Best Grownup Flicks at Toronto Film Festival

Every September, the center of the movie world shifts from Hollywood to Toronto, where the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) showcases films ranging from small indie flicks looking for distributors to studio blockbusters making a big splash before they arrive in theaters. Crowds mob the streets of the city, jockeying for glimpses of their favorite stars and directors. Movie lovers line up for hours, hoping to nab one of the few remaining tickets for a new film. And show-biz writers …

Last Call at James Gandolfini’s Brooklyn Bar

Two first-rate grownup films are well worth separate trips to the multiplex this weekend. If you’re in a stay-at-home mood, catch up with a classic 1960s musical or a 1970s music-concert series on DVD.   The Drop More than a year after James Gandolfini’s death, his final film (based on the Dennis Lehane short story “Animal Rescue”) presents the star in the type of role that defined his career: a crusty, dangerous, yet somehow lovable thug. He plays Marv, who …

Movies for Grownups Weekend Preview Oct. 11

One story ripped from the headlines, another borrowed from classic literature, and a grown-up romantic comedy come to theaters this weekend. After you’ve caught them, check out the movies you’ve missed from weeks past. The New Stuff: Captain Phillips Tom Hanks gives his most measured performance in years as the captain of a cargo ship overrun by Somali pirates-but the real revelation is Barkhad Abdi, a Somali immigrant making his first film, who plays the head pirate. He stands toe-to-toe …

Gandolfini, Tony Soprano and ‘Difficult Men’

In his upcoming book Difficult Men, author Brett Martin relates an episode from 2002 when James Gandolfini vanished from the set of The Sopranos in the middle of filming the show’s third season. At first, after the actor missed a 6 a.m. call, producers simply worked around his absence, shooting other scenes. Gandolfini was famous for his eccentricities. But after a few days without word, people got nervous. Driving into work one morning, Terence Winter, the Sopranos writer who would …

James Gandolfini: How He Compared to Tony Soprano

For a murderous thug who made his living through extortion, theft and corruption, Tony Soprano was a remarkably easy guy to sympathize with. We felt the pain of his unhappy upbringing, of his frustrations with his coworkers, of the continual pressure to keep earning enough to afford the affluent suburban lifestyle to which his family had become accustomed. We were touched by his affection for the wild ducks that congregated in his swimming pool. When he went to a psychiatrist …

“Not Fade Away” A Movies for Grownups Minute Review With Bill Newcott

In our first Online YouTube review, Bill Newcott of AARP’s Movies for Grownups ponders where the ’60s kids in Not Fade Away learned to talk like that…and why they never go to White Castle.   Here’s a clip of James Gandolfini “welcoming” his son (John Magaro) home from college. You can see how broadly writer/director David Chase draws his characters-not a lot of nuance here.   Photo Credit: Barry Wetcher/Paramount Clip Courtesy Paramount/Vantage