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  Wednesday October 1st, 2014    

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COLUMNS : MOVIE REVIEW  (ARCHIVES)Back to Current
All is Lost (03/17/2014)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD,“All is Lost,” featuring Robert Redford as the sole actor, will not be everybody’s cup of tea. The movie contains only two brief bits of dialogue — actually monologue, if we’re co ... 

FULL STORY >>


Academy Awards (03/05/2014)
By David Robinson -- This year’s Academy Awards show took to heart the maxim of “less is more,” producing an entertainment that ran only half an hour long. Host Ellen Degeneres kept her opening monologue short and breezy, ... 

FULL STORY >>


Blue Jasmine (02/23/2014)
By David Robinson -- Several years ago, Cate Blanchett played Blanche DuBois in a staging of Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire.” In Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine,” now available on DVD, she updates the role cons ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Monuments Men (02/19/2014)
By David Robinson -- “The Monuments Men,” based on a true World War II story, is a heist flick in reverse. Produced and directed by and starring George Clooney, the movie is a mash-up of “Ocean’s Eleven” and “the Dirty Do ... 

FULL STORY >>


Captain Phillips (02/16/2014)
By David Robinson -- Captain Phillips,” as its title announces, is based on the true story of Capt. Rich Phillips’ dealing with Somali pirates in March of 2009, a harrowing account that he later recounted in book form. P ... 

FULL STORY >>


Inside Llewyn Davis (02/12/2014)
By David Robinson -- “Inside Llewyn Davis” bears the same title as the title character’s first solo album, a dud whose remaindered copies he is obliged to lug from his agent’s office one cold winter day in 1961. He tries  ... 

FULL STORY >>


20 Feet from Stardom (02/05/2014)
By David Robinson -- If you are old enough to remember the 60s and 70s — or even if you just love great singing — you’re going to love “20 Feet from Stardom,” which is now available on DVD. Director and co-producer Morgan ... 

FULL STORY >>


Lone Survivor (02/02/2014)
By David Robinson -- No matter where you stand on

the wisdom of our longest war—the one still going on in Afghanistan—you are likely to be affected by “Lone Survivor.” Director/producer Peter Berg’s screen version of Na ... 

FULL STORY >>


Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (01/29/2014)
By David Robinson -- “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” is a prequel, of sorts, to the movies adapted from the popular Tom Clancy novels. The first of the Ryan movies not based on a Clancy book, this one stars Chris Pine as a bo ... 

FULL STORY >>


Enough said (01/19/2014)
By David Robinson --

Available this week on DVD, “Enough Said” stars Julia-Louise Dreyfuss and the late James Gandolfini, in his penultimate film role. She is best-known for her role in the long-running TV comedy “Sein ... 

FULL STORY >>


The secret life of Walter Mitty (01/15/2014)
By David Robinson -- “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” starring and directed by Ben Stiller, takes its title and its central concept from James Thurber’s 1939 short story. Past that, the two fictions don’t resemble ea ... 

FULL STORY >>


Runner Runner (01/12/2014)
By David Robinson -- Available this week on DVD, “Runner Runner” starts off with some promise but dwindles into predictable mediocrity all too quickly — and stays there. Stars Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake duel first  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Family (01/08/2014)
By David Robinson -- lly dark, “The Family” — now available on DVD — is just your ticket. Starring Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer and featuring Tommy Lee Jones in support, the movie is by turns funny and violent, th ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Lone Ranger (12/29/2013)
By David Robinson -- Not to give anything crucial away, but “The Lone Ranger” essentially ends with a train wreck. After two and a half hours of this lackluster, over-plotted, tonally inconsistent, over-produced train wre ... 

FULL STORY >>


Prisoners (12/22/2013)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “Prisoners” stars Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal as two men searching for two little girls who have been abducted on Thanksgiving Day. Though united in their purpose, the men  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (12/18/2013)
By David Robinson -- “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” doesn’t need any more hype or positive critical ink than it has already received. To nobody’s surprise, this Big Holiday Movie opened strongly at the box office ... 

FULL STORY >>


Elysium (12/15/2013)
By David Robinson -- Available this week on DVD, “Elysium” starts out promisingly but then devolves into just another “action” flick. The ability of star Matt Damon to raise a thriller well above the ordinary — so fully o ... 

FULL STORY >>


Delivery Man (12/11/2013)
By David Robinson -- “Delivery Man” has been out for a couple of weeks, but it’s still close to the prototypical “holiday film” — a feel-good comedy with an emphasis on what might be called “family values,” if that phrase ... 

FULL STORY >>


Philomena (12/08/2013)
By David Robinson -- “Philomena” stars Judi Dench and Steve Coogan in what amounts to a two-person movie, another of those “small” films that have accounted for most of this year’s best. (I’m coming to think that Bigger=W ... 

FULL STORY >>


Paranoia (12/04/2013)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “Paranoia” wants to be a high-tech suspense movie, but the execution never quite comes up to the concept. The target audience has to be the 18-34 year old demographic that every ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (11/27/2013)
By David Robinson -- ng Fire” has been highly anticipated and is already fulfilling its expectations at the box office. The second in a planned series of four film adaptations of Suzanne Collins’ wildly popular young adu ... 

FULL STORY >>


2 Guns (11/20/2013)
By David Robinson -- Available this week on DVD, “2 Guns” opens like a contemporary remake of “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” only one with a significantly harder edge. (The movie is rated “R” for profanity, brief  ... 

FULL STORY >>


All is Lost (11/17/2013)
By David Robinson -- “All is Lost,” featuring Robert Redford as the sole actor, will not be everybody’s cup of tea. Even those committed to seeing it may have a tough time finding it nearby, as it is in very limited rele ... 

FULL STORY >>


About Time (11/12/2013)
By David Robinson --

“About Time” is a pleasant enough, if not exactly original, romantic comedy about time travel. It makes some valid moral points about proper behavior to those you love and those you don’t, provokes  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Man of Steel (11/10/2013)
By David Robinson -- Available this week on video, “Man of Steel” looks like a winner for most of its first half; after that, it calls to mind the 2012 Vikings, the initial promise turning to final disappointment. Direct ... 

FULL STORY >>


White House Down (11/01/2013)
By David Robinson --

The fact that in just three months last summer there appeared two movies about the takeover and partial destruction of the White House says something about our current paranoid condition. It also s ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Way, Way Back (10/27/2013)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “The Way, Way Back” is a “small” film, and one of the most consistently entertaining I’ve seen in a while. Staying pretty much within the coming-of-age formula, first time direct ... 

FULL STORY >>


Rush (10/23/2013)
By David Robinson -- “Rush” stars Chris Hemsworth (better known as “Thor”) and Daniel Bruhl as James Hunt and Niki Lauda, the two Formula One race car drivers whose duels dominated the early 1970s. Directed by Ron Howard, ... 

FULL STORY >>


Pacific Rim (10/20/2013)
By David Robinson --

This year’s Big Dumb Summer Movie was “Pacific Rim,” just the ticket for fans of the type. Tickets, in fact, are what this latest example of the blockbuster flick is all about. It was clearly design ... 

FULL STORY >>


Runner Runner (10/13/2013)
By David Robinson --

“Runner Runner” starts off with some promise but dwindles into predictable mediocrity all too quickly — and stays there. Stars Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake duel first with each other and then w ... 

FULL STORY >>


Gravity (10/09/2013)
By David Robinson -- “Gravity” is ironically titled, since the absence of that force constitutes much of the story’s appeal. Director/screenwriter Alfonso Cuaron, considerably aided by veteran cinematographer Emmanuel Lub ... 

FULL STORY >>


Iron Man 3 (09/29/2013)
By David Robinson -- The Big Summer Movie season officially began in May with the appearance of “Iron Man 3,” which is now available on DVD. Starring and dominated by Robert Downey and featuring a strong supporting cast,  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Prisoners (09/25/2013)
By David Robinson -- “Prisoners” stars Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal as two men in search of two little girls who have been abducted on Thanksgiving Day. Though united in their purpose, the men are at bitter odds in th ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Family (09/22/2013)
By David Robinson --

If you like your comedies really dark, “The Family” is just your ticket. Starring Robert DeNiro and Michelle Pfeiffer and featuring Tommy Lee Jones in support, the movie is by turns funny and viole ... 

FULL STORY >>


Star Trek Into Darkness (09/18/2013)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “Star Trek Into Darkness,” the second in director J.J. Abrams’ rebooting of the popular TV/movie series, features Jim and Bones being chased by fierce natives of an alien world,  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Big Wedding (09/15/2013)
By David Robinson --

If I were to say that “The Big Wedding” — now available on DVD — stars Robert DeNiro, Robin Williams, Diane Keaton, and Susan Sarandon, you might assume that this is a pretty good movie. Alas, yo ... 

FULL STORY >>


Blue Jasmine (09/11/2013)
By David Robinson -- Blanchett played Blanche DuBois in a staging of Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Now, in Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine,” she updates the role considerably, and sets herself up for an Osca ... 

FULL STORY >>


Lee Daniel’s The Butler (09/08/2013)
By David Robinson -- The real life model for the title character in “Lee Daniel’s The Butler” is one Eugene Allen, a White House staffer who served there for much of the late 20th century. Working with Danny Strong’s scr ... 

FULL STORY >>


Mud (09/01/2013)
By David Robinson -- When I began teaching English at WSU in 1971, I had the good fortune to be assigned American Literature II, a course whose syllabus mandated covering both Mark Twain and F. Scott Fitzgerald. The two  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Oblivion (08/28/2013)
By David Robinson -- There are so many potential plays on words to be made in reviewing “Oblivion” that it’s just not fair: I’ll abstain. Suffice it to say that, while the movie — now available on DVD — has its attractio ... 

FULL STORY >>


Paranoia (08/25/2013)
By David Robinson -- “Paranoia” wants to be a high-tech suspense movie, but the execution never quite comes up to the concept. The target audience has to be the 18-34 year old demographic that everybody (evidently) seeks ... 

FULL STORY >>


Elysium (08/21/2013)
By David Robinson -- “Elysium” starts out promisingly but then devolves into just another summer “action” flick. The ability of star Matt Damon to raise a thriller well above the ordinary — so fully on display in the Jas ... 

FULL STORY >>


2 Guns (08/18/2013)
By David Robinson -- 2 Guns” opens like a contemporary remake of “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” only with a significantly harder edge. (The movie is rated “R” for profanity, brief nudity and sexuality, and graphic  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Impossible (08/11/2013)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “The Impossible” features Oscar-worthy performances by two actors, one a veteran and the other a newcomer. The first, by Naomi Watts, did earn her a nomination, and she arguably  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Way, Way Back (08/07/2013)
By David Robinson --

I had to choose this weekend between seeing “Wolverine” — which opened everywhere — or “The Way, Way Back,” a low-budget movie I had to scramble to find. Being basically blockbustered out before th ... 

FULL STORY >>


42 (07/31/2013)
By David Robinson -- As the All Star Game arrives and the Twins continue their annual descent to the bottom of the standings, it’s heartening to have “42,” now available on DVD. The film recounts the breakthrough of Jacki ... 

FULL STORY >>


Admission (07/24/2013)
By David Robinson -- Available now on DVD, “Admission” is that increasingly rare bird, a quiet romantic comedy. Rated “PG-13,” for some mild profanity and suggestiveness, it gets its laughs from intelligent dialogue, rath ... 

FULL STORY >>


20 Feet from Stardom (07/21/2013)
By David Robinson -- If you are old enough to remember the 60s and 70s — or even if you just love great singing — you’re going to love “20 Feet from Stardom.” Director and co-producer Morgan Neville has fashioned a chron ... 

FULL STORY >>


World War Z (07/17/2013)
By David Robinson --

Not being a big fan of zombies — either real or imaginary — I can’t claim expertise as to the quality of zombie movies. My only impression of them probably stems from “Night of the Living Dead,” a c ... 

FULL STORY >>


White House Down (07/14/2013)
By David Robinson -- The fact that there have been in just three months two movies about the takeover and partial destruction of the White House says something about our current paranoid condition. It also says something  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Lone Ranger (07/10/2013)
By David Robinson --

Not to give anything crucial away, but “The Lone Ranger” essentially ends with a train wreck. After two and a half hours of this lackluster, over-plotted, tonally inconsistent, over-produced train  ... 

FULL STORY >>


A Good Day to Die Hard (06/30/2013)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “A Good Day to Die Hard” disappoints those of us who are, um, diehard “Die Hard” fans. As the series reaches its 25th anniversary, it’s time to start thinking about giving it — ... 

FULL STORY >>


Man of Steel (06/26/2013)
By David Robinson -- For roughly its first half, “Man of Steel” looks like a winner; after that, it calls to mind the 2012 Vikings, the initial promise turning to final disappointment. Director Zack Snyder comes at the f ... 

FULL STORY >>


(06/19/2013)
By David Robinson -- Now You

See Me

“Now You See Me,” as the title may imply, deals with magicians and, inevitably, disappearing acts. Though his name is never invoked, pioneer French filmmaker/magician Georges Melies ... 

FULL STORY >>


Quartet (06/12/2013)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “Quartet” stars Pauline Collins, Billy Connolly, Tom Courtenay, Michael Gambon, and Maggie Smith in the directorial debut of Dustin Hoffman — at 77 years old. The post-, post-“G ... 

FULL STORY >>


Cloud Atlas (06/09/2013)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “Cloud Atlas” stirred up as much critical dust as any movie in recent memory, and with good reason. Based on the best-selling novel by David Mitchell, the film attempts to adapt  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Mud (06/05/2013)
By David Robinson -- When I began teaching English at WSU in 1971, I had the good fortune to be assigned American Literature II, a course whose syllabus mandated covering both Mark Twain and F. Scott Fitzgerald. The two  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Last Stand (06/02/2013)
By David Robinson --

Now available on DVD, “The Last Stand” stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, so it’s tempting to begin with “He’s baaaaccckkk!” However, the Guvernator is only a shadow of his former self, physically and cin ... 

FULL STORY >>


Side Effects (05/29/2013)
By David Robinson -- Now out on DVD, “Side Effects” is director Steven Soderbergh’s latest and, he claims, his last theatrical release before he moves on to other artistic pursuits. Known for such popular hits as the “Oc ... 

FULL STORY >>


‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ (05/26/2013)
By David Robinson --

“Star Trek Into Darkness,” the second in director J.J. Abrams’ rebooting of the popular TV/movie series, features Jim and Bones being chased by fierce natives of an alien world, jumping off a cliff  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Iron Man 3 (05/15/2013)
By David Robinson --

The snow may still be melting off in shady spots, but the Big Summer Movie season has officially begun with the appearance of “Iron Man 3.” Again starring and dominated by Robert Downey and featuri ... 

FULL STORY >>


Silver Linings Playbook (05/12/2013)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “Silver Linings Playbook” is, to say the least, an unusual romantic comedy. For starters, the two lovers both have mental health issues, as does the male lead’s father. Unlike th ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Big Wedding (05/08/2013)
By David Robinson --

If I were to say that “The Big Wedding” stars Robert DeNiro, Robin Williams, Diane Keaton, and Susan Sarandon, you might assume that this is a pretty good movie. Alas, you would be wrong, disastrou ... 

FULL STORY >>


Promised Land (05/05/2013)
By David Robinson -- Promised Land

Available this week on DVD, “Promised Land” stars Matt Damon, who also co-produced the movie and co-wrote the screenplay. His collaborator in both roles, John Kracinski (Jim on TV’s “ ... 

FULL STORY >>


Oblivion (04/28/2013)
By David Robinson --

There are so many potential plays on words to be made in reviewing “Oblivion” that it’s just not fair: I shall abstain. Suffice it to say that, while the movie has its attractions, it remains a gorg ... 

FULL STORY >>


Broken City (04/24/2013)
By David Robinson --

Available this week on DVD, “Broken City” stars Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe, and that alone might lead you to think the film has promise. After all, why would two big box-office names sign on t ... 

FULL STORY >>


Lincoln (04/14/2013)
By David Robinson -- If you missed “Lincoln” in its theatrical release, you have a second chance with its DVD release. Aside from its intrinsic appeal, the movie offers a case study in the dynamics of the Oscar race. Di ... 

FULL STORY >>


Zero Dark Thirty (04/14/2013)
By David Robinson --

Now available on DVD, “Zero Dark Thirty” runs a bit shy of three hours, which is both its strength and its weakness. This is really three stories in one movie, all of them tied together by the cent ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (04/10/2013)
By David Robinson --

Now available on DVD, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” sets up as the first of a three-part prequel to director/writer/producer Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, with the rest of t ... 

FULL STORY >>


Olympus Has Fallen (04/03/2013)
By David Robinson -- “Olympus Has Fallen,” starring Gerard Butler and directed by Antoine Fuqua, is the first of two movies this year to dramatize a Big American Fear: a successful attack on the White House. Playing on t ... 

FULL STORY >>


Alex Cross (03/10/2013)
By David Robinson --

Now available on DVD, “Alex Cross” is based quite loosely on James Patterson’s novel “Cross,” which introduced his best-selling fiction detective to a wide audience. We have seen the character befor ... 

FULL STORY >>


Flight (03/06/2013)
By David Robinson --

In “Flight,” now available on DVD, two-time Academy Award winner Denzel Washington soars to another nomination and is a long shot for his third Oscar. A multi-layered performance shows all of the q ... 

FULL STORY >>


A Good Day to Die Hard (03/03/2013)
By David Robinson -- “A Good Day to Die Hard”

disappoints those of us who are, um, diehard “Die Hard” fans. As the series reaches its 25th anniversary, it’s time to start thinking about giving it—and us—a merciful rest ... 

FULL STORY >>


Taken 2 (02/24/2013)
By David Robinson --

The title of “Taken 2”—which is now available on DVD—tells you pretty much all you need to know about the film itself, especially if you’ve seen “Taken,” the sleeper hit of 2008. To review, in the  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Side Effects (02/20/2013)
By David Robinson --

“Side Effects” is director Steven Soderbergh’s latest and, he claims, his last theatrical release before he moves on to other artistic pursuits. Known for such popular hits as the “Ocean’s 11/12/13 ... 

FULL STORY >>


Quartet (02/17/2013)
By David Robinson -- This weekend I faced the rare dilemma of choosing between two movies starring actors of about my own advanced years. (With salient exceptions such as “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” the film industr ... 

FULL STORY >>


Searching for Sugar Man (02/13/2013)
By David Robinson -- “Searching for Sugar Man,” a documentary by Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul, has been nominated for an Oscar. But only with its recent release on DVD should it get the audience it richly deserves,  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Last Stand (02/10/2013)
By David Robinson --

“The Last Stand” stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, so it’s tempting to begin with “He’s baaaaccckkk!” However, the Guvernator is only a shadow of his former self, physically and cinematically, and this l ... 

FULL STORY >>


Looper (02/06/2013)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “Looper” demonstrates anew what filmgoers already know about time-travel flicks: they’re illogical, downright confusing, and—in the right hands—quite absorbing. Writer/director  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Broken City (02/03/2013)
By David Robinson -- “Broken City” stars Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe, and that alone might lead you to think the film has promise. After all, why would two big box-office names sign on to something that is dull, conf ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Words (01/27/2013)
By David Robinson -- The Words” is a quiet, literary movie featuring three different novelists whose lives and works intertwine. The character with the most screen time is Rory Jansen, played by Bradley Cooper. Jansen is ... 

FULL STORY >>


Zero Dark Thirty (01/23/2013)
By David Robinson --

“Zero Dark Thirty” runs a bit shy of three hours, which is both its strength and its weakness. This is really three stories in one movie, all of them tied together by the central figure of Maya, a  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Arbitrage (01/20/2013)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “Arbitrage” demonstrates that at 62 years old Richard Gere is near the top of his acting game. The movie follows the problems of hedge fund manager Robert Miller, who will doubt ... 

FULL STORY >>


Promised Land (01/16/2013)
By David Robinson -- “Promised Land” stars Matt Damon, who also co-produced the movie and co-wrote the screenplay. His collaborator in both roles, John Krasinski (Jim on tv’s “The Office”), Frances McDormand, and Rosemari ... 

FULL STORY >>


Silver Linings Playbook (01/13/2013)
By David Robinson --

“Silver Linings Playbook” is, to say the least, an unusual romantic comedy. For starters, the two lovers both have mental health issues, as does the male lead’s father. Unlike the screwball comedi ... 

FULL STORY >>


Premium Rush (01/09/2013)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “Premium Rush” stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a biker named Wilee. (Think Wile E. Coyote, the central figure of the Roadrunner cartoons.) But only he—not some rocket from the Acme ... 

FULL STORY >>


Trouble with the Curve (01/06/2013)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “Trouble with the Curve” stars Clint Eastwood in what may be perceived as a reprise of his role in 2008’s “Gran Torino.” At 82, playing a grumpy old man for Eastwood comes as ea ... 

FULL STORY >>


Jack Reacher (01/02/2013)
By David Robinson -- “Jack Reacher” is based on the novel “One Shot” by Lee Child, one of seventeen novels in this immensely popular series. This first screen adaptation is handled by veteran screenwriter Christopher McQ ... 

FULL STORY >>


Total Recall (12/30/2012)
By David Robinson -- As is the case with most remakes of appealing originals, the first question one asks about “Total Recall” is “Why?” Those old enough to, um, recall the 1990’s “Recall” will call to mind Arnold Schwar ... 

FULL STORY >>


Ted (12/26/2012)
By David Robinson -- This past summer’s big comedy hit “Ted” is a story about a boy and his teddy bear; it is rated “R” for “crude and sexual humor, pervasive language, and some drug use.” If these two facts seem contrad ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (12/19/2012)
By David Robinson -- The Hobbit: An

Unexpected Journey

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” sets up as the first of a three-part prequel to director/writer/producer Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, wit ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Bourne Legacy (12/16/2012)
The Bourne Legacy

Available this week on DVD, “The Bourne Legacy” slyly tacks on a fourth installment to this popular series, though many of the key names—in front of and behind the camera—are miss ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Dark Knight Rises (12/12/2012)
By David Robinson -- By an unhappy coincidence, I saw “The Dark Knight Rises” about nine hours after the mass shooting in Colorado during the midnight showing. The darkness of that act kept intruding into the darkness of  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Men in Black III (12/09/2012)
By David Robinson -- After the disaster which was “Men in Black II” hit the multiplexes ten years ago, I was relieved to think that the franchise was dead. But “MiB 3” proves me wrong—and a good thing, too. Director Bar ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Expendables 2 (12/05/2012)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “The Expendables 2” didn’t exactly come in on a wave of high expectations. Its predecessor, “The Expendables” set the bar pretty low two years ago, demonstrating that aging acti ... 

FULL STORY >>


Life of Pi (12/02/2012)
“Life of Pi,” directed by Oscar-winner Ang Lee, is a complex blend of fable, literary Naturalism, and religious speculation. Based on the 2002 novel by Yann Martel, the movie not only does justice to ... 

FULL STORY >>


Lincoln (11/28/2012)
By David Robinson -- Lincoln” stars Daniel Day-Lewis in the title role, working with a screenplay by Tony Kushner and directed by Steven Spielberg. All three will likely garner Oscar nominations in their respective catego ... 

FULL STORY >>


Savages (11/25/2012)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “Savages” marks director Oliver Stone’s return to filmmaking after a lapse of several years. It includes many of Stone’s signature features: imaginative cinematography; a varied ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Amazing Spider-Man (11/18/2012)
By David Robinson -- Much of the critical discussion of last summer’s “The Amazing Spider-Man,” now out on DVD, asked the pertinent question “Why bother?” After all, the Sam Raimi-directed trilogy that concluded only fiv ... 

FULL STORY >>


Flight (11/14/2012)
By David Robinson -- In “Flight,” two-time Academy Award winner Denzel Washington soars to another nomination and possibly his third Oscar. A multi-layered performance shows all of the qualities which have made him one o ... 

FULL STORY >>


Cloud Atlas (11/11/2012)
By David Robinson --

“Cloud Atlas” has already stirred up as much critical dust as any movie in recent memory, and with good reason. Based on the best-selling novel by David Mitchell, the film attempts to adapt the diff ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Campaign (11/07/2012)
By David Robinson -- Available on DVD just in time for the election, “The Campaign,’ a raunchy, fitfully hilarious comedy starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, comes uncomfortably close to the reality of this year’ ... 

FULL STORY >>


Alex Cross (11/04/2012)
By David Robinson -- “Alex Cross” is based quite loosely on James Patterson’s novel “Cross,” which introduced the best-selling fiction detective to a wide audience. We have seen the character before, adroitly played by Mo ... 

FULL STORY >>


Moonrise Kingdom (10/31/2012)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “Moonrise Kingdom” is a “small” movie whose cast includes Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Harvey Keitel, and Edward Norton. It was a dark horse winn ... 

FULL STORY >>


Argo (10/28/2012)
By David Robinson -- “Argo,” starring and directed by Ben Affleck, demonstrates that as far as the United States’ troubles in the Middle East go, there’s nothing new under the sun. Based on a true story, the film follows ... 

FULL STORY >>


Taken 2 (10/24/2012)
The title of “Taken 2” tells you pretty much all you need to know about the film itself, especially if you’ve seen “Taken,” the low budget sleeper hit of 2008. To review, in the original, starring Lia ... 

FULL STORY >>


Prometheus (10/21/2012)
By David Robinson --

Now available on video, “Prometheus,” produced and directed by Ridley Scott, is a long-awaited follow-up to Scott’s 1979 thriller, “Alien.” While not exactly a prequel, it bears strong resemblance t ... 

FULL STORY >>


Trouble with the Curve (10/17/2012)
By David Robinson -- “Trouble with the Curve” stars

Clint Eastwood in what may be perceived as a reprise of his role in 2008’s “Gran Torino.” At 82, playing a grumpy old man for Eastwood comes as easily as talking to an ... 

FULL STORY >>


Rock of Ages (10/14/2012)
By David Robinson -- Somewhere in the midst of “Rock of Ages” Alec Baldwin—playing an aging hippie bar owner on Hollywood’s Strip in 1987—happily anticipates a night full of “ear-splitting music, sweat, and puke.” All th ... 

FULL STORY >>


Looper (10/07/2012)
By David Robinson -- “Looper” demonstrates anew what filmgoers already know about time-travel flicks: they’re illogical, downright confusing, and—in the right hands—quite absorbing. Writer/director Rian Johnson’s convolu ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Words (10/03/2012)
By David Robinson --

“The Words” is a quiet, literary movie featuring three different novelists whose lives and works intertwine. The character with the most screen time is Rory Jansen, played by Bradley Cooper. Jansen  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Arbitrage (09/26/2012)
By David Robinson --

“Arbitrage” demonstrates that at sixty-two years old, Richard Gere is at the top of his acting game, possibly in line for an Oscar nomination. The movie follows the problems of hedge fund manager R ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Avengers (09/23/2012)
By David Robinson -- Available this week on DVD, “The Avengers” was the biggest of this summer’s Big Movies. Featuring half a dozen comic-book heroes—all of them having made appearances in earlier Marvel blockbusters—thi ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Campaign (09/12/2012)
By David Robinson -- “The Campaign,’ a raunchy, sometimes hilarious comedy starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, is uncomfortably close to the reality of this year’s slime-filled actual political wars. The two com ... 

FULL STORY >>


Celeste and Jesse Forever (09/09/2012)
By David Robinson -- Celeste and Jesse Forever

The title of “Celeste and Jesse Forever,” starring Andy Samberg and Rashida Jones, is quickly revealed as ironic. Although the film opens with a montage of their courtshi ... 

FULL STORY >>


Battleship (09/05/2012)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “Battleship” has been rightly compared to the “Transformers” movies, which were also inspired (if that’s the word) by Hasbro products. In this case, the old board game has been  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Premium Rush (09/02/2012)
By David Robinson --

“Premium Rush” stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a biker named Wilee. (Think Wile E. Coyote, the central figure of the Roadrunner cartoons.) But only he provides the power to his steel-frame, single-spe ... 

FULL STORY >>


Chimpanzee (08/29/2012)
By David Robinson -- Now available on video, “Chimpanzee” is a Disneynature film which reminds this particular old crock of the Disney short subjects of the 1950s, later replayed ad infinitum on TV’s “Wonderful World of D ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Expendables 2 (08/26/2012)
By David Robinson -- “The Expendables 2” doesn’t come in on a wave of high expectations. Its predecessor, “The Expendables” set the bar pretty low two years ago, demonstrating that aging action stars could all get togethe ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Hunger Games (08/22/2012)
By David Robinson -- I have read “The Hunger Games” trilogy, but I won’t comment on the movie’s faithfulness to Suzanne Collins’ young adult novel. Judged on its own merits, however, the first number in the series—no ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Bourne Legacy (08/19/2012)
By David Robinson -- “The Bourne Legacy” slyly tacks on a fourth installment to this popular series, though many of the key names—in front of and behind the camera—are missing in action. Gone are Matt Damon as Jason Bour ... 

FULL STORY >>


Total Recall (08/08/2012)
By David Robinson -- As is the case with most remakes of appealing originals, the first question one asks about “Total Recall” is “Why?” Those old enough to, um, recall the 1990’s “Recall” will call to mind Arnold Schwar ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (07/18/2012)
By David Robinson -- “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” features a cast that reads like a Who’s Who of British Cinema: Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, and Penelope Wilton represent the cream of the olde ... 

FULL STORY >>


Savages (07/15/2012)
By David Robinson -- “Savages” marks director Oliver Stone’s return to filmmaking after a lapse of several years. It includes many of Stone’s signature features: imaginative cinematography; a varied, sometimes quirky sco ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Amazing Spider-Man (07/11/2012)
By David Robinson -- Much of the critical discussion of “The Amazing Spider-Man” has asked the pertinent question “Why bother?” After all, the Sam Raimi-directed trilogy that concluded only five years ago is still pretty ... 

FULL STORY >>


Rock of Ages (07/08/2012)
By David Robinson -- Somewhere in the midst of “Rock of Ages” Alec Baldwin—playing an aging hippie bar owner on Hollywood’s Strip in 1987—happily anticipates a night full of “ear-splitting music, sweat, and puke.” All th ... 

FULL STORY >>


Rock of Ages (07/04/2012)
By David Robinson -- Somewhere in the midst of “Rock of Ages” Alec Baldwin—playing an aging hippie bar owner on Hollywood’s Strip in 1987—happily anticipates a night full of “ear-splitting music, sweat, and puke.” All th ... 

FULL STORY >>


Moonrise Kingdom (07/01/2012)
By David Robinson -- Wanna see a movie whose cast includes Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Harvey Keitel, and Edward Norton? OK, but you’re gonna have to search for it. This “small” movie, “ ... 

FULL STORY >>


Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (06/17/2012)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” seeks to build on the enormous success of its immediate predecessor. Robert Downey, Jr., and Jude Law reprise their roles as the Victorian s ... 

FULL STORY >>


Men in Black III (06/13/2012)
By David Robinson -- After the disaster which was “Men in Black II” hit the multiplexes ten years ago, I was relieved to think that the franchise was dead. But “MiB III” proves me wrong—and a good thing, too. Director B ... 

FULL STORY >>


Safe House (06/06/2012)
By David Robinson -- “Be careful what you wish for or you might get it” might be the theme of “Safe House,” starring Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds. Now available on DVD, it’s a cautionary tale in a number of ways, ... 

FULL STORY >>


Battleship (05/23/2012)
By David Robinson -- “Battleship” has been rightly compared to the “Transformers” movies, which were also inspired (if that’s the word) by Hasbro products. In this case, the old board game has been considerably updated w ... 

FULL STORY >>


Reflections on superheroes (05/20/2012)
By David Robinson -- Since I now reside in Madison and am reduced to accessing the Post online, I was reading the editorial page of the Wisconsin State Journal the other day and the editorial cartoon caught my eye. A tee ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Avengers (05/13/2012)
By David Robinson -- With “The Avengers,” the summer Big Movies have officially arrived, even though May Day is still fresh in our minds. Featuring half a dozen comic-book heroes—all of them having made appearances in ea ... 

FULL STORY >>


Haywire (05/02/2012)
By David Robinson -- Available this coming week on DVD, “Haywire” has a number of features that are, well, haywire, most prominently its structure. Director (and cinematographer and film editor) Steven Soderbergh and scr ... 

FULL STORY >>


Chimpanzee (04/29/2012)
By David Robinson -- “Chimpanzee” is a Disneynature film which reminds this particular old crock of the Disney short subjects of the 1950s, later replayed ad infinitum on TV’s Wonderful World of Disney. A “G”-rated movie ... 

FULL STORY >>


Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (04/15/2012)
By David Robinson -- Available this coming week on DVD, “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” is the fourth in the movie versions of the popular TV series of yesteryear. For my money, it’s the best so far, mainly because  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Iron Lady (04/11/2012)
By David Robinson --

Now available on DVD, “The Iron Lady” has been hailed as yet another tour de force for Meryl Streep, playing Margaret Thatcher, the lady in question. During her reign—and I use the term advisedly- ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Muppets (04/04/2012)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “The Muppets” brings the creations of Jim Henson back to the big screen for the first time in years, a fact which the present effort plays upon constantly. Having first emerged  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (04/01/2012)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” adapted from John le Carre’s best-selling novel, was first brought to the screen in the BBC’s 1979 version. Starring Sir Alec Guiness as George Sm ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Hunger Games (03/28/2012)
By David Robinson --

Not having been (yet) among the six million or so who have read “The Hunger Games” trilogy, I can’t comment on the movie’s faithfulness to Suzanne Collins’ trilogy. Judged on its own merits, howeve ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (03/25/2012)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” ambitiously undertakes to adapt Stieg Larsson’s enormously popular international best-seller. Those who have read the novel will appreciate the  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Footloose (03/18/2012)
By David Robinson -- Available this week on video, the remake of 1984’s “Footloose” is highly faithful to the original, so much so that the screenwriter for the original, Dean Pitchford, is correctly given a credit here.  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Descendants (03/14/2012)
By David Robinson -- Available now on DVD, “The Descendants” is Alexander Payne’s first feature movie since “Sideways,” his unlikely hit of 2004. This one, starring George Clooney, arrived with a good deal more fanfare,  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Academy Awards (03/11/2012)
By David Robinson -- The Academy Awards show this year saw the return of the “Old Hollywood,” after last year’s celebration of youth turned out to be a bust. From host Billy Crystal to Best Actress winner Meryl Streep to ... 

FULL STORY >>


Hugo (02/29/2012)
By David Robinson -- Martin Scorsese made his considerable and well-deserved reputation on the strength of films about gangsters, murderers, thugs, and crooked cops. He is a master of showing the violent life on the mean ... 

FULL STORY >>


J. Edgar (02/26/2012)
By David Robinson -- Available now on DVD, Clint Eastwood’s biopic “J. Edgar” follows the life of the man who, as the first head of the FBI, had perhaps as much influence on the course of modern American history as any o ... 

FULL STORY >>


Safe House (02/22/2012)
By David Robinson -- “Be careful what you wish for or you might get it” might be the theme of “Safe House,” starring Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds. It’s a cautionary tale in a number of ways, bearing more than a pa ... 

FULL STORY >>


Tower Heist (02/19/2012)
By David Robinson -- Available on DVD this week, “Tower Heist” is a heist flick much of which takes place in a tower. The high rise is a posh Manhattan condo that prides itself on being the most expensive one on that most ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Tree of Life (02/15/2012)
By David Robinson -- “The Tree of Life” has been out on DVD for some time now, but its recent nomination for Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director make a review of it timely. I’m guessing that neither the movie nor d ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Iron Lady (02/12/2012)
By David Robinson -- “The Iron Lady” has been hailed as yet another tour de force for Meryl Streep, playing Margaret Thatcher, the lady in question. During her reign—and I use the term advisedly--as British Prime Ministe ... 

FULL STORY >>


Contraband (02/08/2012)
By David Robinson -- Fans of “The Italian Job,” the remake starring Mark Wahlberg, will probably enjoy “Contraband,” which bears distinct similarities to the earlier film. Both are stylish heist flicks, though the current ... 

FULL STORY >>


Drive (02/01/2012)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “Drive,” starring Ryan Gosling, starts out like a subtle, contemporary noir film, one full of unexpected turns, small surprises, and attention to detail. Then, unhappily, direct ... 

FULL STORY >>


Haywire (01/29/2012)
By David Robinson -- “Haywire” has a number of features that are, well, haywire, most prominently its structure. Director (and cinematographer and film editor) Steven Soderbergh and screenwriter Lem Dobbs keep us guessi ... 

FULL STORY >>


50/50 (01/25/2012)

Almost everyone I know has been touched by cancer in some way: as a brother, child, parent, or survivor. And everyone would agree that it is, to say the very least, no laughing matter. So it’s surp ... 

FULL STORY >>


Ides of March (01/22/2012)
By David Robinson -- Just in case you’re not already turned off enough about politics—now that the first primaries have saturated the air waves—here comes George Clooney with “Ides of March” to make you even more cynical ... 

FULL STORY >>


Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (01/18/2012)

“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” adopted from John le Carre’s best-selling novel, was first moved to the screen in the BBC’s 1979 version. Starring Sir Alec Guiness as George Smiley, of the British  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Young Adult (01/15/2012)
By David Robinson --

“Young Adult” has been called a hilarious comedy; though I enjoyed the movie, I couldn’t disagree more. It has also been faulted for not having an appropriate resolution; again, I’m in the minorit ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Artist (01/11/2012)
By David Robinson --

“The Artist” contains a scene in which a movie is playing at the Bijou theater. Any film with such a scene will likely not be playing at one’s own local Bijou: it’s a pretty dated reference. Inde ... 

FULL STORY >>


Moneyball (01/08/2012)
By David Robinson -- Available this week on DVD, “Moneyball,” starring Brad Pitt and featuring Jonah Hill, may well provide the most fun Twins fans have watching anything involving baseball this offseason. It may even pro ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (01/04/2012)
By David Robinson --

“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” ambitiously undertakes to adapt Stieg Larsson’s enormously popular international best-seller. Those who have read the novel will appreciate the difficulty of reduci ... 

FULL STORY >>


Contagion (01/01/2012)

If you didn’t get your flu shot last fall, you might want to consider it before renting Steven Soderbergh’s “Contagion,” which is available this week on DVD. As the title indicates, there’s a whole ... 

FULL STORY >>


Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (12/28/2011)
By David Robinson --

“Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” is the fourth in the movie versions of the popular TV series of yesteryear. For my money, it’s the best so far, mainly because it contains what its forerunners  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Apollo 18 (12/25/2011)
By David Robinson --

Just in time for your holiday viewing pleasure, “Apollo 18” arrives this week at your local DVD outlet. I’m kidding. Don’t confuse “Apollo 18” with “Apollo 13,” though they are both about moon miss ... 

FULL STORY >>


Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (12/21/2011)
By David Robinson -- “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” seeks to build on the enormous success of its immediate predecessor. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law reprise their roles as the Victorian super sleuth and his trus ... 

FULL STORY >>


Midnight in Paris (12/18/2011)
By David Robinson --

“Midnight in Paris,” the latest Woody Allen comedy, will be available this week on DVD. It was one of Allen’s increasingly rare box office successes, in part because its effect depends to some exte ... 

FULL STORY >>


Hugo (12/14/2011)
By David Robinson -- Martin Scorsese made his considerable and well-deserved reputation on the strength of films about gangsters, murderers, thugs, and crooked cops. He is a master of showing the violent life on the mean ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Descendants (12/07/2011)
By David Robinson -- “The Descendants” is Alexander Payne’s first feature movie since “Sideways,” his unlikely hit of 2004. This one, starring George Clooney, arrives with a good deal more fanfare, and it is probably goi ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Muppets (12/04/2011)
By David Robinson --

“The Muppets” brings the creations of Jim Henson back to the big screen for the first time in years, a fact which the present effort plays upon constantly. Having first emerged on the national stag ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Help (11/30/2011)
By David Robinson --

I confess that I am one of the few people in America who has yet to read Kathryn Stockett’s best-selling novel, “The Help,” whose film version will be available this week on video. That ignorance p ... 

FULL STORY >>


Super 8 (11/27/2011)
By David Robinson -- A friend of mine used to have a saying: “Two teenagers saw it first.” It was a handy little catch phrase to describe the alien-beings-come-to Earth flicks which were rife during my long gone childhoo ... 

FULL STORY >>


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (11/23/2011)
By David Robinson -- Though I doubt that my recommendation will sway anybody to rent (or buy?) the DVD of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2,” there may be two or three fence-sitters out there who are still thi ... 

FULL STORY >>


‘Larry Crowne’ (11/20/2011)
By David Robinson -- ‘Larry Crowne’

Now available on DVD, “Larry Crowne” stars Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, and the producers (among them Hanks) clearly hoped that those two-big box-office names would be enough to draw ... 

FULL STORY >>


‘J. Edgar’ (11/16/2011)
By David Robinson --

Clint Eastwood’s biopic “J. Edgar” follows the life of the man who, as the first head of the FBI, had perhaps as much influence on the course of modern American history as any of the eight president ... 

FULL STORY >>


Tower Heist (11/09/2011)
By David Robinson -- “Tower Heist” is a heist flick much of which takes place in a tower. The high rise is a posh Manhattan condo that prides itself on being the most expensive one on this most expensive of islands. In t ... 

FULL STORY >>


Crazy, Stupid, Love (11/02/2011)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” wandered onto local screens at summer’s end, all but lost among the Summer Blockbusters and kids’ films (or is that redundant?). This cleverly-scripted ro ... 

FULL STORY >>


Footloose (10/30/2011)
By David Robinson -- The remake of 1984’s “Footloose” is highly faithful to the original, so much so that the screenwriter for the original, Dean Pitchford, is correctly given a credit here. He shares it with director Cr ... 

FULL STORY >>


Ides of March (10/19/2011)
By David Robinson --

Just in case you’re not already turned off enough about politics—with the first primaries still months away—here comes George Clooney with “Ides of March” to make you even more cynical. Clooney di ... 

FULL STORY >>


Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (10/16/2011)
By David Robinson -- A viewing of “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” confirms two things: Johnny Depp is The Franchise for this series, now in its fourth installment, and this one will make a great deal of mone ... 

FULL STORY >>


50/50 (10/05/2011)
By David Robinson -- Almost everyone I know has been touched by cancer in some way: as a brother, child, parent, or survivor. And everyone would agree that it is, to say the very least, no laughing matter. So it’s surpri ... 

FULL STORY >>


Moneyball (09/28/2011)
By David Robinson --

“Moneyball,” starring Brad Pitt and featuring Jonah Hill, may well provide the most fun Twins fans have watching anything involving baseball this season. It may even provide a scintilla of hope for  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Drive (09/21/2011)
By David Robinson -- “Drive,” starring Ryan Gosling, starts out like a subtle, contemporary noir film, one full of unexpected turns, small surprises, and attention to detail. Then, unhappily, director Nicolas Wending Ref ... 

FULL STORY >>


THOR (09/18/2011)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “Thor” was the first of this past summer’s string of big-budget superhero flicks, one more in an ever-lengthening line of Marvel Comics adaptations. This one is OK, though its ep ... 

FULL STORY >>


Contagion (09/14/2011)
By David Robinson -- If you haven’t had your flu shot yet, you might want to consider it before going to see Steven Soderbergh’s “Contagion.” As the title indicates, there’s a whole lotta sickness in this film: if you’re ... 

FULL STORY >>


X-Men: First Class (09/11/2011)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “X-Men: First Class” helps explain its predecessors, which is a pretty tall (but necessary, for me) order. Coming to this now-eleven-year-old series somewhere in the middle, I w ... 

FULL STORY >>


Apollo 18 (09/07/2011)
By David Robinson --

Don’t confuse “Apollo 18” with “Apollo 13,” though they are both about moon missions. The current number is fictitious, has little to no real tension, no big name stars, and minimal production value ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (08/31/2011)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold” is written and directed by and stars Morgan Spurlock. If that name doesn’t ring a bell, you didn’t see “Super Size Me,” (2004) Spurlock’s best-kno ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Help (08/28/2011)
By David Robinson --

I confess that I am one of the few people in America who has yet to read Kathryn Stockett’s best-selling novel, “The Help.” That ignorance put me in the distinct minority among the audience for the ... 

FULL STORY >>


Exporting Raymond (08/24/2011)
By David Robinson -- I don’t often get the chance to review a documentary film for the general consumption because, well, there aren’t that many out there in the local rental outlets. So when I found “Exporting Raymond”  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Limitless (08/14/2011)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “Limitless” categorizes itself as a “scifi thriller,” but that doesn’t quite describe it. There’s fantasy, all right, and a thrill or two. However, the emphasis is more on psycho ... 

FULL STORY >>


Crazy, Stupid, Love (08/10/2011)
By David Robinson -- “Crazy, Stupid, Love” wandered onto local screens last weekend, all but lost among the Summer Blockbusters and kids’ films (or is that redundant?). This cleverly-scripted romantic comedy has fun with ... 

FULL STORY >>


Barney’s Version (07/27/2011)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “Barney’s Version” presents a critical quandary. It boasts one of last year’s best performances: Paul Giamatti won a Golden Globe for his work here and deservedly so. He’s aske ... 

FULL STORY >>


Source Code (07/24/2011)
By David Robinson -- Film critics have almost unanimously compared “Source Code” with “Groundhog Day,” an apt—if not especially clever—analogy. Take away Bill Murray and the laughter and substitute Jake Gyllenhaal and lo ... 

FULL STORY >>


Beethoven’s Ninth ‘Choral’ Symphony (07/20/2011)
By David Robinson -- In 1824, the first performance in Vienna of Beethoven’s magnificent Ninth (“Choral”) Symphony, capped off his career. All but deaf and, thus, unable to conduct the orchestra, the composer stood on  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (07/20/2011)
Though I doubt that my recommendation will sway anybody to see (or skip?) “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2,” there may be two or three fence-sitters out there who are still thinking about ... 

FULL STORY >>


Rango (07/13/2011)
By David Robinson -- If you’re a fan — preferably an older fan — of Western movies, then “Rango” is made for you, pardner. Advertised as a kids’ movie and rated “PG,” this movie — now available on DVD — is decidedly aime ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Lincoln Lawyer (07/10/2011)
By David Robinson -- Available this week on DVD, “The Lincoln Lawyer” stars Matthew McConaughey in the title role; however, his fans should be warned that he almost never takes his shirt off, and then in low light. He is, ... 

FULL STORY >>


Larry Crowne (07/06/2011)
By David Robinson -- “Larry Crowne” stars Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, and the producers (among them Hanks) clearly hope that those two-big box-office names will be enough to draw folks into the air-conditioned theater. H ... 

FULL STORY >>


Super 8 (06/29/2011)
By David Robinson -- A friend of mine used to have a saying: “Two teenagers saw it first.” It was a handy little catch phrase to describe the alien-beings-come-to Earth flicks which were rife during my long ago childhood ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Company Men (06/26/2011)
By David Robinson -- “The Company Men” is one of those movies that inexplicably didn’t catch on at the box office. It boasts an (unfortunately) relevant theme and a cast that includes some of filmdom’s most surefire mone ... 

FULL STORY >>


Unknown (06/22/2011)
By David Robinson -- Now available on video, “Unknown” stars Liam Neeson in a role that he is fast becoming the model for: an anxious, confused, but nonetheless heroic man confronted with apparently overwhelming tasks. ( ... 

FULL STORY >>


X-Men: First Class (06/08/2011)
By David Robinson --

“X-Men: First Class” helps explain its predecessors, which is a pretty tall (but necessary, for me) order. Coming to this now-eleven-year-old series somewhere in the middle, I was in a muddle as to ... 

FULL STORY >>


Midnight in Paris (06/01/2011)
By David Robinson -- “Midnight in Paris,” the latest Woody Allen comedy, opened in what is euphemistically termed “limited release” this past weekend. This means that your average filmgoer will not be catching it at the  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (05/25/2011)
By David Robinson -- A viewing of “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” confirms two things: Johnny Depp is The Franchise for this series, now in its fourth installment, and this one will make a great deal of mone ... 

FULL STORY >>


Thor (05/11/2011)
By David Robinson -- “Thor” heralds this summer’s string of big-budget superhero flicks, one more in an ever-lengthening line of Marvel Comics adaptations. This one is OK, though its eponymous hero won’t be confused with  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Green Hornet (05/04/2011)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “The Green Hornet” was originally an old-time radio thriller, with the crime fighter and sidekick pair clearing the streets of the wicked city. The present attempt to bring the  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Dilemma (05/01/2011)
The Dilemma Available this coming week on DVD, “The Dilemma” is at heart a “bromance,” the currently fashionable tag for what used to be termed a “buddy flick.” It begins with two business partners  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Hop (04/27/2011)
By David Robinson -- I waited until the day before Easter to see “Hop,” thinking to avoid the masses of children for whom this movie is designed. (It’s rated “PG” for “some mild rude humor,” which seems redundant to me,  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The King’s Speech (04/20/2011)
By David Robinson --

After its theatrical release late last year, you might have had to look around a little to find “The King’s Speech,” starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, and Helena Bonham Carter. As events have pr ... 

FULL STORY >>


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (04/17/2011)
By David Robinson --

Now available on DVD, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” hardly needs my help or that of any reviewer to succeed in the video market. At this writing, it has already earned over $300 mi ... 

FULL STORY >>


Black Swan (04/13/2011)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “Black Swan” stars Natalie Portman in a (literally) to die for role that won her this year’s Best Female Actor Academy Award. Portman reportedly trained for nearly a year to act ... 

FULL STORY >>


Source Code (04/06/2011)
Film critics have almost unanimously compared “Source Code” with “Groundhog Day,” an apt—if not especially clever—analogy. Take away Bill Murray and the laughter and substitute Jake Gyllenhaal and lo ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Tourist (04/03/2011)
By David Robinson --

Now available on DVD, “The Tourist,” starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp, starts off like Hitchcock, and it maintains that feel throughout. The pace, however, is glacial, unlike the works of  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Lincoln Lawyer (03/30/2011)
By David Robinson -- “The Lincoln Lawyer” stars Matthew McConaughey in the title role; however, his fans should be warned that he almost never takes his shirt off, and then in low light. He is, after all, supposed to be d ... 

FULL STORY >>


Hereafter (03/27/2011)
By David Robinson -- At 80 yrs. old, Clint Eastwood doesn’t need the money, so he can afford to take chances with the movies he decides to make. “Hereafter,” now available on DVD, has a bankable star in Matt Damon and an ... 

FULL STORY >>


Rango (03/23/2011)
By David Robinson --

If you’re a fan—preferably an old fan—of Western movies, then “Rango” is made for you, pardner. Advertised as a kids movie and rated “PG,” this is decidedly aimed at adults, in terms of both tone a ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Fighter (03/20/2011)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “The Fighter,” starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, and Amy Adams, is a boxing movie, so viewers will not be surprised at much of its action and its climax. These involve, um ... 

FULL STORY >>


Morning Glory (03/16/2011)
By David Robinson --

Now available on DVD, “Morning Glory” purports to be the story of a young TV producer played by Rachel McAdams. As the pert and chipper twenty-something Becky, McAdams does give the opening minutes ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Next Three Days (03/13/2011)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “The Next Three Days,” starring Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks, starts off slowly and stays that way for about two-thirds of its length. But when it picks up steam, the actio ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Adjustment Bureau (03/09/2011)
By David Robinson -- What do you get if you cross a droll romantic comedy with a sci-fi thriller/chase flick? Answer: “The Adjustment Bureau,” starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt as the star-crossed but plucky lovers. Bas ... 

FULL STORY >>


Get Low (02/27/2011)
By David Robinson --

Now available on DVD, “Get Low” is a low-budget movie with some big names in its main roles. Robert Duvall, Bill Murray, and Sissy Spacek combine their estimable veteran talents in a little gem of  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Unknown (02/23/2011)
By David Robinson -- “Unknown” stars Liam Neeson in a role that he is fast becoming the model for: an anxious, confused, but nonetheless heroic man confronted with apparently overwhelming tasks. (See “Taken,” for instanc ... 

FULL STORY >>


Due Date (02/20/2011)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “Due Date,” starring Robert Downey, Jr., and Zach Galifianakis, is a buddy/road trip movie which will remind people of a certain age (or frequent watchers of the Comedy Channel) ... 

FULL STORY >>


Unstoppable (02/13/2011)
By David Robinson -- Available this week on DVD, “Unstoppable,” starring Denzel Washington and Chris Pine, will remind many viewers of another recent Tony Scott movie, “Pelham 1 2 3.” This one, which features a runaway f ... 

FULL STORY >>


Red (02/06/2011)
By David Robinson --

Now available on DVD, “Red” features an all-star cast of screen veterans: Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, and Helen Mirren. Throw in Mary Louise Parker as Willis’ love interest (no com ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Dilemma (02/02/2011)
By David Robinson -- “The Dilemma” is at heart a “bromance,” the currently fashionable tag for what used to be termed a “buddy flick.” It begins with two business partners and best friends Ronny (Vince Vaughn) and Nick ( ... 

FULL STORY >>


Secretariat (01/30/2011)
By David Robinson -- The problem that often vexes sports movies is that we know the outcome in advance. Team wins World Series, boxer wins Big Match, skater takes Olympic Gold, and so forth. When the title character is “ ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Green Hornet (01/26/2011)
By David Robinson -- The Green Hornet” was originally an old-time radio thriller, with the crime fighter and sidekick pair clearing the streets of the wicked city. The present attempt to bring the duo to the screen and up ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Social Network (01/23/2011)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “The Social Network” covers the events and people surrounding the invention and spread of Facebook, the network in question. It spends almost as much time dramatizing the lawsui ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Fighter (01/19/2011)
By David Robinson -- “The Fighter,” starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, and Amy Adams, is a boxing movie, so viewers will not be surprised at much of its action and its climax. These involve, um, fights, and they are ... 

FULL STORY >>


Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (01/16/2011)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” is something of a rarity: a sequel produced 23 years after the original. The same director (Oliver Stone) and marquee actor (Michael Douglas) ar ... 

FULL STORY >>


True Grit (01/12/2011)
By David Robinson -- “True Grit” stars Oscar winners Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon, and it has been touted as a Best Picture nominee. The hoopla surrounding the stars and the picture is slightly misplaced, however: its brig ... 

FULL STORY >>


The American (01/09/2011)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “The American” stars George Clooney in something of a departure from his normal roles. There’s not much glamour to it, for starters, and none of the urbane, witty banter which t ... 

FULL STORY >>


The King’s Speech (01/05/2011)
By David Robinson -- You might have to look around a little to find “The King’s Speech,” starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, and Helena Bonham-Carter. Do it: the film is well worth the effort. Firth, in particular has b ... 

FULL STORY >>


Salt (01/02/2011)
By David Robinson --

Enough other reviewers have spent time being clever about “Salt”— now available on DVD — that I won’t waste your time. No, I don’t think it’s “worth its salt” either, nor do I find the film especia ... 

FULL STORY >>


How Do You Know (12/29/2010)
By David Robinson -- In “How Do You Know” screenwriter/director James L. Brooks explores some of the same ground that he had in “Terms of Endearment” and “As Good as It Gets“ although not with quite the same success. As ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Town (12/26/2010)
Now available on DVD, “The Town,” starring Ben Affleck, is one more in a long string of heist flicks, the first of which may have been “The Great Train Robbery.” As it has evolved, however, the form ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Other Guys (12/22/2010)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “The Other Guys” starts out like one more run of the mill cop action movie—with a long, literally incredible chase. When they return to the office boasting of having caught the  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Shrek Forever After (12/19/2010)
By David Robinson -- With “Shrek Forever After,” now available on DVD, the jolly green giant, er, ogre seems to be coming to the end of the road—and a good thing, too. Though it retains some of the wit and originality of  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Tourist (12/15/2010)
By David Robinson --

“The Tourist,” starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp, starts off like Hitchcock, and it maintains that feel throughout. The pace, however, is glacial, unlike the works of The Master, who kept thin ... 

FULL STORY >>


Knight and Day (12/12/2010)
By David Robinson -- In case you missed some of last summer’s enormous pre-release buildup, “Knight and Day”—now out on equally-hyped DVD—stars Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. This may be all that you actually need to know  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Next Three Days (12/08/2010)
By David Robinson -- “The Next Three Days,” starring Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks, starts off slowly and stays that way for about two-thirds of its length. But when it picks up steam, the action will suck you in. Di ... 

FULL STORY >>


Inception (12/05/2010)
By David Robinson -- Available this week on DVD, “Inception” breaks a number of rules for Big Summer Movies, but it turned out to be one of last summer’s biggest hits. Oh, it has lots of special effects, a name star (L ... 

FULL STORY >>


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (12/01/2010)
By David Robinson --

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” hardly needs my help or that of any reviewer to succeed at the box office. At this writing, it has already earned over $300 million — and it isn’t eve ... 

FULL STORY >>


Eat, Pray, Love (11/28/2010)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “Eat, Pray, Love” stars Julia Roberts playing the role of Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the best-selling book upon which the movie is based. It has been categorized as a “chick f ... 

FULL STORY >>


Morning Glory (11/24/2010)
By David Robinson --

“Morning Glory” purports to be the story of young TV producer played by Rachel McAdams. As the pert and chipper twenty-something Becky, McAdams does give the opening minutes a certain energy. When  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Expendables (11/21/2010)
By David Robinson --

Available this coming week on DVD, “The Expendables” is just that: a movie the world could have done nicely without. It looks like a vanity project from the aging Sylvester Stallone, who directed a ... 

FULL STORY >>


Unstoppable (11/17/2010)
By David Robinson -- “Unstoppable,” starring Denzel Washington and Chris Pine, will remind many viewers of another recent tony Scott movie, “Pelham 1 2 3.” This one, which features a runaway freight train rather than a s ... 

FULL STORY >>


Due Date (11/10/2010)
By David Robinson --

“Due Date,” starring Robert Downey, Jr., and Zach Galifianakis, is a buddy/road trip movie which will remind people of a certain age (or frequent watchers of the Comedy Channel) of “Planes, Trains,  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Hereafter (11/03/2010)
By David Robinson -- At 80 years old, Clint Eastwood doesn’t need the money, so he can afford to take chances with the movies he decides to make. “Hereafter” has a bankable star in Matt Damon and an award-winning screenw ... 

FULL STORY >>


Toy Story 3 (11/01/2010)
By David Robinson --

If you rent or buy one DVD this year for your children—or grandchildren—make it “Toy Story 3,” which is due out on DVD on Tuesday. The folks at Pixar gave us “Up” (my favorite movie of) last year;  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Social Network (10/27/2010)
By David Robinson --

“The Social Network” covers the events and people surrounding the invention and spread of Facebook, the network in question. It spends almost as much time dramatizing the lawsuits following in the  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Red (10/20/2010)
By David Robinson -- “Red” features and all-star cast of screen veterans: Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, and Helen Mirren. Throw in Mary Louise Parker as Willis’ love interest (no comments about Kutcher/Moo ... 

FULL STORY >>


Secretariat (10/13/2010)
By David Robinson -- The problem that often vexes sports movies is that we know the outcome in advance. Team wins World Series, boxer wins Big Match, skater takes Olympic Gold, and so forth. When the title character is p ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Town (10/10/2010)
By David Robinson -- “The Town,” starring Ben Affleck, is one more in a long string of heist flicks, the first of which may have been “The Great Train Robbery.” As it has evolved, however, the formula for these robbery f ... 

FULL STORY >>


Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (09/29/2010)
By David Robinson -- “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” is something of a rarity: a sequel produced 23 years after the original. The same director (Oliver Stone) and marquee actor (Michael Douglas) are involved, and the pl ... 

FULL STORY >>


Get Him to the Greek (09/26/2010)
By David Robinson -- Caution! “Get Him to the Greek” may be dangerous to your health. Depending on your age, temperament, and moral rigidity, you may crack a rib laughing or explode in apoplectic rage. This is what migh ... 

FULL STORY >>


Iron Man 2 (09/22/2010)
By David Robinson --

Available on DVD this week, “Iron Man 2” is that rare bird, a sequel which is nearly an equal to the original movie. The legions of viewers who made “Iron Man” a huge hit in 2008 were pleased to se ... 

FULL STORY >>


Robin Hood (09/19/2010)
By David Robinson -- This summer, the blockbusters lined up like Mauer, Morneau, and Cuddyer. The hit “Iron Man 2” gave way to the strikeout “Prince of Persia,” followed by “Robin Hood,” which falls somewhere between th ... 

FULL STORY >>


Get Low (09/15/2010)
By David Robinson -- “Get Low” is a low-budget movie with some big names in its main roles. Robert Duvall, Bill Murray, and Sissy Spacek combine their estimable veteran talents in a little gem of a film, one which made o ... 

FULL STORY >>


The American (09/08/2010)
By David Robinson --

“The American” stars George Clooney in something of a departure from his normal roles. There’s not much glamour to it, for starters, and none of the urbane, witty banter which the sometime World’s  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Killers (09/05/2010)
By David Robinson -- In another era, “Killers”--available this week on DVD--might have been called a screwball comedy. In those classics of the 1930s, the stuff of romantic comedy was ensconced in an unlikely plot. The  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Eat, Pray, Love (08/25/2010)
By David Robinson -- “Eat, Pray, Love” stars Julia Roberts playing the role of Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the best-selling book upon which the movie is based. It has been categorized as a “chick flick,” given its natur ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Expendables (08/18/2010)
By David Robinson -- “The Expendables,” sad to say, is just that: a movie the world could have done nicely without. It looks like a vanity project from the aging Sylvester Stallone, who directed and co-wrote the screenpl ... 

FULL STORY >>


Date Night (08/15/2010)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “Date Night” stars two of TV sit-coms most recognizable actors: Steve Carell (of ”The Office”) and Tina Fey (of “30 Rock” by way of “Saturday Night Live”). They play a New Jers ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Other Guys (08/11/2010)
By David Robinson -- “The Other Guys” starts out like one more run of the mill cop action movie—with a long, literally incredible chase. When they return to the office boasting of having caught the bad guys, the two egot ... 

FULL STORY >>


Salt (07/28/2010)
By David Robinson --

Enough other reviewers have

spent time being clever about “Salt” that I won’t waste your time. No, I don’t think it’s “worth its salt” either, nor do I find the film especially “salty” or “spicy, ... 

FULL STORY >>


Cop Out (07/25/2010)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “Cop Out,” starring Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan, is a buddy flick/action movie/comedy. Directed erratically by Kevin Smith, it’s sporadically funny, sometimes violent, and con ... 

FULL STORY >>


Inception (07/21/2010)
By David Robinson -- “Inception” breaks a number of rules for Big Summer Movies, but it looks to be one of the summer’s biggest hits. Oh, it has lots of special effects, a name star (Leonardo DiCaprio), and a budget repu ... 

FULL STORY >>


Get Him to the Greek (07/11/2010)
By David Robinson -- Caution! “Get Him to the Greek” may be dangerous to your health. Depending on your age, temperament, and moral rigidity, you may crack a rib laughing or explode in apoplectic rage. This is what migh ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Last Station (07/07/2010)
By David Robinson -- You shouldn’t have much trouble renting copies of “The Last Station,” now available on DVD. The film boasts two Oscar nominees and a plot involving one the world’s most famous novelists—and hey! ther ... 

FULL STORY >>


Knight and Day (06/30/2010)
By David Robinson -- In case you have missed some of the enormous pre-release buildup, “Knight and Day” stars Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. This may be all that you actually need to know about the film: aging, somewhat sc ... 

FULL STORY >>


Green Zone (06/27/2010)
By David Robinson -- In “Green Zone,” now available on video, the area described in the title is the former Baghdad palace of Saddam Hussein. One month after the “shock and awe” campaign of the 2003 invasion, the place i ... 

FULL STORY >>


Toy Story 3 (06/23/2010)
By David Robinson -- If you see one movie this year with your children—or grandchildren—make it “Toy Story 3.” The folks at Pixar gave us “Up” (my favorite movie of) last year; they have all but matched that estimable fi ... 

FULL STORY >>


Invictus (06/20/2010)
By David Robinson -- By all rights, “Invictus” should have been a runaway hit. It had big star power in Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon, director Clint Eastwood, and some contemporary relevance. As the 2010 World Cup gets ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Book of Eli (06/16/2010)
By David Robinson -- Available this week on DVD, “The Book of Eli” bears a strange resemblance to the old spaghetti westerns that launched the now estimable movie career of Clint Eastwood. You know the deal: a lone stran ... 

FULL STORY >>


Killers (06/09/2010)
By David Robinson -- In another era, “Killers” might have been called a screwball comedy. In those classics of the 1930s, a romantic comedy was ensconced in an unlikely plot. The principals often had to overcome obstacl ... 

FULL STORY >>


Shutter Island (06/06/2010)
By David Robinson -- Available this week on DVD, “Shutter Island,” directed by the masterful filmmaker Martin Scorcese, is a great picture to look at and listen to. Working with his longtime crew and a script adapted from ... 

FULL STORY >>


Shrek Forever After (05/26/2010)
By David Robinson -- With “Shrek Forever After,” the jolly green giant, er, ogre seems to be coming to the end of the road—and a good thing, too. Though it retains some of the wit and originality of the original, now a d ... 

FULL STORY >>


Robin Hood (05/19/2010)
By David Robinson -- The summer blockbusters are beginning to line up like Mauer, Morneau, and Cuddyer. Last week “Iron Man 2” hit one out of the park, and “Prince of Persia” is lurking in the dugout. This past weekend  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Extraordinary Measures (05/16/2010)
By David Robinson --

Available this coming week on DVD, “Extraordinary Measures,” starring Brendan Fraser and Harrison Ford, is based on a true story of one man’s relentless fight to find a cure for his children’s rare ... 

FULL STORY >>


Iron Man 2 (05/12/2010)
By David Robinson -- “Iron Man 2” is that rare bird, a sequel which is nearly an equal to the original movie. The legions of viewers who made “Iron Man” a huge hit in 2008 will be pleased to see Robert Downey, Jr., repri ... 

FULL STORY >>


Crazy Heart (05/05/2010)
By David Robinson -- Jeff Bridges won the Oscar for Best Actor in “Crazy Heart,” and this is indeed a one-man tour de force. The only other actor with much screen time is Maggie Gyllenhall, who was nominated for a Best Su ... 

FULL STORY >>


It’s Complicated (05/02/2010)
By David Robinson --

Avaqilable this week on DVD, “It’s Complicated,” starring Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, and Steve Martin, might once have been called a drawing room comedy, as it involves a number of romantic/sexual  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Avatar (04/21/2010)
Due for release on Thursday (aka Earth Day) is the biggest grossing movie of all time, “Avatar.” I confess that I’m not a big fan of Big Movies. They’re often set-ups for disappointment, having ridde ... 

FULL STORY >>


Date Night (04/14/2010)
By David Robinson -- “Date Night” stars two of TV sit-coms most recognizable actors: Steve Carell (of ”The Office”) and Tina Fey (of “30 Rock” by way of “Saturday Night Live”). They play a New Jersey suburban couple, Ph ... 

FULL STORY >>


Sherlock Holmes (03/28/2010)
By David Robinson -- Fans of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes may have some difficulty recognizing their favorite sleuth in Guy Ritchie’s “Sherlock Holmes,” which is now available on DVD. The director and screenwr ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Blind Side (03/24/2010)
By David Robinson -- Based on a true story and now available on DVD, “The Blind Side” follows the basic formula of the feel-good sports flick, but it adds some important twists that lift it somewhat above its genre. Most ... 

FULL STORY >>


Green Zone (03/21/2010)
By David Robinson -- In “Green Zone,” the area described in the title is the former Baghdad palace of Saddam Hussein. One month after the “shock and awe” campaign of the 2003 invasion, the place is occupied by the massiv ... 

FULL STORY >>


Up in the Air (03/17/2010)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “Up in the Air” advertised itself as a comedy, and, indeed, there are many comic elements. The stars-- George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, and Anna Kendrick, all of whom were nominated ... 

FULL STORY >>


Oscars review (03/14/2010)
By David Robinson -- ...and the winner is...

Before watching this year’s Academy Awards show, I was all set to write a column about what was wrong with the show, including a long list of suggestions for improvement. S ... 

FULL STORY >>


Shutter Island (03/10/2010)
“Shutter Island,” directed by the masterful filmmaker Martin Scorcese, is a great picture to look at and listen to. Working with his longtime crew and a script adapted from Dennis Lehane’s chilling no ... 

FULL STORY >>


Where the Wild Things Are (03/07/2010)
By David Robinson -- I have to confess that, from the moment I saw the previews, I had no real desire to see “Where the Wild Things Are,” now available on DVD. Having had so many bad experiences with film adaptations of  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Cop Out (03/03/2010)
By David Robinson -- “Cop Out,” starring Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan, is a buddy flick/action movie/comedy. Directed erratically by Kevin Smith, it’s sporadically funny, sometimes violent, and continually profane. In s ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Box (02/28/2010)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “The Box” warns viewers late in the going that our existence is largely lived in boxes of varying sizes--houses, rooms, offices, cars—and even when we die we wind up in a box. (E ... 

FULL STORY >>


2012 (02/24/2010)
By David Robinson -- If you’re into destruction—make that Destruction!—then you’ll want to watch the video “2012,” available this week. Director Roland Emmerich’s latest depiction of The End of Life As We Know It outstri ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Informant! (02/21/2010)
By David Robinson --

For some years, I taught a course in film comedy. The students and I often parted company on what was “funny”—they thought that Jerry Lewis was the acme of comic genius—so the experience taught me  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Law Abiding Citizen (02/14/2010)
By David Robinson --

The title of “Law Abiding Citizen,” starring Jamie Foxx, is ironic, because the claim to be one is uttered by a serial killer. It’s one of a number of surprises or reversals of expectations in the  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Time Traveler’s Wife (02/10/2010)
By David Robinson -- Since the very earliest movies, their ability to compress or expand time and space has appealed to screenwriters and directors and provided screenwriters and film editors with an opportunity to show o ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Hurt Locker (02/07/2010)
By David Robinson -- The title of “The Hurt Locker,” which is now available on DVD, refers to a place where bad things happen. In the lives of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit, an elite team of soldiers working in Ba ... 

FULL STORY >>


Extraordinary Measures (02/03/2010)
By David Robinson --

“Extraordinary Measures,” starring Brendan Fraser and Harrison Ford, is based on a true story of one man’s relentless fight to find a cure for his children’s rare disease. If you’ve heard this plot ... 

FULL STORY >>


Surrogates (01/31/2010)
By David Robinson -- In the by-now-familiar plot of a Bruce Willis movie, our aging hero bests a sinister villain and his young henchmen single-handedly, saving his estranged wife and a goodly portion of humanity. He’s a  ... 

FULL STORY >>


This Is It (01/24/2010)
By David Robinson -- If you’re a Michael Jackson fan, “This Is It,” available on DVD this week, will be, well, It for you. If you’re not a Jacksonite, this is too much Jackson for you. For the rest of humanity, it’s a mo ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Book of Eli (01/20/2010)
By David Robinson -- “The Book of Eli” bears a strange resemblance to the old spaghetti westerns that launched the now considerable movie career of Clint Eastwood. You know the deal: a lone stranger rides into a ramshack ... 

FULL STORY >>


Sherlock Holmes (01/13/2010)
By David Robinson --

Fans of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes may have some difficulty recognizing their favorite sleuth in Guy Ritchie’s “Sherlock Holmes.” The director and screenwriters Michael Robert Johnson ... 

FULL STORY >>


Up in the Air (01/10/2010)
By David Robinson -- “Up in the Air” has advertised itself as a comedy, and, indeed, there are many comic elements. The stars-- George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, and Anna Kendrick--all get a number of laugh lines, and they sh ... 

FULL STORY >>


(500) Days of Summer (01/06/2010)
By David Robinson --

Now available on DVD, “(500) Days of Summer” is an offbeat, somewhat eccentric romantic comedy. It tracks (erratically) a romance that lasts a little less than that, actually, though its structure  ... 

FULL STORY >>


It’s Complicated (01/03/2010)
By David Robinson -- “It’s Complicated,” starring Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, and Steve Martin, might once have been called a drawing room comedy, as it involves a number of romantic/sexual misunderstandings, witty dialog ... 

FULL STORY >>


District 9 (12/30/2009)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “District 9,” directed and co-written by Neil Blomkamp, takes the standard Extraterrestrial Alien Invasion format and puts a neat twist on it. By the end, we sympathize with the ... 

FULL STORY >>


Inglourious Basterds (12/27/2009)
Now available on DVD, Quentin Tarantino’s latest movie, “Inglourious Basterds” [sic] takes the usual liberties with reality and realism that fans of “Pulp Fiction” and “Kill Bill” have come to expect ... 

FULL STORY >>


Avatar (12/23/2009)
By David Robinson -- I confess that I’m not a big fan of Big Movies. They’re often set-ups for disappointment, having ridden in to our theaters on a wave of hype, dominating the TV ads, the entertainment news, sometimes  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Public Enemies (12/16/2009)
By David Robinson --

Now available on DVD, “Public Enemies” stars Johnny Depp as John Dillinger, and Depp pretty much dominates the film. Director/screenwriter Michael Mann, working with Bryan Burrough’s book, crafts a ... 

FULL STORY >>


Julie & Julia (12/13/2009)
By David Robinson -- The critical knock on “Julie & Julia,” now available on DVD and starring Amy Adams and Meryl Streep in the title roles, was that the “Julia” parts overwhelm the “Julie.” The Julia is Julia Child, the ... 

FULL STORY >>


Terminator: Salvation (12/02/2009)
By David Robinson -- Available on DVD this week, “Terminator: Salvation,” the fourth in the popular series, muddles what we thought we knew about John Connor, aka the savior of humanity against the machines bent on world  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Blind Side (11/29/2009)
By David Robinson -- Based on a true story, “The Blind Side” follows the basic formula of the feel-good sports flick, but it adds some important twists that lift it somewhat above its genre. Most of the uplift is supplie ... 

FULL STORY >>


Funny People (11/22/2009)
By David Robinson -- Funny People

Available this week on DVD, “Funny People” is, umm, funny—but only intermittently, and not often enough to justify its running time of nearly two and one-half hours. Director/writer/p ... 

FULL STORY >>


2012 (11/18/2009)
By David Robinson -- If you’re into destruction—make that Destruction!—then “2012” will be just your ticket. Director Roland Emmerich’s latest depiction of The End of Life As We Know It outstrips “Independence Day” (alie ... 

FULL STORY >>


Star Trek (11/15/2009)
By David Robinson -- There’s a double Winona connection in the latest “Star Trek” movie, available this coming week on DVD. The mother of Spock is played by native daughter Winona (and, yes, she was named after our fair  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Box (11/11/2009)
By David Robinson --

“The Box” warns viewers late in the going that our existence is largely lived in boxes of varying sizes — houses, rooms, offices, cars — and even when we die we wind up in a box. (Earlier, a heavy r ... 

FULL STORY >>


Up (11/08/2009)
By David Robinson -- Due out this week on DVD, “Up,” the latest production of the folks at Pixar, is a decided upper. It has some moments of genuine pathos near the opening, a fair amount of (literal) cliffhanger suspens ... 

FULL STORY >>


This Is It (11/04/2009)
By David Robinson -- If you’re a Michael Jackson fan, “This Is It,” will be, well, It for you. If you’re not a Jacksonite, this is too much Jackson for you. For the rest of humanity, it’s a movie of some interest cinema ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (11/01/2009)
By David Robinson --

Available this coming week on DVD, “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3” is a remake of the 1974 film, “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three.” As the title might suggest, the basic plot is the same, but there ... 

FULL STORY >>


Where the Wild Things Are (10/28/2009)
By David Robinson --

I have to confess that, from the moment I saw the previews, I had no real desire to see “Where the Wild Things Are.” Having had so many bad experiences with film adaptations of works that I love, I ... 

FULL STORY >>


Law Abiding Citizen (10/25/2009)
By David Robinson -- The title of “Law Abiding Citizen,” starring Jamie Foxx, is ironic, because the claim to be one is uttered by a serial killer. It’s one of a number of surprises or reversals of expectations in the mo ... 

FULL STORY >>


Year One (10/04/2009)
By David Robinson --

Available on DVD this week, “Year One,” starring Jack Black and Michael Cera, should be funnier than it is. Both the leads have good comedy track records, there’s a pretty good supporting cast, and  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Surrogates (09/30/2009)
By David Robinson -- In the by-now-familiar plot of a Bruce Willis movie, our aging hero bests a sinister villain and his young henchmen single-handedly, saving his estranged wife and a goodly portion of humanity. He’s a  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Informant! (09/23/2009)
By David Robinson -- For some years, I taught a course in film comedy. The students and I often parted company on what was “funny”—they thought that Jerry Lewis was the acme of comic genius—so the experience taught me tha ... 

FULL STORY >>


(500) Days of Summer (09/16/2009)
By David Robinson --

“(500) Days of Summer” is an offbeat, somewhat eccentric romantic comedy. It tracks (erratically) a romance that lasts a little less than that, actually, though its structure makes it seems longer. ... 

FULL STORY >>


‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ not for kids! (09/13/2009)
By David Robinson -- I’m not a big fan of comic-book movies, with some exceptions, such as last year’s “Iron Man.” Generally speaking, they’re too short or way too long on plot, rely too heavily on special effects, and f ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Time Traveler’s Wife (09/09/2009)
Since the very earliest movies, their ability to compress or expand time and space has appealed to screenwriters and directors and provided film editors with an opportunity to show off their skills.  ... 

FULL STORY >>


State of Play (08/30/2009)
By David Robinson -- Available this week on DVD, “State of Play,” starring Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, and Rachel McAdams, is an old-fashioned journalistic investigation flick. Its plot outlines will remind many of “All ... 

FULL STORY >>


Inglourious Basterds (08/26/2009)
By David Robinson -- Quentin Tarantino’s latest movie, “Inglourious Basterds” [sic] takes the usual liberties with reality and realism that fans of “Pulp Fiction” and “Kill Bill” have come to expect. This time around, th ... 

FULL STORY >>


District 9 (08/19/2009)
By David Robinson -- “District 9,” directed and co-written by Neil Blomkamp, takes the standard Extraterrestrial Alien Invasion format and puts a neat twist on it. By the end, we sympathize with the aliens and root for t ... 

FULL STORY >>


Julie & Julia (08/12/2009)
By David Robinson -- The critical knock on “Julie & Julia,” starring Amy Adams and Meryl Streep in the title roles, is that the “Julia” parts overwhelm the “Julies.” The Julia is Julia Child, the “French Chef” of cookboo ... 

FULL STORY >>


Funny People (08/05/2009)
By David Robinson -- “Funny People” is, umm, funny—but only intermittently, and not often enough to justify its running time of nearly two and one-half hours. Director/writer/producer Judd Apatow fleshes out what could h ... 

FULL STORY >>


Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (07/22/2009)
By David Robinson -- Trying to convince anyone to see “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” is a pointless exercise, given the box office records it set this past week. The film, like its five predecessors in this imm ... 

FULL STORY >>


Jesse Stone: Thin Ice (07/12/2009)
By David Robinson --

I don’t, as a rule, review made-for-TV movies, mostly because they aren’t very good. But I’ll admit to a weakness for a particular series of small-screen flicks: the Jesse Stone series. These “sma ... 

FULL STORY >>


Public Enemies (07/08/2009)
By David Robinson -- “Public Enemies” stars Johnny Depp as John Dillinger, and Depp pretty much dominates the film. Director/screenwriter Michael Mann, working with Bryan Burrough’s book, crafts a mixture of gangster fli ... 

FULL STORY >>


Knowing (07/05/2009)
By David Robinson -- Available on DVD this coming week, “Knowing” stars Nicolas Cage as Dr. John Koestler, an MIT astrophysicist who discovers that he can predict when and where a disaster will occur and how many people w ... 

FULL STORY >>


Year One (07/01/2009)
By David Robinson -- “Year One,” starring Jack Black and Michael Cera, should be funnier than it is. Both the leads have good comedy track records, there’s a pretty good supporting cast, and writer/director Harold Ramis h ... 

FULL STORY >>


Last Chance Harvey (06/21/2009)
By David Robinson -- “Last Chance Harvey” has been out on DVD for some weeks now, but its release was all but overlooked. Since the movie was hardly a box office smash, this is not surprising. What does surprise, howeve ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (06/17/2009)
By David Robinson -- “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3” is a remake of the 1974 film, “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three.” As the title might suggest, the basic plot is the same, but there are some significant changes. The b ... 

FULL STORY >>


The International (06/14/2009)
By David Robinson --

It’s fashionable to diss powerful banks (and millionaire bankers) in these days of the incredibly shrinking retirement account. So “The International,” starring Clive Owen and Naomi Watts and avail ... 

FULL STORY >>


Up (06/10/2009)
By David Robinson --

“Up,” the latest production of the folks at Pixar, is an upper. It has some moments of genuine pathos near the opening, a fair amount of (literal) cliffhanger suspense, some fetching animals, and a ... 

FULL STORY >>


Gran Torino (06/07/2009)
Available this week on DVD, “Gran Torino” is emphatically a Clint Eastwood movie. The 78-year old actor/director/producer/songwriter is a one-man gang here, playing a character who may remind some vi ... 

FULL STORY >>


Terminator: Salvation (06/03/2009)
By David Robinson -- “Terminator: Salvation,” the fourth in the popular series, muddles what we thought we knew about John Connor, aka the savior of humanity against the machines bent on world domination. Like Connor, th ... 

FULL STORY >>


He’s Just Not That Into You (05/31/2009)
By David Robinson --

Available on DVD this week, “He’s Just Not That Into You” assembles a cast of popular actors, mixes and matches them in various romantic tangles, and basically dismisses most young adults’ motives a ... 

FULL STORY >>


New in Town (05/24/2009)
By David Robinson -- Native Minnesotans listening to the dialogue in “New in Town,” which comes out on DVD this week, will know be sure that one of their own was involved in the screenplay. Sure enough, Ken Rance, who sh ... 

FULL STORY >>


Valkyrie (05/20/2009)
By David Robinson -- Valkyrie

There were fifteen known assassination attempts on the life of Adolph Hitler. Perhaps the best known is the scheme concocted by a number of high-ranking German officers, one that actually ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (05/17/2009)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” is, well, curious. Based upon one of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s slighter short stories, the movie suffers from a lack of tension in the plot, ch ... 

FULL STORY >>


Star Trek (05/13/2009)
By David Robinson --

There’s a double Winona connection in the latest “Star Trek” movie. The mother of Spock is played by native daughter Winona (and, yes, she was named after our fair city) Ryder, and the mother of Ja ... 

FULL STORY >>


Taken (05/10/2009)
By David Robinson -- Available this week on DVD, “Taken,” starring Liam Neeson, is a thriller about—surprise!—a kidnapping. On the level of kidnap flicks, it works OK, as long as you don’t get finicky about details.

I ... 

FULL STORY >>


X-Men Origins: Wolverine (05/06/2009)
By David Robinson --

I’m not a big fan of comic-book movies, with some exceptions, such as last year’s “Iron Man.” Generally speaking, they’re too short or way too long on plot, rely too heavily on special effects, and ... 

FULL STORY >>


Frost/Nixon (04/26/2009)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “Frost/Nixon,” as the title implies, is a two-man drama, based upon the play by Peter Morgan, who wrote the screenplay here. The Big Event, of course, is the 1977 TV interviews  ... 

FULL STORY >>


State of Play (04/22/2009)
By David Robinson --

“State of Play,” starring Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, and Rachel McAdams, is an old-fashioned journalistic investigation flick. Its plot outlines will remind many of “All the President’s Men,’ thoug ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Day the Earth Stood Still (04/15/2009)
By David Robinson --

The biggest problem that remaking a classic movie presents is that, hey, everyone knows the plot, including how it comes out. So the filmmakers need to do something drastically different in order to ... 

FULL STORY >>


Doubt (04/12/2009)
By David Robinson --

Now available on DVD, John Patrick Shanley’s Pulitzer and Tony winning play “Doubt” came to the screen with Shanley as both director and screenwriter. He elicits memorable performances from two of  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Knowing (04/08/2009)
By David Robinson -- “Knowing” stars Nicolas Cage as Dr. John Koestler, an MIT astrophysicist who discovers that he can predict when and where a disaster will occur and how many people will die in it. He also discovers th ... 

FULL STORY >>


Quantum of Solace (03/29/2009)
By David Robinson --

If you’re going to rent the new James Bond DVD, “Quantum of Solace,” here’s a piece of advice: rent its immediate predecessor, “Casino Royale,” and view it first. Otherwise, you’ll be lost in a mud ... 

FULL STORY >>


Duplicity (03/25/2009)
By David Robinson -- “Duplicity” starring Clive Owen and Julia Roberts, is a tale of corporate intrigue, but one that has its tongue planted firmly in its cheek. Writer/director Tony Gilroy has been down something like t ... 

FULL STORY >>


Bolt (03/22/2009)
By David Robinson --

Available this week on DVD, “Bolt,” by Disney out of Pixar, is an animal tale in the great Disney tradition, but with the contemporary technological flair at which Pixar excels. The detail and clar ... 

FULL STORY >>


The International (03/18/2009)
By David Robinson --

It’s fashionable to diss powerful banks (and millionaire bankers) in these days of the incredibly shrinking retirement account. So “The International,” starring Clive Owen and Naomi Watts, is nothi ... 

FULL STORY >>


He’s Just Not That Into You (03/11/2009)
By David Robinson -- “He’s Just Not That Into You” assembles a cast of popular actors, mixes and matches them in various romantic tangles, and basically dismisses most young adults’ motives and honesty. This is a romanti ... 

FULL STORY >>


Rachel Getting Married (03/08/2009)
By David Robinson --

Available this week on DVD, “Rachel Getting Married” has all the earmarks of a traditional comedy. Dealing with the events leading up to a wedding and the usual attendant obstacles, it ends with a  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Wrestler (03/04/2009)
For their work in “the Wrestler,” Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei won numerous awards, and both were nominated for Oscars. These two carry the movie, director Darron Aronofsky wisely seeing that their ... 

FULL STORY >>


Australia (03/01/2009)
By David Robinson --

Availabe next week on DVD, “Australia,” starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, might play better down under than it does here. It deals with a slice of Australian history and a racial problem whi ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Academy Awards (02/25/2009)
By David Robinson -- This year’s Academy Awards show was supposed to offer a number of surprises to pump some vitality into what was becoming an over-long, tired format. Indeed, a few shifts in the order and method of pr ... 

FULL STORY >>


Body of Lies (02/22/2009)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “Body of Lies” stars two box-office heavyweights, Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe, a casting move designed to pull people into the theater. Curiously, the two rarely share t ... 

FULL STORY >>


New in Town (02/18/2009)
By David Robinson --

Native Minnesotans listening to the dialogue in “New in Town,” will know for sure that one their own was involved in the screenplay. Sure enough, Ken Rance, who shares a credit with C. Jay Cox, wa ... 

FULL STORY >>


Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (02/15/2009)
By David Robinson -- The list of songs in the credits for “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist”—a movie available now on DVD-- isn’t infinite, but it does go on. For this is a quest movie—well, actually a romantic comedy— ... 

FULL STORY >>


Taken (02/11/2009)
By David Robinson --

“Taken,” starring Liam Neeson, is a thriller about—surprise!—a kidnapping. On the level of kidnap flicks, it works OK, as long as you don’t get finicky about details.

It helps to know that direct ... 

FULL STORY >>


Pride and Glory (02/08/2009)
By David Robinson --

“Pride and Glory,” now available on DVD, opens with cops battling against cops and ends the same way. In the first case, it’s a championship football game, with New York’s finest triumphing over a  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Rachel Getting Married (02/04/2009)
By David Robinson --

“Rachel Getting Married” has all the earmarks of a traditional comedy. Dealing with the events leading up to a wedding and the usual attendant obstacles, it ends with a marriage, singing, dancing,  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Lakeview Terrace (02/01/2009)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, “Lakeview Terrace” stars Samuel L. Jackson: despite the presence of sundry other actors, it is all but a one-man show. Jackson does menace, subtle and otherwise, about as well  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Slumdog Millionaire (01/28/2009)
By David Robinson --

Having won a number of awards at the golden Globes and various film festivals, “Slumdog Millionaire” has created a substantial Oscar buzz. It us nominated for awards in ten categories, usually a si ... 

FULL STORY >>


Swing Vote (01/25/2009)
By David Robinson -- As we celebrate the Inauguration—and who knows? Maybe the end of the Minnesota Senate race!- along comes “Swing Vote,” now available on DVD. A comedy in the Frank Capra mode starring and co-produce ... 

FULL STORY >>


Gran Torino (01/21/2009)
By David Robinson --

“Gran Torino” is emphatically a Clint Eastwood movie. The 78-year old actor/director/producer/songwriter is a one-man gang here, playing a character who may remind some viewers of “Dirty” Harry Cal ... 

FULL STORY >>


Appaloosa (01/18/2009)
By David Robinson --

I confess that Robert Parker is one of my favorite writers, so any film adopted from his work has me on it side before I buy my ticket. I also admire Ed Harris, both as actor and director (of “Poll ... 

FULL STORY >>


Frost/Nixon (01/14/2009)
By David Robinson --

“Frost/Nixon,” as the title implies, is a two-man drama, based upon the play by Peter Morgan, who wrote the screenplay here. The Big Event, of course, is the 1977 TV interviews between the Brit. TV ... 

FULL STORY >>


Swing Vote (01/11/2009)
By David Robinson --

As we near the Inauguration—and who knows? Maybe the end of the Senate race!- along comes “Swing Vote,” available this week on DVD. A comedy in the Frank Capra mode starring and co-produced by Ke ... 

FULL STORY >>


Doubt (01/07/2009)
By David Robinson --

John Patrick Shanley’s Pulitzer and Tony winning play “Doubt” comes to the screen with Shanley as both director and screenwriter. He elicits memorable performances from two of the best actors curre ... 

FULL STORY >>


Pineapple Express (01/04/2009)

I’d like to report that “Pineapple Express,” the latest product of Judd Apatow’s comedy factory which is available this week on DVD, is a move forward from last year’s hits “Knocked Up” and “Superba ... 

FULL STORY >>


Valkyrie (12/31/2008)
By David Robinson -- There were fifteen known assassination attempts on the life of Adolph Hitler. Perhaps the best known is the scheme concocted by a number of high-ranking German officers, one that actually came near t ... 

FULL STORY >>


Bangkok Dangerous (12/28/2008)
By David Robinson -- There are relatively few actors about whom I would say that I would go any movie they are in. Nicolas Cage is one of them. So it’s really disappointing to report that his latest effort, “Bangkok Dan ... 

FULL STORY >>


Seven Pounds (12/24/2008)
By David Robinson --

T’is the season for “Hallmark movies.” You know, those often treacly features, sometimes referred to as “Disease of the Month” TV flicks, featuring formerly big name actors and appealing to people  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Burn After Reading (12/21/2008)
By David Robinson -- With “Burn After Reading,” available this week on video, the Coen brothers return to the realm of dark comedy in which they first struck gold. The people of this offbeat kingdom—Washington, D.C., in  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Day the Earth Stood Still (12/17/2008)
By David Robinson --

The biggest problem that remaking a classic movie presents is that, hey, everyone knows the plot, including how it comes out. So the filmmakers need to do something drastically different in order t ... 

FULL STORY >>


Mamma Mia! The Movie (12/14/2008)
By David Robinson -- Films adapted from Broadway musicals have been among America’s most popular since the advent of sound in the late 1920’s. Posters for early talkies even trumpeted “all talking, all singing, all danci ... 

FULL STORY >>


Australia (12/10/2008)
By David Robinson -- “Australia,” starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, might play better down under than it does here, since it deals with a slice of Australian history and a racial problem which parallels, but signif ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Dark Knight (12/07/2008)
By David Robinson --

Available this week on DVD, “The Dark Knight” continues and deepens the Batman series in some interesting ways. The movie’s theatrical release was immensely successful, though I’d guess that some o ... 

FULL STORY >>


Milk (12/03/2008)
By David Robinson --

“Milk” starts and is dominated by Sean Penn in the title role of Harvey Milk, the San Francisco businessman, politician, and gay rights activist whose life and work profoundly affects our lives toda ... 

FULL STORY >>


Wanted (11/30/2008)
By David Robinson --

Available thios week on DVD, “Wanted”—the title is essentially meaningless—demonstrates much that is impressive and much that is depressing about current American films. There are tons of “Oh, wow ... 

FULL STORY >>


Bolt (11/26/2008)
By David Robinson --

It’s officially holiday time, so there must be a Disney picture in the theaters. Sure enough, “Bolt,” by Disney out of Pixar, has come to town so that kids and their (lucky) parents can see it more ... 

FULL STORY >>


Quantum of Solace (11/19/2008)
By David Robinson --

If you’re going to the new James Bond movie, “Quantum of Solace,” here’s a piece of advice: rent its immediate predecessor, “Casino Royale” and view it just before heading for the theater. Otherwis ... 

FULL STORY >>


WALL.E (11/16/2008)
By David Robinson --

Available the week on video, “WALL.E” is a “G”-rated movie from Disney (well, Pixar) that may try the patience and the attention span of the very youngest viewers. Adults—those taken by the technic ... 

FULL STORY >>


Appaloosa (11/12/2008)
By David Robinson --

I confess that Robert Parker is one of my favorite writers, so any film adopted from his work has me on it side before I buy my ticket. I also admire Ed Harris, both as actor and director (of “Po ... 

FULL STORY >>


Pride and Glory (10/29/2008)
By David Robinson -- “Pride and Glory” opens with cops battling against cops and ends the same way. IN the first case, it’s a championship football game, with New York’s finest triumphing over a team from Detroit. In the ... 

FULL STORY >>


Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (10/19/2008)
By David Robinson --

With “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” now available on DVD, Harrison Ford and director/producer Steven Spielberg try to revivify the franchise after a twenty-year relapse. This ... 

FULL STORY >>


Body of Lies (10/15/2008)
By David Robinson --

“Body of Lies” stars two box-office heavyweights, Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe, a casting move designed to pull people into the theater. Curiously, the two rarely share the screen, though  ... 

FULL STORY >>


You Don’t Mess with the Zohan (10/12/2008)
By David Robinson --

People frequently complain, “The best parts of that movie were all in the previews!” I know what they mean: the art of the deceptive or, to put it more gently, eclectic trailer has been taken to a  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (10/08/2008)
By David Robinson -- The list of songs in the credits for “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist” isn’t infinite, but it does go on. For this is a quest movie—well, actually a romantic comedy—about finding a band at a myste ... 

FULL STORY >>


Lakeview Terrace (10/01/2008)
By David Robinson --

“Lakeview Terrace” stars Samuel L. Jackson: despite the presence of sundry other actors, it is all but a one-man show. Jackson does menace, subtle and otherwise, about as well as any actor curre ... 

FULL STORY >>


Leathernecks (09/21/2008)
By David Robinson -- Available ths week on video, “Leatherheads” wants to be several different movies, but it winds up being none of them. Starring and directed by George Clooney, the film clearly hoped to benefit from h ... 

FULL STORY >>


Burn After Reading (09/17/2008)
By David Robinson -- With “Burn After Reading,” The Coen brothers return to the realm of dark comedy in which they first struck gold. The people of this offbeat kingdom—Washington,D.C., in this case—are no less greedy, r ... 

FULL STORY >>


Bangkok Dangerous (09/14/2008)
By David Robinson --

There are relatively few actors about whom I would say that I would go any movie they are in. Nicolas Cage is one of them. So it’s really disappointing to report that his latest effort, “Bangkok ... 

FULL STORY >>


Baby Mama (09/10/2008)
By David Robinson --

Now available on DVD, “Baby Mama” is this summer’s answer to last year’s “Knocked Up,” a romantic comedy about, umm, having a baby. But where the Judd Apatow sleeper/gross out hit dealt with an unp ... 

FULL STORY >>


Pineapple Express (08/13/2008)
By David Robinson -- I’d like to report that “Pineapple Express,” the latest product of Judd Apatow’s comedy factory, was a move forward from last year’s hits “Knocked Up” and “Superbad.” Alas, the move is downward, even  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Swing Vote (08/06/2008)
By David Robinson --

As we near the end of our post-primary breathing space—or silly season, depending on your viewpoint—and await the start of the political conventions, along comes “Swing Vote.” A comedy in the Fran ... 

FULL STORY >>


Mama Mia (07/23/2008)
By David Robinson -- Mama Mia

Films adapted from Broadway musicals have been among America's most popular since the advent of sound in the late 1920's. Posters for early talkies even trumpeted "all talking, all singin ... 

FULL STORY >>


21 (07/20/2008)
By David Robinson --

Given the tepid critical response and the lack of a big box office name in the cast, the original appeal of "21"¯"”now available on DVD-- was a bit hard to fathom. A look at the calendar, specifica ... 

FULL STORY >>


WALL.E (07/09/2008)
By David Robinson --

"WALL.E"¯ is a "G"¯-rated movie from Disney (well, Pixar) that may try the patience and the attention span of the very youngest viewers. Adults"”those taken by the technical wizardry and the mess ... 

FULL STORY >>


Wanted (07/02/2008)
By David Robinson --

"Wanted"¯"”the title is essentially meaningless"”demonstrates much that is impressive and much that is depressing about current American films. There are tons of "Oh, wow!"¯ moments, mostly generat ... 

FULL STORY >>


Vantage Point (06/29/2008)
By David Robinson -- Available this week on DVD, "Vantage Point"¯ wants to be sophisticated, perhaps even "arty."¯ Alas, it's just a confused hash of a thriller, leaving the audience frustrated and annoyed. Too bad, bec ... 

FULL STORY >>


Get Smart (06/25/2008)
By David Robinson --

The movie version of "Get Smart"¯ has some high expectations to meet. Created in 1965 by comic legends Buck Henry and Mel Brooks, the popular TV series put a number of terms into the popular vocabu ... 

FULL STORY >>


You Don’t Mess with the Zohan (06/18/2008)
By David Robinson --

In his earlier versions, Adam Sandler often seemed to be channeling Jerry Lewis: whiny, frenetic, something of a lovable doofus. He has more recently tried to break out of that (financially succe ... 

FULL STORY >>


Jumper (06/15/2008)
By David Robinson --

It's hard to pigeonhole "Jumper"¯ into a traditional movie category. Is it sci-fi? Action flick? Young lover romance? All of the above, plus the (relatively) new genre of "video game disguised as  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Bucket List (06/08/2008)
By David Robinson -- The Bucket List, available this week on video, stars Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. With these two A-Listers on board, it becomes a buddy flick: I can't recall a scene where one or both aren't p ... 

FULL STORY >>


Rambo (06/01/2008)
By David Robinson --

One doesn't go into the latest (the fourth) item in the Rambo series"”now available on DVD-- looking for Great Cinema or even much originality. Sylvester Stallone has been working this patch of tur ... 

FULL STORY >>


ndiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (05/28/2008)
By David Robinson --

With "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,"¯ Harrison Ford and director/producer Steven Spielberg try to revivify the franchise after a twenty-year relapse. This fourth number in the ... 

FULL STORY >>


National Treasure: Book of Secrets (05/18/2008)
By David Robinson -- If you liked the first "National Treasure"¯"”and a lot of folks did"”you're probably going to like its successor, "National Treasure: Book of Secrets,"¯ available this week on DVD. The new movie take ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Savages (05/14/2008)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, "The Savages"¯ sometimes referred to as a "dark comedy."¯ If so, it is pitch black: don't rent it looking for laughs. After all, the plot concerns a brother and sister trying t ... 

FULL STORY >>


Iron Man (05/07/2008)
By David Robinson --

"Iron Man,"¯ starring Robert Downey, Jr., in the title role, kicks off the summer blockbuster season in high style. Based on the Marvel Comics character but significantly updated, the movie will ap ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Golden Compass (05/04/2008)
By David Robinson -- Now available on video, "The Golden Compass"¯ presents itself as a young person's movie, and it is that"”in part. Focusing on the life and perils of 12-year old Lyra Belacqua (Dakota Blue Richards),  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Baby Mama (04/30/2008)
By David Robinson --

"Baby Mama"¯ is this summer's answer to last year's "Knocked Up,"¯ a romantic comedy about, umm, having a baby. But where the Judd Apatow sleeper/gross out hit dealt with an unplanned pregnancy, th ... 

FULL STORY >>


Charlie Wilson’s War (04/27/2008)
By David Robinson -- Now available on video, "Charlie Wilson's War,"¯ starring Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman, has a lot going for it besides the presence of these three Oscar winners. It's funny a ... 

FULL STORY >>


Forgetting Sarah Marshall (04/23/2008)
By David Robinson -- "Forgetting Sarah Marshall"¯ is the latest product of the Judd Apatow romantic comedy franchise, the most famous of which, "Knocked Up,"¯ was last summer's sleeper hit. Like that movie and its other ... 

FULL STORY >>


Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (04/20/2008)
By David Robinson -- "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street"¯ shows all the signs of being a Broadway musical brought to the screen: the sets are consciously stagy, the characters break into song without warning, ... 

FULL STORY >>


21 (04/16/2008)
Given the tepid critical response and the lack of a big box office name in the cast, the ongoing appeal of "21"¯ is a bit hard to fathom. A look at the calendar, specifically the academic calendar, m ... 

FULL STORY >>


Juno (04/13/2008)
By David Robinson -- Every year there's at least one"¯small"¯ picture that scores with audiences and critics nationwide, garnering nominations and winning prizes against the odds. (Think "Little Miss Sunshine,"¯ for ins ... 

FULL STORY >>


Leatherheads (04/09/2008)
By David Robinson -- "Leatherheads"¯ wants to be several different movies, but it winds up being none of them. Starring and directed by George Clooney, the film clearly hopes to benefit from his box office power, along w ... 

FULL STORY >>


Enchanted (03/26/2008)
By David Robinson -- The first ten minutes or so of "Enchanted,"¯ which is now available on video, may make you think you have stumbled into a time warp. From the use of a "storybook opening"¯ with the words "Once upon a ... 

FULL STORY >>


Atonement (03/19/2008)
By David Robinson -- Now available in video format, "Atonement"¯ came in and went out of Winona faster than you can say "artsy niche movie."¯ The local response reflects the reaction of the national audience, which gene ... 

FULL STORY >>


No Country for Old Men (03/16/2008)
By David Robinson -- The title of Cormac McCarthy's novel "No Country for Old Men"¯ alludes to the first line of a poem by Yeats, one in which he is feeling his years, the separation between himself and the life around h ... 

FULL STORY >>


Vantage Point (03/12/2008)
By David Robinson -- "Vantage Point"¯ wants to be sophisticated, perhaps even "arty."¯ Alas, it's just a confused hash of a thriller, leaving the audience"”those unhappy few of us who stayed to the end"”frustrated and an ... 

FULL STORY >>


American Gangster (03/02/2008)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, "American Gangster"¯ stars Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, so you'd expect that director Ridley Scott and screenwriter Steve Zaillan"”working with a true story-- would load  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Oscars (02/27/2008)
By David Robinson -- Last weekend Oscar celebrated his 80th birthday in mostly enjoyable, if not exactly memorable, style. However, Minnesotans will likely recall if for some time, as it featured big wins in top categori ... 

FULL STORY >>


Michael Clayton (02/24/2008)
By David Robinson -- Michael Clayton

Available this week on DVD, Michael Clayton, as the title implies, is essentially about one man, a lawyer in a big New York firm. As played by Oscar nominess George Clooney, Clayto ... 

FULL STORY >>


Jumper (02/20/2008)
By David Robinson --

It's hard to pigeonhole "Jumper"¯ into a traditional movie category. Is it sci-fi? Action flick? Young lover romance? All of the above, plus the (relatively) new genre of "video game disguised as m ... 

FULL STORY >>


We Own the Night (02/17/2008)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, We Own the Night was the motto painted on NYPD squad cars during the late 1980's, when the police set their caps to get drug dealers off the streets. The film's focus, however,  ... 

FULL STORY >>


No Country for Old Men (02/13/2008)
By David Robinson -- The title of Cormac McCarthy's novel "No Country for Old Men"¯ alludes to the first line of a poem by Yeats, one in which he is feeling his years, the separation between himself and the life around h ... 

FULL STORY >>


No Reservations (02/10/2008)
By David Robinson -- During the opening shot of "No Reservations,"¯ which is available on DVD this week, the speaker is describing the preparation of "lovebirds."¯ She turns out to be Kate (Catherine Zeta-Jones), and her ... 

FULL STORY >>


Rambo (02/06/2008)
By David Robinson --

Watching TV the other day, I saw an ad for the latest "Rambo,"¯ now gracing our local screen. "The #1 Action Movie in America!"¯ it howled. "Critics rave about ‘the Best Rambo Ever'"¯! Upon ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Bucket List (01/30/2008)
By David Robinson -- The Bucket List"”in case your television set has been broken for two months and you haven't seen the inescapable ads"”stars Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. With these two A-Listers on board, it be ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Brave One (01/27/2008)
By David Robinson -- "The Brave One,"¯ starring Jodie Foster and Terrence Howard, will be available on DVD next week. The critical knock on the movie was two-fold. First, reviewers complained that it too closely resemb ... 

FULL STORY >>


‘Eastern Promises’ (01/13/2008)
By David Robinson -- Now available on video, "Eastern Promises"¯ is a kind of follow-up (as opposed to a sequel) of "A History of Violence."¯ In fact, it might be called "A Story of Violence,"¯ as it features beatings, s ... 

FULL STORY >>


‘Juno’ (01/09/2008)
By David Robinson -- Every year there's at least one "¯small"¯ picture that scores with audiences and critics nationwide, garnering nominations and winning prizes against the odds. (Think "Little Miss Sunshine,"¯ for ins ... 

FULL STORY >>


"3:10 to Yuma"¯ (01/06/2008)
By David Robinson --

The western as a film genre is almost as old as the cinema itself. Indeed, "The Great Train Robbery,"¯ about a bunch of bad guys who, uh, rob a train, is sometimes called the first narrative film.  ... 

FULL STORY >>


‘Charlie Wilson’s War’ (01/02/2008)
By David Robinson --

"Charlie Wilson's War,"¯ starring Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman, has a lot going for it besides the presence of these three Oscar winners. It's funny and serious by turns, c ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Kingdom"¯ (12/30/2007)
By David Robinson --

"The Kingdom"¯ refers to Saudi Arabia, where most of this action movie is set. Starring Jamie Foxx and featuring Jennifer Garner, Chris Cooper, and Ashraf Barhom, the film necessitates a certain  ... 

FULL STORY >>


National Treasure: Book of Secrets"¯ (12/26/2007)
By David Robinson --

If you liked the first "National Treasure"¯"”and a lot of folks did"”you're probably going to like its successor, "National Treasure: Book of Secrets."¯ The new movie takes the successful formula a ... 

FULL STORY >>


"Stardust"¯ (12/23/2007)

Not being a big fan of fantasy, I was prepared not to like "Stardust,"¯ which is now on video. This is a love story/quest flick solidly ensconced in a realm of fantasy that lies just beyond the wall ... 

FULL STORY >>


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (12/19/2007)
By David Robinson --

When I saw it in its theatrical release, the buzz in the predominantly young audience before the movie started demonstrated the level of anticipation that "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Bourne Ultimatum (12/16/2007)
By David Robinson -- Bourne is back"”Jason Bourne"”in the final (?) installment of the Bourne trilogy, The Bourne Ultimatum, which is now available on video. As the eponymous star, Matt Damon brings the character full ci ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Golden Compass (12/12/2007)
By David Robinson --

"The Golden Compass"¯ presents itself as a young person's movie, and it is that"”in part. Focusing on the life and perils of 12-year old Lyra Belacqua (Dakota Blue Richards), the story will engage  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Superbad (12/09/2007)
By David Robinson --

Critical opinion on "Superbad"¯"”now available on video-- has mostly focused upon its being made by the same team that produced this spring's inventive comedy hit, "Knocked Up."¯ That film's writer ... 

FULL STORY >>


Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (12/05/2007)
By David Robinson -- Now available on video, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End is the third in a row of "the third in the series"¯ flicks released thispast summer. Like the Number 3's of "Spider Man"¯ and "Shrek," ... 

FULL STORY >>


Live Free or Die Hard (12/02/2007)
John McClane is back, after a twelve-year hiatus, and he's as good as ever in "¯Live Free or Die Hard,"¯ the fourth installment of this immensely popular series, now available on video. As the consta ... 

FULL STORY >>


Enchanted (11/28/2007)
By David Robinson -- Enchanted"¯ made me think that I had stumbled into a time warp. From the use of a "storybook opening"¯ with the words "Once upon a time"¯ to the introduction of characters"”human and animal"”straight ... 

FULL STORY >>


Ocean’s Thirteen (11/25/2007)
By David Robinson --

In terms of third go-rounds, it's nice to see a #3 which surpasses #2, if not #1. While the current (and I devoutly hope last) numbers in the Spiderman, Shrek, and Pirates of the Caribbean franchis ... 

FULL STORY >>


Beowulf (11/21/2007)
By David Robinson -- Contemplating going to see "Beowulf,"¯ I remembered the old Classics Comics"”comic book versions of The Classics which painlessly introduced so many of us to the great works of literature back in the  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Shrek the Third (11/18/2007)

I would be pleased to report that "Shrek the Third"¯ now available on video--"” is as good as its lively and original predecessors. But while it shares some of the same wit and general appeal, this  ... 

FULL STORY >>


American Gangster (11/14/2007)
By David Robinson -- Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, so you'd expect that director Ridley Scott and screenwriter Steve Zaillan"”working with a true story-- would load the film with confrontations between these two Os ... 

FULL STORY >>


Sicko (11/11/2007)
By David Robinson --

Now available on video, Michael Moore's latest documentary, Sicko, opens with a not-so-flattering clip of George W. Bush expatiating on the health care system's woes. In its course, the movie also  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Ratatouille (11/07/2007)
By David Robinson --

Now available in video, Ratatouille, the latest production from Pixar, has an unlikely title, an unusual setting, and an almost unbelievable hero. Set mostly in Paris, the action mainly takes place ... 

FULL STORY >>


We Own the Night (11/04/2007)
By David Robinson --

We Own the Night was the motto painted on NYPD squad cars during the late 1980's, when the police set their caps to get drug dealers off the streets. The film's focus, however, is one Bobby Green ( ... 

FULL STORY >>


Spider-Man 3 (10/31/2007)
By David Robinson --

Like so many sequels"”or "movies with a number in the title"¯ as I've heard them called"”"Spider-Man 3"¯ gives us too much of what had been a good thing. The first item in the Spidey adventures too ... 

FULL STORY >>


Transformers (10/28/2007)
By David Robinson --

By this point in cinematic history, moviegoers have gotten used to films based on a variety of sources. Not only do we have adaptations of novels and dramas, we enjoy (or not) stories derived from  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Meet the Robinsons (10/24/2007)
By David Robinson --

I am not related to any of the characters in "Meet the Robinsons,"¯ nor have I ever met them"”except in a number of other Disney movies. Despite a tribute to St. Walt himself at film's end, the curr ... 

FULL STORY >>


Michael Clayton (10/21/2007)
By David Robinson --

Michael Clayton, as the title implies, is essentially about one man, a lawyer in a big New York firm. As played by George Clooney, Clayton is a full human being, seriously flawed but basically hono ... 

FULL STORY >>


Evan Almighty (10/10/2007)
By David Robinson -- Everyone "” OK, make that almost everyone "” knows the basic Noah and the Ark story. After all, about once a year "The National Inquirer"¯ or its ilk reports the Bible's most famous ship having been  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Reign Over Me (10/07/2007)
By David Robinson --

Now available on DVD, Reign Over Me, starring Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle, derives its title from an old song by The Who. The basic idea, "only love can make it rain,"¯ suggests that the singer is ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Kingdom (10/03/2007)
By David Robinson --

The Kingdom refers to Saudi Arabia, where most of this action movie is set. Starring Jamie Foxx and featuring Jennifer Garner, Chris Cooper, and Ashraf Barhom, the film necessitates a certain suspe ... 

FULL STORY >>


Next (09/26/2007)
By David Robinson --

Based on a short story by Phillip K. Dick, Next is a sci-fi thriller starring Nicholas Cage and Julianne Moore, with Jessica Biel in an important supporting role. But this is a Cage movie"”he's lis ... 

FULL STORY >>


Knocked up (09/23/2007)
By David Robinson --

Available this week on DVD, Knocked Up, as the name might tell you, is rated "R"¯ for language and sexuality. It's aimed squarely at the 18-34 year old males who populate the screen much of the tim ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Brave One (09/19/2007)
By David Robinson --

The critical knock on "The Brave One,"¯ starring Jodie Foster and Terrence Howard, is two-fold. First, reviewers have complained that it too closely resembles the citizen-turned-vigilante films typi ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Lives of Others (09/16/2007)
By David Robinson -- There are at least three or four copies of "The Lives of Others"¯ available in local DVD outlets. While I doubt that there will be a rush on them anytime soon, there should be. The film won the Osca ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Great Train Robbery (09/12/2007)
By David Robinson -- The western as a film genre is almost as old as the cinema itself. Indeed, "The Great Train Robbery,"¯ about a bunch of bad guys who, uh, rob a train, is sometimes called the first narrative film. T ... 

FULL STORY >>


No Reservations (09/05/2007)
By David Robinson --

In the opening shot of "No Reservations,"¯ the speaker is describing the preparation of "lovebirds."¯ She turns out to be Kate (Catherine Zeta-Jones), and her true subject is not humans but quail"” ... 

FULL STORY >>


Perfect Stranger (08/26/2007)
By David Robinson -- Now available in video, Perfect Stranger wants to be profound, dealing with issues like loyalty, trust, fidelity, and identity. But it's like (to paraphrase that famous cinematic philosopher, F. Gump ... 

FULL STORY >>


Superbad (08/22/2007)
By David Robinson -- Critical opinion on "Superbad"¯ has mostly focused upon its being made by the same team that produced this spring's inventive comedy hit, "Knocked Up."¯ That film's writer/director, Judd Apatow, co-p ... 

FULL STORY >>


Stardust (08/15/2007)
By David Robinson --

Not being a big fan of fantasy, I was prepared not to like "Stardust,"¯ a love story/quest flick solidly ensconced in the realm of fantasy that lies just beyond the wall. In fact, the main chara ... 

FULL STORY >>


Wild Hogs (08/12/2007)
By David Robinson -- Now available on video, Wild Hogs combines the staples of the formulas for buddy flicks and road flicks to produce -a formula flick! Though sporadically funny, it offers few surprises and lapses at t ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Bourne Ultimatum (08/08/2007)
By David Robinson -- Bourne is back"”Jason Bourne"”in the final (?) installment of the Bourne trilogy, The Bourne Ultimatum. As the eponymous star, Matt Damon brings the character full circle in the quest for his identit ... 

FULL STORY >>


Sicko (08/01/2007)
By David Robinson -- Michael Moore's latest documentary, Sicko, opens with a not-so-flattering clip of George W. Bush expatiating on the health care system's woes. In its course, the movie also takes shots at Richard Nix ... 

FULL STORY >>


300 (07/29/2007)
By David Robinson -- For some years now, we've heard that computers will eventually take over the making of movies, rendering such peripheral matters as studio back lots, live actors, and original screenplays anachronism. ... 

FULL STORY >>


Zodiac (07/25/2007)
By David Robinson -- A series of murders in the San Francisco during the 1960's is the basis for the movie Zodiac, the name that the killer gave himself. Robert Greysmith, the author of the book upon which James Vanderbi ... 

FULL STORY >>


Sweet Land (07/22/2007)
By David Robinson -- A couple of years ago, I visited some friends who have a farm in southern Indiana. Being good hosts, they thoughtfully left a volume of Will Weaver's short fiction on my bedside table, particularly r ... 

FULL STORY >>


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (07/18/2007)
By David Robinson -- I don't flatter myself that anything I say, one way or another, is going to lure folks into the theater to see the new Harry Potter movie, or drive them away. It's already set a box office record fo ... 

FULL STORY >>


Transformers (07/15/2007)
By David Robinson --

By this point in cinematic history, moviegoers have gotten used to films based on a variety of sources. Not only do we have adaptations of novels and dramas, we enjoy (or not) stories derived  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Ratatouille (07/11/2007)
By David Robinson --

Ratatouille, the latest production from Pixar, has an unlikely title, an unusual setting, and an almost unbelievable hero. Set mostly in Paris, the action mainly takes place in the kitchen ... 

FULL STORY >>


Live Free or Die Hard (07/04/2007)
By David Robinson -- Live Free or Die Hard

John McClane is back, after a twelve-year hiatus, and he's as good as ever in "¯Live Free or Die Hard,"¯ the fourth installment of this immensely popular  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Evan Almighty (06/27/2007)
Everyone"”OK, make that almost everyone"”knows the basic Noah and the Ark story. After all, about once a year "The National Inquirer"¯ or its ilk reports the Bible's most famous ship having been foun ... 

FULL STORY >>


Shooter (06/24/2007)
By David Robinson --

Available in video format this week, Shooter, starring Mark Wahlberg in the title role, wants to be one of the Bourne series, but it winds up being a fairly ordinary action flick. As the name impli ... 

FULL STORY >>


Ocean’s Thirteen (06/13/2007)
By David Robinson --

In this summer of third go-rounds, it's nice to see a #3 which surpasses #2, if not #1. While the current (and I devoutly hope last) numbers in the Spiderman, Shrek, and Pirates of the Caribbean f ... 

FULL STORY >>


Letters from Iwo Jima (06/10/2007)
By David Robinson -- Now available on DVD, Letters from Iwo Jima may be the least widely-viewed four-time Oscar nominee in recent times. Although it won only for sound editing, it was up for Best Picture, Director, and O ... 

FULL STORY >>


Knocked Up (06/06/2007)
By David Robinson -- Knocked Up

Knocked Up, as the name might tell you, is rated "R"¯ for language and sexuality. It's aimed squarely at the 18-34 year old males who populate the screen much of the time here ... 

FULL STORY >>


Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (05/30/2007)
By David Robinson --

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End is the third in a row of "the third in the series"¯ flicks out so far this summer. Like the Number 3's of "Spider Man"¯ and "Shrek,"¯ that preceded it, this ... 

FULL STORY >>


Shrek the Third (05/23/2007)
By David Robinson -- I would be pleased to report that "Shrek the Third"¯ was as good as its lively and original predecessors. But while it shares some of the same wit and general appeal, this sequel to the sequel"”like  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Fracture (05/16/2007)
By David Robinson -- Fracture stars Anthony Hopkins and Ryan gosling in what is essentially a two-man film. Director Gregory Hoblit, working with an intelligent screenplay by Daniel Pyne and Glenn Gers, has crafted a ni ... 

FULL STORY >>


Dreamgirls (05/13/2007)
By David Robinson -- Every once in a while I find myself so far out of synch with the prevailing critical opinion that I have to double check that I saw the same movie. So let it be with Dreamgirls, now available in vid ... 

FULL STORY >>


Spider-Man 3 (05/09/2007)
By David Robinson --

Like so many sequels"”or "movies with a number in the title"¯ as I've heard them called"”"Spider-Man 3"¯ gives us too much of what had been a good thing. The first item in the Spidey adventures too ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Queen (05/06/2007)
By David Robinson -- Now available in video format, The Queen was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Though I disagree with that last accolade, it had a legitimate shot at the Oscar for Original S ... 

FULL STORY >>


Next (05/02/2007)
By David Robinson --

Based on a short story by Phillip K. Dick, Next is a sci-fi thriller starring Nicholas Cage and Julianne Moore, with Jessica Biel in an important supporting role. But this is a Cage movie"”he's lis ... 

FULL STORY >>


DĆ©jĆ  Vu (04/25/2007)
By David Robinson -- Now available in video stores, DĆ©jĆ  Vu stars Denzel Washington as an Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agent with a past. We never quite get the details on it, but agent Doug Karlin has evidently had  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Night at the Museum (04/22/2007)
By David Robinson --

Due out on DVD this week, Night at the Museum stars Ben Stiller, and it's about what you might expect from a Stiller film. Playing a lovable loser (again), he has to compete against a set of museum ... 

FULL STORY >>


Perfect Strangers (04/18/2007)
By David Robinson --

Perfect Strangers wants to be profound, dealing with issues like loyalty, trust, fidelity, and identity. But it's like (to paraphrase the famous cinematic philosopher, F. Gump) a box of chocolates: ... 

FULL STORY >>


Volver (04/15/2007)
By David Robinson -- Volver, now available in video format, defies easy pigeonholing. It's a comedy in its structure, and there's a good deal of quiet humor in it. But its plot features homicide, actual and attempted i ... 

FULL STORY >>


Reign Over Me (04/11/2007)
By David Robinson -- Reign Over Me, starring Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle, derives its title from an old song by The Who. The basic idea, "only love can make it rain,"¯ suggests that the singer is living in a "dry time." ... 

FULL STORY >>


Meet the Robinsons (04/08/2007)
By David Robinson -- Disclaimer: I am not related to any of the characters in "Meet the Robinsons,"¯ nor have I ever met them"”except in a number of other Disney movies.

Despite a tribute to St. Walt himself at film's  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Good Shepherd (04/04/2007)
By David Robinson -- Now available on video and DVD, The Good Shepherd features an all-star cast, an intelligent and relevant plot, and some expert behind-the-camera work. Yet it was, if not panned, then damned with fai ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Pursuit of Happyness (04/01/2007)
By David Robinson -- As a classic rags to riches story, The Pursuit of Happyness"”now available on video and DVD-- could easily have slipped into sloppy sentiment. It dances along the edge of that slough nimbly, its life ... 

FULL STORY >>


Shooter (03/28/2007)
By David Robinson -- Shooter, starring Mark Wahlberg in the title role, wants to be one of the Bourne series, but it winds up being a fairly ordinary action flick. As the name implies, it's a film about shooting, as well ... 

FULL STORY >>


Zodiac (03/21/2007)
By David Robinson -- A series of murders in the San Francisco during the 1960's is the basis for the movie Zodiac, the name that the killer gave himself. Robert Greysmith, the author of the book upon which James Vanderbi ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Holiday (03/18/2007)
By David Robinson -- Available this week in video and DVD outlets, The Holiday comes from a long line of screwball/romantic comedies. As the title suggests, it is set in"”and its theatrical release was clearly timed for" ... 

FULL STORY >>


Wild Hogs (03/07/2007)
By David Robinson -- Wild Hogs combines the staples of the formulas for buddy flicks and road flicks to produce -a formula flick! Though sporadically funny, it offers few surprises and lapses at times into borderline tas ... 

FULL STORY >>


Borat (03/04/2007)
By David Robinson -- Available this week on video and DVD, Borat was something of a box office miracle last year. It even asked in its own ads whether it was the funniest movie ever made. Presumably the question is rhe ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Academy Awards (02/28/2007)
By David Robinson -- The 79th annual birthday party for Uncle Oscar, aka the Academy Awards, featured both surprises and fulfilled expectations. The latter took the form of wins for Helen Mirren as Best Actress and Marti ... 

FULL STORY >>


Babel (02/25/2007)
By David Robinson -- Babel, as the name implies, is about communication, or, more to the point, the lack thereof. Ironically, the nations of the earth are able to stay in touch with each other as perhaps never before, as ... 

FULL STORY >>


Man of the Year (02/21/2007)
By David Robinson -- Now available on video and DVD, Man of the Year was cagily released last fall at just about the time when we are all praying for the election season to be over, and it's now coming to a store near yo ... 

FULL STORY >>


An Inconvenient Truth (02/04/2007)
By David Robinson -- An Inconvenient Truth, now available on DVD, was screened last weekend at the Frozen River Film Festival. Ironically, the weather belied the film's contention that global warming is not only occurrin ... 

FULL STORY >>


Babel (01/24/2007)
By David Robinson -- Babel, as the name implies, is about communication, or, more to the point, the lack thereof. Ironically, the nations of the earth are able to stay in touch with each other as perhaps never before, as ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Good Shepherd (01/17/2007)
The Good Shepherd features an all-star cast, an intelligent and relevant plot, and some expert behind-the-camera work. Yet it has been, if not panned, then damned with faint praise, mostly because of ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Black Dahlia (01/14/2007)
By David Robinson -- Now available on video and DVD, Brian DePalma's The Black Dahlia is a disappointment, not only for his fans but for moviegoers generally. Working with James Ellroy's best-selling novel, the director ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Pursuit of Happyness (01/10/2007)
By David Robinson -- As a classic rags to riches story, The Pursuit of Happyness could easily have slipped into sloppy sentiment. It dances along the edge of that slough nimbly, its lifeline being a sterling performance  ... 

FULL STORY >>


All the King’s Men (01/03/2007)
By David Robinson -- Now available on video and DVD, All the King's Men is an old-fashioned movie: this will please some, annoy others"”especially the younger (18-34) demographic which is the target audience of choice the ... 

FULL STORY >>


Little Miss Sunshine (12/31/2006)
By David Robinson -- Now available on video and DVD, Little Miss Sunshine might be described as a road movie, but that would do this dark comedy an injustice. Yes, it follows the travels and travails of a family as they  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Night at the Museum (12/27/2006)
Night at the Museum stars Ben Stiller, and it's about what you might expect from a Stiller film. Playing a lovable loser (again), he has to compete against a set of museum pieces, rather than irate i ... 

FULL STORY >>


World Trade Center (12/20/2006)
By David Robinson -- Now available on video and DVD, Oliver Stone's World Trade Center will surprise those who have followed his career and might expect an in-your-face, full bore political statement, given the title and  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Holiday (12/13/2006)
By David Robinson -- The Holiday comes from a long line of screwball/romantic comedies. As the title suggests, it is set in"”and clearly timed for"”the Christmas/New Year season, and its plot involves a number of old mem ... 

FULL STORY >>


Miami Vice (12/10/2006)
By David Robinson -- The world, according to Miami Vice, is a vicious place, where telling the good guys from the bad is difficult, sometimes impossible. I confess to never having seen a single episode of the TV series u ... 

FULL STORY >>


DĆ©jĆ  Vu (12/06/2006)
By David Robinson -- DĆ©jĆ  Vu stars Denzel Washington as an Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agent with a past. We never quite get the details on it, but agent Doug Karlin has evidently had experience investigating the Ok ... 

FULL STORY >>


Dead Man’s Chest (12/03/2006)
By David Robinson -- Due out on video and DVD this week, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest delivers almost exactly what you would expect, and it does so fairly well. It has just the right ingredients to keep dra ... 

FULL STORY >>


Happy Feet (11/29/2006)
By David Robinson -- So what are the odds that two of my favorite movies of the past couple of years would be about"”penguins? With the emergence of Happy Feet on the heels (so to speak) of last year's"¯March of the Peng ... 

FULL STORY >>


Superman Returns (11/26/2006)
By David Robinson -- Available this week on video and DVD, Superman Returns wants to be an update of the hoary hero's long and familiar epic. It refers to the earlier movies, both directly and obliquely. Those old enou ... 

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Casino Royale (11/22/2006)
By David Robinson -- Bond is back, and he's as good as ever. In fact, the current avatar purports to be a younger Commander James B., before he was issued the ‘license to kill,"¯ easily the biggest perk of getting  ... 

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Borat (11/19/2006)
By David Robinson -- I'd like to be able to jump on the Borat bandwagon, but I can't. This box office miracle, which is taking away business from such exemplary films as Flags of Our Fathers, asks in its own ads whether  ... 

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Water (11/15/2006)
Water, the third number in the "Elemental Trilogy"¯ of writer/director Deepa Mehta, will be screened this weekend at the Winona Film Society, the last of their fall offerings. This is a beautifully m ... 

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The Da Vinci Code (11/08/2006)
By David Robinson -- Film versions of best-selling novels are almost invariably disappointments, especially to those who have read and loved the book. The reasons for the inevitable shortfall are so numerous as to occupy ... 

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Cars (11/05/2006)
If you've been waiting to find a kid to watch Cars with"”as a form of protective coloration"”wait no longer. You don't have to have a kid, be one, or be a NASCAR fan to enjoy this latest offering fro ... 

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Man of the Year (10/18/2006)
By David Robinson -- Man of the Year, cagily released at just about the time when we are all praying for the election season to be over, reunites Robin Williams and writer/director Barry Levinson. An earlier collaboration ... 

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The Departed (10/11/2006)
By David Robinson -- Martin Scorcese's latest film, The Departed, is a violent, profanity-ridden morality play. Known from the beginning of his career for his fascination with urban gangs"”as well as for his excellence a ... 

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A Prairie Home Companion (10/04/2006)
By David Robinson -- Those who, like me, are long term fans of A Prairie Home Companion, looked forward to the theatrical release of the movie version, the video version of which is due out this week. Shot almost entirel ... 

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Little Miss Sunshine (09/10/2006)
By David Robinson -- Little Miss Sunshine might be described as a road movie, but that would do this rather dark comedy an injustice. Yes, it follows the travels and travails of a family as they go from Albuquerque to Lo ... 

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The Sentinel (09/06/2006)
By David Robinson -- Now available on video and DVD, The Sentinel pulls just about every cinematic string to get the audience jittery, uncertain of what's coming next or who's really who. Starring Kiefer Sutherland and  ... 

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World Trade Center (08/23/2006)
By David Robinson -- Oliver Stone's World Trade Center will surprise those who have followed his career and might expect an in-your-face, full bore political statement, given the title and all too familiar subject: the de ... 

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Poseidon (08/20/2006)
By David Robinson -- Available in video stores this week, Poseidon suffers from a paradoxical problem: the action is too nonstop, but when the characters open their mouths, one wants them to shut up and get moving again.  ... 

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Inside Man (08/06/2006)
By David Robinson -- Available this week on video and DVD, Inside Man is a Spike Lee movie with a difference. The usual ingredients are all in place: the New York City setting with its wise-guy, smart mouth, ethnic-snip ... 

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Miami Vice (08/02/2006)
By David Robinson -- The world, according to Miami Vice, is a vicious place, where telling the good guys from the bad is difficult, sometimes impossible. I confess to never having seen a single episode of the TV series u ... 

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Superman Returns (07/12/2006)
By David Robinson -- Superman Returns wants to be an update of the hoary hero's long and familiar epic. It refers to the earlier movies, both directly and obliquely. Those old enough to remember not only Christopher Ree ... 

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Syriana (06/18/2006)
Available this week on video and DVD, Syriana is easy to admire but difficult to love. Those who liked "Traffic,"¯ for which screenwriter Stephen Geghan won an Oscar a couple of years ago, will under ... 

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The Da Vinci Code (05/31/2006)
By David Robinson -- Film versions of best-selling novels are almost invariably disappointments, especially to those who have read and loved the book. The reasons for the inevitable shortfall are so numerous as to occupy ... 

FULL STORY >>


Poseidon (05/24/2006)
By David Robinson -- Poseidon suffers from a paradoxical problem: the action is too nonstop, but when the characters open their mouths, one wants them to shut up and get moving again. The outcome of this remake of The Po ... 

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Munich (05/14/2006)
By David Robinson -- Now available on video and DVD, Munich, the latest film produced and directed by Steven Spielberg, revisits briefly the shocking events of the 1972 Olympics in that city. A group of Israeli athlete ... 

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Mission: Impossible III (05/10/2006)
By David Robinson -- Despite all the hype attending the advent of Mission: Impossible III, the latest (but likely not the last, alas) in the series, it's not very appealing. Oh, all the expected stuff is there: the car  ... 

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The Family Stone (04/30/2006)
By David Robinson -- Due out on video and DVD this week, The Family Stone starts out predictably enough: a family is getting together for Christmas, and one son is bringing home The Girl to meet them. She's nervous; he's ... 

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The Sentinel (04/26/2006)
By David Robinson -- The Sentinel pulls just about every cinematic string to get the audience jittery, uncertain of what's coming next or who's really who. Starring Kiefer Sutherland and Michael Douglas, this not-especia ... 

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A History of Violence (04/23/2006)
By David Robinson -- The title of A History of Violence, now available on video and DVD, tells you what you need to know about the content. It's full of violence, or the threat of it, and it deals with personal history,  ... 

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Take the Lead (04/16/2006)
Take the Lead stars Antonio Banderas, who is easily the best thing in it. Known for being cool and suave, Banderas is every inch of that in this formula flick about a dance instructor who decides to  ... 

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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (04/12/2006)
By David Robinson -- Now available on video and DVD, C. S. Lewis's classic tale, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, has been brought to the screen by the (also formidable) Walt Disney Studio ... 

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Brokeback Mountain (04/09/2006)
By David Robinson -- The hubbub surrounding the theatrical release of Brokeback Mountain, now available on video and DVD, makes it out to be a sensational movie, dealing as it does with the love between two cowboys. But ... 

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Chicken Little (04/02/2006)
You may think you know the plot of Chicken Little, now available on video and DVD, but you'd only be partly correct. Sure, the Disney flick starts out with a diminutive fowl thinking he has been hit  ... 

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Inside Man (03/29/2006)
By David Robinson -- Inside Man is a Spike Lee movie with a difference. The usual ingredients are all in place: the New York City setting with its wise-guy, smart mouth, ethnic-sniping populace; the in-your-face photogra ... 

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Capote (03/26/2006)
By David Robinson -- Phillip Seymour Hoffman won the Oscar for Best Actor for his brilliant work in the title role of Capote, now available on video and DVD. As the film's name implies, Truman Capote is the movie here: d ... 

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