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So much of Hollywood is driven by spectacle. There’s a bigger-is-better ethos at work that drives more and more of the industry with each passing year, often crowding out some of the less flashy fare. Yet one could argue that movies work even more effectively as a medium for delivering smaller, more intimate stories. Bigger might be better, but sometimes, smaller is superb.

Take “Blackbird,” the new film directed by Roger Michell. A remake of the 2014 Dutch film “Silent Heart,” “Blackbird” is the story of an ailing matriarch bringing her family together for one final celebration of their lives together before her death – a death that she intends to be entirely on her own terms.

Featuring an absolutely stacked cast, “Blackbird” is a heartfelt meditation on the familial complexities that come with death and a look at how an impending loss can impact our choices. It’s a movie about choices and wrestling with the consequences of those choices and how, in the end, we must allow people to make those choices for themselves.

Published in Movies
Friday, 03 November 2017 11:01

Yule regret ‘A Bad Moms Christmas’

Holiday sequel all F-bombs, no feelings

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 01 May 2013 11:23

The Big Wedding' should be annulled

Romantic comedy neither loving nor funny

On paper, an all-star cast makes a lot of sense. It would stand to reason that when you bring a lot of diverse talents together in the same place, something good would happen. Unfortunately, it rarely works out that way.

Whether it's a matter of too many cooks in the kitchen, conflicting egos or a simple lack of real commitment from some (or all) of the cast, these collections of well-known film stars almost always fall a bit flat.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 27 February 2013 13:27

Snitch' not quite Rock-solid

Action thriller first of four 2013 vehicles for wrestler

Like it or not, we're going to have to come to terms with a simple truth: the Rock is a movie star.

See, 'Snitch' is Dwayne Johnson's first film of 2013 the first of four hitting screens in the next six months. You've got the latest incarnation of 'GI Joe' at the end of March, the sixth 'Fast and Furious' offering come Memorial Day and the Michael Bay bodybuilder action movie 'Pain and Gain' early this summer.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 19 September 2012 15:05

Rich man's burden

Arbitrage' packed with unsympathetic characters

Hollywood loves movies about rich guys, and with the current economic climate emphasizing the disconnect between the ultra-rich and the rest of us, it's no surprise that we're currently seeing a spate of these types of films. The latest offering in this vein is 'Arbitrage,' starring Richard Gere.

With the possible exception of Michael Douglas, nobody plays a rich guy quite like Gere. So it should come as no surprise that this high-finance thriller features the blandly handsome and generally inoffensive Gere in the driver's seat. My favorite recent line about Gere called him 'one of those actors who seems underrated yet never is in anything good.'

Published in Movies

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