Jane Fonda’s 1977 film ‘Julia’ is not a perfect film, but it certainly captures some perfect performances

Fred Zinneman is never the first name that comes up when naming the great directors of our time, but it certainly could be. With masterpieces like From Here to EternityHigh Noon, and A Man for All Seasons, he demonstrated an amazingly versatile range in telling complex narratives about the human struggle to pursue and, in some cases, fight for, what is good among many different backdrops.

Read moreJane Fonda’s 1977 film ‘Julia’ is not a perfect film, but it certainly captures some perfect performances

1982 gay love story ‘Making Love’ had high hopes, but made little impact

Michael Ontkean and Kate Jackson in 'Making Love'
Michael Ontkean and Kate Jackson in ‘Making Love’

[rating=1]Starring: Michael Ontkean, Kate Jackson, Harry Hamlin, Wendy Hiller, Arthur Hill, Nancy Olson
Director(s): Arthur Hiller
Writer(s): A. Scott Berg and Barry Sandler

It’s hard to say whether Making Love was groundbreaking or merely sensational when it was released 24 years ago, but the slight soap opera certainly made little impact either way.

Read more1982 gay love story ‘Making Love’ had high hopes, but made little impact

Jack Nicholson and Michael Caine are electric in ‘Blood and Wine’

Jack Nicholson and Michael Caine in 'Blood and Wine'
Jack Nicholson and Michael Caine in ‘Blood and Wine’

[rating=2]Starring: Jack Nicholson, Michael Caine, Judy Davis, Stephen Dorff, Jennifer Lopez, Harold Perrineau
Director(s): Bob Rafelson
Writer(s): Nick Villiers and Bob Rafelson

Sometimes an actor can save a weakly-made film. In Bob Rafelson’s 1996 dud Blood and Wine, though, two of the greatest actors of all time, Michael Caine and Jack Nicholson, are left to work overtime. And the results still disappoint.

Read moreJack Nicholson and Michael Caine are electric in ‘Blood and Wine’

Going for the Gold: This Year’s Major Oscar Picks

It’s a given that every year Hollywood will roll out its red carpet and pat itself on the back. But don’t expect anyone to come onstage at the Kodak Theatre on Sunday night’s Academy Awards telecast covering Sinatra’s “It Was A Very Good Year;” it wasn’t.

Remember 1972, when Francis Ford Coppola redefined cinematic storytelling with the haunting family saga The Godfather, only to face off against one of the great movie musicals in Bob Fosse’s Cabaret? That was a good year. Remember 1993, when Oscar also-ran Steven Spielberg finally took home gold? All he had to do was release the highest-grossing film of all time (Jurassic Park) and the year’s most acclaimed picture (Schindler’s List). That was a good year. 2004 had some high points, but they still left Oscar voters to come up with lots of filler.

And bloat those ballots they did.

Read moreGoing for the Gold: This Year’s Major Oscar Picks