Saturday, September 3, 2016
In the 1960s, Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson struggles with emerging psychosis as he attempts to craft his avant-garde pop masterpiece. In the 1980s, he is a broken, confused man under the 24-hour watch of a shady therapist.
Excellently executed bio-pic with a good cast, but hampered by unnecessarily telling the story in leaps back and forth in time, and in the end it's a tortured artist with a Svengali-like madman and a wee romance thrown in for good measure - and hardly any insights to the genius Brian Wilson actually is.
Friday, September 2, 2016
Thomas Butts (1757-1845) commissioned the artist William Blake (1757-1845) to produce a series of watercolours. They were to illustrate John Milton’s epic poem ‘Paradise Lost’, which was first published in 1667. Butts, a civil servant, was one of Blake’s most loyal patrons.
Inspired by Milton’s text, Blake represents Satan and his angel accomplices as beautiful in appearance. He based the nude figures on classical sculpture and on drawings and paintings by Michelangelo (1475-1564).
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren work to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in their farmhouse.
Nicely assembled old-fashioned haunted house movie; the problem is that it has all been done before with much more thrills.
Maltin**1/2: "Well made and well acted, this is an intelligent horror movie (based on supposedly real events) but there's nothing new here. Incidentally, no conjuring takes place."
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
A young boy is recruited by the International Military to lead the fight against the Formics, a genocidal alien race which nearly annihilated the human race in a previous invasion.
An above-average sci-fi drama with an adequate cast hits a sour note with its unabashed militarism which is not softened with a half-baked appeal for entente cordiale at the end of the movie.
Maltin**1/2: "Elaborate rendering of Orson Scott Card's beloved novel...Creditable adaptation of the youthful empowerment novel by writer-director Hood is great looking and extremely well cast. If only it didn't drag toward the climax."
Monday, August 29, 2016
An underwater cave diving team experiences a life-threatening crisis during an expedition to the unexplored and least accessible cave system in the world.
Nicely photographed, but otherwise mediocre adventure drama with no surprises.
Maltin**1/2: "The characters are painted in the broadest strokes (in keeping with prducer James Cameron's m.o.), but the underwater is consistently exciting - and convincing. Makes excellent use of 3-D."
An otherwise moral captain of a charter boat becomes financially strapped and is drawn into illegal activities in order to keep up payments on his boat.
A more adequate and more serious adaptation of Hemingway's To Have and Have Not than John Huston's attempt, but less entertaining; excellent cast and good details.
Halliwell*: "Adequate if slightly humdrum attempt by Warner to atone for what they had done to a Hemingway novel, the infidelity of To Have and Have Not and the unauthorized variation of Key Largo."
Maltin***1/2: "High-voltage refilming of Hemingway's TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT...Garfield and Juano Hernandez give superb interpretations."