Frailty (2001) ***1/2

Focus On Film: Episode 50 – May 2017 Criterion Titles

Focus On Film Episode 50 is up!

Danman battles the arid landscape currently known as his throat to deliver a delayed solo episode devoid of humor but hopefully still containing at least a sliver of charisma.

In this episode:

"Focus On Film Theme" & commercial music: Daniel Sardella


A Cure For Wellness (2016) ***1/2

Verbinski does WICKER MAN & Cronenberg with a dash of Universal Monsters. A bit long and uneven but visually stunning. Some genuinely unsettling imagery and themes for a mainstream film.


Bridge Of Spies (2015) ****

An excellent blend of courtroom drama and humor, BRIDGE finds Hanks inhabiting the same territory as James Stewart and Gregory Peck before him. Spielberg creates a superb mashup of his previous films such as CATCH ME IF YOU CANMUNICHLINCOLN and SCHINDLER'S LIST, with touches of John le Carré and Jean-Pierre Melville. Overall, the Coens' screenplay doesn't bear their typical stamp but is fully engaging throughout. 

Of note: this is one of the very few films that John Williams did not score for SpielbergThomas Newman takes his place and does a great job, evoking ROAD TO PERDITION (which Newman also scored, Hanks also starred in, and which some scenes in BRIDGE reminded me of).

If you're in the mood for some Spielberg-speak, check out the episode of Movie Matters Podcast that I guested on recently here.