Tag Archive: ben kingsley


iron man 3Dir. Shane Black
(2013, PG-13, 130 minutes)

The first thing that came to mind while watching Iron Man 3 was how much better superhero movies need to get about women. Just one day ago I watched the terrific second part of Feminist Frequency’s critical analysis of the problematic roles of women in video games, and here is a movie that makes her point for her.

There are two major female roles. The first, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), more or less runs Stark Industries and manages Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey Jr.) dysfunctional life, but before long she is damseled by the screenplay – that is to say, she is kidnapped and rendered helpless so that male characters can fight over her. Pepper gets two moments of heroism, but both are the result of technology or augmentation inflicted on her by male characters.

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Dir. Martin Scorsese
(2011, PG, 127 min)

Before Hugo I had only seen three films in 3D. When given the choice, I almost always opt for two dimensions; the ticket surcharge hardly ever seems worth it, unless you’re in the hands of a filmmaker who might be after something more than a pay day. (The trailers accompanying Hugo include ads for cash-grab 3D re-releases of Beauty and the Beast, Titanic, and Star Wars.) Whether Martin Scorsese‘s film is better served with or without the technology is hard to say; some scenes are enhanced, others I think would have been better off without it, and still others are a wash. Its greatest weakness is high-speed action scenes, during which my eyes couldn’t process the illusion of relative depth in the midst of hectic motion in the frame. Its greatest strength is in exploring vast physical environments. Chase scenes are hit-and-miss.

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Leonardo DiCaprio, in 'Shutter Island'

Dir. Martin Scorsese
(2010, R, 138 min)
★ ★ ★ ★

Shutter Island was shuffled from an intended fall 2009 release date to February 2010, which changed the its profile from Oscar-season prestige picture to a late-winter thriller with low expectations (a studio delaying a film is often a sign of a lack of confidence), but it has proven to be a sound business decision; though the film has met with generally positive reviews (62 on Metacritic, 67% freshness on Rotten Tomatoes), it nevertheless might have been regarded as a disappointment from Martin Scorsese and struggled to get traction during the crowded awards blitz. Now, the film is well on its way to a domestic gross of $100 million … Read the rest of my review at Culturazzi.org

Emily Mortimer, in

Dir. Brad Anderson
(R) ★ ★ ★ ½

Alfred Hitchcock points the way for good suspense in motion pictures. According to his “Bomb Theory,” a couple has an innocuous conversation when all of a sudden a bomb detonates under their table; that’s surprise. However, if the same couple has the same conversation and instead the audience is shown the bomb, that’s suspense. We anxiously wait for the explosion and desire to warn the couple before it’s too late. We are engaged and participate in the drama.

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