Tag Archives: F. Murray Abraham

Isle of Dogs

20 years into the future, the mayor of a Japanese city banishes all dogs to an isolated island after an outbreak of canine influenza. Wes Anderson returned to animated films after Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), once again with talking animals in the leads. The director was inspired by Kurosawa films and the Rankin/Bass animation from … Continue reading Isle of Dogs

Robin Hood

THE LEGEND YOU KNOW. THE STORY YOU DON’T.  After serving in the Crusades, Robin of Loxley (Taron Egerton) returns home only to find his estate seized by the same man who forced him to leave in the first place, the Sheriff of Nottingham (Ben Mendelsohn). A retelling of the classic story that satisfied no one, … Continue reading Robin Hood

Grand Budapest Hotel: Fighting a European Sickness

In February 1942, the Jewish writer Stefan Zweig and his wife were found dead in Brazil after committing suicide. In his native Austria, World War I had turned Zweig into a pacifist; when Hitler rose to power in Germany, the author fled to America and stayed in New York City for a while before moving … Continue reading Grand Budapest Hotel: Fighting a European Sickness

Inside Llewyn Davis

New York City, 1961; folk singer Llewyn Davis’s (Oscar Isaac) solo album isn’t selling and every night he’s trying to find new gigs and a place to sleep. That’s the situation we find him in, and that’s the situation we’ll leave him in, in this pre-Dylan portrayal of the early ’60s folk scene. The Coen … Continue reading Inside Llewyn Davis

The Name of the Rose

THEY BELIEVED IN GOD BUT TRADED WITH THE DEVIL.  In 1327, Franciscan friar William of Baskerville (Sean Connery) and his young apprentice (Christian Slater) arrive at a Benedictine abbey in Northern Italy where a bizarre suicide just took place; it will be followed by more deaths… The director spent years preparing for this adaptation of … Continue reading The Name of the Rose

All the President’s Men: Exposing a CREEP

THE MOST DEVASTATING DETECTIVE STORY OF THE CENTURY! When I was in journalism school, I took a course in investigative journalism. That particular genre is still the finest you can do as a news writer; expose fraud, challenge authorities. It’s not what I do nowadays but I’m not sure it’s my thing after all. Still, … Continue reading All the President’s Men: Exposing a CREEP

Serpico: Fighting the Man

MANY OF HIS FELLOW OFFICERS CONSIDERED HIM THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN ALIVE – AN HONEST COP. One of director Sidney Lumet’s best movies has topics he would return to more than once in his career. There’s the truth-teller played by Al Pacino who would reappear in the guises of Peter Finch in Network (1976) and … Continue reading Serpico: Fighting the Man

Scarface

HE LOVED THE AMERICAN DREAM. WITH A VENGEANCE.  Tony Montana (Al Pacino) claims asylum in Miami and instantly makes an impact on a wealthy cocaine dealer (Robert Loggia) who offers him work. Oliver Stone did an interesting thing. Rather than write a straight remake of the classic 1932 gangster movie, he changed a few details … Continue reading Scarface

Amadeus: The Burden of Mediocrity

AMADEUS. THE MAN. THE MUSIC. THE MAGIC. THE MADNESS. THE MURDER. THE MYSTERY. THE MOTION PICTURE.   Most of us recognize Antonio Salieri’s feelings. He has worked hard to achieve something, got a good education and has managed to become court composer to Austrian Emperor Joseph II. His music is reasonably popular. And yet he … Continue reading Amadeus: The Burden of Mediocrity

National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon 1

SEE IT BEFORE THEY MAKE THE SEQUEL. Cops Jack Colt and Wes Luger (Emilio Estevez, Samuel L. Jackson) team up to hunt down a general (William Shatner) who’s been smuggling cookies laced with cocaine. A comedy in the vein of Airplane! and The Naked Gun that draws a big, fat target on primarily the Lethal … Continue reading National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon 1