At The Movies

Mondays, 6:25 PM

At the Movies is a weekly feature that airs during Lehigh Valley Arts Salon. Paul Willistein of the Lehigh Valley Press gives his review of a current film.

At the Movies: Ready Player One

Apr 12, 2018

"Ready Player One" is a cinematic videogame and it's visually-stunning. "Ready Player One," based on the 2011 debut novel by Ernest Cline, who co-wrote the screenplay with Zak Penn ("Last Action Hero," "X-Men: The Last Stand" and their video game versions), is directed by Steven Spielberg. Especially outstanding are Tye Sheridan (Wade Watts, aka Parzival), Olivia Cooke (Samantha, aka Art3mis), Mark Rylance (James Halliday, aka Anorak) and Simon Pegg (Ogden Morrow). 

"Getting Grace" might very be well be the first nationally released feature movie to be filmed entirely in the Lehigh Valley. That's part of the fun in seeing "Getting Grace" on the big screen. In addition to many local sites, you also may recognize Bethlehem native Dan Roebuck - the movie's star, director, co-screenwriter and one of the producers. At the center of the film is an extraordinary performance by Madelyn Dundon - a Bethlehem Catholic High School graduate and West Virginia University theatre major - as Grace. 

At the Movies: I Can Only Imagine

Mar 30, 2018

"I Can Only Imagine" is the surprise hit film about the writing of the hit Christian rock song by the band, MercyMe. With 2.5 million copies sold, "I Can Only Imagine" is said to be the best-selling Christian pop music single ever. The movie tells the story of MercyMe lead vocalist Bart Millard. The song was inspired by the death of Millard's father. Millard and his father had a contentious relationship. The movie is anchored by a strong performance by Dennis Quaid, who plays Millard's father. J.

At the Movies: Black Panther

Mar 8, 2018

"Black Panther" has nearly everything going for it - great cast, fantastic computer-generated imagery, and distinctive and impressive production design - except for a solid screenplay. The movie has been hailed as the first Marvel Cinematic Universe directed by an African American, Ryan Coogler, with an African American cast in lead roles. Chadwick Boseman, an extraordinary actor, is the main reason why "Black Panther" holds together. Michael B. Jordan has equally strong screen presence.

At the Movies: The Greatest Showman

Mar 1, 2018

"The Greatest Showman" is a nearly all-singing, all-dancing, old-fashioned movie musical. The Oscar-winning ("City Of Stars") song-lyricist team of "La La Land," Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, are Oscar-nominated for their original song, "This Is Me," from "The Greatest Showman." It's best to set aside that the movie is based on the life of P.T. Barnum, and enjoy the wonderful performance by Hugh Jackman, a showman in his own right (Oscar nominee, actor, "Les Misérables"). Fine in supporting roles are Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, and Rebecca Ferguson. 

At the Movies: Phantom Thread

Feb 16, 2018

"Phantom Thread" is based on director John Paul Anderson's original screenplay about a 1950s' fictional London couturier, Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis), who treats people like so many mannequins upon which to drape his designs. "Phantom Thread" is an Academy Award contender with six Oscar nominations: Picture, director (Anderson), actor ( Day-Lewis), supporting actress (Lesley Manville), original score (Jonny Greenwood), and costume design (Mark Bridges). The National Board of Review chose "Phantom Thread" as one of the Top 10 films of 2017.

At the Movies: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Feb 7, 2018

Paul Willistein of the Lehigh Valley Press reviews the crime drama "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri".

"Three Billboards" is a difficult movie. Uncomfortable as it is, it's a film that should be seen, especially because it has received seven Oscar nominations, including: picture, screenplay (Martin McDonagh, who directed), lead actress (Frances McDormand) and supporting actors (Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson). The film received the People's Choice Award at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, and is an American Film Institute Top 10 film of 2017.

At the Movies: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Jan 29, 2018

Paul Willistein of the Lehigh Valley Press reviews "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle," the fantasy action adventure movie.

At the Movies: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Jan 18, 2018

Paul Willistein of the Lehigh Valley Press reviews The Last Jedi, the latest installment in the iconic Star Wars series.

(Original air-date: 1/8/2018)

At the Movies: Darkest Hour

Jan 18, 2018

Paul Willistein of the Lehigh Valley Press reviews the war drama, "Darkest Hour" from director Joe Wright.

In "Darkest Hour," Prime Minister Winston Churchill (an almost unrecognizable Gary Oldman, a Screen Actors Guild actor nominee, Golden Globe actor recipient and a deserved Oscar actor nominee for the role) rallies the Parliament and the British people as Great Britain hovers on the brink of World War II.

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