Raimunda (Penelope Cruz) and Sole (Lola Duenas) are two sisters barely over the shock of losing their parents in a house fire. Raimunda is a mother increasingly dissatisfied with her life and spouse. When her husband leaves the scene, Raimunda is free to take herself in new directions, finding motivation watching over a friend's restaurant while he's away. Sole lives a more lonely life, and when the sisters' dead mother (Blanca Portillo) reappears to offer guidance and apologies, it pushes Sole to a new spiritual awakening, and Raimunda to a place in her heart where she's kept the darkness locked away for decades. In Pedro Almodovar's 16th feature film, "Volver" is one of his most self-assured works, nestled into a style and filmmaking breadth that has officially become synonymous with the Almodovar brand. "Volver" is a melodrama fascinated with the justice of death and the mysteries of life afte...Read the entire review
Dreamgirls was a smash hit on Broadway when it debuted in 1981, and it's likely going to be a smash hit in movie theatres twenty-five years later. Loosely based on the story of Motown, Dreamgirls is a modern musical in so much as its style owes as much to the sound of Detroit as it does more classical stage productions. The scene opens during a talent show where all of the principal characters are gathered for one reason or another. James "Thunder" Early (Eddie Murphy) has run off his back-up singers with his womanizing ways, and his manager, Marty Madison (Danny Glover), is having no luck getting anyone to fill-in for Jimmy's headlining slot after the contest. The Dreamettes, a trio of female singers, have shown up late and nearly missed their performance because Deena's disapproving mother wouldn't let the girl leave on time. Deena (Beyonc Knowles) tries to fast-talk them into a n...Read the entire review
In Theatrical - As a reporter sent to post-WWII Berlin to cover world events, Jake Geismer (George Clooney) is overwhelmed by the bombed-out surroundings. There to assist him is driver Tully (Tobey Maguire), a military lackey who enjoys the confusion of the area and profits from the black market. Tully is involved with a German prostitute named Lena (Cate Blanchett), who was once in a relationship with Jake early in the war. When Jake spies his old love again, he wishes to solve her numerous problems. But those very troubles run deep into critical military intelligence, and could end up killing everyone who comes near her. Steven Soderbergh is one of the most intelligent, crafty directors in the business today, but every once in a blue moon, his artistic impulses run him straight into a brick wall. "The Good German" could be viewed as the filmmaker's most controlled piece of directing to date, or his most miscalcul...Read the entire review
In Theatrical - Trapped in a never-ending cycle of debt, Chris Gardner (Will Smith) is desperate for hope in his life. Struggling to support his family (Thandie Newton), Chris learns of a prized internship opportunity at the Dean Witter investment house. Giving up his dead-end job to pursue this non-salaried opening, Chris's wife leaves him and puts him in charge of his young son, Christopher (Jaden Christopher Syre Smith). Combating poverty, doubt, and the ruthless business world, Chris fights to keep his wits about him as he hopes to achieve some small sliver of a dream. Stories of triumph over adversity are the foundation on which cinema was built. These are tales flush with uplift, sure to radiate an aura of good feelings to blanket the audience. "Pursuit of Happyness" (based on a true story) is not one to rock the boat in terms of mass entertainment expectations, but it isn't quite the sunny hand-holding expe...Read the entire review
There was a time when my love for James Bond was unconditional. Like many fans of the Bond films, I grew up watching the exploits of 007. One of my oldest cinematic memories was a dusk-to-dawn Bond marathon at the local drive-in, where bits and pieces of Goldfinger and Diamonds are Forever managed to forever work their way into my mind. Live and Let Die is one of the first movies I fully remember seeing in its entirety at the theatre, and when ever Bond films turned up on the ABC Sunday Night Movie, I watched religiously. During my junior high and high school years there was a local second-run theatre that had an annual Bond film festival where you could see two movies for about $4. I attended those festivals every year for six years, seeing every Bond movie on the big screen (complete with trailers). Looking back, my love for film began with the 007 films (along with the Planet...Read the entire review
I think the failure of Emilio Estevez's "Bobby" lies in his broad cinematic brush strokes. Endeavoring to make a film not only as a tribute to 1960's idealism, but also as a warning for today's political climate, the picture has no point of entry. It's a self-centered movie about a seemingly selfless man, and its criminal (or ironic) that a picture about a politician renown for his clarity would result in a movie that's a mess. Estevez desires a "Grand Hotel" design to "Bobby," devising characters and storylines to weave through the Ambassador Hotel on the lengthy day Robert Kennedy, on the cusp of solidifying his inspiring run for President, was gunned down by assassin Sirhan B. Sirhan. So how could Estevez get away with taking a split-second act of aggression and stretch it into nearly two hours of drama?
Jim (Christian Bale) is an Iraq War vet unable to find the employment with the LAPD that was promised when he returned home. Angry and bitter, Jim hooks up with his friend Mike (Freddy Rodriguez), another vet bullied by his overbearing girlfriend (Eva Longoria), to find a job. Suited up, and with the whole day to play with, Jim and Mike head out on the streets, soon getting caught up in drug and weapon deals, job interviews, and assorted border havoc that keeps them from focusing in on their plans for friendship and the future. Writer David Ayer found tremendous critical and box office success with his script for "Training Day." The gritty tale of corruption and ludicrous street justice put Ayer on the Hollywood map, so it's hard to blame the guy for trying to recreate the same magic in his directorial debut, "Harsh Times." "Times" beats the same streets as "Training." Ayer knows the topogra...Read the entire review
Recently a friend went and saw Ildewild, starring André Benjamin, Big Boi, and the costumes were good, the cinematography was excellent, but the plot and the storyline, he had a problem with. There were many different things going on, one minute you would think it was a love story, then a gangster movie, or maybe a musical or possibly a fairytale. There was a scene which focused on these coo-coo clocks. Didn't really get it. A musical set in the Prohibition-era American South, where a speakeasy performer and club manager Rooster. One thing that stood out were the musical performances which were good. However, the movie depicted women driving automobiles during the 1930s. That is not factual. This movie was set in the 1930s and the soundtrack was very hip hop. I am not being judgemental, but I think the director was trying to be innovative, especially with the soundtrack. I was looking for some blues, jazz and ragtime to pull me into the movie based upon the time. That being said, there were times, I felt I was watching an extended music video. As I walked out after the movie I came to the conclusion it was a traditional good guy vs. bad guy movie.