“Joy” is another cinematic triumph for screenwriter-director David O. Russell as well as for what might be his movie repertoire group: actors Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro, who were tremendous in “Silver Linings Playbook” (2012), for which Lawrence received the actress Oscar.
On Mary Wright’s email is a quote that says a lot:
“We are the stories we tell.”
Wright, “Spirited Stories” storyteller, theater artist, consultant and coach, brings that motto and all of her skills to bear in what is possibly her most personal work to date, “Mae Swe,” a one-woman show in its world premiere Jan. 14 - 17 at Touchstone Theatre, Bethlehem.
This is not your father’s “Star Wars.”
It is your son’s or daughter’s “Star Wars.”
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is a “Star Wars” for the Millennial Generation, those fan boys and fan girls weaned on Marvel Comics Cinematic Universe superheroes.
“The Force Awakens” has enough elements, and especially returning characters, from the “Star Wars” trilogy (for the sake of space, we won’t grouse about the prequels trilogy) to please parents and grandparents by invoking nostalgia (almost 40 years later) for writer-director George Lucas’s original, groundbreaking 1977 movie.
“Creed” is formulaic.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. “Creed” is solid film-making.
The boxing movie formula is evident in, among others, “Million Dollar Baby,” 2004; “Raging Bull,” 1980; “Requiem For A Heavyweight,” 1962; “Somebody Up There Likes Me,” 1956; “The Champ,” 1931, and “Rocky,” 1976, which brought Sylvester Stallone to fame and fortune in a screenplay he wrote and hung onto until he could star in the title role as Rocky Balboa.
One of the rudiments of exemplary movie reviewing is to not use too many sentences and paragraphs to recount the plot in detail.
Well, sir, there’s no danger of that happening with this movie review because “The Peanuts Movie” has no plot.
One of the rudiments of exemplary movie-making is a good story line.
“The Peanuts Movie” eschews a story line for a compendium of scenes familar to readers of the “Peanuts” newspaper comic strip or viewers of “Peanuts” television specials.
“Brooklyn” is an enjoyable, uplifting and entertaining film that can be recommended for its wonderful screenplay and impressive performance by Saoirse Ronan (Oscar supporting actress nominee,”Atonement,” 2007) as Ellis, an Irish immigrant who emigrates in 1952 to Brooklyn, where she’s torn between a life with a new boyfriend and her old life back home.
I’m not going to waste your time convincing you to see “The Hunger Games” Mockingjay - Part 2.”
If you’re a fan, you’ve probaby seen the final installment of the series based on the young adult novels, the “Hunger Games” trilogy by Suzanne Collins, best-known before creating the most preposterously named characters in fiction as writer of the “Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!” children’s television series (2008 - ’09).
If you’re not a fan, you’re not missing anything.
With the PPL Tower in center city Allentown bathed in French colors of red and blue, a few blocks away inside nearby Miller Symphony Hall, its exterior also lit with the colors of the French flag, the Allentown Symphony Orchestra’s Nov. 14 concert paid tribute to the vicitms of the Nov. 13 Paris terrorist attacks.
“Tonight we stand in solidarity with our friends in Paris,” Allentown Symphony Association Executive Director Sheila Evans said in her opening remarks.
“Music is a healing gift that crosses all borders,” Evans continued. “And I am happy to have a joyous concert.”
“Suffragette” recounts the women’s suffrage movement in Great Britain. The film, though based on actual events in Britain at the turn of the 20th century, uses a mix of real-life persons and fictional characters to tell its story.
At the center of the screenplay by Abi Morgan (“The Iron Lady,” 2011) is the fictional character of Maud Watts (Carey Mulligan), who works in a huge laundry company run by a brutish and loutish supervisor. On her way from work, Maud accidently gets caught up in a suffragette street protest that turns violent and is arrested.
“Spectre,” the latest James Bond film, has the earmarks of a classic 007 thriller.
There’s the Aston Martin (a Db10 and a vintage Db5 under restoration), a breathtaking car chase, zooming helicopters (including an amazing mid-air struggle), far-flung locales (Mexico City, London, Rome, Austria, Morocco), secret lairs for villain and spy, gadgets galore, a beguiling “Bond girl” (Léa Seydoux as Madeleine proves more of a spy partner) and a nefarious “Bond villain” (Christoph Weiz as Blofeld at his whimsically malevolent best).