April 1, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 62°F

Times reviewer to discuss criticism as an art form

By | Jan 29, 2009

A.O. Scott is one of the leading film critics of the New York Times. His relaxed, witty writing (which includes literature reviews and essays) has won him numerous fans, who eagerly anticipate his incisive thoughts on all things cinema. Scott will give a lecture, titled “Criticism as a Way of Life,” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday…

Richard Gere dramatizes deceitful writer in ‘The Hoax’

By | Apr 20, 2007

After being inundated with the constant misrepresentation of the truth, whether it be from James Frey, Michael Moore or the Bush administration, it isn’t surprising to see that people in the U.S. have an innate skepticism about the media and those who control and shape them. The lines between escapist entertainment and exploitation have blurred…

Foreign film critically analyzes German government

By | Mar 29, 2007

The voyeuristic nature of a powerful government is a theme rarely tackled in film. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, director of the elegant and powerfully subdued “The Lives of Others,” should be commended on making a film that has timely themes without resorting to the hysterics and self-importance other directors think are the benchmarks of good…

Chris Rock spins old comedy in wrong direction

By | Mar 22, 2007

“I Think I Love My Wife,” the new film starring, co-written and directed by Chris Rock, seems to adhere to the American idea that European art equals legitimate art. If a film is in a Romance language and is devoid of all the fancy trappings of Hollywood, in many people’s minds, it is above derision.…

‘The Astronaut Farmer’ flies to outer space

By | Feb 28, 2007

In a time of pop-culture-happy, snarky entertainment that masks any message behind a preening above-it-all attitude, “The Astronaut Farmer” is a welcome relief. Directed by Michael Polish from a screenplay written by Polish and his brother, Mark, “The Astronaut Farmer” is one of the most recent corny films. But that is its primary charm. Charles…

Daring crime drama depicts story of real-life FBI agent

By | Feb 22, 2007

In “Breach,” Cooper plays Robert Hanssen, the FBI agent who was arrested Feb. 18, 2001, for leaking billions of dollars worth of government secrets to the Soviet Union. Cooper conveys evil thoughts that the film’s script only hints at, and he does this without a more well-known actor’s histrionics and showboating. Cooper uses silence far…

‘Aces’ low in bloated mob tale

By | Feb 7, 2007

Writer-director Joe Carnahan’s latest exercise in pop-violence, “Smokin’ Aces,” is truly awful. Designed only to elicit sophomoric shouts of excitement from the audience, this unnecessarily convoluted film has a hyper-kinetic style of editing and an undeserved tone of smugness that floats through it like a toxic gas. The story involves Buddy “Aces” Israel, a campy…

‘Freedom Writers’ stays true to 1990s race conflicts

By | Jan 25, 2007

The “teacher with a heart of gold” has become such a cliché in American pop culture that it’s amazing most kids aren’t idolizing their remedial English teachers instead of movie stars and musicians. Richard LaGravenese’s “Freedom Writers” manages to transcend any hint of condescension these “inspiring” tales are often full of. “Freedom Writers” is based…

Spy film fails

By | Jan 24, 2007

“The Good Shepherd” is a fictionalized account of the beginnings of the CIA and its founders. The film hops across five continents and spans more than 30 years in the life of the (largely fictional) Edward Wilson (Matt Damon), without generating any excitement or coherency. This ambitious attempt to dissect the spy genre is built…