Tag Archives: Mary-Louise Parker

Red Sparrow

SEDUCTIVE. DECEPTIVE. DEADLY.  When a Russian ballerina (Jennifer Lawrence) breaks her leg during a performance, she’s recruited by her uncle (Matthias Schonaerts) to become a ”sparrow” – an undercover agent who uses her body to trap targets. The lauded novel was written by a former CIA agent with insight into Soviet intelligence, but this adaptation … Continue reading Red Sparrow

Angels in America: Love and Suffering

THE MESSENGER HAS ARRIVED. In the early 2000s, the AIDS epidemic had not been portrayed on TV and in movies in a fully satisfying way. There were respectable attempts, such as Philadelphia (1993) and the TV movie And the Band Played On (1993), but they also faced criticism for various reasons. It seemed as if … Continue reading Angels in America: Love and Suffering

When We Rise

The Milk (2008) writer’s ambitious odyssey through 45 years of fighting for LGBT rights in America starts with gays finding their voice in San Francisco in spite of persistent police brutality and ends with the Supreme Court paving the way for same-sex marriage in all 50 states. Focus lies on several real-life characters that we … Continue reading When We Rise

The Client

A DISTRICT ATTORNEY OUT FOR A CONVICTION. A NEW LAWYER OUT OF HER LEAGUE. A YOUNG BOY WHO KNEW TOO MUCH.  After witnessing a mob attorney’s suicide, and learning his secrets, 11-year-old Mark (Brad Renfro) finds himself in danger; attorney Reggie Love (Susan Sarandon) tries to protect him from the mob and the authorities. Joel … Continue reading The Client

Red 2

THE BEST NEVER REST. Just as he’s settling down with Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker), Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) once again finds himself in danger; soon, they’re both joining old friends in the search for a mysterious Cold War-era weapon. This sequel to Red (2010) pales a bit in comparison and begins to resemble an Expendables movie, … Continue reading Red 2

Red

THERE’S NO SUBSTITUTE FOR EXPERIENCE.  Former CIA agent Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) is targeted by a team of killers, but escapes; he subsequently gathers old pros and goes after those responsible for the attack. This adaptation of a graphic novel may lack the kind of visual flair that most have, and it also has a … Continue reading Red

Solitary Man

BEN LOVES HIS FAMILY ALMOST AS MUCH AS HE LOVES HIMSELF.  Once successful, now disgraced car salesman Ben Kalmen’s (Michael Douglas) marriage is over, the relationship with his daughter is troubled, and he probably has a heart condition… but that doesn’t stop him from chasing after college girls. This is truly a vehicle for Douglas … Continue reading Solitary Man

The Spiderwick Chronicles

THEIR WORLD IS CLOSER THAN YOU THINK.  Helen Grace (Mary-Louise Parker) moves with her children to the Spiderwick Estate in New England, where her twin sons (Freddie Highmore) soon discover that strange creatures wage a constant battle against even stranger, malevolent beings. Many fans of the popular books seemed to appreciate this screen adaptation; it … Continue reading The Spiderwick Chronicles

Bullets Over Broadway

A KILLER COMEDY! In 1920s New York, David Shayne (John Cusack) gets a chance to produce one of his plays on Broadway, but has to accept the casting of a gangster’s moll (Jennifer Tilly) in a lead role. One of Woody Allen’s most successful comedies in the 1990s takes a look at a clash between showbiz … Continue reading Bullets Over Broadway

Romance & Cigarettes

A SAVAGE MUSICAL. When Kitty (Susan Sarandon) finds out that her ironworker husband (James Gandolfini) had an affair with a seductive saleswoman (Kate Winslet), she throws him out. As a filmmaker, John Turturro usually sets his stories in working-class neighborhoods and puts a twist on what goes on there. This one turns a highly ordinary … Continue reading Romance & Cigarettes

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

BEYOND THE MYTH LIES AMERICA’S GREATEST BETRAYAL.   In the late 1800s, 19-year-old Robert Ford (Casey Affleck) tries hard to join a band of outlaws run by the legendary Jesse James (Brad Pitt), a man he’s admired since he was a kid. Director Andrew Domenik delivers another film about a criminal after Chopper (2000); this is the true … Continue reading The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford