Archives for December 2010


Jafar Panahi sentenced

Iran's foremost filmmaker will get jail

One filmmaker is the thorn in an authoritarian state's side--can you guess which one? As everyone knows by now Jafar Panahi was handed down a harsh sentence by the Iranian government. This kind of puts the profession of filmmaker back into perspective, doesn't it? According to Farideh Gheirat, this lawyer, the "Offside" director got six years in jail and will be forbidden to make movies, write ... more >

True grit

The new Coen Bros is here
Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Hailee Steinfeld
Directed by Ethan Coen & Joel Coen

She arrived in Fort Smith with two long braids, her father dead in the street, bent on revenge and calling it justice. All of fourteen, she carried the aura of a professional. She would quote the law. She would spook old men. She would hire the marshall least likely to take the man alive. She would look like Judy Garland and act with the iron, or the “sand,” or the “True Grit” of Cate ... more >

Certifiably Jonathan

The missing link of modern American comedy
Jonathan Winters, Robin Williams and Howie Mandel
Directed by James David Pasternak

Certifiably jonathan is a comockumentary directed by Jim Pasternak that weaves in and out of the bi-polar world of Jonathan Winters, where reality and fantasy collide. Jonathan Winters, an eighty years-old comic who served as the comedic mentor to scores of comedians including Robin Williams, Jimmy Kimmel and Sara Silverman (who all appear in the film) is also a gifted painter who dreams of ... more >

The Fighter

Another Screen Comment critic speaks out
Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale and Amy Adams
Directed by David O. Russell

I once referred to Christian Bale as The Actor Most Likely To Tick Off His Wife By Staying In Character Over Dinner. Shortly thereafter, to my amusement, I read an article in which Bale admitted this was true, that his method actor’s commitment sometimes got on his wife’s nerves. With that in mind, Bale’s role as a crack-addicted ex-boxer in “The Fighter” must have been a rough few months for ... more >

2010: The Year In Review

What a strange year 2010 was. We have been scrolling up and down various movie indices, reflecting on what we saw, comparing notes and wondering if we missed anything. If you consider that it takes about two years to make a movie, this year’s crop of movies was still on the drawing boards in that now-legendary year 2008—shall we chalk up this rather unimpressive slate to creative fatigue, then? As ... more >

The Company Men

A legacy that endures
Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper and Tommy Lee Jones
Directed by John Wells

Company Men has a nice cast and John Wells is the very talented creator of one of television’s best dramas (ER), but you have to wonder, why would anyone want to watch this dismal film about the economic crisis? Ben Affleck plays Bobby Walker, a sales associate laid off by ship-building company GTX. For Bobby--used to conveying a sense of class with his Porsche and golf-club membership--to come to ... more >

The Fighter

A movie narrative that keeps on giving
Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale and Amy Adams
Directed by David O. Russell

There is never a doubt about how the fights will turn out in “The Fighter,” except the ones that play out within the family of Mickey Ward. Dickey Eklund (Christian Bale) at one time was called "Pride of Lowell, Massachusetts” because he managed to knock down Sugar-Ray Leonard (though some would say Sugar-Ray tripped). Now he mostly spends his time training his brother Mickey (Mark Wahlberg)--when ... more >