standup guys

Stand Up Guys

Not a winner. But a few small pleasures to be had
Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin
Directed by Fisher Stevens

You never want the word “cute” to be associated with Al Pacino or Christopher Walken to begin with, let alone an action-comedy starring both of them. You certainly don’t want the term “sappy” to apply. Unfortunately, Fisher Stevens’s "Stand Up Guys" is just that: cute and sappy, with too few smart-alecky laughs to spice up its bland soul. Pacino is a faded hitman just sprung from a twenty ... more >

ARGO seen through the prism of history

A film long on thrills but short on history

"Argo" is a great thriller, well-acted (special kudos to John Goodman and Alan Arkin), with spectacular cinematography in an Istanbul passing off as Tehran and a nail-bitingly suspenseful last half-hour (see Craig Younkin's REVIEW). Incredibly, the far-fetched story really happened. The year is 1979 with Iran’s Islamic Revolution in full swing. In November, when the terminally ill Shah who has ... more >