American Hustle

'American Hustle' Movie Review: Compelling Performances & Intricate Direction Make Up Fitting Installment in David O. Russell's 'Redemption' Trilogy

"American Hustle" is a display from pure genius from "the feet up." The actors give tremendous portrayals and Russell's intricate script and nuanced direction takes the viewer on a potent emotional journey. At one point in the movie, Rosenfeld takes DiMaso to an art gallery and presents him with what he purports to be a fake painting. He says something to the effect of "It's not so black or white. It's a lot of shades of gray." A more fitting line, especially considering the films that Russell has made in recent years is that his world is not black or white or grey. Its full of different colors.
Movies, Lone Survivor

'Lone Survivor' Movie Review: An Uneven But Potent Film that Honors its Source Material & Fallen Heroes

"Lone Survivor" succeeds in honoring its source material and the soldiers that made the ultimate sacrifice to serve their country. While the film is ultimately uneven in its execution, it is bound to leave viewers emotionally drained and with a stronger appreciation of the men and women that risk their lives for the safety of their nation.
Opera, Metropolitan Opera

Metropolitan Opera 2013-14 Review - Falstaff: A Massive Achievement Worthy of Its Larger-Than-Life Title Character

Yes, this is an enormous review and fittingly so considering the work's title character and Carsen's emphasis on indulgence throughout his production. The production is stellar in its attention to detail and in Carsen's ability to fill every single moment with something. Not even the minor gripes in the final act are enough to dissuade one from believing that this is a masterpiece of stage direction. The cast is fascinating in every conceivable way while James Levine's expert hand only adds to the magic of the evening. This "Falstaff" is one of the finest productions of general manager Peter Gelb's tenure and the perfect way to end the 2013 bicentennial celebration of Verdi's immortal genius.
The Hobbit

'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' Movie Review: A Huge Improvement Over Its Predecessor [Spoilers]

"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" is a massive improvement over its predecessor but it is still apparent that Jackson and company (or should we just say Warner Bros) has imposed more material than their original source could handle. The tonal instability that permeated the first film is less apparent in this installment and has allowed for a more visceral overall experience. The quick pace should make this an overall entertaining experience, but those expecting a return to the form of the original trilogy may be somewhat disappointed.
Opera, Metropolitan Opera

Metropolitan Opera 2013-14 Review - Eugene Onegin: Peter Mattei, Marina Poplavskaya, Rolando Villazon Triumph in Revival

It might seem a bit soon to revive a production just months after its premiere, but the new cast makes this "Eugene Onegin" worthwhile in every respect.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' Movie Review: One of the Top Franchise Films of the Year

When compared with other major tentpole films like "Man of Steel," "Thor: The Dark World," "Iron Man 3," "Monsters University," "Star Trek Into Darkness" and "Pacific Rim," "The "Hunger Games: Catching Fire" undoubtedly tops them all. The film should please fans of the series and first film and potentially lure those willing to give the franchise another chance.
Metropolitan Opera, Rigoletto

Metropolitan Opera Review - Rigoletto: Dmitri Hvorostovsky Leads Terrific Cast in Wondrous Revival

Despite the conductor's shortcomings, this revival of "Rigoletto" should not be missed by any means. Hvorostovsky gives arguably the most memorable interpretation of the role at the Met in the last two decades while Lungu adds a dramatic vocal depth to Gilda that is uncommon. Polenzani's beautifully sung Duke rounds out the trio admirably and sets up the audience member for an unforgettable rendition of Verdi's middle period masterwork.
Opera, Die Frau Ohne Schatten, metropolitan opera

Metropolitan Opera 2013-14 Review - Die Frau Ohne Schatten: Richard Strauss' Masterwork is Arguably the Must-See Event of the Season

"Die Frau ohne Schatten" is tough on a textual level in that not every symbol or idea will be grasped with facility. However, Strauss' sweeping lyricism as portrayed by Jurowski and the terrific cast coupled with Wernicke's stellar production make attending this opera arguably one of the great events of the Metropolitan Opera's 2013-14 season.
Dallas Buyers Club

'Dallas Buyers Club' Movie Review: Matthew McConaughey Gives Performance of his Career in Multi-Layered Film

Ultimately, "Dallas Buyers Club" is McConaughey's film and he proves to any lingering doubters that he is a top-flight actor that is only starting to showcase his potential. His multi-faceted performance here only creates greater anticipation for what may come next.
The Counselor, Movies

'The Counselor' Movie Review: A Boring, Didactic & Massively Disappointing Film With Solid Performances

The film had all the ingredients to be a classic, and for many it will be. But the lack of suspense, coupled with the often didactic discourses and uninteresting characters makes "The Counselor" one of the biggest busts of 2013.
Norma

Metropolitan Opera Review-Norma: Sondra Radvanovsky is A Revelation as the Doomed Druid

Overall, this is probably the best Norma the Met has performed since the 70s and one that should not be missed. Radvanovsky proves she is up for the task and that she is one the best Norma's of current times.
Only Lovers Left Alive

'Only Lovers Left Alive' Review: Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddlston Shine In Jim Jarmusch's Vampire Romance (New York Film Festival)

Ultimately Jarmusch's film "Only Left Alive" is a beautiful love story that is anchored by the work of his phenomenal cast.
Blue is the Warmest Color

'Blue is The Warmest Color' Review: Abdellatif Kechiche's Fourth Film Is A Poignant Study on Sexual Identity (New York Film Festival)

"Blue is the Warmest Color" is ultimately an incredible journey that features two of the most powerful performances of the year.
The Pokémon Company International

Pokémon X and Y Review: Sixth-Generation Video Games Include Nostalgia, Beauty, and Changes to Repetitive Franchise [Video]

“Pokémon X” and “Pokémon Y” are officially available, and for nostalgia fans, the games might be a good fit.
Movies, Her, Joaquin Phoenix

'Her' Movie Review: Joaquin Phoenix Delivers Powerful Turn in Existential A.I. Love Story

Buoyed by a star turn from Phoenix, Jonze succeeds in creating a strong existential analysis on loneliness and its discontents. The film may play too slowly for some and the glacial tone of its latter sections may put off some audience members, but the ideas and thoughts Jonze puts into play certainly make for inspiring conversation.

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