Never mind Caesar, Hail the Coen Brothers!

“Would that it were so simple” – Alden Ehrenreich as ‘Hobie Doyle’ Hail, Caesar! is the latest in a long line of superior movies made by the Coen brothers.  Their formula of creating interesting stories and characters, assembling outstanding casts … Read more

‘Gangster Squad’ looks great, but lacks substance

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in a scene from 'Gangster Squad'
Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in a scene from ‘Gangster Squad’

The old TV shows Dragnet always ended with the narrator saying “the story you’ve just seen is true.  The names were changed to protect the innocent.”  When it comes to Gangster Squad, parts of the story are true.  There really was a Gangster Squad in Los Angeles in the late 1940s, there really was a mobster named Mickey Cohen, and there were LAPD sergeants named Jack O’Mara and Jerry Wooters.

Read more‘Gangster Squad’ looks great, but lacks substance

‘Men in Black 3’ is… better than ‘Men in Black 2’

Josh Brolin and Will Smith in 'Men in Black 3'
Josh Brolin and Will Smith in ‘Men in Black 3’

[rating=3]Starring: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Emma Thompson, Alice Eve, Jemaine Clement
Director(s): Barry Sonnenfeld
Writer(s): Etan Cohen, David Koepp, Jeff Nathanson and Michael Soccio, from the comic by Lowell Cunningham

The singer “Meatloaf” was prophetic long ago, when he wrote a song that is now a perfect description of the MIB franchise.  The song “Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad” is an almost perfect description of this franchise.  The original Men in Black was great, Men in Black 3 was great, and Men in Black 2 is probably best just ignored and forgotten.

Read more‘Men in Black 3’ is… better than ‘Men in Black 2’

‘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