Archives for December 2012


Craig Younkin’s Year-in-Review

The best and the worse of a mitigated 2012 year

2012 you were very kind to me. I got to do more of what I love--saw over a hundred movies this year, many of them entertaining. Sure, the superhero franchises weren’t as terrific as their predecessors and 2012 had its share of lightweights; and I had to sit through another "Twilight" movie. But on the plus side there were a lot of overly creative, character-driven titles (“Silver Linings ... more >

Les Misérables

In the footsteps of Jean Valjean
Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway
Directed by Tom Hooper

Anne Hathaway appearing in a musical doesn't surprise me. Her entire Oscar hosting gig felt like a four-hour audition for Glinda the Good Witch in the upcoming movie musical for "Wicked." But who knew she could be so devastatingly good as Fantine, a woman struggling through poverty in France's revolutionary days who winds up forced to sell her teeth, hair and self to support her young daughter ... more >

Not fade away

We've been here before. It's deja vu.
John Magaro and Jack Huston
Directed by David Chase

David Chase has gone from “The Sopranos” to taking a sixties-rock nostalgia trip with “Not Fade Away." It’s a film that knows its subject well enough, and even has E-Street Band member Steven Van Zandt to help pick the bluesy rock-infused soundtrack. And yet I don't know what I'm supposed to take away from the band focused on here. Doug (John Magaro) is a New Jersey kid inspired by The Rolling ... more >

Charles Durning LEAVES US

He was our favorite on-screen cop

Charles Durning left us today. With appearances in over a hundred films, Durning's memorable roles include police officers in the Oscar-winning "The Sting" (1973) and crime drama "Dog Day Afternoon" (1975), along with the comedies "Tootsie," "To Be Or Not To Be" and "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," the last two of which earned him an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor. He won ... more >

Promised Land

Around the fracking debate in small-town, U.S.A.
Matt Damon and John Krasinsky
Directed by Gus Van Sant

“Promised Land” is the movie that Matt Damon and John Krasinski of “The Office” teamed up to write. Damon was even going to direct at one time before scheduling conflicts encouraged them to bring on Gus Van Sant. Damon is Steven, vice-president of a natural gas company who travels with his partner (Frances McDormand) to the rural town of McKinley in order to buy up people’s land and drill for ... more >

Brazilian Cinema nineties and beyond

MOVIETRACKS Episode # 12

Main theme, Caetano Veloso (O Quatrilho, directed by Bruno Barreto), 1995 Original soundtrack, Jacques Merelenbaum and Antonio Pinto (Central Station, directed by Walter Salles), 1998 Original soundtrack, Lucio Maia and Fernando Catatau (Yellow Mango, directed by Claudio Assis), 2002 Na rua, na chuva, na fazenda, Hyldon (City of God, directed by Fernando Meirelles), 2002 Main theme, Andre ... more >

What’s the deal with Depardieu?

The actor's departure has caused full-on war

How do you say "can't we all just get along?" in French? The infamous expression would fit perfectly. A week ago we ran the letter that French actor Gérard Depardieu had published in a French daily in response to that country’s prime minister calling him “pathetic” for emigrating to Belgium over the excessively high tax rate which was imposed on his revenues. Depardieu, who’s been a well-loved ... more >