Tag Archives: Tobey Maguire

My 12 Favorite Superhero Movies

Ever since the Marvel Cinematic Universe started dominating the global box office, superheroes have become a safe bet. You may say you’ve grown tired of the genre, but it’s made important cultural advances over the years. They have become more inclusive when it comes to women and minorities, even if the safe basic formulas  really … Continue reading My 12 Favorite Superhero Movies

Wonder Boys

UNDEPENDABLE. UNPREDICTABLE. UNFORGETTABLE. Pittsburgh university professor Grady Tripp (Michael Douglas) teaches creative writing while desperately trying to finish the follow-up novel to the book that made him famous; one of his students (Tobey Maguire) is peculiar and brilliant… Curtis Hanson followed the success of L.A. Confidential (1997) with this dramedy set in a wet and … Continue reading Wonder Boys

The Ice Storm

IT WAS 1973, AND THE CLIMATE WAS CHANGING.  After the romantic intrigues of Sense and Sensibility (1995), director Ang Lee gave us something equally human but colder. We’re drawn into the relationships between teenagers and adults, families who gather in the suburbs in 1973 over the Thanksgiving weekend. The kids explore their sexuality and early, … Continue reading The Ice Storm

The Great Gatsby

CAN’T REPEAT THE PAST? … OF COURSE YOU CAN! In 1922, Nick (Tobey Maguire) takes a job as a bond salesman in New York City and rents a house next to a sprawling Long Island mansion owned by the mysterious Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) who nurtures an obsession with a woman. Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of … Continue reading The Great Gatsby


THERE ARE TWO SIDES TO EVERY FAMILY. Marine Captain Sam Cahill (Tobey Maguire) leaves his wife and children for a tour in Afghanistan; when he’s reported killed, his screw-up brother (Jake Gyllenhaal) becomes almost a surrogate father. This drama has the potential of greatness, but anyone looking for the real deal should check out the original, … Continue reading Brothers

The Good German

IF WAR IS HELL THEN WHAT COMES AFTER? In 1945, reporter Jacob Geismer (George Clooney) arrives in Berlin to cover the Potsdam Conference but is drawn into a murder mystery involving a former lover (Cate Blanchett). Director Steven Soderbergh’s film noir may have dialogue and a degree of violence that is inconsistent with old 1940s … Continue reading The Good German

Tropic Thunder

THE MOVIE THEY THINK THEY’RE MAKING… ISN’T A MOVIE ANYMORE.  A group of diverse actors gather in Vietnam to make a war movie, but end up in real trouble with heroin manufacturers without realizing it. Ben Stiller is a frustrating director, full of great, politically incorrect ideas but incapable of making a movie that holds … Continue reading Tropic Thunder

Spider-Man 3

HOW LONG CAN ANY MAN FIGHT THE DARKNESS… BEFORE HE FINDS IT IN HIMSELF? Life is sweet for Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), but there’s clouds on the horizon in the shape of heartbreak, a strange force from outer space, and new villains. Spidey has a lot on his plate in this film and it tends … Continue reading Spider-Man 3

Spider-Man 2: Doc Ock Rocks

SACRIFICE. DESTINY. CHOICE. There are so many things to admire about the sequel to Spider-Man (2002), but I can’t help being fascinated by who wrote it. It’s none other than Alvin Sargent, 73 at the time, one of Hollywood’s finest screenwriters and a two-time Oscar winner. He allegedly polished the script for the first movie as a … Continue reading Spider-Man 2: Doc Ock Rocks

Spider-Man: Honing the Craft

WITH GREAT POWERS COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITIES. For many years, “Spider-Man” was a dream that many wanted to turn into reality. Several independent studios were interested in the project, but the only thing it led to was financial ruin. Big names were attached, but it always fell through. Eventually, the rights were secured by Columbia and … Continue reading Spider-Man: Honing the Craft

This Boy’s Life

HE LOOKED LIKE THE IDEAL HUSBAND. HE SEEMED LIKE THE PERFECT FATHER. THAT’S JUST WHAT THEY NEEDED. BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT THEY GOT. Caroline Wolff (Ellen Barkin) and her teenage son (Leonardo DiCaprio) move to Concrete, Washington where she marries a car mechanic (Robert De Niro)… but he turns out to be a hard-drinking brute. … Continue reading This Boy’s Life

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

FOUR DAYS, THREE NIGHTS, TWO CONVERTIBLES, ONE CITY. Sports writer Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp) goes to Vegas with his “lawyer” (Benicio Del Toro) to cover a motorcycle race; they’ve packed the car full of drugs, so they’re ready for a walk on the wild side. Terry Gilliam’s film was based on one of Hunter S. … Continue reading Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas