Remembering Robin Williams

Robin Williams, with Jeff Bridges, in The Fisher King.

He looked, in his richest moments on screen, as if he couldn’t wait each morning to go to the studio to step before the camera. When he was “on” he brought an enthusiasm to acting that thrilled with each surprise. And he continued, until the tragic end of his life, to redefine himself as an... ...

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Happy Christmas: Interesting look at siblings

Lena Dunham and Anna Kendrick in the new film Happy Christmas.

No matter how stable a family can appear, a sibling with problems may lurk in the shadows. We all know the brothers or sisters we try to support, hope to encourage and fear what may happen the next time we meet. No matter how settled our immediate family, we may not be ready for the... Read More

Get On Up: Surprisingly strong musical bio pic

Chadwick Boseman as James Brown in the new film, Get On UP.

Hollywood loves to tell behind-the-scene stories of famous performers. These musical “bio pics” — with narratives of triumph and tribulation peppered with familiar songs — capitalize on audience interest in big names from Loretta Lynn to Johnny Cash to Ray Charles. But the formula becomes too ...

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Boyhood is a remarkable journey through a family’s life

Boyhood, a remarkable movie, says the Reel Dad.

Any parent who savors raising children will feel at home with Richard Linklater’s remarkable Boyhood, a moving tribute to the persistent, seldom appreciated, often frustrating, and always essential difference that parents bring to every year of a child’s life. Without getting caught up in ...

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Saluting the classy guy, James Garner

James Garner.

He was always one classy guy, a bit of a cynic at times, an eternal optimist at others, frequently flashing a winning smile and speaking with that distinctive voice. For more than 55 years, James Garner — who died last week at age 86 — graced movie and television screens with his patented calm ...

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Snowpiercer: This film is a science fiction disappointment

Snowpiercer, with Tilda Swinton.

Of the types of movies that come to the screen, science fiction may be the most challenging to visually capture a writer’s intent. What can prompt imaginations on paper must appear real enough on film for the exaggeration to be believed. If we detect artificial characters or situations, no ...

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Life Itself: Ebert documentary touches the soul

Like the best movies to which Roger Ebert would give his iconic “thumbs up”, Life Itself — a moving tribute to the film critic’s life and work — touches the soul with its willingness to candidly explore a man who reaches beyond his accomplishments and challenges to savor his moments to live. At ...

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