Sir Alfred Hitchcock was, unquestionably, a cinematic genius, a man who made a lasting mark on film substance and style for decades. Director Sacha Gervasi’s “Hitchcock” dramatizes him as an inspired, jealous and conflicted man during his production of “Psycho.” The truth was, according to several, far less complimentary than the sympathetic, sometimes silly portrait painted here.
A familiar story receives a remarkably engaging, technically impressive presentation in director Andrew Dominic’s “Killing Them Softly.” Two dim-witted, imprudent petty criminals decide to rob a high-stakes mob poker game. A professional hit man arrives to set things straight, meaning retribution for those foolish enough to overstep their bounds.
Japanese animation boasts legions of fans who recognize the quality of Studio Ghibli. For one week, Friday, November 30th through Thursday, December 6th, Plaza Frontenac will screen fourteen selections from “The Studio Ghibli Collection: 1984 to 2009". Characteristic of Japanese animation, topics range from romance and adventure to fairy tales, folklore and post-apocalyptic scenarios.
Italian director Paolo Sorrentino has a unique style and attitude on display in "This Must Be the Place," starring Sean Penn as depressed rock and roll legend Cheyenne. Quirky and clever, Cheyenne holds forth on the meaning of life even as he seems on the verge of giving up on it.
I’d venture to say that few people would think about chess competition when asked about associations for Intermediate School 318, called I.S. 318, a Brooklyn middle school. As director Katie Dellamaggiore notes, 70-75% of the students’ families exist below the poverty level. And, oh yes, I.S.318 is a chess powerhouse.
With a little time to spare before the 6:15 p.m. showing of "Charles Bradley: Soul of America" at the St. Louis International Film Festival at the Tivoli, I sauntered over to Meshuggah Café and ordered a hot chocolate.
Bond, James Bond is celebrating 50 years and now, in the embodiment of the able Daniel Craig, Agent 007 has lost none of his cool panache and the film none of its entertaining appeal. The latest Bond escapade “Skyfall” focuses more on M and revenge by a betrayed agent.
In French writer/director Christophe Barratier’s “War of the Buttons,” we find ourselves, spring 1944, in a relatively isolated French village. The Nazis have a dominant presence but remain secondary to the turf wars of two groups of boys. Their battles’ spoils consist of buttons and shoelaces, leaving the vanquished with pants falling down and shirts flapping.
Director Robert Zemeckis’ “Flight” embeds a complex character study in the tragic story of a serious airplane accident. This multifaceted approach makes it not only a rich film but also an important one because SouthJet Air pilot Captain Whip Whitaker is an alcoholic, meaning he’s in denial, lying to everyone, including himself.