Now With More Than 3600 Reviews! Go Nuts - Read 'Em All!!

WELCOME! Use the search engines on this site (or your own off-site engine of choice) to gain easy access to the complete MAKSQUIBS Archive; over 3600 posts and counting. (New posts added every day or so.)

You can check on all our titles by typing the Title, Director, Actor or 'Keyword' of your choice in the Search Engine of your choice (include the phrase MAKSQUIBS) or just use the BLOGGER Search Box at the top left corner of the page.

Feel free to place comments directly on any of the film posts and to test your film knowledge with the CONTESTS scattered here & there. (Hey! No Googling allowed. They're pretty easy.)

Send E-mails to . (Let us know if the TRANSLATE WIDGET works!) Or use the Profile Page or Comments link for contact.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


James Gray’s sophomore outing continues his stylistic ode to Francis Coppola & Sidney Lumet, as seen in his debut pic, THE YARD/’00. This time, a leaner story line makes a better fit for a 2-hr pic, but the well worn narrative tracks of Brooklyn cops working to shut down a lethal gang of Russian drug lords misses the originality of the earlier film. James Caan was ‘borrowed’ from THE GODFATHER as THE YARD’s troubled father-figure, here THE GODFATHER’s Robert Duvall makes an unlikely dad to Mark Wahlburg & Joaquin Phoenix, who themselves make unlikely brothers. (They were best pals in THE YARD; the gimmick this time posits Phoenix, in hammy mode, as a nightclub manager from a family of cops who finds himself with conflicting filial & financial ties.) Gray works so hard at making an honest film and getting the details right, you want to respond positively, but he has little of Coppola’s compositional poetry & even less of Lumet’s on-the-wing spontaneity. Worse, he gloms the Coppola pomposity & Lumet’s careless casting. As a megger, Gray seems to have learned everything by rote. He needs to start walking on his own.

No comments: