CHICAGO – James Bond is the world’s most enduring super spy, beginning with Ian Fleming’s classic spy novels, up to a celebration of 50 years in the movies. Daniel Craig returns as Bond, James Bond in the latest film ‘Skyfall,’ which blends familiar 007 actions with psychological transitions.
CHICAGO – “Skyfall” is a gorgeous, action-packed, superbly structured piece of modern filmmaking. It is not only one of the best James Bond movies in the five-decade history of the beloved character but it’s one of the best action movies of the last decade. Sam Mendes’ film is smart, sexy, dangerous, and, most stunningly of all, beautiful.
CHICAGO – Seven desperate souls are taking risks to save some part of their world, which describes both “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” and “The Avengers.” Which will win the box office war? The “heroes” of the Marigold residence include Judi Dench, Tom Wilkerson, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith and Dev Patel.
CHICAGO – Last year’s slate of Best Actress Oscar-nominees was among the weakest in recent memory. There was no clear front-runner since there was no picture worthy of the exemplary actress at its core. From Meryl Streep in “The Iron Lady” to Glenn Close in “Albert Nobbs,” 2011 deserves to be remembered as the year of great female performances trapped in subpar material.
CHICAGO – Bringing the popular culture past back to life in a movie is always a tricky proposition. No matter what, there are always inevitable comparisons to the real thing.
CHICAGO – Marilyn Monroe will never go away. The iconic actress of a long-gone era is the subject of a new film, “My Week with Marilyn,” directed by Simon Curtis. Ms. Monroe is portrayed during a in collaboration with Sir Lawrence Olivier, and their characters are played with sublime grace by Michelle Williams and Kenneth Branagh.
CHICAGO – Much of history is determined by the petty quirks and strange psychosis of “great leaders.” J. Edgar Hoover, FBI director for 48 years, worked hard to hide his very nature by squelching the nature of others – enemies, friends and perceived enemies. Leonardo DiCaprio is Hoover in “J. Edgar.”
CHICAGO – The next installment in the Bond films, the twenty-third installment to be accurate, has finally had its title revealed. Known as Bond 23 for months, the new film will officially be called “Skyfall.” The title was revealed this morning at a press conference by the producers of the film.
CHICAGO – “Jane Eyre” is a story that has been adapted multiple times but rarely with the grace, dignity, and level of quality as Cary Joji Fukunaga’s excellent 2011 take on the timeless Charlotte Bronte novel. With impeccable production values that never smother the piece in the musty quality that so often pervades modern period pieces, “Jane Eyre” is an effective, beautiful piece of work. It’s a surprisingly strong drama that deserves a much-wider audience on Blu-ray and DVD.