Leonard Wechsler

‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ A Great Zany Comedy

By at April 18, 2014 | 12:00 am | 0 Comment

‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ A Great Zany Comedy

‘I’ ON CULTURE If you want to see a movie that is different from almost anything else coming out these days, take in The Grand Budapest Hotel, the latest Wes Anderson film. It is a weird, strange, zany comedy with plenty of style, something we seldom get anymore. In an era of superheroes and overheated, sexualized romances, a movie that seems to avoid real feelings more...

Leonard Wechsler

‘Captain America’ A Great Summer Blockbuster

By at April 11, 2014 | 12:00 am | 1 Comments

‘Captain America’ A Great Summer Blockbuster

‘I’ ON CULTURE Summer is arriving, and we already have blockbusters. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is not only a fun superhero movie, but a thoughtful political thriller. While most movies in the Marvel universe are simply big special-effects shows, this movie also has roots in the conspiracy movies of the 1970s. Some of the dialogue, about a super-state more...

Leonard Wechsler

‘Noah’ Has Great Effects, But Strays From Story

By at April 4, 2014 | 12:00 am | 0 Comment

‘Noah’ Has Great Effects, But Strays From Story

‘I’ ON CULTURE Noah is the first big blockbuster of the year. Much of it is excellent, as the computer-generated effects show the destruction of Earth, fallen angels build the ark and the animals do their move into the huge lifeboat. Even the human element seems strong. But, somehow, much of the story gets lost in politically correct melodrama. Even more confusing, more...

Leonard Wechsler

‘Divergent’ An Interesting Film With Plot Holes

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

‘Divergent’ An Interesting Film With Plot Holes

‘I’ ON CULTURE I thought Divergent was a pretty decent film. There were many inherent weaknesses, but there was enough interesting action to keep the audience engaged. Based on a bestselling series of books by Veronica Roth, it is set in a post-apocalyptic Chicago. People are divided into five cliques, each one an emotional state that is completely emphasized, more...

Leonard Wechsler

‘The Blacklist’ A Fascinating, Complex Show

By at March 21, 2014 | 12:00 am | 1 Comments

‘The Blacklist’ A Fascinating, Complex Show

‘I’ ON CULTURE I found a lot more in NBC’s The Blacklist than I expected. Unlike other similar shows, it is fiendishly complex and lacks the simple foundation that ensures that the good guys stay good and the bad guys stay bad. On shows such as Castle, Bones and NCIS, the regular cast, stars and supporters, are the good guys. They may have some issues, but you more...

Leonard Wechsler

‘300’ Sequel Has Plenty Of Action (And Gore)

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

‘300’ Sequel Has Plenty Of Action (And Gore)

‘I’ ON CULTURE If you really liked 300, Frank Miller’s stylish depiction of the loss of the Spartans at Thermopylae in ancient times, you probably will enjoy the new 300: Rise of an Empire. It uses the same approach to fighting and mass killing with the “advantage” of 3-D (though also presented in far fewer shows in the regular 2-D) so that heads bounding, more...

Leonard Wechsler

Few Surprises As Stars Gather For Oscar Party

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

Few Surprises As Stars Gather For Oscar Party

‘I’ ON CULTURE Trying to make sense of the Oscars is an exercise in futility. There have been a host of great movies that won nominations and fell to lesser films (think of Saving Private Ryan losing to Shakespeare in Love) or cases where they did not even get nominated (Singing in the Rain in the year The Greatest Show on Earth won; Vertigo not getting nominated more...

Leonard Wechsler

Poor Plot But Great Special Effects In ‘Pompeii’

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

Poor Plot But Great Special Effects In ‘Pompeii’

‘I’ ON CULTURE  I was surprised at how quickly time passed while watching Pompeii. Based on early reviews, it would be a cheesy, mediocre film. But I found it entertaining, while recognizing that it has major weaknesses. It is an OK movie. It is not up to the quality of Gladiator, much less Spartacus (the best of the genre). In many ways, it is merely a vehicle more...

Leonard Wechsler

The Beatles Still Command The Music Scene

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

The Beatles Still Command The Music Scene

'I' ON CULTURE As we mark the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the Beatles in America, we celebrate many things: great music, a new attitude on life that the four young men brought back then and a major cultural shift. Isn’t it nice to do an anniversary of a happy event instead of all the remembrances of tragedies? Like so many of my generation, I watched the more...

Leonard Wechsler

‘Monuments Men’ Movie Fascinating History

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

‘Monuments Men’ Movie Fascinating History

‘I’ ON CULTURE The problem with The Monuments Men is that it seems far too similar to a lot of the cheap historical docudramas found on the History Channel. Yes, it has plenty of big stars in it. But although the topic — the saving of historical treasures stolen by Nazis before the Soviets got to them during World War II — is worthy, there is remarkably little more...

Leonard Wechsler