Hollywood ...

Setsuko Hara and the changing face of Japanese womanhood

Jan 1, 2016

Setsuko Hara and the changing face of Japanese womanhood

At the risk of sounding unpatriotic, Yasujiro Ozu’s “Tokyo Story” remains on my list of least favorite movies. I’m in good company — every woman I know dislikes it, and the passing of the film’s star, Setsuko Hara (at 95 years old), in September ...

Del Toro's 'Crimson Peak' alluring but far from scary

Dec 30, 2015

Del Toro's 'Crimson Peak' alluring but far from scary

Real estate, sexual passion and family secrets are crammed into the atmospheric thriller “Crimson Peak,” directed by Guillermo del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth,” “Pacific Rim”). I have an inkling Del Toro dislikes modern society and abhors modern notions of security. His films always unfold in ...

Top 10 films of 2015: Inspired acting and difficult characters

Dec 23, 2015

Top 10 films of 2015: Inspired acting and difficult characters

The international lineup proved to be something of a mixed bag for film buffs in 2015. But the one thing that stood out among other features in this year’s films were the acting performances. Some were skilled, others were extraordinary, but mostly they were ...

'Life' tears down the myth of James Dean

Dec 16, 2015

'Life' tears down the myth of James Dean

If you’re reading this and not some rogue, jump-the-gun review of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” it means you and I are friends forever. This is the day — 24 hours before the opening of the latest chapter in the “Star Wars” franchise — ...

'Comet' is not your typical feel-good love story

Dec 9, 2015

'Comet' is not your typical feel-good love story

A personal theory of mine is that all relationships are phases we go through. Though not all phases are equal — some are more memorable than others. To Kimberly (Emmy Rossum) and Dell (Justin Long) in “Comet,” their relationship was a long, incredibly eventful ...

A short history of 'real' bread in Japan

Dec 4, 2015

A short history of 'real' bread in Japan

For most of modern history, the Japanese failed to understand the point of the baguette — known locally as furansu pan (French bread) — and shunned the globally coveted Gallic specialty, thinking it was hard and tasteless. Carried by almost every bakery in Tokyo, ...

It's time for us to get to know a 'Bondo-san'

Dec 3, 2015

It's time for us to get to know a 'Bondo-san'

With industry speculation about the latest 007 vehicle, “Spectre,” being the last round for Daniel Craig, it’s a good time to rethink the whole James Bond persona. Does he have to be white? Does he have to wear those bespoke suits? Does he really ...