Rob Edelman: A Holocaust Film Set In The 1960s

Jun 16, 2014

World War II may have ended in the mid-1940s. The concentration camps were liberated and those who survived the horrors of the era were supposed to get on with their lives. But for many, the war never really concluded. The brutality of the time and the decisions made by individuals of all backgrounds reverberated through their souls, in many cases for the rest of their lives.

Rob Edelman: International Baseball

Jun 9, 2014

These days, more than ever before, baseball-- otherwise known as America's Pastime-- is a truly international sport. According to the Associated Press, 28.1 per cent of current major leaguers were born outside the United States. They hail from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Canada, Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Japan, South Korea, Australia... And the potential for finding big league talent outside the U.S. is examined in MILLION DOLLAR ARM, the story of a sports agent, played by Jon Hamm, who heads off to India in search of players who just might become the next fireballing big league hurlers.

Rob Edelman: Women's Rights

Jun 2, 2014

Two current films, both of which are dramatically flawed, still are well-worth seeing for two reasons: They feature superb performances by their leading players; and they offer insightful depictions of the plights of women during earlier ages. These women may have completely different backgrounds, but their gender-- and how they are perceived within the world they inhabit-- are central to their stories.

Rob Edelman: Godzilla, New And Old

May 26, 2014

With the release of GODZILLA, the latest of countless mega-budgeted, special effects-laden blockbusters that seem to be dominating movie theaters these days, the original screen version of the story is well-worth recalling. This GODZILLA, of course, was wildly successful in its day. It was produced in Japan and released in 1954, and baby boomers may recall that the U.S. edition included added footage featuring a pre-PERRY MASON Raymond Burr. The full title of this version is GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS, and the monster in question is a giant, apparently unstoppable fire-breathing lizard who, like so many 1950s sci-fi movie creatures, was the byproduct of nuclear weapons testing run amok.

Rob Edelman: Raunch And The Box Office

May 19, 2014

As of the second week in May, the top four moneymaking films released theatrically in the U.S. in 2014 were THE LEGO MOVIE, CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2, and DIVERGENT. All are big-budget extravaganzas that are fashioned to attract a desired demographic: young people, from grade schoolers to twenty-and-thirtysomethings.

Rob Edelman: Violence and "Entertainment"

May 12, 2014

One of the "criticisms," if you will, of the Oscar-winning 12 YEARS A SLAVE is the manner in which the physical abuse of slaves is presented onscreen. In 12 YEARS A SLAVE, the brutality is graphic and in-your-face, which is the style of its director, Steve McQueen. And the question that viewers might have after seeing 12 YEARS A SLAVE is: To emphasize the horror and degradation of slavery, is it necessary to include imagery that is so painful to watch?

Rob Edelman: Brooklyn Chic

May 5, 2014

These days, Brooklyn is a hot commodity on the American cultural scene. Plenty of films and TV shows not only are set in the New York borough but feature the word "Brooklyn" in their titles. And this, surely, is a smart marketing ploy.

Rob Edelman: Isolation

Apr 28, 2014

On the surface, two newly-released films are completely different, starting with the personalities and issues of their central characters. Beneath the surface, however, both films are linked in that they effectively deal with the theme of isolation in an impersonal world.

Rob Edelman: Anti-Semitism

Apr 21, 2014

Upon hearing the initial accounts of the recent murder of three people at a Jewish community center and retirement home in a Kansas City suburb, I was shocked and saddened. But senselessly violent acts are such a constant part of our world these days, and so I really should not have been surprised.

Audrey Kupferberg: Big-Screen And Small-Screen Entertainment

Apr 18, 2014

Since last month, big-screen viewing has been a mix of awesome and disappointing.  The two films I most was looking forward to were Wes Anderson’s THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL and Darren Aronofky’s NOAH.  Both were outstanding visually but in need of script doctoring.