Captain America: Civil War

The third Captain America film cements the series’ place at the top of the Marvel movie food chain. While the first Iron Man is hard to beat, later installments haven’t been up to snuff. You liked the Avengers films better? Good news: Captain America: Civil War is a better Avengers film than either of Joss Whedon’s entries. It’s also arguably the best film of the Cap series. Captain America: Civil War Directors: Anthony Russo & Joe Russo Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Sebastian Stan, Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Anthony Mackie, Paul Rudd, Chadwick Boseman Review: 4.5 stars (of five) The story...

Hail, Caesar!

The newest Coen Brothers comedy is a weird mix. The film got hearty laughs in a few places during my screening, but when the credits rolled after a rather abrupt ending, there were widespread gasps of “What?” “Huh?” and “What the fuck was that?” The trouble is that the Coens are...

Avengers: Age of Ult...

Spectacle fatigue cripples Avengers: Age of Ultron. While the film delivers too much of what the audience demands to rate it a complete failure, it cannot be called a good film story.  While it succeeds as a commercial product and in terms of  technical craftsmanship, it fails as...

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo Starring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Redford, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Cobie Smulders Review:  4 stars (of five) I liked the Captain America sequel. While it has more stretches of extended gun violence than I need in any one movie (or any three, really), it intercuts the bang-bang-bang with just enough character moments to hold it all together.  And it must be said that there’s some fine, compelling choreography in those protracted gunfights.  Chris Evans throws that ever-ricocheting shield around in a way that makes any comics fan’s heart skip a beat. ...

Don Jon

Writer-Director: Joseph Gordon-Levitt Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Glenn Heady, Tony Danza Review: 4 stars (of five) Joseph Gordon-Levitt makes his debut as a write and director with a comedy that turns rom-com expectations upside down, focuses on an awkward topic without resorting to gross-out laughs, and demonstrates a lively directorial hand. It is, in other words, a success. Gordon-Levitt plays Jon, a bartender/gym rat whose whole life revolves around picking up and sleeping with a different girl from a tacky New Jersey club every week. Except, as we find out when he gets out of bed after scoring...