Tag Archives: Robbie Coltrane

Henry V: Branagh and the Bard

THE GREAT ADVENTURE OF A KING WHO DEFIED THE ODDS TO PROVE HIMSELF A MAN.  When I was a teenager, maybe this was around 1990, my class was treated to a performance of Shakespeare’s ”Hamlet”. It was not a bad production; the young leading actors went on to have successful careers. But we were an … Continue reading Henry V: Branagh and the Bard


A NATION FORGED IN BLOOD. At the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, a fur trapper (Al Pacino) and his son are reluctantly drawn into it; an aristocratic daughter (Nastassja Kinski) has more idealistic reasons to help the colonists. The box-office bomb that was so poorly received that Pacino didn’t make another movie for four years … Continue reading Revolution

Arthur Christmas

ALL ELF BREAKS LOOSE.  Delivering Santa’s presents is a huge hi-tech operation involving hundreds of elves, but when Santa’s youngest son discovers that one of the presents was mistakenly not delivered he sets out on a mission. An animated 3D adventure that combines the financial and creative powers of one British studio and one American, … Continue reading Arthur Christmas

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2: Closing the Book

IT ALL ENDS. There are people who enjoy the Harry Potter books and films… and then there are Potterheads, the fanatics. I’ve always belonged in the former category. I read the first novel, then concentrated on the movie adaptations. I did care about what would happen to Harry and his friends, but never had the … Continue reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2: Closing the Book

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

NOWHERE IS SAFE. The treacherous Snape (Alan Rickman) is now running Hogwarts while Harry, Ron and Hermione (Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson) try to find and destroy the Horcruxes, objects that control Voldemort’s (Ralph Fiennes) powers. The seventh film in the series has razzle-dazzle to spare as always, a majestically staged first part of the … Continue reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

The Brothers Bloom

THEY’D NEVER LET THE TRUTH COME BETWEEN THEM. Professional con artist Stephen Bloom (Mark Ruffalo) convinces his brother (Adrien Brody) to join him for one last swindle, targeting an eccentric heiress (Rachel Weisz). The director behind Brick (2005) delivers another quirky film, this time about a subject matter that I’m frankly pretty tired of. The … Continue reading The Brothers Bloom

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

DARK SECRETS REVEALED. When Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) returns to Hogwarts for another year, Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) wants his help in trying to learn what a new teacher knows about Voldemort. Director David Yates made the previous film as well, but this sixth chapter feels like more of the same without the passion and tension that … Continue reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

National Lampoon’s European Vacation

FOR OVER TWO THOUSAND YEARS, EUROPE HAS SURVIVED MANY GREAT DISASTERS. NOW FOR THE REAL TEST. CHEVY CHASE & HIS FAMILY ARE COMING FROM AMERICA! The Griswold family competes in a TV game show and wins money for a trip to Europe; the first stop on the journey is England. In the sequel to National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983) … Continue reading National Lampoon’s European Vacation

From Hell: The Ripper Unmasked (Again)

ONLY THE LEGEND WILL SURVIVE. When I was 16 years old, I wrote a paper on Jack the Ripper. I suspect my teacher worried about my choice of subject, but this was before the age of Columbine and she allowed me to proceed. I started reading Donald Rumbelow’s brilliant book “The Complete Jack the Ripper” … Continue reading From Hell: The Ripper Unmasked (Again)

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

THE REBELLION BEGINS. As the new leadership of Hogwarts turns increasingly fascist, Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is angry to learn that few people are willing to believe that he did meet Voldemort. Many critics loved the fourth movie, but number five is even more engaging, as the Order of the Phoenix and Hogwart’s students prepare to … Continue reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix


YOU KNOW THE NAME. YOU KNOW THE NUMBER. James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) must stop his former colleague and friend (Sean Bean) from getting his greedy hands on a dangerous satellite system. The 17th entry in this series came after a six-year hiatus. It’s Brosnan’s first effort as the superspy and he’s an excellent choice – humorous, … Continue reading GoldenEye

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

DARK AND DIFFICULT TIMES LIE AHEAD. Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is forced to participate in the dangerous Triwizard Tournament, something that will leave him face to face with Voldemort. That’s right, this fourth installment finally introduces us to the supremely evil arch-enemy, deliciously played by Ralph Fiennes. This chapter also deals with typical, moderately amusing teenage … Continue reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire