September 2010

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

September 28, 2010

“Wall Street,” directed by Oliver Stone. 20th Century Fox, 1987, 126 minutes. “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” directed by Oliver Stone. 20th Century Fox, 2010, 133 minutes. Reviewed by Jo Ann Skousen “Wall Street” (1987) was one of the first films focused on the inner workings of the financial markets, and is loosely based on [...]

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Easy A

September 28, 2010

“Easy A.” 2010. Will Gluck, director. Sony/Screen Gems, 93 minutes. Here’s a new twist on an old formula: boy pays girl to pretend she likes him, so other kids at school will think he’s cool. It worked in “Can’t Buy Me Love” (1987), when geeky Roland Miller (played by dreamy Patrick Dempsey) hires the lovely [...]

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The Town

September 28, 2010

“The Town,” directed by Ben Affleck. Warner Brothers, 2010, 125 minutes. Reviewed by Jo Ann Skousen “The Town” tells the story of four childhood friends who have grown up to follow in their fathers’ footsteps. Unfortunately, those footsteps have led in most cases to prison or death. In Charlestown, Massachusetts, we are told, “Bank robbery [...]

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Catfish

September 28, 2010

“Catfish,” directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman. Rogue Pictures, 2010, 94 minutes. Reviewed by Jo Ann Skousen There was a time when drama focused on the acts of the rich and legendary. From Sophocles to Shakespeare, plays were about kings and heroes, gods and generals. When Henrik Ibsen introduced realism in the nineteenth century, [...]

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Up in the Air

September 28, 2010

“Up in the Air,” directed by Jason Reitman. Cold Spring Pictures, 2009, 109 minutes. Reviewed by Jo Ann Skousen Two films reviewed this month use a backpack as a metaphor for what really matters in life. In “The Road” a father and son make their way across post-apocalyptic America carrying their survival equipment and a [...]

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Crazy Heart

September 28, 2010

“Crazy Heart,” directed by Scott Cooper. Butcher’s Run Films, 2010, 112 minutes. Reviewed by Jo Ann Skousen In “Crazy Heart,” Bad Black (Jeff Bridges) is a country singer whose albums once topped the charts. Now he performs in bowling alleys and country bars, using local pick-up bands as his back-up musicians and staying in seedy [...]

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Avatar

September 28, 2010

“Avatar,” directed by James Cameron. Twentieth Century Fox, 2009, 160 minutes. Many critics have called “Avatar” “‘Dances with Wolves’ in Space,” but as a story line the film is worse than that: “Avatar” is about as predictable as an ABC After School Special. When humans arrive on planet Pandora, local residents unite to protect their [...]

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Ease on Down “The Road”

September 28, 2010

“The Road.” John Hillcoat, director. Dimension Films, 2009, 110 minutes. Reviewed by Jo Ann Skousen “The Road,” based on Cormac McCarthy’s book of the same name (see my review in Liberty, January-February 2009), opens with a sunlit close-up of a beautiful garden. A radiant, smiling woman (Charlize Theron), sunlight and domesticity personified, clips a flower [...]

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The Changeling

September 28, 2010

Will the Real Clint Eastwood Please Come Back? “The Changeling,” directed by Clint Eastwood. Universal/Imagine, 141 minutes. You’ve probably seen previews for “The Changeling,” with Angelina Jolie pounding her breast and wailing, “I want my son back!” before she is carted off to a psychiatric prison ward. The previews promise corruption in the police department, [...]

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Bright Star: An Ode to Keats

September 28, 2010

“Bright Star.” Jane Campion, director. BBC Films, 119 minutes. Reviewed by Jo Ann Skousen Like a comet that flashes across the sky and is gone, John Keats lived only 25 years. Panned by critics during his lifetime, his poems survived to become iconic of the romantic period. With its emphasis on mythology, the beauty of [...]

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