Screeners

INTO THE WILD

INTO THE WILD

By | July 7, 2016 at 3:03 pm | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons NOW PLAYING: THE LEGEND OF TARZAN One can be forgiven for assuming this iteration of “Tarzan” is an origin story.  It is not.  In fact, we meet the beloved fictional character after he and his wife Jane (Margot Robbie) have returned from the...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

ULTIMATE ILLEGAL ALIEN INVASION

ULTIMATE ILLEGAL ALIEN INVASION

By | June 30, 2016 at 3:36 am | No comments

By Robin E. SImmons NOW PLAYING: INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE As America’s Independence Day nears, it’s not all a celebration of fireworks, picnics and hot dogs.  Thanks to satellite engineer Dave Larson (Jeff Goldblum in fine form), the big news is that a...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

PS SHORT FEST PICKS

PS SHORT FEST PICKS

By | June 24, 2016 at 12:57 am | No comments

By Robin E.Simmons NOW PLAYING: The always-popular PS International ShortFest is here and this year’s crop of 327 unique films from all over the world is outstanding. There’s truly something for everyone in this masterful collection of short stories loosely grouped by...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

OFFLINE AND IN YOUR FACE

OFFLINE AND IN YOUR FACE

By | June 17, 2016 at 12:41 am | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons   NOW PLAYING: WARCRAFT  In the works for over a decade, Legendary Pictures' big budget ($180 mil) “WARCRAFT,” is a 3D epic adventure of the world-bashing game that does justice to Blizzard Entertainment's multi-player online video game...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

COMCBOOK SUPERHEROES REFLECT ANCIENT MYTHS

COMCBOOK SUPERHEROES REFLECT ANCIENT MYTHS

By | June 12, 2016 at 12:24 am | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons NOW PLAYING: X MEN: APOCALYPSE Director Bryan Singer is back with another X-Men extravaganza that’s top-heavy with predictable clichés and big cgi action.  But really, isn’t that what it’s all about? Drawing on real-world religious mythology,...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

TRIPPING IN ABSURD AND SURREAL WORLDS

TRIPPING IN ABSURD AND SURREAL WORLDS

By | June 2, 2016 at 11:26 pm | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons NOW PLAYING: LOBSTER David (Colin Farrell) is a man who has just been dumped by his wife. He lives in a society where single people have 45 days to find true love, or else they are turned into the animal of their choice and released into the woods....

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

SILLY 70s LA NOIR

SILLY 70s LA NOIR

By | May 28, 2016 at 1:42 am | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons THE NICE GUYS Writer director Shane Black calls on his “Lethal Weapon” muse to invigorate this sleazy, slapstick seventies buddy detective comedy drama about a pair of private eyes who by chance find themselves in the middle of a dangerous...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

THE POWER OF MUSIC

THE POWER OF MUSIC

By | May 19, 2016 at 8:45 pm | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons SING STREET Writer/director John Carney's charming but derivative musical with a big heart and beguiling cast is fun even with its familiar plot.   Set in 1980s Dublin the story unfolds from the point-of-view of a 14-year-old boy Conor (Ferdia...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

WHAT’S THE BIG BEEF?

WHAT’S THE BIG BEEF?

By | May 12, 2016 at 2:42 pm | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons  CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR Will we ever tire of the endless seemingly stream od big budget, superhero smack downs? Clearly they are the cinematic flavor of the day. I for one would love to see a big action movie in which no one wears a cape. Is that...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

TWO TOP BIG SCREEN PICKS

TWO TOP BIG SCREEN PICKS

By | May 6, 2016 at 1:45 am | No comments

By Robin Simmons As summer looms, warmer weather teases us with the welcome excuses to enjoy a fun movie in a cool theater. Regular readers know how much I loved director John Favreau’s thrilling, nearly transcendent and fully immersive (in stunning 3D) “JUNGLE...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

ACTION FOR ITS OWN SAKE!

ACTION FOR ITS OWN SAKE!

By | April 21, 2016 at 4:01 pm | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons HARDCORE HENRY  I think “Hardcore Henry” is trying to to reinvent the pure action flick in the same way that “first-person shooters” redefined video gaming.  The plot is secondary to the action and I found none of the characters especially...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

SAVING THE SAVIOR

SAVING THE SAVIOR

By | April 14, 2016 at 1:03 pm | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons MIDNIGHT SPECIAL Writer Director Jeff Nichols (“Mud” and “Take Shelter”) loves a strong story with some theological elements and complicated interpersonal drama. His latest stars Michael Shannon is the dad, Joel Edgerton is dad’s helpful...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

BEHIND THE NAME TAG

BEHIND THE NAME TAG

By | April 7, 2016 at 3:01 am | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons We all project an identity whether we wear a name tag or not. Sally Field’s Doris Miller projects a dowdy 60-something sweet eccentric with a slightly clownish wardrobe. Doris has a mundane office job and almost no life beyond the office walls. She still...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

COSMIC MMA SMACKDOWN GETS HINKY

COSMIC MMA SMACKDOWN GETS HINKY

By | March 30, 2016 at 4:46 pm | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons I keep waiting for movies to better reflect the real enemies of civilization as movie villains. I especially enjoyed “Eye in the Sky” for that very reason. Movies are the global pond at which we all drink. They have power to define, examine our shared...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

CAN VIRTUAL WARFARE CREATE A LITERAL HELL?

CAN VIRTUAL WARFARE CREATE A LITERAL HELL?

By | March 24, 2016 at 7:11 pm | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons It’s good to be back. Thank you for the many kind words and thoughts during my absence. I feel strong and it’s good to be back among my movie family. I have been reminded during my unexpected sabbatical how much movies matter in the real world....

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

FEEL THE FEAR

FEEL THE FEAR

By | March 17, 2016 at 2:49 am | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons This is a time when fear–mongering politics and faith-based rhetoric dominates the media. The same is true if one analyzes the themes of popular movies. Clearly, movies with apocalyptic and or religious themes never run out of style or steam. NOW...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

LIVING IN OSCAR’S SHADOW

LIVING IN OSCAR’S SHADOW

By | March 10, 2016 at 10:46 pm | No comments

By Robin Simmons I love writing about movies for the CVW, and I love living here in what is arguably a hotbed of serious movie-buffs. No matter where I find myself, I always enjoy starting conversations with strangers by asking, “seen any good movies?” This community...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

OSCAR’S SHORTS

OSCAR’S SHORTS

By | February 4, 2016 at 2:08 am | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons The best show in town, certainly the most entertaining, is the Academy Award© nominated short “Animated,” “Live Action” and “Documentary” films now playing at Cinemas Palme d’Or. In spite of their abbreviated running times, these films have...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

OFF THE BEATEN TRACK

OFF THE BEATEN TRACK

By | January 28, 2016 at 12:56 am | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT “In this moment, it is not possible for me to know if the infinite jungle has started on me the process that has taken many others that have ventured into these lands, to complete and irremediable insanity. I find it...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

PROPAGANDA OR ENTERTAINMENT?

PROPAGANDA OR ENTERTAINMENT?

By | January 21, 2016 at 12:48 am | No comments

By Robin E Simmons 13 HOURS: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi The most impressive thing about Michael Bay’s new film 13 HOURS is the marketing. The movie is already branded a subject of controversy. Presidential candidate Donald J. Trump has bought out at least one...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

FINDING THE SIMPLE JOYS OF LIFE

FINDING THE SIMPLE JOYS OF LIFE

By | January 14, 2016 at 12:31 am | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons     YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU From Columbia Pictures archives, Frank Capra’s classic screwball comedy finally makes its much-wanted Blu-ray debut thanks to Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.  Mastered in a stunning new 4K...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

MORE 2015 BIG SCREEN FAVES

MORE 2015 BIG SCREEN FAVES

By | January 6, 2016 at 4:34 pm | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons AN IRRATIONAL MAN I love Woody Allen’s delicious and very dark comedy about a somewhat infamous, burned-out philosophy professor (Joaquin Phoenix) starting anew at a small, idyllic New England college.  His bored but honest relationships with...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

MY 2015 MOVIE PICKS

MY 2015 MOVIE PICKS

By | December 30, 2015 at 5:28 pm | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons It’s impossible to see every film released in 2015 and still have a life, but when I think of movies that connected with me on some deep or visceral level, these are the first ones that come to mind. There are at least a dozen more titles that caught my...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

TIS THE SEASON — FOR SWEET AND TWISTED CHRISTMAS TREATS

TIS THE SEASON — FOR SWEET AND TWISTED CHRISTMAS TREATS

By | December 23, 2015 at 12:18 pm | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons Beyond the edge of recorded history, the Winter Solstice has brought a celebration that embeds the promise of light and warmth and new life amidst the darkest, longest, and coldest of days. No matter what ethnic, religious or pagan belief you venerate...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

CONNIVING CAPITALIST WEASELS

CONNIVING CAPITALIST WEASELS

By | December 16, 2015 at 11:56 pm | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons THE BIG SHORT Writer/director Adam McKay tackles a serious and complex subject with an overabundance of often confusing detail. Not just visually, but also in the dense dialogue. This uneven account dramatizing the collapse of the housing credit bubble...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

THE REAL STORY OF “MOBY DICK”

THE REAL STORY OF “MOBY DICK”

By | December 10, 2015 at 4:16 am | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons IN THE HEART OF THE SEA Ron Howard’s thrilling, old-school sea saga, adapted from the spellbinding non-fiction bestseller of the same name by Nathaniel Philbrick, works for me as a straightforward adventure that unfolds on the mythic border where...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

FOREVER FIELDS

FOREVER FIELDS

By | December 3, 2015 at 2:25 am | No comments

“Hell, I never vote for anyone. I always vote against.” ~ W.C. Fields In a time of such extreme repugnant violence in the world, I thought it might be worth taking a break to remind ourselves that there are still sources of timeless, gut-busting laughter. Consider this a...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

“IT’S ALIVE!” (YET AGAIN)

“IT’S ALIVE!” (YET AGAIN)

By | November 25, 2015 at 10:19 pm | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe is Igor Strausman, assistant to James McAvoy’s mad Doc Frankenstein, immortality researcher. This story never really gets old because the mystery of mortality lingers in our souls. After all,...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

EVIL IN GOD’S NAME

EVIL IN GOD’S NAME

By | November 18, 2015 at 11:48 pm | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons PICK OF THE WEEK: SPOTLIGHT Shocking, repellant and lurid. The true and riveting story of the Boston Globe’s year-long investigation into the child abuse allegations and cover-up by the Catholic Church garnered not only a Pulitzer Prize for the...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

THREE TO SEE

THREE TO SEE

By | November 12, 2015 at 2:58 am | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons SPECTRE For me, Sean Connery will always be the real James Bond. But among all the men who have been issued that emblematic license to kill since Connery, Daniel Craig is the best fit of a no-nonsense spy on world-saving missions. I loved SKYFALL -- both...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

COMMIE HERO?

COMMIE HERO?

By | November 5, 2015 at 1:56 am | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons PICK OF THE WEEK: TRUMBO Bryan Cranston delivers a potent performance -- I predict that Cranston will be nominated for a Best Actor Oscar© -- as blacklisted late 1940’s and ‘50’s Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo in director Jay Roach’s...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

NEW OLD THRILLERS

NEW OLD THRILLERS

By | October 29, 2015 at 2:33 am | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons Just in time for Halloween, Twilight Time Movies is releasing a batch of older horror and thrillers. None have been available on Blu-ray until now. Each title is a limited edition of only 3,000 units, so they sell-out quickly. BLACK WIDOW...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

LOVE & JUSTICE FOR ALL?

LOVE & JUSTICE FOR ALL?

By | October 22, 2015 at 1:23 am | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons FREEHELD The true love story of Laurel Hester (Julianne Moore) and Stacie Andree (Ellen Page) and their fight for justice is a compelling tale about bigotry, equality and the entrenched “traditions” that protect some and dismiss others. It’s also a...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

MORE “JOBS”

MORE “JOBS”

By | October 15, 2015 at 5:06 am | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons STEVE JOBS In the recent past we have had two movies focusing on Steve Jobs. Our fascination with the life changing gadgets he helped market seems to have no end. Moviegoers and critics alike dismissed Ashton Kutcher’s look-alike but superficial...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners

IN LIFE & ART: BALANCE IS ALL

IN LIFE & ART: BALANCE IS ALL

By | October 8, 2015 at 1:48 am | No comments

By Robin E. Simmons THE WALK Robert Zemeckis likes making movies that utilize new technology allowing us to see something we’ve never seen before. The whole point of seeing the THE WALK is to experience -- and yes, absolutely in 3D – a vivid recreation of the actual...

Posted in: Columns, Screeners