“Money Monster”

Film was shown out of competition in Cannes
George Clooney and Julia Roberts
Directed by Jodie Foster

I liked "Money Monster," thought I'd that off the top. If that seems like an unusual or lame or unusually lame way to start a film review, that's fine. I wanted to state it firmly. Because there are things in the Jodie Foster-George Clooney political thriller that just made the rounds of the ongoing Cannes Festival that should go wrong. To start with, "Money Monster" quickly violates two of my ... more >

The Monuments Men

About that forgotten part of WWII history
George Clooney, Matt Damon and Cate Blanchett
Directed by George Clooney

This is the way the world ends, or starts to end, in George Clooney’s “The Monuments Men”: with a bang. In the film’s opening scenes, Hubert and Jan van Eyck’s “Ghent Altarpiece” is loudly dismantled, panel by panel, and prepared—too late, though—for a secret hiding place. The clock is ticking for its fellow masterpieces. World War II is raging and Hitler, an unpromising art student before he ... more >


It's the new sci-fi flick--that wasn't
Sandra Bullock and George Clooney
Directed by Alfonso Cuaron

Alfonso Cuaron’s space station disaster saga “Gravity” is an intellectually-soft video game, a SuperMario of space debris and a disappointment as a space-survival story. A great deal of praise is being heaped on the 3-D outer space experience, labeled as immersive and hypnotic. Comparisons are being drawn to the upside-down, gravity-free experience of “2001: A Space Odyssey.” I don’t buy it. I ... more >

Supporting Sudan-the Clooney and Russell arrests

African country causes ruckus

A couple of arrests of note in the last 24 hours. George Clooney in Washington and Jason Russell in California--the circumstances couldn't have been more different. Clooney and a congressman were arrested Friday outside the Sudanese embassy in Washington D.C; Clooney's father was also on hand. The arrests were anticipated and part of the actor’s effort to draw attention to the humanitarian ... more >

The Descendants

Taking inventory of hard-earned lessons
George Clooney, Shailene Woodley and Beau Bridges
Directed by Alexander Payne

Pauline Kael famously stated that great films are rarely perfect films. Do we ever wonder about the opposite? Are perfect films rarely great films? As the ultimate easy swallow, The Descendants, the latest release from Sideways writer/director Alexander Payne, has been practically pieced together by magical gold statuettes in the advanced laboratory of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and ... more >

The ides of March

Things are not what they seem in Washington politics
Paul Giamatti, George Clooney, and Philip Seymour Hoffman
Directed by George Clooney

The Ides of March, as those of you who remember their Roman history--or at least their Shakespeare--know, is the fateful 15th of March when Brutus and his co-conspirators assassinated Julius Caesar. And now it’s yet another well-meaning and nicely put-together film by George Clooney, based on the play “Farragut North” by Beau Willimon. Don’t expect the film to overturn the established wisdom ... more >

Clooney gears up for Mostra

Lock away your drip-coffee machines

Venice is gearing up for its 68th Mostra, scheduled to run from August 31 to September 10 and opening with George Clooney’s “The Ides of March,” in competition. The film, based on the play “Farragut North” by Beau Willimon, is the timely story of a U.S. governor, the democrat Mike Morris, running for president. George Clooney plays the candidate. Along for the ride are Ryan Gosling—whose rosy ... more >