Tag Archives: Oscar


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Release Date: July 24, 1972
Runtime: 88 minutes
Rating: PG
Studio: Cinema 5 Distributing
Director: Howard Smith; Sarah Kernochan
Cast: Marjoe Gortner

It might be tempting to call Marjoe Gortner a con man. He was a noted evangelist in the days before Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, “saving” people in exchange for them forking over money to his ministry, money that sometimes people couldn’t really afford to give. He moved from town to town like a one-man travelling sideshow, preaching the gospel of Jesus to those willing and needing to believe it. He was a consummate showman. The interesting thing is, even he would agree with that. Continue reading

Steve Jobs

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Release Date: October 23, 2015
Runtime: 122 minutes
Rating: R
Studio: Universal Pictures
Director: Danny Boyle
Cast: Michael Fassbender; Kate Winslet; Jeff Daniels; Seth Rogen; Michael Stuhlbarg; Katherine Waterston

I came away from this movie with a great big ‘eh.’ It’s typical Aaron Sorkin. By this, I mean lots of people shouting pithy one-liners at each other in rapid cadence. I can’t exactly put my finger on it but the movie just wasn’t very interesting. Steve Jobs, computer visionary, quasi-deadbeat dad, general asshole, was undoubtedly a fascinating man, but you don’t really get a sense of just how fascinating from the film. This is one of those movies where everyone is trying so hard to act importantly because they know they are in a big important event movie. Stop. Just stop. Continue reading

August: Osage County

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Release Date: January 10, 2014
Runtime: 121 minutes
Rating: R
Studio: The Weinstein Company
Director: John Wells
Cast: Meryl Streep; Julia Roberts; Ewan McGregor; Chris Cooper; Dermot Mulroney; Juliette Lewis; Julianne Nicholson; Sam Shepard; Benedict Cumberbatch; Abigail Brelsin

If there were an Olympic category for “Best Team Acting,” this big screen adaptation of Tracy Letts’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play would have swept the competition. Captained by ferocious performances by Meryl Streep (reminding us all of why she IS Meryl Streep) and Julia Roberts, “August: Osage County” invites us in for some seriously dysfunctional family good times. Continue reading

Pretty Woman

It’s Flashback Friday!

This Week’s Flashback Movie….

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Release Date: March 23, 1990
Runtime: 119 minutes
Rating: R
Studio: Touchstone Pictures (Disney)
Director: Garry Marshall
Cast: Richard Gere; Julia Roberts; Hector Elizondo; Laura San Giacomo; Jason Alexander; Ralph Bellamy

Do you remember where you were when Julia Roberts became a movie star? You were probably one of the millions sitting in the pre-stadium seating movie theater in the spring of 1990 watching a star being born. Garry Marshall’s modern retelling of “Pygmalion” is, when you break it down, a light and fluffy, if rather fair movie. But from the moment Roberts struts down Hollywood Boulevard on her way to snag a john in those thigh-high boots, we are under her spell and everything else plays second fiddle. Continue reading

An Unmarried Woman

It’s Flashback Friday!

This Week’s Flashback Movie….

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Release Date: March 5, 1978
Runtime: 124 minutes
Rating: R
Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Paul Mazursky
Cast: Jill Clayburgh; Alan Bates; Michael Murphy; Cliff Gorman; Lisa Lucas; Kelly Bishop

You know the expression “to feel like a fly on the wall?” That’s pretty much how I felt while watching “An Unmarried Woman,” Paul Mazursky’s 1978 drama about a woman finding herself after her husband dumps her.

The late Jill Clayburgh plays Erica, a seemingly happily married woman. Her husband works on Wall Street, she has a well-adjusted teenage daughter, she lives comfortably on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, she has a group of girlfriends with whom she regularly meets for drinks…a pretty normal, stress-free life. Then her husband drops a bomb. He is leaving her for a younger woman. What does Erica do now? Who is she if not a wife and mother? Continue reading

Jurassic Park 3D: A Reel Podcast

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Release Date: April 5, 2013 (original release June 11, 1993)
Runtime: 127 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Studio: Universal Pictures
Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Sam Neill; Laura Dern; Richard Attenborough; Jeff Goldblum; Joseph Mazzello; Ariana Richards; Wayne Knight; Samuel L. Jackson



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The Master*: A Reel Podcast

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Release Date: September 21, 2012
Runtime: 144 minutes
Rating: R
Studio: The Weinstein Company
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman; Joaquin Phoenix; Amy Adams

*2013 Academy Award Nominations
Best Actor…..Joaquin Phoenix
Best Supporting Actor…..Philip Seymour Hoffman
Best Supporting Actress…..Amy Adams

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Meditations on Movies: James Cameron and ‘Titanic’

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Release Date: December 19, 1997
Runtime: 194 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Studio: Twentieth Century Fox / Paramount Pictures
Director: James Cameron
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio; Kate Winslet; Billy Zane; Kathy Bates; Frances Fisher; Victor Garber; Gloria Stuart

In the spirit of Oscar season, I thought I would revisit some previous Academy Award winners in the days leading up to the 85th Annual Academy Awards ceremony. This won’t be so much of a “review,” since this particular film has ingrained itself so thoroughly in the public consciousness, but more of a treatise on the merits of James Cameron’s 1997 disaster epic-cum-love story. Continue reading

Roman Holiday

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Release Date: September 2, 1953
Runtime: 118 minutes
Rating: N/A
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Director: William Wyler
Cast: Gregory Peck; Audrey Hepburn; Eddie Albert

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I decided to go romantic. I didn’t want a weepie, nor did I want some saccharine Nicholas Sparks adaptation (“Safe Haven” – now playing). So I decided to turn to the classics of the genre. Once again, I sing the praises of Xfinity On Demand, which had 1953’s “Roman Holiday” available. Continue reading

Zero Dark Thirty*

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Release Date: January 11, 2013
Runtime: 157 minutes
Rating: R
Studio: Columbia Pictures (Sony)
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Cast: Jessica Chastain; Jason Clarke; Kyle Chandler; Jennifer Ehle; Chris Pratt


Goooooooood movie!!

The search for Osama Bin Laden took a really long time. While most of the American public wasn’t aware of the actual behind-the-scenes military machinations of what truly went into the search, “Zero Dark Thirty” attempts, and very much succeeds, in giving us an insider look into what is, undoubtedly, one of the most fevered manhunts of all time. Continue reading