Tag Archives: Three Reels

The Wolf of Wall Street

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Release Date: December 25, 2013
Runtime: 180 minutes
Rating: very, very R
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio; Jonah Hill; Matthew McConaughey; Margot Robbie; Rob Reiner; Kyle Chandler; Jon Bernthal; Jean Dujardin; Joanna Lumley; Ethan Suplee

Jordan Belfort’s helluva story comes to life guns blazing in director Martin Scorsese’s epic account of greed, sex, drugs, excess…all the good stuff. Leonardo DiCaprio gives a ferocious performance that in the hands of a lesser actor could have gone right off the rails into camp territory. Less showy in terms of camerawork and style than other Scorsese pictures, “The Wolf of Wall Street” nonetheless maintains a quick pace (much like the heartbeats that most of the main characters must have had in real life if the drug use in this story is accurate) despite a three-hour running time, and energetic and dedicated performances from all of the actors. Kudos to all for keeping it up (pun definitely intended)! Continue reading

The Cutting Edge

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Release Date: March 27, 1992
Runtime: 101 minutes
Rating: PG
Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Director: Paul Michael Glaser
Cast: D.B. Sweeney; Moira Kelly; Roy Dotrice; Terry O’Quinn; Dwier Brown

Ask anyone. I’m a sucker for any movie that ends with the lovers kissing, the music swelling, and the picture fading to black. It doesn’t matter how good the rest of the movie is, if the closing shot is of a gentle kiss backed up by some romantic power ballad on the soundtrack, I’m hooked; the movie has me. This movie [SPOILER, I guess…I mean, how do most PG-rated romantic movies end?] ends this way. The preceding hour and a half are pleasant enough, but the final shot of the kiss kicks it up a few notches in my book. Continue reading

Lovelace

Screened at the Provincetown International Film Festival – June 22, 2013

Lovelace

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Release Date: January 22, 2013 (Sundance Film Festival)
Runtime: 92 minutes
Rating: R
Studio: RADiUS – TWC
Director: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
Cast: Amanda Seyfried; Peter Sarsgaard; Sharon Stone; Chris Noth; Hank Azaria; Robert Patrick; Bobby Cannavale; Eric Roberts; Juno Temple; Debi Mazar; Adam Brody; Wes Bentley; James Franco

American porn legend Linda Lovelace gets a loving tribute from “The Celluloid Closet” directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman and an all-star cast. Continue reading

Here Comes The Boom

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Release Date: October 12, 2012
Runtime: 105 minutes
Rating: PG
Studio: Columbia Pictures (Sony)
Director: Frank Coraci
Cast: Kevin James; Salma Hayek; Greg Germann; Henry Winkler; Gary Valentine; Bas Rutten

Every so often a movie comes along that takes a marginal star and places them in a story that truly allows them to win us over. Jack Black in “School of Rock”. Anna Faris in “The House Bunny”. And now, Kevin James in “Here Comes The Boom.” This is a movie that has its heart planted firmly in the right place and truly gives James a chance to glow. Continue reading

Showgirls

Showgirls

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Release Date: September 22, 1995
Runtime: 131 minutes
Rating: NC-17
Studio: United Artists (MGM)
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Cast: Elizabeth Berkley; Kyle MacLachlan; Gina Gershon; Gina Ravera; Glenn Plummer; Alan Rachins

Let’s not bullshit each other, folks. You know you love this boondoggle of a flick from 1995, to date the most widely released NC-17 movie ever produced. Yes, it is far from a perfect film, the final print perhaps not representing what most of the actors, if not the production team, had envisioned when they initially signed on. That is arguably the precise reason why “Showgirls” has achieved the kind of rarified cult status that puts it in the same company as “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Mommie Dearest,” “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls,” among others. 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

Oz: The Great and Powerful

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Release Date: March 8, 2013
Runtime: 130 minutes
Rating: PG
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
Director: Sam Raimi
Cast: James Franco; Mila Kunis; Rachel Weisz; Michelle Williams; Zach Braff; Joey King; Bill Cobbs

“The Wizard of Oz” endures. Every few years, a new take on L. Frank Baum’s tales pops up. In 1985, there was “Return to Oz.” In 2003, the musical “Wicked” premiered on Broadway and became and international blockbuster (still running). Now, in 2013, comes “Oz: The Great and Powerful.” A prequel, of sorts, to the familiar movie, that dazzles with its visuals and provides an interesting back-story for how the Wizard got to be so, well, great and powerful. This film takes its cue from the Baum stories, and not the 1939 Judy Garland film, since there are copyright issues that prevent Disney (the studio behind this film) from getting its hands on too much of the familiar trademarks of the classic movie (distributed by MGM, but copyrights owned by Warner Bros. Continue reading

Stoker

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Release Date: March 1, 2013
Runtime: 99 minutes
Rating: R
Studio: Fox Searchlight
Director: Chan-wook Park
Cast: Mia Wasikowska; Nicole Kidman; Matthew Goode; Jacki Weaver; Dermot Mulroney

This is a nasty little number.   The first English-language film from Chan-wook Park, director of “Oldboy,” is a modern gothic nightmare that leaves you thinking, “Thank God that’s not MY family!” Continue reading

Motel Hell

It’s Flashback Friday!

This Week’s Flashback Movie….

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Motel-Hell

 

 

Release Date: October 18, 1980
Runtime: 101 minutes
Rating: R
Studio: United Artists (MGM)
Director: Kevin Connor
Cast: Rory Calhoun; Nancy Parsons; Paul Linke; Nina Axelrod; Wolfman Jack

[POSSIBLE SPOILERS]

This is one fun, albeit totally demented movie!!

I love it when movies don’t take themselves too seriously.  This one has its tongue planted firmly in its cheek, understanding its own warped sense of the macabre. As a result, it makes for quite a twisted hour and forty minutes. Continue reading

Xanadu

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Release Date: August 8, 1980
Runtime: 93 minutes
Rating: PG
Studio: Universal Pictures
Director: Robert Greenwald
Cast: Olivia Newton-John; Gene Kelly; Michael Beck

Something about this movie draws me to it.  I don’t know if it’s the fact that it was so viciously derided upon its initial release, whether it’s the tack, tack, TACKY sets and costumes, whether it’s the actually pretty likable music and “Solid Gold”-ish style dancing, or my strange obsession with the former Pan-Pacific Auditorium. Whatever the reason, I will always watch “Xanadu” with a smile…not because it’s good, but because it has a sincerity that is endearing in its naivety. Continue reading