As its plot unfolds, Amsterdam treats us to a strangely magical form of visual and verbal storytelling, both humorous and hard-edged, by turns sweet and shocking, with richly curated frames and bright spirited dialogue.
Jazz Commentary: Russell’s “Hustle,” The Duke of Ellington, and Me
What exactly did the Duke’s music symbolize to Russell’s shifty characters, two upwardly mobile lowlifes more anxious to fleece the world than fall in love?
Film Review: “Knight of Cups” — A Lively Metaphysical Quest for Meaning
I admire director Terrence Malick for continuing to jettison staid storytelling for the sake of exploring his dense moral vision.
Movie Review: “The Big Short” — Capitalism Gone Wild, Made Entertaining
The Big Short is a deftly sardonic piece of doomsday economic diagnosis that is as entertaining as it is alarming.
Film Review: Please “Exodus” the Theater Quickly
Exodus: Gods and Kings is a tribute to those overblown biblical movies of the 1950s, albeit with all the eye-candy trappings that today’s high tech special effects can offer.
Book Review: Celebrating “The Flowers of War”
A strange mix of characters who all have complicated pasts gives rise to a novel that blossoms — exactly as a flower does — into a complex drama that includes several points of view and a wide range of emotions.