Leonard Wechsler

‘Exodus: Gods And Kings’ Pales To Classic Film

By at December 19, 2014 | 12:00 am | 0 Comment

‘Exodus: Gods And Kings’ Pales To Classic Film

'I' ON CULTURE Some movies should never be remade. Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments is one of them, yet Ridley Scott has tried a new version, Exodus: Gods and Kings, which is not nearly as good. It is not a really bad movie. It is well-made, the special effects are reasonably good, and the acting, if not brilliant, is adequate. But as I was watching, I really more...

Leonard Wechsler

Surrealistic Plot, Great Acting In ‘Birdman’

By at December 12, 2014 | 12:00 am | 0 Comment

Surrealistic Plot, Great Acting In ‘Birdman’

‘I’ ON CULTURE Occasionally I get stumped when trying to evaluate a movie. That was the case with Birdman, an interesting film that gets dragged down by a lot of surrealism and third-rate symbolism. And that is a shame, because the basic story is one of those really fun “putting on a Broadway show is a real challenge” kind of stories. With a good cast and a more...

Leonard Wechsler

Acting Makes ‘Theory of Everything’ A Must-See

By at December 5, 2014 | 12:00 am | 0 Comment

Acting Makes ‘Theory of Everything’ A Must-See

‘I’ ON CULTURE The Theory of Everything is a brilliantly acted, really well-written movie about the relationship between one of the geniuses of the century and the woman he loved — well, most of the time — as his body disintegrated. Stephen Hawking, the brilliant cosmologist, has had a fascinating life, and this movie, based on a memoir by his ex-wife, presents more...

Leonard Wechsler

Hunger Games Continues With ‘Mockingjay’

By at November 28, 2014 | 12:00 am | 0 Comment

Hunger Games Continues With ‘Mockingjay’

‘I’ ON CULTURE The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part I is a strange kind of sequel. Most sequels are far flashier than the earlier films. Special effects are bigger; the story is generally some kind of repeat of the earlier episode. Not so in this new film, the third of four in the Hunger Games series. It is grimmer than the first ones; there are no fancy costumes or more...

Leonard Wechsler

Terrible Movie: Avoid ‘Dumb And Dumber To’

By at November 21, 2014 | 12:00 am | 0 Comment

Terrible Movie: Avoid ‘Dumb And Dumber To’

‘I’ ON CULTURE Dumb and Dumber To is remarkably unfunny. How bad is it? There were more laughs in the drama Interstellar than in this so-called comedy. We waited 20 years for a sequel and could have waited a hundred more. This film is a stinker. Since directors Bobby and Peter Farrelly have not had a hit in years, nor have stars Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, we can more...

Leonard Wechsler

Nolan’s ‘Interstellar’ Is Brilliant Filmmaking

By at November 14, 2014 | 12:00 am | 0 Comment

Nolan’s ‘Interstellar’ Is Brilliant Filmmaking

‘I’ ON CULTURE Interstellar is a brilliant piece of filmmaking, not surprising since its director is Christopher Nolan, easily the most interesting, and possibly the best, director of our time. For a change, we have a movie — a very, very long movie — painted on a huge canvas. The meaning of life and love are portrayed in interesting ways within the structure more...

Leonard Wechsler

Bill Murray Makes ‘St. Vincent’ Worth Seeing

By at November 7, 2014 | 12:00 am | 0 Comment

Bill Murray Makes ‘St. Vincent’ Worth Seeing

‘I’ ON CULTURE While we now are in the season for quality blockbusters, each arriving one week after the other to allow time to pick up the easy money, the small movie St. Vincent has slipped into theaters. It manages to avoid being sentimental and sappy by just a hair, probably from the quickly receding hairline of Bill Murray. The movie should be overly more...

Leonard Wechsler

Plenty Of Stylized Killing In New Film ‘John Wick’

By at October 31, 2014 | 12:00 am | 0 Comment

Plenty Of Stylized Killing In New Film ‘John Wick’

‘I’ ON CULTURE The new movie John Wick is a slick bit of absolute violence with more than a hint of film noir. The body count is incredible, yet it is done so stylishly that individual deaths barely matter. Once the film really gets going, about 20 minutes in, it is a nonstop ride of killing that keeps you focused throughout. Yes, it is a B movie. It does not aim more...

Leonard Wechsler

‘Fury’ An Old-Style War Film With Modern Edge

By at October 24, 2014 | 12:00 am | 0 Comment

‘Fury’ An Old-Style War Film With Modern Edge

‘I’ ON CULTURE Hollywood does not make many war movies anymore, particularly about historic wars. We have had a few recent films about Afghanistan and Iraq, but looking at people fighting is more profitable when there is a comic-book twist and a superhero. It also helps if whoever is being killed is not human. The new war drama Fury brings back the old days when more...

Leonard Wechsler

Great Acting Makes ‘The Judge’ Worth Seeing

By at October 17, 2014 | 12:00 am | 0 Comment

Great Acting Makes ‘The Judge’ Worth Seeing

‘I’ ON CULTURE The Judge is what we used to call a good “popcorn film.” This means that while many critics find fault, most of the audience will have a great time. When you have a family drama centered on a legal issue with real meaning, and then have several of today’s best actors chewing up the scenery, the movie, although long, will be great entertainment. more...

Leonard Wechsler