Week of   « Prev | Next »

5 articles


Will Smith in Focus: Pros and Cons

26 February 2015 5:13 PM, PST

I don’t believe in revealing “spoilers,” but I’m tempted to break my own rule with regard to Focus, in which Will Smith plays a master con artist who mentors Margot Robbie. Here’s what happens: he cons her. She cons him. He cons her again, and she manages to do the same. Then he cons her once more, and she cons him again, only this time he cons her in a bigger way, except he doesn’t realize that she’s conned him completely. Then they con each other. And so on. It’s fun to be fooled—up to a point—which is why movies about confidence men (and women) are so popular. The Sting may be the ultimate example, but there is something hollow about Focus. Will Smith is enormously charismatic...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] »

- Leonard Maltin

Permalink | Report a problem


The Salvation With Mads Mikkelsen: A New, Old-Fashioned Western

26 February 2015 5:13 PM, PST

I’m always ready to watch a Western—even if it comes from Denmark and was shot in South Africa! That’s the pedigree for The Salvation, which stars Mads Mikkelsen, Eva Green, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Jonathan Pryce. This handsome, widescreen movie doesn’t try to reinvent the genre; in fact, quite the opposite. It’s a ritualistic morality tale that foreshadows its conclusion in the opening scenes. Some might call it a parade of genre clichés, but the film is less about the destination than the journey. Were it not for good performances and visual flair it would be easier to dismiss. The year is 1871. Mikkelsen and his brother (Mikael Persbrandt), having fought for their...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] »

- Leonard Maltin

Permalink | Report a problem


Jack O’Connell Behind Enemy Lines in ΄71

26 February 2015 5:12 PM, PST

Once again a film tackles a topic we think we’ve seen before—the violence in Belfast during the 1970s—and dramatizes it in a way that is fresh and completely riveting. Jack O’Connell (who recently starred as Louis Zamperini in Unbroken) plays a young British soldier who has just completed basic training. Instead of being posted somewhere in Europe, as he expects, he and a squadron of green recruits are sent to Northern Ireland, where things are heating up and England feels that a stronger military presence is required. As it turns out, O’Connell isn’t the only one who’s a novice here, and in a terrible blunder he is abandoned and left to fend for himself in a hostile environment....

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] »

- Leonard Maltin

Permalink | Report a problem


Movie Iconography: Real vs. Reel

25 February 2015 5:01 PM, PST

While driving down State Street in Santa Barbara last month I noticed banners advertising the city’s Film Festival: simulated strips of Academy leader featuring its famous numbered countdown. It’s an eye-catching image, but I wonder how many people under the age of 25 have a clue what it means. (I first became familiar with Academy countdown “leader” when I worked for the audio visual department in my high school. We provided 16mm projectors on rolling carts to classrooms where 16mm films were to be screened. That countdown footage wasn’t ever supposed to be seen by viewers, but amateur projectionists didn’t always take the time to run the prints past that leader to the opening frame...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] »

- Leonard Maltin

Permalink | Report a problem


Jazz On Track: Clark Terry At His Best

23 February 2015 5:28 PM, PST

One of my favorite documentaries of 2014 didn’t make it to the Oscars, but that doesn’t dim its luster in my eyes: Keep On Keepin’ On is a beautiful film and its soundtrack is being released today by Varèse Sarabande. That happy occasion is made bittersweet by the news that the movie’s subject, jazz trumpet great Clark Terry, passed away on Saturday at the age of 94. The documentary candidly chronicles his declining health over the past few years, but Terry never lost his zest for life or his drive to encourage young musicians. The movie focuses on the extraordinary friendship between Terry and a brilliant young pianist named Justin Kauflin, who is blind. They met when...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] »

- Leonard Maltin

Permalink | Report a problem


5 articles



IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.

See our NewsDesk partners