Category Archives: In Theaters Now

Capsule Movie Review – My Afternoons with Margueritte (2010)

by HELEN GEIB

Gerard Depardieu reminds how good he can be in My Afternoons with Margueritte, a comedy-drama set in small town France. Germain (Depardieu) is a goodhearted but simpleminded man who gets by doing odd jobs and selling produce out of his kitchen garden. Margueritte (Gisele Casadesus) is a nonagenarian bibliophile. They meet by chance in the park when they sit at the same bench to watch the pigeons. Soon they’re meeting every day; they talk and she reads to him from Camus. His mother is a harridan who’s been verbally abusing him his whole life and her only family is an uncaring nephew, and their odd couple friendship becomes something each has longed for. Continue reading

Movie Review – Real Steel (2011)

by HELEN GEIB

To start with, because there seems to be some marketing-driven confusion:* Real Steel is a family film. Go ahead and take the kids. They’ll like it, and it’s a nice movie at heart. Continue reading

Capsule Movie Review – Life, Above All (2010)

by HELEN GEIB

South African drama Life, Above All is a very worthy film, but it’s hard to see why it should be one of the favored few foreign language titles to receive theatrical distribution on the American arthouse circuit this year. Its heroine is a 12-year-old girl living in a poor village outside Johannesburg whose childhood is cut short when her mother is stricken with AIDS. Misfortune rains down on young Chanda like a series of hammer blows explicating a host of pressing contemporary social issues: Continue reading

Movie Review – The Ides of March (2011)

by HELEN GEIB

A fashionable cynicism substitutes for nuance in George Clooney’s political drama The Ides of March. In addition to co-starring as the candidate du jour, a governor running for the Democrat nomination for president, Clooney directed and co-wrote the script (with Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon, from Willimon’s play Farragut North). Ryan Gosling has the lead role as a seasoned political operative whose idealism is crushed during the Ohio primary campaign. Continue reading

Movie Review – Moneyball (2011)

by HELEN GEIB

It’s hard not to be romantic about baseball.

The term “moneyball” refers to sabermetrics, major league baseball’s use of statistical analysis to select players. It comes from the 2003 non-fiction book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis, on which the film Moneyball is loosely based. Both book and film track the 2002 season of the Oakland A’s, when the team relied on sabermetrics to compensate for its lack of money; to put the situation into perspective, the A’s had about $90 million less to spend than American League payroll leader the New York Yankees. Where the book was primarily interested in numbers, the film is a character study of A’s General Manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt). Continue reading

Movie Review – Drive (2011)

by HELEN GEIB and NIR SHALEV

HELEN’S TAKE

It’s a set up straight out of the classic film noir playbook. Continue reading

Movie Review – Warrior (2011)

by HELEN GEIB

Brendan Conlon (Joel Edgerton) is a high school physics teacher, around 30 years old, married to his high school sweetheart Tess (Jennifer Morrison) and proud father of two adorable little girls. The family is in debt from medical bills and in danger of losing their house to foreclosure. Brendan’s first career was as a UFC fighter and to make some extra money he’s started fighting again, like the fight in the temporary ring set up in the parking lot of a strip club that gets him suspended from his teaching job. Continue reading

Movie Review – Cowboys & Aliens (2011)

by HELEN GEIB

A man wakes up in the New Mexico desert. He has amnesia. He also has the instincts and reflexes of a gunfighter, a photograph of a woman, and a strange metal cuff on his left wrist. He wanders into the nearest town. They recognize him there. It’s not a happy reunion. That night the town is attacked by raiders in mysterious airships and many people are taken. A posse is formed. The man travels with them. After the first bad night on the trail, only the stalwart few regroup to continue the search. Continue reading

Movie Review – Midnight in Paris (2011)

by NIR SHALEV

I’ve always loved the works of Woody Allen. Sure, he’s had two or three hiccups within the last decade but compared to his large body of work ranging from the mid 1960s to the present I’d say that he’s had a good 90% success rate. Midnight in Paris is a continuation of that success rate; it’s a throwback to classic Woody, like Annie Hall (1977) and Manhattan (1979) and reminds us that going to the movies can be a jolly good time. Continue reading