Movie Review: I Am Big Bird (2014)


Title: I Am Big Bird Release Date: 2014 Director: Dave LaMattina & Chad N. Walker Summary/Review: This sweet documentary tells the story of the life, career, and artistry of Caroll Spinney, the puppeteer behind Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch.  The film includes a wealth of archival footage and home movies balanced with interviews with Spinney, his wife Debbie,…

Movie Review: The Night James Brown Saved Boston (2008)


Title: The Night James Brown Saved Boston Release Date: 2008 Director: David Leaf Summary/Review: April 5, 1968. Cities across the United States are in turmoil as grief and anger over the murder of Martin Luther King leads too violence and rioting. In Boston, city officials considered canceling a scheduled concert by James Brown, but instead…

Movie Review: Big Fish (2003)


Title: Big Fish Release Date: 2003 Director: Tim Burton Summary/Review: The center of this story is a son trying to reconcile with his dying father. Edward is a man who charms people with his stories but Will feels that stories prevented him from really knowing his father. This being a Tim Burton film, the stories…

Movie Review: Wild Africa (2015)


Title: Wild Africa Release Date: 2015 Directors: Mike Slee, Neil Nightengale, and Patrick Morris Summary/Review: Saw this at the Mugar Omni Theater at the Museum of Science, Boston in IMAX format. It’s beautifully filmed with overhead shots reducing the flora and fauna of Africa to abstract art, then zooming in to immerse the viewer in waterfalls,…

Movie Review: A League of Their Own (1992)


Title:  A League of Their Own Release Date: 1992 Director:  Penny Marshall Summary/Review: I can scratch this off the list of movies I never got around to seeing.  This highly-fictionalized movie tells the story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League started during World War II.  It’s a generally entertaining account of an overlooked time in sports…

Movie Reviews: A Couple of Short Films 


Title:  World of Tomorrow Release Date: 2015 Director:  Don Hertzfeldt Summary/Review: This animated short depicts a future when the personalities of people can be downloaded into clones. And a clone travels through time to visit the original person when she’s a toddler.  The depictions of the people in this animated short are childish, crude, and…

Movie Review: Wet Hot American Summer (2001)


Title: Wet Hot American Summer Release Date: 2001 Director:  David Wain Summary/Review: This comedy is part parody/part homage to the teen sex comedies of the 1970s and 1980s with a keen attention to period detail.  The humor is kind of hit or miss as it’s basically a series of set pieces and some are funnier than…

Movie Review: Keith Richards: Under the Influence


Title: Keith Richards: Under the Influence Release Date: 2015 Director: Morgan Neville Summary/Review: This Netflix documentary follows Keith Richards as he works in the studio on new songs and travels through America to sites connected with American music. Theses scenes are intercut with archival footage of Richards and the Stones. The influences in this movie are musical…

Movie Review: Ballerina (2006)


Title: Ballerina Release Date: 2006 Director: Bertrand Normand Summary/Review: This documentary documents a couple of years in the lives and careers of five women dancers in the Kirov (now Mariinsky) Ballet in St. Petersburg, Russia. These ballerinas – Diana Vishneva, Svetlana Zakharova, Ulyana Lopatkina, Alina Somova, & Evgenia Obraztsova – are celebrities in ballet-crazed Russia….

Movie Review: Moonrise Kindgom


Title: Moonrise Kindgom Release Date: 2012 Director: Wes Anderson Summary/Review: Set in 1965 on a fictional, rural island in New England this movie tells the story of a pair of 12-year-old, both outsiders with “behavior problems,” who decide to run away together and the efforts of their community to find them.  This being a Wes Anderson…