Archives for February 2010


Shutter Island

An expertly-made popcorn movie
Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo
Directed by Martin Scorcese

As he ages, Martin Scorsese appears to be making a clear turn to pulp. I would say that some of the hesitations often expressed about The Departed stem from this change. The Academy Award winner doesn’t’ have the sense of burned-in reality of his early New York films. You also hear, incorrectly that it is shallow, a misimpression that lingers. Rather, it’s a quiet study of the relationships ... more >


By CRAIG YOUNKIN - February 17, 2010The Good: Steven Soderbergh (pictured) has assembled an interesting cast of characters for his new film “Contagion.” Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, and Marion Cotillard will star in the film written by Scott Z. Burns about a deadly virus outbreak. Sure, the movie sounds a lot like Michael Crichton’s “Outbreak” but I loved that movie and I ... more >

Tarantino, DeNiro and Vin Diesel

The good, the bad and the ugly

The Good: Martin Scorsese is continuing to make headlines at the Berlin Film Festival while promoting “Shutter Island” and this may actually be bigger than his announcement that he and Robert DeNiro are working on another film together. There is a rumor of a possible “Taxi Driver” reboot or sequel coming and that Lars Von Trier (Dogville, Breaking the Waves) is looking to get in on the action as ... more >


By CRAIG YOUNKIN - February 15, 2010The Good: While promoting “Shutter Island” (pictured) at the Berlin International Film Festival, Martin Scorsese said he was interested in doing another mob world-related project, adding “Bob De Niro [and I] are talking about something that has to do with that world. We're working on something like that, but it's from the vantage point of older men looking back, ... more >

The last station

A near-perfect role for Christopher Plummer
Christopher Plummer, James MacAvoy, and Helen Mirren
Directed by Michael Hoffman

In most period films nowadays, the director appears so enraptured with getting right every detail of daily life, scenery, costume, that the actual story tends to get lost. It certainly is the case with “The Last Station,” a stilted, ponderous film by Michael Hoffman, based on the Jay Parini novel of the same name, which relates the fight over Leo Tolstoy’s legacy in the last year of his life. ... more >


By CRAIG YOUNKIN - February 11, 2010The Good: Are you prepared to get a spider web shot in your face? The next Spider-Man flick, coming in the summer of 2012, will be in 3-D, a dream for fan boys who thought being able to crawl up and leap from building to building in 2-D was kind of restrictive. In an unrelated story, Penelope Cruz is in negotiations to star in the next Pirates of the Carribean ... more >

The Wolfman

A posh reboot not to be missed
Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins and Emily Blunt
Directed by Joe Johnston

“The Wolfman” is a perfect choice for updating. So much of the 1941 flick rested on good production and make-up design and now we have this lush remake from director Joe Johnston and screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker. The plot comes up a little short but for the most part they’ve created an awesome-looking film that also comes in just right in the spooky/gory department. Benicio Del Toro takes ... more >