Review: Cyrano

Year: 2021 Runtime: 124 minutes Director: Joe Wright Writers: Erica Schmidt (screenplay), Edmond Rostand (original play) Actors: Haley Bennett, Peter Dinklage, Ben Mendelsohn, Kelvin Harrison, Jr., Bashir Salahuddin By Joan Amenn Sometimes a film takes a second viewing to make you aware of how much it moves you. If you have a rather cynical view of romance, perhaps, “Cyrano” (2021) won’t be your cup of … Continue reading Review: Cyrano

Retrospective Review: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

If you’re looking for the perfect summer film, look no further than “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” (2018). The sequel to the first “Mamma Mia” (2008) film takes us back to a beautiful Greek island with both returning and new cast members who look like they’re having the time of their lives. It’s a film full of friendship, summer love, cute boho outfits, and Lily James dancing and cartwheeling through a field. Maybe being stuck in quarantine makes the idea of moving to a Greek island on a whim even more appealing.  Continue reading Retrospective Review: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

Retrospective Review: Summer Stock

When the world makes you feel like a damp, drizzly November in your soul, what you need is a movie musical to “chase all your cares away.” Light on plot but heavy on dancing rhythms, “Summer Stock” (1950) brings the sunshine with the last joyful partnering of Judy Garland and Gene Kelly. With a little help from the comedic timing of the wonderful Phil Silvers and Marjorie Main who was a star in her own right from the “Ma and Pa Kettle” series of films, “Summer Stock” is a breezy, fun way to spend a sultry evening. Continue reading Retrospective Review: Summer Stock

“Hamilton” is Eliza’s Musical Review: Hamilton

I have spent 5 years listening to the soundtrack, and unconsciously assumed the musical is named after, for and all directed to Alexander Hamilton (Lin Manuel Miranda); after all, the title of the first song is named ‘Alexander Hamilton.’ But I was stumped after I watched the filmed version for the first time to see the emotion Phillipa Soo put into her character of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton, and the final moment as she stares back into the audience, gasping. Continue reading “Hamilton” is Eliza’s Musical Review: Hamilton

Retrospective Review: “1776”-That Other Musical about the American Revolution

Before there was the phenomenon of “Hamilton” there was another musical depiction of America’s Founding Fathers called “1776” (1972). Nowhere near the worldwide smash hit of the later play, “1776” nevertheless was popular enough to be adapted into a film with much of the Broadway cast resuming their stage roles. There is even a small reference to “1776” in “Hamilton” which is obvious to anyone who has seen both musicals but will not be spoiled here. Continue reading Retrospective Review: “1776”-That Other Musical about the American Revolution

Cats – Is It Really That Bad?

By now we’ve all seen the utterly disastrous reviews of Tom Hooper’s adaptation of “Cats” (2019). Apparently somewhere between a psychedelic fever dream assault on the eyeballs, and one of the most original and compelling films of the decade.

It has its problems but I don’t think it’s deserving of the zero stars it’s been receiving. There are a number of films I liked much less this year.

The “story” that loosely holds the songs together is that the cat Old Deuteronomy (Judi Dench) is about to choose which cat should be reborn into a happy new life in the Heaviside Layer. As the cats vie for the position Macavity (Idris Elba) attempts to do away with the competition. Continue reading Cats – Is It Really That Bad?