Tag Archives: Stephen Tobolowsky

The Insider: Under Pressure

WARNING: EXPOSING THE TRUTH MAY BE HAZARDOUS.  I work for a major newspaper in Scandinavia. That means we are a powerful voice in the Swedish media landscape. But just like every other newspaper or network, we are owned by somebody, in this case a Norwegian corporation. The relationship between us and our owners is complicated, … Continue reading The Insider: Under Pressure

Adaptation: The Truth About Charlie

FROM THE CREATOR OF BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, COMES THE STORY ABOUT THE CREATOR OF BEING JOHN MALKOVICH.  In 1994, Jonathan Demme bought the rights to journalist Susan Orlean’s book ”The Orchid Thief”, where she investigated the arrest of John Laroche who was dealing illegally in rare plants. Neither she nor Demme could have predicted what … Continue reading Adaptation: The Truth About Charlie

Thelma & Louise: Women on the Run

SOMEBODY SAID GET A LIFE… SO THEY DID. Callie Khouri, who had written the screenplay for ”Thelma & Louise” in 1988, wasn’t entirely sure that Ridley Scott was the right person to make the movie. After all, this was a guy whose films to a large share were about men and had masculine themes. And … Continue reading Thelma & Louise: Women on the Run

Groundhog Day: Lost in Punxsutawney

HE’S HAVING THE WORST DAY OF HIS LIFE… OVER, AND OVER… As a critic, one should be careful sometimes. In 1993, Washington Post’s Desson Howe sat down to watch a new movie starring Bill Murray, and he didn’t like it. Confidently, he stated in his review that Groundhog Day ”will never be designated a national … Continue reading Groundhog Day: Lost in Punxsutawney

The Grifters

SEDUCTION. BETRAYAL. MURDER. WHO’S CONNING WHO? Veteran con artist Lilly Dillon (Anjelica Huston) meets her son (John Cusack) for the first time in eight years and realizes that he’s been seriously hurt; after getting him to a hospital, she meets his mysterious girlfriend (Annette Bening)… The same year as Martin Scorsese directed GoodFellas, he also … Continue reading The Grifters

Mississippi Burning: Death by Cop

1964. WHEN AMERICA WAS AT WAR WITH ITSELF. There are many heinous cases that must have compelled federal authorities to finally back comprehensive civil-rights legislation that specifically targeted the South. One of the worst is the disappearance of three civil-rights workers, two white and one black, in Mississippi in 1964 who were later found murdered. … Continue reading Mississippi Burning: Death by Cop


YOUR FATE IS NEVER SEALED.  American truck driver Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds) wakes up bound and gagged inside a buried coffin somewhere in Iraq; at his disposal are a lighter and a cell phone. Spanish director Rodrigo Cortés’s first American film has Hitchcock’s fingerprints all over it, from the gorgeous Saul Bass-inspired opening titles to … Continue reading Buried

In Country

THE STORY OF AN AMERICAN FAMILY. Two decades after the Vietnam War, a 17-year-old Kentuckian (Emily Lloyd) is trying to understand her father’s experience as a soldier with a little help from her uncle (Bruce Willis), a surviving veteran. A faithful adaptation of Bobbie Ann Mason’s acclaimed novel that doesn’t quite capture its compelling contrast … Continue reading In Country

Basic Instinct: Sleeping With the Enemy

A BRUTAL MURDER. A BRILLIANT KILLER. A COP WHO CAN’T RESIST THE DANGER. Now and then comes along a film that starts a trend. The early 1990s genre of sleazy sex thrillers had mediocre fare like Sliver and disasters like Body of Evidence. But they were no match for Basic Instinct, a film that was not only sickeningly violent … Continue reading Basic Instinct: Sleeping With the Enemy

Failure to Launch

TO LEAVE THE NEST, SOME MEN JUST NEED A LITTLE PUSH. Interventionist Paula (Sarah Jessica Parker) is hired by a 35-year-old slacker’s (Matthew McConaughey) parents to make him fall in love with her and move out of their home. One of those romantic comedies that want to be a little different but ends up inventing … Continue reading Failure to Launch

The Time Traveler’s Wife

Clare and Henry (Rachel McAdams, Eric Bana) fall in love and get married, but their relationship is both strengthened and challenged by his involuntary time traveling to different periods of his life. This concept usually involves some professor who’s invented a time-traveling machine, so presenting it as a painful condition is a fresh take. Bruce … Continue reading The Time Traveler’s Wife

Wild Hogs

FOUR GUYS FROM THE SUBURBS HIT THE ROAD… AND THE ROAD HIT BACK. Four middle-aged suburbanites decide to take a road trip on their motorcycles, but end up in a feud with a dangerous biker gang in New Mexico. Getting Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence and (especially) William H. Macy together in a comedy … Continue reading Wild Hogs

Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous

As FBI agent Gracie Hart (Sandra Bullock) tries to find the kidnapped Miss USA, she is also saddled with a new partner (Regina King) who hates her guts. This sequel that no one asked for has the gall to run for almost two hours. Along the way, it offers a few smiles but hardly a … Continue reading Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous