Movie Reviews

"Le Week-End": A weekend won't save this troubled marriage

By Barry Paris / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Who's Afraid of a Last Tango in Paris?

Nick and Meg. It's their 30th anniversary, and they've returned to the City of Lights for the first time since their honeymoon -- two long-in-the-tooth baby boomers looking maybe to rekindle the old flame or at least the flicker. But in the course of "Le Week-End," each must work up the nerve to relay painful news to the other.

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`Walter Mitty' fades, due to the secret life of Ben Stiller

James Thurber's very short story "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," which occupied just 2½ New Yorker pages in 1939, gained such a beloved place in American life and language that its title character has his own dictionary entry as "a painfully ordinary man/milquetoast, given to heroic daydreams rather than involvement in the real world."

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A spoonful of charm saves Mary Poppins, Disney and 'Mr. Banks'

Bert (Dick Van Dyke): I know a man with a wooden leg named Smith.

Uncle Albert (Ed Wynn): What's the name of his other leg?

Convulsive laughter greeted that line, from kids and adults alike. The timing was perfect, and the 1964 film -- like Mary Poppins herself -- was practically perfect in every way.

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`He Who Gets Slapped': Lon Chaney's lesser-known masterpiece gets a rare screening

 

            For some reason, people find nothing more amusing than seeing other people get slapped.  And in the long unhappy history of clowns, none is unhappier than “HE”---the one who gets slapped---in MGM’s first great feature-film production.

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`Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction': Superb documentary of a superb character actor

 

            How would you describe yourself?

            “Nothing.  There is no self.”

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`Sal': James Franco's overlong labor of love celebrates Sal Mineo

            The Longest Day wasn’t necessarily June 6, 1944.  It’s rivaled by February 12, 1976---the last day of actor Sal Mineo’s life, as filmed by actor-director James Franco.

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`Lasting': The sexy Polish-Spanish connection you've long awaited

            International film co-productions are commonplace.  We’re accustomed to all sorts of Anglo-French, Italian-Israeli, Dutch-American, even Chinese-Vietnamese collaborations.  But the Polish-Spanish connection is a new one on me---and on the screen.

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`Beggars of Life': Louise Brooks on the lam---in drag---in Wellman's hobo classic

            Paramount’s top action director William Wellman was still basking in the recent triumph of “Wings” when his “Beggars of Life”---the studio’s most important dramatic production of 1928---hit theaters with then-shocking sexual frankness and gritty realism.  

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`All Is Lost': A gripping tour de force for craggy Robert Redford

            What do you do in---and with---your last hours, once despair turns to resignation?  Or, for that matter, in your last big film role?

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`Loving': A powerfully intense true story from Poland

            Maria and Tomek are a contemporary Polish power couple.  She has an important job in promotion and development with the city council, and she’s great at it.  Handsome hubby Tomek is a successful architect, looking for more municipal contracts.

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