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Showing posts from May 11, 2014

Review: Citizen Kane

Formerly at Epinions.com and written in 2009. I think I got this one right the first time.

I have seen this 1941 Orson Welles directorial debut several times, and have intended on reviewing it a few times too. I have never gone through with it until now. This, much-celebrated, much-analysed film is often declared the ‘Greatest Film of All-Time’ (though not really a success until its 1956 re-release), so what could I, celebrator of “Big Trouble in Little China” and “The Goonies” possibly bring to the table? (especially so, when you consider that just about every critic attempting a review of the film starts their review in similar trepidation to mine) What new insight could I possibly bring? Could a “Goonies” fan possibly even bring any insight at all?

But then it came to me. A bolt of lightning. A giant spark of profound inspiration, the likes of which the world has never seen. Well, an idea anyway. This is me we’re talking about, I laugh when someone spells ‘boobies’ on a calculator. …

Review: Liberal Arts

Josh Radnor stars as a Liberal Arts graduate in his 30s who goes back to his old college to attend the retirement dinner of his favourite professor, played by Richard Jenkins. While there he strikes up a relationship with supposedly intelligent 19 year-old student Zibby (Elizabeth Olsen), who is into classical music and ‘improv theatre’. Even after Radnor goes back home, they continue a pen pal (in 2012?) relationship, despite wise Jenkins warning him that such an endeavour is a no-go zone. Allison Janney plays an embittered professor of Romantic Literature, whose class Radnor used to love, John Magaro plays a deeply troubled and lonely student Radnor tries to keep alive, Zac Efron plays a laidback student who is always hanging around for some reason, and Elizabeth Reaser...well, she’s just plain lovely (and plays a NY bookstore owner).

Josh Radnor is immensely likeable on “How I Met Your Mother” (a perfectly fine show I don’t get to watch much simply because there’s always something …

Review: The Front

Set during the HUAC witch-hunts of the 50s, Michael Murphy plays a TV writer who is blacklisted on suspicion of communist ties. In order to get around this so he can earn a living, he gets bookie/cashier Woody Allen (!) to front for him. It proves to be such a successful scam that Allen (whose character is completely apolitical and borderline illiterate) ends up being a ‘front’ for other blacklisted writers too. But then the FBI starts poking around, and the already nervous Allen starts to sweat. Zero Mostel (in pretty much his final feature film role) plays comedian/actor ‘Hecky’ Brown, who also struggles with being blacklisted. Andrea Marcovicci plays a left-leaning script editor whom Allen strikes up a relationship with, making Allen feel a tad guilty about his deception.

Probably the best film of Woody Allen’s career...and he only acts in this one. This 1976 film from director Martin Ritt (Excellent films like “The Spy Who Came in From the Cold”, “Hud” and “Edge of the City”) and …