Bob Riffs

/Robert Marshall

About Robert Marshall

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So far has created 396 blog entries.

Still Alice – 8

March 8th, 2015|

A lovely movie, much less mawkish than commentators led me to believe (perhaps they considered Julianne Moore’s role too Oscar-obvious?). Julianne Moore was much of the reason, and her performance was touching without being pathetic. We felt for her but we were never uncomfortable in her presence. But if she was one-half the movie, the […]

Mr. Turner – 6.5

March 1st, 2015|

In this consistently bizarre portrait of the artist, we get no insight into J.M.W.Turner or his art. Instead, we get a character study of Timothy Spall as a grunting, lecherous, antisocial individual who walks as if his legs are stilts protruding from his hips. The movie is a montage of short vignettes, each cut short […]

Oscar Dud 2015

February 23rd, 2015|

A big-winner favorite I didn’t like and a self-referential host who wasn’t funny were two of the reasons Oscar disappointed last night. As reported previously, my wife and I walked out of Birdman because we were having such a bad time. The absurdist magical-realism style never connected, and the characters, starting with Michael Keaton and […]

Villa Touma – 6.8

February 1st, 2015|

Maybe because there are three sisters, the blurb described this film from Israel as Chekhovian. In fact, it was as much Dickens or O’Henry – or whoever it was who wrote Cinderella. The plot is simple: an unwanted niece comes to live with her three aunts, remnants of a Christian community in Ramallah who exist […]

Timbuktu – 8

February 1st, 2015|

If, as I do, you want a foreign film to immerse you and teach you about an alien culture, then Timbuktu will satisfy you and more. There is a plot of sorts, but the film is more a series of vignettes, showing what life is like for the unfortunate residents of this city in Mali […]

Force Majeure – 4

January 29th, 2015|

An oxymoronic Swedish comedy and two hours of passive aggression, Force Majeure was a highly touted major disappointment. I can’t think of a single scene that rang true (especially compared to Wet Bum, seen earlier the same day), most fatally the husband’s fleeing his children at the onslaught of an avalanche. So much of the […]

Wet Bum – 7.5

January 29th, 2015|

A very sweet look at the difficult life of a 14-year-old girl, struggling with all the issues an uncool teenager faces: mean friends, menial job, older brother, first crush, mother who doesn’t understand you, etc., etc. The actress is remarkable, as most of the film is told through lingering closeups of her face, and I […]

Top Ten 2014

January 25th, 2015|

Four of my ten highest-rated movies in 2014 were actually 2013 releases. This has caused me to add a PS to my last year’s Top Ten (see below) and acknowledge what a bad year 2014 was for movies. There is a chance that there will be 2014 releases still to come my way that will […]

American Sniper – 8

January 19th, 2015|

I worried that my visceral opposition to the Iraq War would color my appreciation of a war film from Clint Eastwood, Republican spokesman and director of Gran Torino. I needn’t have. Yes, the movie glorified Chris Kyle, “the Legend,” credited with killing 160 of the enemy, and we certainly rooted for him to accomplish his […]

Selma – 8.1

January 14th, 2015|

A very good story told well, not biting off too much or chewing anything too hard. Seemingly filmed in brown-and-white, the film captured a moment in our nation’s history that is worth preserving and thinking about, raising questions of what is different 50 years later and what isn’t. The acting was excellent – including Oprah […]