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Film Review: The Program (★★★★)

Thanks the annual barrage of prestige-sounding biopics, my threshold for enthusiasm of biopics has hardened over time.  Often, biopics tend to be thrown together, supergluing Greatest Hits to form a bumpy narrative which forms a flaccid arc for the film’s main character.  Indeed, when I heard about The Program, the new Lance Armstrong biopic from The Queen and Philomena director […]

Double the trouble! (Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox)

Film Review: Kung Fu Panda 3 (★★★)

Visually dazzling and outrageously funny, DreamWorks Animation’s hit franchise shows no signs of petering out. With this third entry, Kung Fu Panda 3 allows audiences to simply marinate in the pleasures that its memorable roster of characters produce. Jack Black’s Po is as lovably buffoonish as ever, while the elite Furious Five – Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Monkey […]

The-Cobbler

Watch the First Trailer for Thomas McCarthy’s ‘The Cobbler’ with Adam Sandler

Back at the Toronto International Film Festival a few months ago, filmmaker Thomas McCarthy experienced his first critical thrashing with the Adam Sandler starring fantasy The Cobbler. Reviews were absolutely savage, but at the same time, they hinted at something so weird it almost became a must see for me. I’ve never been huge on […]

Oscar Question

Six Spot #7: Best Actor 1997

Welcome back to The Six Spot! In case you missed last week’s 2007 Best Director Six Spot, you can catch it here. This week, in honor of ACCA 1997, we dive into the 1997 Best Actor race (thanks to Terence for his persistent suggestion of this Six Spot idea). The last time we saw the […]

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First Trailer for Jon Favreau’s ‘Chef’ Premieres

Sometimes a smaller film comes along and exceeds all of your expectations. Such was the case for me a week or so ago when I saw Jon Favreau‘s new film Chef. He writes, directs, and stars in this really entertaining dramedy that hits just about all of the right notes. It’s perhaps my favorite movie […]

Jack Nicholson and Dustin Hoffman Named as Oscar Presenters

Jack Nicholson and Dustin Hoffman – two acting legends with five Oscars between them – are the latest names to be added to the Oscar ceremony as presenters. One of the last times we saw Jack present at the Oscars was when he famously announced Crash as the Best Picture winner for 2005. Maybe he can […]

Weekend Openings: 1/11/2013

With the New Year’s hangover slowly wearing off and few new stimulants entering circulation, there’s now ample time to catch up on the overload of awards-contending films, with the nationwide release of Zero Dark Thirty finally completing the best picture category.  Expect the box-office to reflect some of the film’s early critical acclaim, especially since […]

Quartet (***)

AFI Festival: Shifting from acting shoes to directing shoes, Dustin Hoffman makes his directing debut with Quartet (2012), starring Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins, and Michael Gambon. Quartet is a touching comedy about the lives of retired opera singers, musicians, and the like, living in a retirement home and reuniting with old […]

Lead Actor Overstuffed

This year’s race for the Academy Award for Best Actor will have no shortage of worthy nominees; in fact I daresay they could nominate five worthy actors right now. However there are still many more performances to be unveiled, work that will end up in the category, work that will not, disappointing audiences, the Academy […]

Sizing Up: Best Director

Sizing Up Series continues with an in-depth look at the Director candidates for this year’s Oscar ceremony.  As was the case last year, there are a few things to keep an eye for this particular category. One obviously is that a lot will have to do with which films get nominated for Best Picture at […]

TIFF and the Aftermath

So what now? With screenings finished, TIFF closed, and New York’s Film Festival looming, how will TIFF impact the Oscar race? Believe it or not it has already begun; in fact it was happening as TIFF was playing out. You could hear the chatter in the theaters, press rooms, and hallways as critics talked with […]

TIFF: Quartet (****)

Love him or hate him, you have got to give the man credit. How many times has Harvey Weinstein been down, how many times has he been counted out of the film game and yet here he is at TIFF with several films that are going to be heard come Oscar time. Not one, not two, but more. […]

Best of the Decades: 1980s

The great and the good films of the eighties were often box office failures, re-discovered within a few years by audiences and critics on video, as home entertainment brought a whole new world to audiences and the movies. Suddenly audiences could watch the films at home, on their TV by renting a video, which became […]

Oscar Shocks: Best Actor

Yes I was horrified when Roberto Benigni won the Academy Award for Best Actor for Life is Beautiful (1998), but the Screen Actors Guild had prepared me for the fact it might happen when they awarded him their Best Actor prize a few weeks earlier. There had been such a groundswell of love for the […]