Entries by Bob Marshall

Yesterday – 7.9

Two hours of Lily James as the new generation’s Keira Knightley is reason enough to watch Yesterday. Then there is the music of the Beatles, never better, even though sung by Himesh Patel rather than John and Paul. And the cherry on top is Kate McKinnon, chewing scenery like it’s cotton candy. Nothing in the plot […]

Late Night – 7.5

Emma Thompson is eminently watchable and typically impeccable as an imperious but fading late-night talk-show host, and the humor is practically non-stop and of my favorite variety: mocking frat-boy, white-male privilege. Having Paul Walter Hauser in the cast is a good start, and the film slips in a few substantive issues to consider along the […]

Booksmart – 3

Bookstupid is more like it. Every line tries hard to be funny, but very few are. The characters and situations are absurd, from the initial premise to every scene I saw before I walked out.

The Biggest Little Farm – 6.5

A sweet, family-friendly parable of doing well by doing good, as natural, organic farming methods restore barren earth and, fertilized by patience and love, make it bountiful. Coyotes a problem? Redirect them from your chickens – bad – to your gophers – good! Throw in a baleful-eyed dog and an Earth Mother pig and the […]

Gloria Bell – 7

Smartly edited small movie about not much: Gloria has a job, goes dancing, meets a guy, deals with her grown-up kids and her ex-husband; then things are resolved, in not terribly satisfactory or exciting fashion, and life goes on. The movie is all about Julianne Moore’s performance, which is fine, except she is much too […]

New York Theater

Seeing eleven plays (with one rain-out) in four weeks gave me, if nothing else, a better sense of my taste in theater. If only I could relate that to reviews I read, going forward. There were two shows I left without a complaint, Kiss Me, Kate and Caroline’s Kitchen – one a relatively straightforward revival […]

Rocketman – 6

Disappointing. There’s no attempt at rock history, as Elton John’s songs are shoehorned into the plot wherever a lyric suggests relevance, regardless of chronology. OK, so it’s a fantasy (a la Baz Luhrmann), not a biopic. But there’s not much of a plot, either; it’s a therapy session in which Elton relives his unhappy childhood, […]

The Souvenir – 5; Photograph – 7.5

Both these movies, which we saw back-to-back one afternoon, are primarily about a relationship: a callow and sneakily beautiful young woman falls in love with an older, more experienced and perhaps inappropriate man. Except one relationship is toxic, while the other is sweet. Needless to say, the latter movie, Photograph, is the enjoyable one. The Souvenir […]

Non-Fiction – 7

If your idea of a good French movie is lots of intellectual conversation, some red wine and multiple affairs, then Non-Fiction (or more to the point, Doubles Vies, its French title) is up your alley. And if, like me, you think anything Juliette Binoche does is worth watching, then this is time well spent. It does goes […]

Movie Butts

Why does almost every movie have to have a scene, or more, of characters smoking? At one point I used a cigarette rating at the end of every review, to comment on how extensive or unnecessary the smoking was – e.g., obviously a film taking place in the 1930s had more reason to show smoking […]