Thursday, October 23, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

‘Quartet': A beautiful noise

“Quartet” Four stars Starring: Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins, Michael Gambon, Sheridan Smith Rating: PG-13, and rather stupidly, for brief strong language Strong ensemble cast highlights gentle drama about second chances By Derrick Bang Enterprise film critic Music fills almost every frame of “Quartet,” whether created vicariously by this delightful story’s many […]

‘Snitch': An engaging surprise

“Snitch” 3.5 stars Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Barry Pepper, Susan Sarandon, Jon Bernthal, Michael Kenneth Williams, Rafi Gavron, Melina Kanakaredes, Nadine Velazquez, Benjamin Bratt Rating: PG-13, for violence and drug content Dwayne Johnson adds dramatic heft to this ruthless cautionary tale By Derrick Bang Enterprise film critic Despite what’s suggested by the publicity art, “Snitch” is […]

‘Amour': Dull, dreary and beyond endurance

“Amour” Two stars Starring: Emmanuelle Riva, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Isabelle Huppert, Alexandre Tharaud, William Shimell Rating: PG-13, for dramatic intensity, painful intimacy, brief profanity and fleeting nudity Strong performances are buried beneath insufferable directorial flourishes By Derrick Bang Enterprise film critic However impressive Emmanuelle Riva’s starring role in “Amour” — and her work transcends mere words […]

‘The Impossible': A compelling battle for survival

“The Impossible” 4.5 stars Starring: Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom Holland, Samuel Joslin, Oaklee Pendergast, Geraldine Chaplin, Ploy Jindachote, Johan Sundberg Rating: PG-13, for dramatic intensity, horrific mass injury and brief nudity A horrific natural disaster is seen through the eyes of a desperate family By Derrick Bang Enterprise film critic Félix Bergés and Pau […]

‘Promised Land': Rock-solid advocacy cinema

“Promised Land” Four stars Starring: Matt Damon, Frances McDormand, John Krasinski, Rosemarie DeWitt, Hal Holbrook, Titus Welliver, Lucas Black Rating: R, for profanity Matt Damon hasn’t written many scripts since 1997’s “Good Will Hunting,” his Academy Award-winning debut effort with Ben Affleck. His prudence is understandable; where does one go, from up? No doubt Damon […]

‘Anna Karenina': A tale oddly told

‘Anna Karenina’ Three stars Starring: Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Matthew Macfadyen, Kelly Macdonald, Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Olivia Williams Rating: R, and rather harshly, for mild sexuality and dramatic intensity Tolstoy’s venerable saga can’t stand up to a wealth of directorial flourishes By Derrick Bang Enterprise film critic Artistic vision is captivating — […]

‘Silver Linings Playbook': A heart of gold

“Silver Linings Playbook” Four stars Starring: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, Chris Tucker, Anupam Kher, Julia Stiles Rating: R, for sexual candor, brief nudity and relentless profanity By Derrick Bang Enterprise film critic Mental illness isn’t funny, and — thankfully — Hollywood has matured past the point of believing otherwise; standard-issue […]

‘The Sessions': The power of love

By Derrick Bang Enterprise film critic “The Sessions” Five stars Starring: John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, William H. Macy, Moon Bloodgood, Adam Arkin, Annika Marks, Rhea Perlman Rating: R, for strong sexuality, graphic nudity and sexual candor Berkeley-based poet, author and journalist Mark O’Brien died in 1999, just shy of his 50th birthday. His collections of […]

‘Argo': The best film Hollywood never made

“Argo” 4.5 stars Starring: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Victor Garber, Tate Donovan, Clea DuVall Rating: R, for profanity and dramatic intensity Truth really is stranger than fiction. The events depicted in “Argo” wouldn’t be believed in a novel; the wild ’n’ crazy premise defies credibility. And yet this bizarre CIA mission actually […]

‘Trouble with the Curve': Just about outta the park

“Trouble with the Curve” Four stars Starring: Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman, Matthew Lillard, Robert Patrick Rating: PG-13, and perhaps too harshly, for occasional profanity and one sexual reference Even the most familiar material will become vibrant in the hands of seasoned pros. Randy Brown’s impressive debut script for “Trouble with the Curve” […]

‘Arbitrage': A fascinating, high-stakes poker game

“Arbitrage” Four stars Starring: Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Tim Roth, Brit Marling, Nate Parker, Laetitia Casta, Stuart Margolin Rating: R, for profanity and brief drug use Alfred Hitchcock was famous for this trick. Deranged Robert Walker, intended to plant incriminating evidence — a cigarette lighter — to unjustly implicate Farley Granger in a murder, accidentally […]

‘Beasts of the Southern Wild': Imagination run amok

“Beasts of the Southern Wild” Four stars Starring: Quvenzhané Wallis, Dwight Henry, Levy Easterly, Gina Montana, Lowell Landes, Pamela Harper Rating: PG-13, for dramatic intensity, child imperilment, disturbing images, brief profanity and fleeting sensuality “In a million years, when kids go to school, they’re gonna know that there was a Hushpuppy, and she lived in […]

‘The Intouchables': Guaranteed to touch your heart

‘The Intouchables’ Four stars Starring: François Cluzet, Omar Sy, Anne Le Ny, Audrey Fleurot, Clotilde Mollet Rating: R, for profanity and drug use On June 27, 1993, Philippe Pozzo di Borgo — fifth son of Duke Pozzi di Borgo, and acting director of France’s Pommery Champagne — was seriously injured while paragliding. The accident broke […]