Cinema

Movie reviews and stories from behind the silver screen

‘Spider-Man 2’: The Endurance Test

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCpZ63FF3qA

 

I’d like to open with a question for the producers of The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

“How much damned time do you think people have?”

This isn’t a movie; it is a daytrip to an MRI. You’re trapped there for what seems like an eternity while the lights blink and the sounds buzz and when they finally spit you out, you realize you may have just peed a little.

Lemme see if I can do justice to the, ahem, plot. And yes, there will

Continue Reading

‘Out of the Furnace’—the Movie, the Cultural Phenomenon

Although Christian Bale (L.) has received praise for his performance as Russell Baze, many consider Casey Affleck’s (R.) work as the troubled and erratic Rodney to be the best in the film.

It’s the movie that launched a thousand opinions. Out of the Furnace has provoked such a range of reactions, both nationally and locally, that the buzz wars have come close to upstaging the movie itself. Is it a Best Picture candidate that offers a rare kind of cinematic

Continue Reading

The Conjuring: A New Take on Old-School Terror

I am 22 years old, and I am afraid of dolls.

Director James Wan (Saw, Insidious) unleashed his latest creation, The Conjuring, July 19, and it instantly rose to the top of the box office charts through its sensational filming and relentless outpour of terrifying imagery and subject matter. From the movie’s onset, which depicts a possessed porcelain doll sporting a positively Linda Blair-esque getup, Wan effectively warns the audience to curl up and prepare for terror.

Based on true events, The

Continue Reading

Les Miz x 2: On Stage & Screen

Les Miserables Storms the Benedum Center!

The planets have aligned for a rare double feature. The national touring company of Les Miserables is in town at the Benedum Center, through January 27, while the film version is still on local screens. It’s a chance to see how two different directors and casts—working in different media—handle the same material.

I’ve taken my double dose of “Les Miz” and found each version to have its merits. And I’ve enjoyed comparing the two, which then prompted

Continue Reading

The Dark Knight Rises Over Pittsburgh

Pittsburghers wait in anticipation of the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises at the Manor Theatre in Squirrel Hill.

It looks like Batman (Christian Bale) has finally met his match, at least in one on one combat, and unlike in The Dark Knight, it’s a fair fight.  No hounds or vision loss.  He suffers from more than a few punches at the hands of his nemesis and most powerful adversary yet: Bane (Tom Hardy).

The brutal on-screen fist fights between

Continue Reading

“First Position” Intrigues and Inspires

The dancers prepare backstage.

Even if a night at the ballet strikes you as a snooze fest, you’ll find yourself mesmerized with dance during First Position. Don’t be surprised if by the end you’re on the edge of your seat rooting for young dancers as they overcome impossible circumstances. First time director Bess Kargman’s award-winning documentary offers an inside look at the training regime of child ballet dancers.

First Position follows seven kids from a range of cultural and socio-economic backgrounds

Continue Reading