Movie Reviews

'A Cat in Paris' is more beautiful than poignant

By Barry Paris Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Cat burglars are only human -- unless they're actual cats. Dino, the titular "Cat in Paris," has only two rather than nine lives, but that's plenty: By day he's a little girl's cuddly pet. By night he's a high-end thief's aide par excellence.

Vote: 
0

Woody Allen's 'To Rome With Love': singing in the shower rather than the rain

City valentines are a film staple. Roman and Parisian holidays abound on screen, as do cinematic "Adventures" in Manhattan, London, Lisbon, Rio -- just about everywhere except Pyongyang. Now comes the postman with the Woodman's charming love letter to the immortal pines, fountains and schlemiels of Rome.

Woody Allen's 45th movie, "To Rome With Love," opens with Deano's velvet-voiced "Volare" while an Italian police officer (channeling Pittsburgh's own Vic Cianca) artfully choreographs traffic at the intersection of four stories:

Vote: 
3

Norwegian thriller 'Headhunters': A Nordic, black-comic `Pulp Fiction'

A kind of Nordic "Pulp Fiction" -- with more twists and turns than Saw Mill Run Boulevard -- is on hand in "Headhunters," the new black-comic crime thriller from Norwegian director Morten Tyldum.

We must climb every mountain and fjord every stream of a complex plot involving Roger Brown (Aksel Hennie), the most infamous corporate recruiter in Norway. A smooth-talking, supremely self-confident scoundrel, Roger prides himself on "never having given a client any advice that he hasn't followed" -- or hunted a head he didn't land.

Vote: 
2

Jack Black's 'Bernie' offers blissful bereavement

Nobody has a bad word to say about Bernie, so deeply involved in the life and deaths of his community. He's the most beloved resident of tiny Carthage, Texas -- and not just for his impeccable skills as a funeral director. On top of attention to bereavement detail (and innovations like the climactic release of a white dove during interment), Bernie teaches Sunday school, sings in the church choir, directs and stars in the town's amateur musicals, and coaches its Little League team -- always lending a helping hand, always going that extra step.

Vote: 
4

Erotic `Elles': Juliette Binoche is fearless, but the insights are less so

What's new in the world's oldest profession?

That might've been the snappy headline of Anne's investigative article in Elle, had it turned out the way she and her editor expected. But what article -- or sexual experience -- ever does?

English has no nice equivalent of "Elles" -- the gender-dedicated plural of "she" -- and Hollywood has no equivalent of this frank French foray into prostitution, driven by three intensely erotic female performances.

Vote: 
3

'The Dictator' rules ruthlessly with Sacha Baron Cohen fans

This "Dictator" isn't the great one, but he has deep respect for the inspirational role models who've come before, as his film's dedication makes clear: "In loving memory of Kim Jong Il," a dear leader who died as he lived -- in three-inch heels.

Admiral General Aladeen is the ruthless ruler-for-life of Wadiya, an oil-rich African nation that looks suspiciously like Sacha Baron Cohen-land. Aladeen inherited that job at age 6, when his father was killed in a freak hunting accident (involving 97 stray bullets and a hand grenade).

Vote: 
3

Bolshoi's `The Bright Stream'---a "new" Shostakovich ballet---hits the screen

How you gonna keep ’em down on the collective farm after they’ve seen Moscow dancers?

Aficionados (or just casual fans) of Dmitri Shostakovich will not want to miss a rare chance to answer that burning question---to see and hear what is, in effect, a “brand new” ballet by the great Russian composer, performed by the Bolshoi.

Vote: 
4

`Boy': Child actors lift New Zealand coming-of-Michael-Jackson-age film

There’s a flight taking off for New Zealand, and if you’ve never been there, I suggest you take this chance to hop aboard. It’s a flight of fancy about an 11-year-old Maori boy named “Boy”---the most devout Michael Jackson fan of ’em all.

Writer-director-co-star Taika Waititi (“Eagle vs. Shark”) sets this refreshingly gentle dramatic comedy in 1984. That (for the three of you who don’t know) would be the year of “Thriller,” when MJ was King of the World, as well as Pop, even in the backwater Bay of Plenty region of New Zealand.

Vote: 
3

'Deep Blue Sea' delves deep into the sadness of love's expiration date

The curtain rises on Hester's methodical preparations, to the exquisite strains of Samuel Barber's Violin Concerto: She closes the curtains in her dingy London flat, stuffs a towel under the door, puts a note on the mantelpiece, swallows some pills, inserts coins in the gas meter, turns on the valve, lies down and drifts off as it hisses....

Vote: 
3

'In Darkness': a harrowing subterranean tale of Nazi-occupied Poland

Anne Frank's Secret Annex in Amsterdam was luxurious compared with the Chigar family's hiding place in Lvov. Comparisons of relative degrees of horror during the Holocaust -- "Which was worse, the Dutch or Polish experience?" -- are odious but inevitable on viewing Agnieszka Holland's "In Darkness."

Vote: 
3

Pages

Subscribe to BarryParis.com RSS Feed