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Laura Leon

Laura Leon

Measure of Success

by Laura Leon November 20, 2014

thumb_47cinemapicBEYOND

  This weekend there was a lot of brouhaha about the Lifetime biopic of the late singer Aaliyah, as well as reference made to the fact that Solange Knowles and her fiancé played the movie Mahogany ...

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Spaced

by Laura Leon November 13, 2014

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  Anybody knows that with a Christopher Nolan movie, however much we might leave the theater thinking “Wow, that was amazing,” the inevitable feelings of “WTF was that?” begin encroaching on one’s feelings of amazement. Interstellar ...

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Action Man

by Laura Leon November 6, 2014

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  One might think that a movie starring Keanu Reeves and co-directed by his former stunt double, Chad Stahelski, might not be worth its weight in popcorn, but damn, if John Wick isn’t wildly entertaining. It’s ...

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My Hero

by Laura Leon October 30, 2014

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  Like so many films before it, St. Vincent takes the plot of curmudgeonly coot regaining his humanity through contact with an innocent, and gallops away with it. The, er, title character (Bill Murray) is an ...

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The Battle Rages

by Laura Leon October 23, 2014

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  Shot in dim gradations of brown, gray and what can only be called “griege,” Fury depicts a World War II that is all but over, except for the furious, determined last-ditch efforts made by those ...

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Cooking From the Heart

by Laura Leon October 9, 2014

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  I've come to realize over the past year that my style of cooking has changed a bit over time. There were the early days of trying new things and mastering techniques, followed by having my ...

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Missing Pieces

by Laura Leon October 9, 2014

thumb_41cinemapicGONE

  Gillian Flynn’s 2012 novel Gone Girl was a big hit among many of my friends (and millions of others). I read it over the course of a soccer game and wasn’t overly impressed with the ...

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Follow You Down

by Laura Leon October 2, 2014

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  Somewhere in L.A., a despondent Milo (Bill Hader) slits his wrists to a blaring backdrop of Blondie. Across the country, his estranged twin Maggie (Kristin Wiig) contemplates swallowing a handful of pills. The symbiotic cord that ...

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Are We Related?

by Laura Leon September 25, 2014

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  Based on the popular (or so I’m told) novel by screenwriter Jonathan Tropper, This Is Where I Leave You is one of those movies whose preview has garnered a lot of buzz. I can’t tell ...

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Minimal Rescue

by Laura Leon September 18, 2014

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  Soaking in the atmosphere of old bars where the leather seats are taped over and there are decades-old ghost vapors of thousands of cigarettes smoked, The Drop transports screenwriter Dennis Lehane’s usual milieu to Brooklyn, ...

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The Thrill is Gone

by Laura Leon September 4, 2014

thumb_36cinemapicNOVEMBER

  I love thrillers in which you can’t tell who’s really the bad guy, and where there are suspenseful chase scenes, although, admittedly, my tastes kind of run the gamut from Charade to The Bank Job, ...

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And Then We Grow Up

by Laura Leon August 21, 2014

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  By now, anybody with a modicum of interest in cinema knows that Richard Linklater’s Boyhood was filmed over the course of a few days every year for 12 years. What seems rather gimmicky on the ...

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Without a Roadmap

by Laura Leon August 14, 2014

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While on a layover in Baltimore, I picked up a copy of Michael and Jane Stern's Roadfood, a coast-to-coast guide to off-the-beaten path places to eat. I had been speaking with a colleague from California ...

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Starship Enterprise

by Laura Leon August 7, 2014

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  When the first Star Wars came out—and by that, I mean the real first one with Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill—my sister and her then-boyfriend insisted that I see it. “You’ll love it,” they exclaimed. ...

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Shadows Enthrall

by Laura Leon July 31, 2014

thumb_31cinemapicMOST

  Out of the roiling murk of a river in Hamburg emerges Issa (Grigoriy Dobrygin), a bearded mess of Chechen humanity seeking asylum. Through the kindness of a Turkish family, he is put in touch with ...

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Killers on the Road

by Laura Leon June 26, 2014

GUY PEARCE AND ROBERT PATTINSON,
STILL BY MATT NETTHEIM

  “Not everything has to be about something,” remarks Eric (Guy Pearce), a gaunt loner intent on recovering his stolen car amid the devastatingly bleak backdrop of a post-apocalyptic Australia. He’s speaking to Rey (Robert Pattinson), ...

Let’s Do It Again

by Laura Leon June 19, 2014

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  “Nobody cared about the Jump Street reboot,” intones Captain Dickson (Ice Cube) to officers Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum), but because it somehow worked, Dickson goes on to explain that the department has ...

Tasty

by Laura Leon May 30, 2014

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  When Chef Carl Casper’s (Jon Favreau) ballistic tirade against a pompous, and critical, food blogger (Oliver Platt) goes viral, it’s clear the former culinary wunderkind needs a change of pace. He’s been successfully delivering a ...

The Lady Charms

by Laura Leon May 30, 2014

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  Not to be confused with the Disney heroine of Beauty and the Beast, the title character in Amma Asante’s period drama is a graceful, opinionated woman of color, living in Georgian-era England, raised a lady ...

The Party’s Over

by Laura Leon May 15, 2014

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  Animal House meets Thirtysomething: Neighbors is a comedic shambles of a movie that only occasionally hits paydirt, even as it somehow manages to deliver a cogent message about the fear of aging and taking on ...

Payback Sisters

by Laura Leon May 1, 2014

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  A wobbly hybrid of Bridesmaids and The First Wives Club, The Other Woman seeks to give modern-day women a reason to feel emboldened, even if that is by way of giving a two-timing husband diarrhea ...

Smarter Than Your Average Documentary

by Laura Leon April 24, 2014

thumb_17cinpicBEARS

  When I was a kid there were nature films showing at the theater a few times a year. These were horrid events, very dry and hardly entertaining, unless you were a budding veterinarian. (I was ...

Game On

by Laura Leon April 17, 2014

thumb_16cinpicDRAFT

  Kind of like Moneyball for the professional football, Draft Day manages to find suspense, drama and, of course, humor—it’s directed by Ivan Reitman—in the inner machinations that make the annual NFL college draft so compelling ...

All American Hero

by Laura Leon April 10, 2014

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  I know what big-budget movie I’m going to see again this year, and that would be Captain America: The Winter Soldier. And get this—neither my 8- nor 11-year-old accompanied me the first time. Sure, it ...

There Is No Cure

by Laura Leon March 20, 2014

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  Sam Rockwell can make just about any movie that much better than it ought to be. He has the uncanny ability to be sort of handsome, sort of goofy and sort of dangerous—all at once—with ...