Mamet Monday: ‘Things Change’ (1988) is an understated rendition of what could’ve been a wild and fun Mamet plot (Movie review)

In our Mamet Monday series, we’re looking at the catalog of filmmaker David Mamet.

With his directorial follow-up to his noteworthy debut “House of Games,” David Mamet takes a step back with “Things Change” (1988). It does have twists that made me sit up and take notice in the final moments. But it’s short on memorable Mamet-speak, and it doesn’t illustrate the contrast between sweet-natured shoe-shiner Gino (Don Ameche) and low-on-the-totem-pole gangster Jerry (Joe Mantegna) as crisply as I would’ve liked.

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Peter Farrelly’s ‘Green Book’ a sweet story of friendship against backdrop of mid-century American racism (Movie review)

Writer-director Peter Farrelly smooths out the excesses of his filmmaking traits for the surprisingly mainstream and easy-to-like “Green Book” (2018), now back in theaters and also available for home viewing. It’s not as funny as his best films like “Dumb and Dumber” and not as high-concept as the likes of “Stuck on You” and “Shallow Hal.” It’s possibly a crass grab at mainstream and critical acceptance, but it’s hard to quibble with the finished product.

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Despite being from her point of view, ‘Summer ’03’ keeps teen’s world at a timid distance (Movie review)

“Summer ’03” (2018) had the misfortune of coming out the same year as “Eighth Grade,” which showed new blood can be wrung from the stone of coming-of-age dramedies. Stacked against other entries in the genre – but especially that one – “Summer ’03” is tame, without a sharp or original perspective. The trappings of a decent film are here, including lead actress Joey King – very much in her “She’ll be a star someday” mode – and nice Georgia cinematography (although the film takes place in Cincinnati for some reason) by Ben Hardwicke.

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‘The Favourite’ critiques timeless governmental power plays, but isn’t as sharp or funny as it could be (Movie review)

A lot has been made about how horror (“Get Out” last year) and superhero (“Black Panther” this year) films are making inroads with the Oscars, but – in terms of percentage of all films released – comedy remains the most snubbed genre. “The Favourite” (2018) finds a path to Academy attention, though, by chronicling the royal court of Britain’s Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) in 1708, replete with gilded paintings, frilly dresses, pancake makeup and powdered wigs. Oscar-film trappings, in other words.

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Throwback Thursday: Work still sucks, and ‘Office Space’ is still a masterpiece, 20 years later (Movie review)

In our Throwback Thursday series, we’re looking back at movies, TV shows, books or comics that are more than a year old and don’t fit with our regular “flashback” features. Maybe we missed it when it was new, or we want to revisit an old favorite. Basically, we’re reviewing old stuff because we feel like it.

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Mamet Monday: Hollywood satire ‘State and Main’ (2000) too trifling for my taste (Movie review)

In our Mamet Monday series, we’re looking at the catalog of filmmaker David Mamet.

With “State and Main” (2000), writer-director David Mamet delivers a satirical look at the making of a Hollywood movie, but it’s so lighthearted that it’s almost a love letter, too. The setting is incongruous with the absurd industry politics on display, as director Walt Price (William H. Macy) is shooting a historical film called “The Old Mill” in picturesque Waterford, Vermont, filled with locals with quirks of their own.

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Throwback Thursday: More than a ‘Garden State’ ripoff, Crowe’s ‘Elizabethtown’ (2005) has aged well (Movie review)

In our Throwback Thursday series, we’re looking back at movies, TV shows, books or comics that are more than a year old and don’t fit with our regular “flashback” features. Maybe we missed it when it was new, or we want to revisit an old favorite. Basically, we’re reviewing old stuff because we feel like it.

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Throwback Thursday: Murder-comedy ‘Clue’ (1985) featured alternate endings before they were cool (Movie review)

In our Throwback Thursday series, we’re looking back at movies, TV shows, books or comics that are more than a year old and don’t fit with our regular “flashback” features. Maybe we missed it when it was new, or we want to revisit an old favorite. Basically, we’re reviewing old stuff because we feel like it.

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: Murder-comedy ‘Clue’ (1985) featured alternate endings before they were cool (Movie review)”

Throwback Thursday: Hornby’s ‘Funny Girl’ (2014) zeroes in on 1960s British TV, but has appeal beyond that (Book review)

In our Throwback Thursday series, we’re looking back at movies, TV shows, books or comics that are more than a year old and don’t fit with our regular “flashback” features. Maybe we missed it when it was new, or we want to revisit an old favorite. Basically, we’re reviewing old stuff because we feel like it.

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: Hornby’s ‘Funny Girl’ (2014) zeroes in on 1960s British TV, but has appeal beyond that (Book review)”