‘Bowling for Columbine’ speaks Michael Moore’s truth about guns in America

Michael Moore shows a victim of gun violence in 'Bowling for Columbine'
Michael Moore shows a victim of gun violence in ‘Bowling for Columbine’

[rating=4]Starring: Michael Moore
Director(s): Michael Moore
Writer(s): Michael Moore

Michael Moore, purveyor of such stirring works as Roger and Me and TV Nation, does it again giving America a hard dose of reality with his new film Bowling for Columbine. This is Mr. Moore’s investigation into America’s obsession with guns and violence.

Read more‘Bowling for Columbine’ speaks Michael Moore’s truth about guns in America

‘Miller’s Crossing: Special Edition’ is a Coen brothers film that needs to be viewed more than once

Gabriel Byrne (left) and John Turturro take a walk in the woods in 'Miller’s Crossing'
Gabriel Byrne (left) and John Turturro take a walk in the woods in ‘Miller’s Crossing’

[rating=4]Starring: Gabriel Byrne, Marcia Gay Harden, John Turturro, Jon Polito, J.E. Freeman, Albert Finney
Director(s): Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Writer(s): Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

When Miller’s Crossing opened the New York Film Festival in 1990 it was going to be the film that would see the Coens hit the big time at last and simultaneously make Gabriel Byrne an international superstar. Somehow this didn’t happen, and I’m at a loss to explain why.

Read more‘Miller’s Crossing: Special Edition’ is a Coen brothers film that needs to be viewed more than once

‘Rebecca’: Alfred Hitchcock transforms seductive love story into satisfying suspense

Joan Fontaine and Judith Anderson in 'Rebecca'
Joan Fontaine and Judith Anderson in ‘Rebecca’

[rating=4]Starring: Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders, Judith Anderson
Director(s): Alfred Hitchcock
Writer(s): Screenplay by Philip MacDonald, Michael Hogan, Robert E. Sherwood, and Joan Harrison; based upon the novel by Daphne Du Maurier

To precede any one of Hitchcock’s films with “Hitchcock’s Masterpiece…” is practically redundant. It’s like calling the theory of relativity “Einstein’s Stroke of Genius” or calling David “Michelangelo’s Breathtaking Sculpture”: It simply goes without saying. So, when talking about a Hitchcock film, one should just assume a discussion of a truly great piece of filmmaking. Rebecca, currently available in a Criterion Collection double-disc set, is no exception.

Read more‘Rebecca’: Alfred Hitchcock transforms seductive love story into satisfying suspense

Steven Spielberg’s ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ is genius science fiction

Aliens arrive in 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind'
Aliens arrive in ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’

[rating=4]Starring: Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Teri Garr, Melinda Dillon
Director(s): Steven Spielberg
Writer(s): Steven Spielberg

When I was a wee-lad, I can remember seeing Close Encounters of the Third Kind on television. Originally released in 1977, it was in theaters a second time in 1979. However, I was still young at the time, and have no memory of seeing it in the theaters.

Read moreSteven Spielberg’s ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ is genius science fiction

‘The Goonies’ is a wonderful escapist childhood fantasy

From left to right: Sean Astin, Jonathan Ke Quan, Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin, Kerri Green and Martha Plimpton in 'The Goonies'
From left to right: Sean Astin, Jonathan Ke Quan, Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin, Kerri Green and Martha Plimpton in ‘The Goonies’

[rating=3]Starring: Sean Astin, Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen, Kerri Green, Martha Plimpton, Jonathan Ke Quan, John Matuszak, Robert Davi, Joe Pantoliano, Anne Ramsey
Director(s): Richard Donner
Writer(s): Screenplay by Christopher Columbus, Story by Steven Spielberg

When I was a kid, I was completely drawn in by The Goonies. A pure escapist childhood fantasy from the mind of Steven Spielberg. I went to see it with my friends several times. I made treasure maps at home, going so far as to literally burn the paper in the oven to brown it, then take a match and singe the edges.

Read more‘The Goonies’ is a wonderful escapist childhood fantasy

‘Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace’ makes for top-notch DVD

Jedi and Sith battle in 'Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace'
Jedi and Sith battle in ‘Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace’

[rating=3]Starring: Liam Neeson, Ewan MacGregor, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd, Ahmed Best
Director(s): George Lucas
Writer(s): George Lucas

Like millions of others, I was excited to hear that Lucas—the supposed “leader” of the digital revolution in Hollywood—had finally relented and released one of his many great movies on DVD.

Read more‘Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace’ makes for top-notch DVD

‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’ is a charming chick flick

Renee Zellweger stars in 'Bridget Jones' Diary'
Renee Zellweger stars in ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’

[rating=1]Starring: Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant
Director(s): Sharon Maguire
Writer(s): Screenplay by Helen Fielding, Andrew Davies, Richard Curtis, based upon the novel by Helen Fielding

For those of you who read my Made review, then you are already aware that I rented this film because my wife wanted me to get a film “she would like”. Of course, she didn’t completely believe I was actually going to bring home one for her, but, I did.

Read more‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’ is a charming chick flick

I hate musicals… but ‘Moulin Rouge’ was great

Ewan MacGregor and Nicole Kidman are star-crossed lovers in 'Moulin Rouge'
Ewan MacGregor and Nicole Kidman are star-crossed lovers in ‘Moulin Rouge’

[rating=3]Starring: Ewan MacGregor, Nicole Kidman, John Leguizamo, Jim Broadbent, Richard Roxburgh
Director(s): Laz Luhrmann
Writer(s): Laz Luhrmann and Craig Pearce

Let me start by saying this: I HATE MUSICALS!

With a few exceptions — The Music Man and White Christmas — I can’t stand musicals. I just never understood how all those people know the same dance steps, or all the words to the songs??

But Moulin Rouge is different, adding a facsinating spin on the classic musical mold. I liked it a lot.

Read moreI hate musicals… but ‘Moulin Rouge’ was great

‘Made’ is Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau at their best

Vince Vaughn (right) and Jon Favreau reteam in this killer comedy, 'Made'
Vince Vaughn (right) and Jon Favreau reteam in this killer comedy, ‘Made’

[rating=3]Starring: Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau, Peter Falk, P. Diddy
Director(s): Jon Favreau
Writer(s): Jon Favreau

Swingers was one of those movies that I wound up seeing more than a dozen times because the pay-cable channels just loved showing it. Now, they love showing lots of movies, and I don’t constantly tune in for them. But Swingers was funny, and I enjoyed the inside film jokes, as well as the obvious ones.

Read more‘Made’ is Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau at their best