Movie Journal
J. Hoberman on movies and movie-related things

MOVIE JOURNAL: J. Hoberman on movies and movie-related things

Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Stuff for the Buff

Only hours left to shop. Herewith a few items for the serious cinephile that said sc is unlikely to yet have:


NYFCC Keeps Hustlin’

I’ll admit to a certain surprise that the big winner at the New York Film Critics Circle turned out to be neither “12 Years a Slave” nor “Inside Llewyn Davis”, but David O. Russell’s “American Hustle” which won best feature and best screenplay as well as best supporting actress for Jennifer Lawrence.


Payne’s “Nebraska”: On the Road Again

Underachieving son (played against type by the comedian Will Forte) drives his near demented, alcohol sozzled old father (Bruce Dern) across the Midwest in search of a nonexistent pot of gold: Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska” is a slow-burning heart-warmer that neatly dodges the cornball bullet of a climactic manly hug. Indeed, it’s Payne’s best movie since his old Jack Nicholson road movie “About Schmidt”—and, in its absence of grandstanding, perhaps better than that.

Read the full article here.


“I Married a Witch”: Whatcha See, I Don’t Get

Rene Clair’s 1942 fantasy “I Married a Witch” has some distinguished artists among its fans. Jack Smith included it in the syllabus for a class he never ever came close to teaching; Guy Maddin writes a long appreciation for the new Criterion DVD, out in time for Halloween. But I’m afraid I can’t join the club.


Wong Kar-Wai is “The Grandmaster”

Sorry to weigh in late on Wong Kar-Wai’s “The Grandmaster”—although regret is in part the subject of the film.


Back When New York City was “Fun”?

OK to plug my own show? If so, read on. “Fun City,” the series I programmed at the Museum of the Moving Image, includes 17 Hollywood features and one documentary shot on the streets and sidewalks of New York from 1966 through 1973—with one more feature, filmed in 1974, that recreates a bizarre event from the summer of ‘72.

Read the full  post here.


Pedro’s “So Excited!”: Lighter Than Air

I don’t know what it says about Pedro Almódovar that, seen in a Manhattan screening room rather than in competition at Cannes or at the New York Film Festival, “I’m So Excited!” seems so much more enjoyable than his previous half dozen movies.


“The Bling Ring” Goes Wide: Whatever

“The Bling Ring,” which goes wide this weekend, didn’t get much respect when it had its world premiere last month in Cannes; nor has Sofia Coppola’s fifth feature proved to be a critical darling.

Read the full story here.


Liberace Lives: “Behind the Candelabra” and Back from the Grave

Glitz on glitz. It would have been most Liberace-like had the TV premiere of Steven Soderbergh’s HBO production, the Liberace bio-pic “Behind the Candelabra,” been presaged by the announcement that star Michael Douglas had won the Best Actor Award at Cannes. (In fact, it was another Hollywood vet, Bruce Dern, who was garlanded for his performance in Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska.”)

Read the full post here. (more…)

3-D “Gatsby”: Doo-Wack-a-Doo Up the Wazoo

Life is a cabaret, old sport, or maybe halftime at the Super Bowl in Baz Luhrmann’s overhyped and overheated 3D adaptation of “The Great Gatsby”—the fifth time Hollywood has taken on the 1925 F. Scott Fitzgerald novel that many consider the greatest novel in the American language.

Read the full article here.