Tag Archives: Alan Arkin

Going in Style

YOU’RE NEVER TOO OLD TO GET EVEN. After losing their pensions due to corporate restructuring, three New York City retirees (Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin) are toying with the idea of robbing a bank. The original 1979 film had a bunch of older comedians in the leads; the remake cast more prominent Hollywood stars. … Continue reading Going in Style

Grudge Match

A RIVALRY 30 YEARS IN THE MAKING.  Former Pittsburgh boxers Henry Sharp and Billy McDonnen (Sylvester Stallone, Robert De Niro) have a bone to pick with each other ever since their last fight many years ago, and now the time has come for a “grudge match”. A big deal was made out of “Rocky” meeting … Continue reading Grudge Match

Stand Up Guys

THEY DON’T MAKE ‘EM LIKE THEY USED TO. After doing time for murder, Val (Al Pacino) is released and reunited with his old friend and partner (Christopher Walken)… who has a secret, heartbreaking agenda. A film that goes all-in for old-school charm in a story about geriatric gangsters that still know how to strut their … Continue reading Stand Up Guys

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

ABRACATASTIC! After ten years as the headline act at a Las Vegas hotel, magicians Burt Wonderstone and Anton Marvelton (Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi) are challenged by changing tastes and a wild street magician (Jim Carrey). Audiences and critics made sure that this comedy turned into a vanishing act, which initially feels unfair. The jokes and … Continue reading The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

Argo: The Great Escape

THE MOVIE WAS FAKE. THE MISSION WAS REAL. In my reviews of Persepolis (2007) and A Separation (2011), I wrote that those films offer a well-needed opportunity to understand Iran. Argo, however, is not that type of film. It did in fact receive some criticism for portraying Iranian protesters as fierce animals, thereby playing into a … Continue reading Argo: The Great Escape

The Muppets

THEY’RE CLOSER THAN YOU THINK. On a visit to Los Angeles, two brothers who are huge fans of the Muppets realize that the old studio closed down years ago… and now the showbiz gang are in danger of losing everything, including their name. The first Muppet movie in 12 years wisely, cleverly and disarmingly acknowledge … Continue reading The Muppets

Edward Scissorhands: Cutting Up Suburbia

HIS STORY WILL TOUCH YOU, EVEN THOUGH HE CAN’T.  Tim Burton says this is the best movie he’s made. Danny Elfman says his score for this film is the best he’s written. Clearly, they have strong feelings for Edward Scissorhands. Burton came up with the idea for the film as a lonely teenager, but when … Continue reading Edward Scissorhands: Cutting Up Suburbia

Inspector Clouseau

Inspector Clouseau (Alan Arkin) arrives in Britain to assist Scotland Yard, but becomes the center of a crime wave seemingly perpetrated by several identical Clouseaus. When Blake Edwards, Peter Sellers and Henry Mancini were unavailable for a third Pink Panther movie, the studio unwisely decided to go ahead anyway. The result is tragic. Arkin is completely wrong as … Continue reading Inspector Clouseau

Rendition

WHAT IF SOMEONE YOU LOVE… JUST DISAPPEARED? An Egyptian-American man (Omar Metwally) returns after attending a conference in South Africa and is immediately apprehended by the CIA as a terror suspect; his wife (Reese Witherspoon) is not informed. The Tsotsi (2005) director makes a movie about the morally reprehensible CIA strategy of extraordinary rendition, but it’s never as effective as one would … Continue reading Rendition

Little Miss Sunshine: Volatile Volkswagen Trip

A FAMILY ON THE VERGE OF A BREAKDOWN.  When this film, the directors’ first, was shown at the Sundance Festival, it became such a hit that Fox Searchlight chose to pay $10,5 million for the distribution rights. A lot of money, but the movie did go on to earn close to $60 million in the … Continue reading Little Miss Sunshine: Volatile Volkswagen Trip