Currently browsing the "Judi Dench" tag.

Review: CATS

Speaking of memories…

I still have my ticket stub from the July 27, 1983 performance of CATS at the Wintergarden Theatre on Broadway. It was a Wednesday matinee and my orchestra seat cost $35. Betty Buckley played Grizabella the Glamour Cat. She sang “Memory.” I was hooked. I will always be a fan of the music. I will continue to defend the songs, the dancing, and the whimsical appeal of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classic stage production.

I can’t, however, defend the movie. It simply doesn’t work.

Quickie Review: Red Joan

There’s no denying Judi Dench’s watchability factor. The Grand Dame of cinema commands the screen whenever she’s on it – which isn’t all that much in the not-so-thrilling spy thriller Red Joan. Don’t let the poster, trailer and top billing fool you. Dench is merely a high-profile vehicle for bookending a story told primarily through flashbacks, with Sophie Cookson (Kingsman: The Secret Service) playing young Joan Stanley, an impressionable and idealistic Brit turned longtime spy for the KGB.

Review: Tea With the Dames

The Dames in question are Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright and Eileen Atkins, four of England best actresses and life-long friends who meet up regularly at Plowright’s country home. This time director Roger Mitchell (Notting Hill) has brought a film crew and prods the ladies to tell their tales of the theater and the cinema. Chock a block with archival footage that takes us through their illustrious careers and lives, the documentary takes each Dame from childhood to old age with gossip and silly tales from beginning to end.

Skyfall

I’m not a huge Bond aficionado. I can probably count on one hand the number of 007 movies that I’ve actually seen in their entirety. But I can say this: Skyfall is thoroughly entertaining and Daniel Craig wears the suit extremely well. And when he’s not wearing the suit… well, even better! Okay, I’m being a tad shallow. Truth is, Skyfall is an action-packed, adrenaline-fueled adventure that embodies everything that our hero, the quintessential British spy James Bond, has to offer: suavity, dry wit, intellect, passion and virtual immortality. I mean, how many bullets can one guy take??

Jane Eyre

A quick check of IMDB reveals that Jane Eyre has been made no less than 22 times since the advent of film; the earliest was in 1910. Charlotte Brontë wrote the classic from which it has been adapted in 1847 and it has been a must read ever since. But does it really need one more interpretation? The last time it was remade was in 1996 and starred William Hurt and Charlotte Gainsbourg. I saw that one, too, but I’d say the new one is much better, which leads me to say, yes, we do need a new one every few years for the people who don’t know this story.