“Get with the program!” scolds another letter from a brainwashed fan of the Batman-as-seen-through-the-pretentiousness-of-the-Christopher-Nolan trilogy, “You are a dinosaur!” He’s probably right, and I probably would—if I could only make one lick of sense out of what this nonsense is all about. Silly pop-culture comic book cinema about grown men in rubber masks and Styrofoam jock straps is bad enough, but incomprehensible gibberish to boot is just plain unacceptable. Halfheartedly, I give The Dark Knight Rises—the third and final Batflick in the Nolan trilogy—one star for eardrum-busting sound effects and glaucoma-inducing computerized images in blinding Imax, but talk about stretching things. That’s all most immature audiences require for their hard-earned money these days. The rest of it should not be reviewed by anyone over the age of 12.
As caped crusaders go, I prefer Superman, Spider Man and, above all, Captain Marvel, who has been criminally ignored by the movies so far. (Can’t you just see Michael Fassbender staring into the camera hissing “Shazam!”?) And as Batman goes, I had a lot more fun when he was fighting off Catwoman and The Joker at the Saturday afternoon double features of my youth in his campy bat cave with his jailbait roommate Robin. Drat! Christopher Nolan sent Bruce Wayne to a shrink and Batman lost his mojo. I like one caption writer’s description of the Batman epics as “car porn for geeks and gearheads.” But that doesn’t make The Dark Knight Rises any better. Trash is trash, but when it costs an estimated $250 million (bat food compared to The Amazing Spider-Man’s $137 million), the charges turn criminal and someone should subject the garbage man to a citizen’s arrest.
The Magic of Belle Isle is a warm, human, feel-good experience about bringing out the best in people, one that brings out Morgan Freeman’s best performance in years. He plays a grizzled old drunk named Monte Wildhorn, a once-revered author of epic western novels suffering from writer’s block who has become so miserable and depressed since losing his wife to cancer that he has retired his career to the inside of a bottle of sour mash whiskey. Cynical, reclusive and partially dependant on a motorized wheelchair, he has come to a small lakeside community in upstate New York to escape from the pressures of responsibility, reality and people—by drinking himself into a stupor. Unfortunately, the summer house his nephew has found for him to hide away in comes equipped with a dependant dog named Ringo the owner left behind, an annoyingly friendly community of covered-dish suppers and a compassionate next-door neighbor named Charlotte O’Neil (Virginia Madsen), a single mom with three daughters.
Three things that make everybody happy: Christmas, ice cream and dolphins. A delightful new family film called Dolphin Tale is not a Christmas story; it takes place in Florida, so you wouldn’t know it even if it was. But you get everything else, and the way things are going at the movies these days, two out of three ain’t bad.
This is the kind of movie with end credits for days, postproduction edits for years, and nobody cares. What matters is how lovable the dolphin is, and on that score everyone can rest easy.
Dustin Lance Black’s 8, a staged reading on Broadway depicting the legal battle over Proposition 8, is to star Morgan Freeman, Cheyenne Jackson, Anthony Edwards (of ER), Christine Lahti (of Chicago Hope), Rob Reiner, Marisa Tomei, and Yeardley Smith (little Lisa Simpson–or her voice, at least), the American Foundation for Legal Rights announced today. (AFER Read More
“My second favorite film of all time is Shawshank Redemption,” raved Star Jones, wearing a striped hat and cream dress to Monday’s Mandela Day luncheon at the Pool Room at the Four Seasons, “but I want you to know that I watched The Sum of All Fears for the 14th time last night.” Which is Read More
It was looking, for a moment, like we were headed to a weekend spent watching Driving Miss Daisy, The Shawshank Redemption, and March of the Penguins: Twitter was abuzz with news that Morgan Freeman had died. But thankfully, the tweets of his demise were greatly exaggerated; instead, it was a fake retweet of a CNN Read More
Running time 134 minutes
Written by Anthony Peckham
Directed by Clint Eastwood
Starring Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon
If I went to Clint Eastwood’s rousing, rah-rah Invictus with less enthusiasm than some of my colleagues, it’s because I am weary of all these worthy filmmakers churning out movies about South Africa nobody Read More
It’s 2 a.m. and you awake with a jerk, alone in your fully lit apartment and still on the couch. On TV, the credits of some movie you’ve already seen a billion times are scrolling by. It feels like rock bottom. And we know, because we’re just like you: single.
Need a Read More
Mary-Kate Olsen won’t have to talk to the police about Heath Ledger‘s death after all. [
Morgan Freeman and his wife are divorcing, just days after he wrecked a car with their mutual "friend" in the passenger seat. [
A woman was found dead on a rooftop after attending Lil’ Kim‘s birthday party at Spotlight Read More
Attending the premiere of Warner Brothers’ Batman: The Dark Knight at AMC Loews Lincoln Square on Monday, July 14: the film’s stars Christian Bale, Maggie Gyllenhaal (wearing charcoal Dries Van Noten splashed with flowers and accompanied by husband Peter Sarsgaard), Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman and Aaron Eckhart; actors Ethan Hawke, Edie Falco, Josh Hartnett, Seth Read More