Tag Archives: Penélope Cruz

Murder on the Orient Express

EVERYONE IS A SUSPECT.  In 1934, famous detective Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) finds himself on the Orient Express where a notorious businessman (Johnny Depp) is murdered. Another star-studded version of Agatha Christie’s most famous mystery is similar to the slightly superior 1974 movie and has no new twists to offer. Which is probably a good … Continue reading Murder on the Orient Express

Zoolander 2

LONG TIME NO Z. Former fashion icons Zoolander and Hansel (Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson) are reunited after many years to help Interpol find out who’s assassinating pop stars. This belated sequel does everything wrong, even though it closely imitates the original by adding an abundance of cameos and inventing another outlandish plot involving fashion super-villains. … Continue reading Zoolander 2

The Brothers Grimsby

ONE SECRET AGENT. ONE COMPLETE IDIOT. In the middle of an assassination attempt, two British brothers are suddenly reunited for the first time since they were kids – one of them a suave, deadly secret agent, the other a moronic, soccer-loving working-class father of nine. Another Sacha Baron Cohen comedy in the same vein as … Continue reading The Brothers Grimsby

The Counselor

At the same time as he asks the woman (Penélope Cruz) he loves to marry him, a counselor (Michael Fassbender) also gets involved in a drug deal with dire consequences. Cormac McCarthy’s first original screenplay combined with Ridley Scott’s considerable filmmaking skills should have been dynamite, especially considering No Country for Old Men (2007). What … Continue reading The Counselor

Woody Allen: A Documentary

Originally shown as a two-part event on the PBS show American Masters, this is Robert B. Weide’s fourth documentary on comedians, a frequently entertaining and engrossing look at one of the hardest working men in showbiz. Over the course of three hours we learn what motivates him, what makes him great and how he works … Continue reading Woody Allen: A Documentary

To Rome With Love

Woody Allen followed up his successful Midnight in Paris (2011) with another light-hearted excursion to a fabled, romantic city in Europe. Once again magical realism does its best to sell Rome as an irresistible place of history and culture where anything could happen. Among others, we meet an American retiree (Allen) who discovers an opera … Continue reading To Rome With Love

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

On a quest to find the fountain of youth, Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) contends with an old enemy (Geoffrey Rush), an old lover (Penélope Cruz)… and the fearsome Blackbeard (Ian McShane). The fourth film in this franchise introduces a few new characters, one of which is a romantic interest for our lovably boozy Jack, but … Continue reading Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Nine

THIS HOLIDAY SEASON, BE ITALIAN. After a recent string of failures, famous Italian film director Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis) is looking to all the women in his life for inspiration…This filmization of the Broadway musical (that was originally inspired by Federico Fellini’s 8½ (1963)) may be a disappointment coming from the director who made the excellent Chicago (2002)… but … Continue reading Nine

All the Pretty Horses

SOME PASSIONS CAN NEVER BE TAMED. A few years after the end of World War II, best friends John Grady Cole (Matt Damon) and Lacey Rawlins (Henry Thomas) head to Mexico to work as cowboys. This film was allegedly shot as a huge epic, but director Billy Bob Thornton was forced to make equally huge … Continue reading All the Pretty Horses

Elegy: A Dying Animal

There’s a scene in this film where Ben Kingsley’s character quotes Tolstoy, who once said the biggest surprise in a man’s life is old age. Kingsley’s professor can’t fathom how at his age he still carries on as if he’s twenty. His body has changed and he has presumably had his fair share of experiences… … Continue reading Elegy: A Dying Animal

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

LIFE IS THE ULTIMATE WORK OF ART. Vicky and Christina (Rebecca Hall, Scarlett Johansson), two friends with very different views on life and love, go to Barcelona for the summer; they meet a charismatic painter (Javier Bardem) who affects them both. It’s amazing to see the 72-year-old, versatile filmmaker deliver such a heartfelt, young, vibrant film; … Continue reading Vicky Cristina Barcelona