Latest Reviews
Home » 2015 » September

Monthly Archives: September 2015


There is an addictive fascination for the game a chess; a game demanding tremendous mental acuity, agility and as much stamina and strength as any contact sport. The subject has held the same “draw” for filmmakers and documentarians in recent years: “Queen to Play”, “Bobby Fischer Against the World”, “Searching for Bobby Fischer” and 2015’s “Pawn Sacrifice” ; directed by ... Read More »


“The Intern” is not a great film, it will not take up permanence residence in your movie archive, but there was something sweet, possibly too saccharine, about the scenario; the chemistry between Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway is palpable and testament to their inimitable skills as actors. Hathaway is workaholic, “Jules Ostin” dynamic founder of an online “fashionista” company; ... Read More »


The Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966-76) is a compelling anomaly, the fodder for a myriad of fictional and nonfictional accounts by scintillating writers: “Wild Swans”,Jung Chang; “Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress”, Dai Sijie; “A Leaf in the Bitter Wind: A Memoir”, Ting-Xing Ye; and the incomparable Pearl S. Buck’s “Three daughters of Madame Liang”.  Director Zhang Yimou’s film adaptation of ... Read More »


Johnny Depp is captivating, mesmerizing as satanic James “Whitey” Bulger, Boston’s quintessential crime and drug sovereign in the 1970’s-80’s; warped dictator of the “Winter Hill Gang”.  Director Scott Cooper’s “Black Mass” is imbued with hefty performances from Joel Edgerton, as untoward FBI agent, John Connolly; Kevin Bacon, a righteous FBI agent, Charles McGuire; Benedict Cumberbatch, minimally used as Billy Bulger ... Read More »


The only thing heroic about this formulaic, Bollywood romantic extravaganza is the time spent waiting for the conclusion; two newcomers, Sooraj Pancholi and Athiya Shetty play star-crossed lovers in a remake of Subhash Ghai’s 1983 version of the same title; once was sufficient, but Salman Khan  (producer) feels “imitation” is the highest form of flattery and commerce; seasoned audiences will ... Read More »


M. Night Shyamalan, has captured his elusive groove, and audiences can shiver, viewing his tantalizing, titillating tale of two charming, disarming, precocious teenagers going to visit their maternal grandparents; Mom’s (Kathryn Hahn) estranged parents, longing to finally meet their genetic-connection. Fifteen-year-old “Becca” (sensational, stunning Olivia DeJonge) in the embryonic phase as a documentarian, films the entire excursion from commencement to ... Read More »


Documentarian, Alex Gibney’s  brazen honesty and prescience, gifts viewers the “good, bad, and ugly” dimensions of Steve Jobs; “adopted visionary”, iconoclastic, unconventional genius; a man whose passing was mourned globally (1956-2011); since his death, his aura has exceeded mythic proportions; an exceptional man whose ambition and lust for technological advancement has changed the world and how we thrive in it ... Read More »


Heart-arresting, thrillingly beautiful, positively poignant documentary focusing on three men’s obsession with the ultimate peak, “shark’s fin” Meru Mountain; a spiritual, 21,000 foot behemoth in Gharwal, Himalaya, India. Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk, disparate personalities linked by their super-human skills in scaling the most inflexible, hostile of mountains; even more amazing is filming their death-defying pilgrimage; “Meru” is ... Read More »


Stephen and Alex (also directed) Kendrick, writers of the surprisingly sensational, low-budget film “War Room” are comforted by audiences’ approval of a movie that bludgeons with its monumental religious message: cease judging others, accept Jesus in your heart and hearth, cast out evil; only then may you join the ranks of the righteous. The “war room” is a metaphor for ... Read More »


August 2010, I was at the inauguration of the renovated Taj Mahal Place Hotel in Mumbai, India (originally opened in 1903); it was not my first stay in this iconic, historical bastion of beauty, civility,  unfathomed wealth, facing the Gateway of India; wide, silent halls, decked with Eastern antiquities and splendor, lend an aura of magnificence, reflecting the depth of ... Read More »

Scroll To Top