Movie Reviews

'La Danse' documentary long but delightful

'La Danse' documentary long but delightful

Nothing about Frederick Wiseman is more astonishing than his prolificacy. Since his terrifying debut film "Titicut Follies" (1967), about a Massachusetts prison hospital for the criminally insane, Mr. Wiseman has directed 35 subsequent documentaries about the agony and ecstasy of human experience in institutional settings common to all societies. Read more... about 'La Danse' documentary long but delightful

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'Beaches of Agnes' a soulful, brilliant documentary reflection

At one point in the totally enchanting "Beaches of Agnes," its heroine says, "I know my classics, and I know my friends." What more do you need? Read more... about 'Beaches of Agnes' a soulful, brilliant documentary reflection

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Coen Brothers' 'A Serious Man': super study of a seriously sensational shlemiel

It is said that a shlemiel is the guy who buys a suit with two pairs of pants and burns a hole in the coat.

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'Noodle' returns to Jewish Israeli film fest

By Barry Paris Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"Noodle" opened the 2008 Pittsburgh Jewish Israeli Film Festival and retuns for a single showing this weekend. Here's a reprint of what PG film critic Barry Paris wrote last year.

Remember "The Man Who Came to Dinner" -- that guest who fell and ended up staying more or less permanently? This is "The Boy Who Came to Help Clean." Read more... about 'Noodle' returns to Jewish Israeli film fest

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'The Number 23'

Jim Carrey gives it all he's got in "The Number 23."

Jim Carrey plays an Animal Control Department specialist -- which is to say dogcatcher. But he's not Ace Ventura, and this isn't a comedy. He is Walter Sparrow, and when the dog bites or the bee stings, one of Walter's favorite things turns out to be the number 23. Read more... about 'The Number 23'

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'Smokin'Aces' Film's a pack of nonsense, with some fun thrown in

By Barry Paris / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Today's Special -- all the nonstop blood 'n' guts you can eat in one sitting -- is "Smokin' Aces," essentially a National Assassins Convention in Nevada, with killer entertainment. Read more... about 'Smokin'Aces' Film's a pack of nonsense, with some fun thrown in

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'Opal Dream" Film plucks gems from the Aussie Outback

By Barry Paris, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Lots of kids in lots of countries have imaginary friends, perhaps especially in the Outback. No offense to any proud Aussies, but the small mining towns of South Australia and New South Wales seem -- well, if not godforsaken, on God's back-burner. Read more... about 'Opal Dream" Film plucks gems from the Aussie Outback

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'The U.S. vs. John Lennon'

'The U.S. vs. John Lennon'

The Dixie Chicks' difficulties pale in comparison with John Lennon's. The man quoted (incorrectly) as saying the Beatles were more popular than Jesus caused an international uproar thereby.

Years of such brouhahas and 24/7 media coverage gave him the false sense that he could say anything he wanted with the Anglo-American impunity of free speech. Read more... about 'The U.S. vs. John Lennon'

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'Melinda and Melinda'

Woody Allen is the most screaming heterosexual in America.

Privately and professionally, only women need apply -- men don't interest him. Scenario: He rings Radha Mitchell out of the blue, says he thinks she's terrific (which he honestly does), offers her the lead in his new movie. Radha, stunned and flattered, never worked with him before, always wanted to, takes two full seconds to think about it. The title of Darryl Zanuck's autobiography -- "Don't Say Yes Until I Finish Talking" -- probably pops into Woody's mind. Keaton and Farrow pop into mine. It's a surefire way to pick up chicks and leading ladies -- two beautiful birds with one stone. Read more... about 'Melinda and Melinda'

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