‘Lion King’ fails to roar

“A lion is called a ‘king of beasts’ obviously for a reason.” – Jack Hanna As a kid, I had an odd disliking for The Lion King. Sure, perhaps I thought it was fine the first time through, but it … Read more

There is a lot to cheer for in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’

Tom Holland in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming”

“Not everyone is meant to make a difference. But for me, the choice to lead an ordinary life is no longer an option” – Tobey Maguire as “Peter Parker” in 2002’s Spider-Man

27

29

20

What are those numbers?  They are the ages that Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield and now Tom Holland were when they first portrayed “Peter Parker/Spider-Man” on the big screen.  It is one of several reasons why Spider-Man: Homecoming is so good.  Hollywood continues to insist on casting actors long past their teen years to play characters of high school age.  Remember a 33 year old Stockard Channing in 1978’s Grease?

But in choosing Tom Holland as the new Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), director Jon Watts (and producers Kevin Fighe and Amy Pascal) made it much easier to believe that “Peter Parker” is indeed the awkward teen trying to adjust to being endowed with incredible superpowers.  It adds an element that was missing from the two prior translations of the comic-book hero to the big screen.

Read moreThere is a lot to cheer for in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’

You should invest in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’

Leonardo DiCaprio in 'Wolf of Wall Street'
Leonardo DiCaprio in ‘Wolf of Wall Street’

“The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it” – the real Jordan Belfort

The movie The Wolf of Wall Street is based on the memoir of Jordan Belfort, a man whose story had already inspired one movie, Boiler Room.  Martin Scorsese’s film is a much better movie, and offers more insight into a man for whom there was never enough.  Never enough money.  Never enough sex.  Never enough drugs.  Jordan Belfort should be made the poster boy for the era of conspicuous consumption that went on in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Read moreYou should invest in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’

‘Iron Man 3’ proves the third time is a charm

"Tony Stark" (Robert Downey Jr) tinkers with his Iron Man suit in "Iron Man 3"
“Tony Stark” (Robert Downey Jr) tinkers with his Iron Man suit in “Iron Man 3”

[rating = 4]Starring:  Robert Downey Jr., Gwynneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, James Badge Dale, Jon Favreau, Stephanie Szostak, William Sadler, Paul Bettany, Ty Simpkins and Miguel Ferrer
Writer(s):  Shane Black and Drew Pearce, based on the Marvel Comic Book
Director(s):  Shane Black

In bowling, throwing a strike usually means you hit the target perfectly.  Three straight shots where you hit that target perfectly and make strikes is known as a “turkey”.  Iron Man 3 is certainly NOT a turkey, but it is the third straight film in the franchise that hits the target, perfectly.

Read more‘Iron Man 3’ proves the third time is a charm

‘Iron Man’ gets the job done with thrills and fun

[rating=3]Starring: Robert Downey, Jr., Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow, Leslie Bibb
Director(s): Jon Favreau
Writer(s): Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Art Marcum, Matt Holloway

Robert Downey Jr. is 'Iron Man'
Robert Downey Jr. is ‘Iron Man’

Kicking off a movie season that just keeps getting earlier, Iron Man rocks and roars into summer as the latest Marvel comic book film to score big at the box office. Former Oscar nominee Robert Downey, Jr. stages a blazing comeback as Tony Stark, bad boy weapons expert turned hero, by donning a mechanical super suit that’s powered by the world’s classiest pacemaker. The suit is Downey’s most constant costar throughout the film as Iron Man flits back and forth between close-ups of Downey and then of the suit flexing and flying, thus ensuring maximum audience drooling.

Read more‘Iron Man’ gets the job done with thrills and fun

‘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