Search Film Reviews

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

CREED Review

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
2015, 132 minutes
Rated PG-13 for violence, language and some sensuality

By Adam Gordon

One could only be miffed at the concept of actually thinking of recommending what would be the umpteenth sequel/installment to the Rocky series, a series of films that has no doubt had its ups and downs in quality and viewer bearability, but against all odds, I am about to do the unthinkable and HIGHLY recommend Creed. This seventh installment finds the former champion Rocky Balboa serving as a mentor and trainer to Adonis Johnson, the illegitimate son of his former late friend and rival, the great Apollo Creed. 

The film is quite formulaic, and thankfully so. It doesn’t try to break new ground – but its familiarity is very well served by its multi-racial story and breakout performance by Michael B. Jordan. Additionally, director Ryan Coogler proves he’s no flash in the pan, continuing his winning streak off Fruitvale Station. Coogler shows he is just as comfortable with a mid-range studio film as he is with a small indie film. It may be close to 40 years since the original underdog Rocky blew into town (39 years to be exact), but Sylvester Stallone never had a finer moment than that 1976 “little film from nowhere” (though he has had a brilliant action/adventure / middling drama career ever since). Stallone’s Rocky is at the core of this film and with it he has given Rocky Balboa new insights and new life as a character. He also has fought his was to a best supporting actor Oscar nomination – it's true, no joke. 


Friday, November 6, 2015

An Interview with Mike Rezendes

The cast of SPOTLIGHT
By Joshua Handler

At the Toronto International Film Festival, I conducted an interview with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Mike Rezendes of The Boston Globe. Rezendes is portrayed by Mark Ruffalo in Tom McCarthy's (The Station Agent, Win Win) new film, Spotlight, about the Boston Globe Spotlight team who uncovered the Catholic sex abuse scandal in the early 2000s.

To find out more about Rezendes' work with the Spotlight team, see the film, which is in limited release today but expands across the nation in the coming weeks. It's an extraordinary piece of filmmaking that will be a big Oscar contender come next year. My full review of the film as well as another interview for the film are forthcoming.

Here is the interview: