Only the Brave Quick Take

Review of Only the Brave directed by Joseph Kosinski and written by Sean Flynn Rating **** 1/2 I spend a lot of time gazing down as I fly across the country. I’ve seen plenty of fires in regions that seem sparsely populated. I’ve flown into regions such as Jackson Hole, Wyoming where the visibility was […]

American Made Quick Take

Review of American Made written by Gary Spinelli Rating **** A pilot for TWA gets involved in the Iran Contra scandal. He also decides to smuggle drugs for a Columbian drug cartel. What could go wrong? Tom Cruise does a good job portraying TWA pilot Barry Seal. The aviation scenes are authentic. Cruise is a […]

The Zookeeper’s Wife Quick Take

The Zookeeper’s Wife written by Angela Workman based on the book by Diane Ackerman Directed by Niki Caro Rating **** 1/2 The Zookeeper’s Wife is an excellent film about a family owned zoo that is transformed into a hiding and holding area for Jews trying to escape German occupation in Poland during WWII. Jessica Chastain […]

Detroit Quick Take

Detroit written by Mark Boal and directed by Kathryn Bigelow Rating ***** Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal continue with their impressive record of collaboration. Detroit starts out chaotic and frenzied as an incident involving police overreach sets everything in motion. For the first thirty minutes or so the story jumps around between riots, protestors, police, […]

Dunkirk quick take

Dunkirk – written and directed by Cristopher Nolan Rating ** 1/2 Best movie of the year. First Oscar contender. A critics darling. One of Christopher Nolan’s best. Here’s my one word review. Loud! And that’s a compliment. This movie is so overhyped it isn’t funny. Other than some great war scenes, there is nothing here. […]

A couple of streaming suggestions

The Defiant Ones Directed by Allen Hughes Rating ***** I have two very good recommendations for your streaming queue. First up is the four part HBO documentary The Defiant Ones. This documentary takes a look at the two men behind the insane Beats music deal with Apple – Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre. The documentary […]

Review of The Walk

Review of The Walk written by Robert Zemeckis and Christopher Browne directed by Robert Zemeckis Rating ***** I had planned to see this film when it first came out. I waited what seemed like a week or two at the most and it was gone. The movie got good reviews. I read a few early […]

Review of Concussion

Concussion written and directed by Peter Landesman Rating ***** Whenever I see a film that was written and directed by the same person, I’m always a bit leery. It seldom works. Sometimes, however, magic is created. Some of the better examples of successful writer/director films are Titanic, Risky Business, Shawshank Redemption, Fargo, and Jerry Maguire […]

True Story book vs film

True Story by Michael Finkel Rating ***** True Story directed by Rupert Goold, screenplay by Rupert Goold and David Kaiganich Rating *** 1/2   Over the years I have covered a number of book and film adaptations. There’s something about reading a book and then being able to watch a dramatization of that story immediately after. […]

2015 is a banner year for nonfiction films

I’ve been quiet as far as my posts on this site are concerned. The demands of my schedule and my own projects have prevented me from posting as much as I would like. But that hasn’t stopped me from reading and seeing some great nonfiction stories. If you’re looking for some recommendations after seeing the […]

Project Greenlight and how not to make a film

I’ll start off by saying that I love the concept of Project Greenlight, a behind the scenes series on the making of a feature film. I also think that HBO is the right vehicle to deliver that series. I was able to watch all eight episodes on demand followed by an on demand viewing of […]

Will the real Phil Spector please stand up

Review of HBO’s Phil Spector written and directed by David Mamet Rating *** So David Mamet decides he wants to tell the story of Phil Spector and the murder, or suicide, or accidental death of Lana Clarkson. David believes that Phil is innocent. He lays out a convincing argument for his case. He enlists the help […]

Review of Zero Dark Thirty

Review of Zero Dark Thirty written by Mark Boal and directed by Kathryn Bigelow Rating ***** In a previous post, I said that the film The Impossible was my pick for best picture of 2012. Since that picture wasn’t one of the nominated pictures, this film would be my second pick. As much as I […]

Best of Everything Nonfiction 2012

It’s been a busy year for me. I haven’t been able to see as many films as I would have liked. I haven’t been able to read as many books as I would have liked. And it looks like going forward in 2013 I’m going to have even less time as I work on my […]

My take on the film Lincoln

Review of Lincoln written by Tony Kushner and directed by Steven Spielberg Rating *** 1/2 I’m giving this film a three-and-a-half rating out of five. And for those who follow this blog, they might know that at year’s end when I put together the best of Everything Nonfiction list, only reviews of four stars or […]