Login

Movies

Good Bye Harry, Thanks for the Great Ride

Movies: ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2’

There has never been anything quite like the Harry Potter series of books and films. It’s a literary and cultural phenomenon. For some, “The Lord of the Rings” comes close, but though Tolkein may be a better writer than J.K. Rowling, I would argue that the power of the Potter series lies in its simplicity — a boy on a hero’s journey.

Full text available to premium subscribers only. Log in or Create an account.

Once you've created an account, you will be given a free 30-day subscription to the site where you can view all content unrestricted. After 30 days, you can extend your account by purchasing a subscription.

If you are already a print subscriber, click here to give us your contact information, and we will confirm your active subscription and give you a password to access the website.

Easy To Like, but Unconvincing

Movies: ‘Beginners’

Ewan McGregor stars as terminally sad Oliver, a single guy illustrator dealing with the demise of his aging and terminally ill father, Hal (Christopher Plummer), a widower who has just come out as a gay activist, and has taken a boyfriend (Goran Visnjic of “ER” fame).
Oliver is also trying to succeed in a relationship of his own with a flighty aspiring actress, Anna (Mélanie Laurent).

Full text available to premium subscribers only. Log in or Create an account.

Once you've created an account, you will be given a free 30-day subscription to the site where you can view all content unrestricted. After 30 days, you can extend your account by purchasing a subscription.

If you are already a print subscriber, click here to give us your contact information, and we will confirm your active subscription and give you a password to access the website.

Unrealistic, Yes, But So Is “It’s a Wonderful Life”

Movies: ‘Larry Crowne’
patricks@lakevillejournal.com

Tom Hanks’ “Larry Crowne” is a lightweight romantic comedy that hasn’t excited anybody because
a) nothing explodes,
b) there is no video game kung fu,
c) nobody says “motherbleeper.”
“But hold on there just a minute” you say.“How can it be a Hollywood movie if people aren’t karate-chopping each other while the room spins around and calling each other rude names between explosions?”
You can be Tom Hanks, that’s how. You can write your own script with Nia Vardalos (“My Big Fat Greek Wedding”), add Julia Roberts, and direct it.

Full text available to premium subscribers only. Log in or Create an account.

Once you've created an account, you will be given a free 30-day subscription to the site where you can view all content unrestricted. After 30 days, you can extend your account by purchasing a subscription.

If you are already a print subscriber, click here to give us your contact information, and we will confirm your active subscription and give you a password to access the website.

Digging Into Our Past

Movies: ‘Cave of Forgotten Dreams’

From the moment the opening strains of its “2001”-style choral music are heard, Werner Herzog’s documentary “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” announces its importance. We are in for something historical.
In 1994, three French explorers discovered a cave in southwestern France with Paleolithic drawings dating back as much as 32,000 years — nearly twice as old as those in the famous caves of Lascaux. Named Chauvet Cave after its lead discoverer, it was immediately sealed off; access has been restricted to researchers and, for a limited time, Herzog and a crew.

Full text available to premium subscribers only. Log in or Create an account.

Once you've created an account, you will be given a free 30-day subscription to the site where you can view all content unrestricted. After 30 days, you can extend your account by purchasing a subscription.

If you are already a print subscriber, click here to give us your contact information, and we will confirm your active subscription and give you a password to access the website.

Raucous and Really Funny

Movies: ‘Bridesmaids’
leong@lakevillejournal.com

Be warned: “Bridesmaids” is raunchy, raucous, profane and sometimes gross. It’s also real — characters, story, situations — and really funny. From its Kama Sutra opening to its parodic final send-up of “Sex and the City 2,” this is a neo-Rabelaisian romantic comedy that soars far above dreck like the remake of “Arthur” or the tired bromance of “The Hangover Part II.”

Full text available to premium subscribers only. Log in or Create an account.

Once you've created an account, you will be given a free 30-day subscription to the site where you can view all content unrestricted. After 30 days, you can extend your account by purchasing a subscription.

If you are already a print subscriber, click here to give us your contact information, and we will confirm your active subscription and give you a password to access the website.

A Step Sideways for Woody

Movies: 'Midnight in Paris'

This is a love letter to a great city, “Midnight in Paris.” Having finished (for now, anyway) with New York, London and Barcelona, Woody Allen indulges in a tourist’s, and romantic’s, version of Paris.
Shots of every famous landmark in Paris start off the film — pull out your Frommer’s and tick them off. Look, there’s Notre Dame. Hey, it’s Montmartre. Oh, and the Luxembourg Gardens, and the Pont Neuf. They look glorious indeed — even better than the ViewMaster reel of Paris sights I had when I was a kid.

Full text available to premium subscribers only. Log in or Create an account.

Once you've created an account, you will be given a free 30-day subscription to the site where you can view all content unrestricted. After 30 days, you can extend your account by purchasing a subscription.

If you are already a print subscriber, click here to give us your contact information, and we will confirm your active subscription and give you a password to access the website.

In Brief, Skip It

Movies: ‘The Hangover Part II’
patricks@lakevillejournal.com

“The Hangover Part II” contains a milestone of sorts — it is the first mainstream film I know to show a full-frontal nude shot of a transsexual.
The movie has the same four knuckleheads as the first installment — relatively smooth Phil (Bradley Cooper), dorky dentist Stu (Ed Helms), straight-arrow Doug (Justin Bartha) — and appalling neurotic and pain in the neck Alan (Zach Galifianakis).

Full text available to premium subscribers only. Log in or Create an account.

Once you've created an account, you will be given a free 30-day subscription to the site where you can view all content unrestricted. After 30 days, you can extend your account by purchasing a subscription.

If you are already a print subscriber, click here to give us your contact information, and we will confirm your active subscription and give you a password to access the website.

Maybe . . . Nah

Movies: 'Kung Fu Panda 2'

The climactic battle scene in “Kung Fu Panda 2” begins with an armada of ships armed with super-fireball-shooting cannons sailing out the harbor of fictional Gongmen City to confront Po, the furry action hero of the title.
I imagine (like Claudius daydreaming of the fall of Rome) a ghostly flotilla far out ahead, made up of all the hundreds of animated movie sequels that have come before, and another one in its wake made up of the thousands yet to be born. They just keep on coming, the untold, faceless hordes out of Hollywood’s moneymaking machine.

Full text available to premium subscribers only. Log in or Create an account.

Once you've created an account, you will be given a free 30-day subscription to the site where you can view all content unrestricted. After 30 days, you can extend your account by purchasing a subscription.

If you are already a print subscriber, click here to give us your contact information, and we will confirm your active subscription and give you a password to access the website.

About Captain Sparrow Sailing to the Bank

Movies: ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’
leong@lakevillejournal.com

After drifting far off course with the execrable “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End,” Disney has tried to steer it’s multi-film franchise back on course with installment four, “P of C: On Stranger Tides.”
Tossing director Gore Verbinski overboard, Disney hired Rob Marshall — whose career began as a Broadway dancer and choreographer and whose action credits include the musical “Chicago” and the beautiful, slow “Memoirs of a Geisha” — to take the foundering series back to its roots.

Full text available to premium subscribers only. Log in or Create an account.

Once you've created an account, you will be given a free 30-day subscription to the site where you can view all content unrestricted. After 30 days, you can extend your account by purchasing a subscription.

If you are already a print subscriber, click here to give us your contact information, and we will confirm your active subscription and give you a password to access the website.

Faith in Times Of Violence

Movies: ‘Of Gods and Men’

I sat alone in The Moviehouse upstairs theater at the late showing of “Of Gods and Men” and wondered what keeps audiences away from serious foreign “art” films.
No doubt throngs were filling the seats for the likes of “Thor” and “Bridesmaids.”
What they were missing was a gripping and probing examination of the meaning of faith amidst violence, free will versus absolute commitment, and whether love can triumph over evil.

Full text available to premium subscribers only. Log in or Create an account.

Once you've created an account, you will be given a free 30-day subscription to the site where you can view all content unrestricted. After 30 days, you can extend your account by purchasing a subscription.

If you are already a print subscriber, click here to give us your contact information, and we will confirm your active subscription and give you a password to access the website.