‘Saint’ Roger Moore Steals the Weekend

See California drop into the ocean this weekend if you must, but save some time to revisit two old friends on home video: Roger Moore starring as The Saint and Orson Welles in his greatest role: himself.

 

Aloha
Writer-director Cameron Crowe ( Say Anything, Jerry Maguire) and a stellar cast (Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Bill Murray, John Krasinski) went to Hawaii, and all they brought back for us was this lousy movie. Cooper plays a military contractor who travels to Hawaii to help billionaire Bill Murray secure access to a plot of land — for a sidewalk! While in the 49th State, he meets up with his ex-girlfriend (Rachel McAdams), whose deep dark secret has been figured out by everyone in the theater except Cooper’s supposedly ingenious yet remarkably dim character. In short, say goodbye to Aloha.


San Andreas
This just in from California: There is no California! Dwayne Johnson stars as a Los Angeles County rescue-chopper pilot who, in the aftermath of a massive earthquake that has killed perhaps millions, heroically abandons his professional duties to fly to San Francisco on a needle-in-a-haystack quest to find and save his daughter. As the seismologist who warned of the coming catastrophe, Paul Giamatti spends much of the movie hiding under a desk. So should everyone else involved in this cinematic shakedown.

 

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New on DVD and Home Video

The Saint: The Complete Series
Hard to believe, but back in the 1960s we all figured Roger Moore’s lasting legacy would be this stylish British TV series. Moore stars as Simon Templar, a roguish thief who steals from the rich and gives to his bank account. Of course, he victimizes only crooked rich folks, so we can cheer him on without guilt. Suave and impeccably turned out, Moore made his six  years as The Saint the perfect dress rehearsal for his second career as James Bond.

 

Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles
Oscar-winning documentary maker Chuck Workman examines the turbulent, contradictory, gloriously quirky life of Hollywood’s boy genius, from being discovered as an artist/actor/poet — at all of  10 years old! — to his breathtaking directorial debut (Citizen Kane) to his decades in exile from mainstream moviemaking.

 

Click here to see an exclusive interview with Diane Keaton talking about what happened when she asked Morgan Freeman out on a date.

 

Still out there in theaters:

5 Flights Up
Diane Keaton and  Morgan Freeman are the year’s most adorable screen couple. They star as a long-married pair who must decide whether or not to relinquish the fifth-floor  Brooklyn walkup apartment they’ve shared for four decades. The film addresses some serious issues, notably “aging in place,” and has some insightful lessons to impart about planning for the future versus constantly fretting about it.  FULL REVIEW

Avengers: Age of Ultron
Captain America (Chris Evans) has been around since World War II. Tony  “Iron Man” Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is well into middle age. Those facts give an AARP-ish tinge to the latest all-star Marvel comics screen epic as the heroes battle a disagreeable robot voiced with trademark spookiness by James Spader.

Far from the Madding Crowd
Thomas Hardy’s 1874 novel about a plucky farmer (adorable Carey Mulligan) and the three men who woo her (a sheep farmer, a military man and a rich bachelor) gets its fourth screen incarnation. We’ll always be partial to  John Schelsinger’s 1967 version , however, with Julie Christie in the lead role.

Good Kill
Ethan Hawke stars as a U.S. Air Force drone pilot in one of the year’s most important films. (It’s also among the most dramatically engaging.) He tracks down and exterminates Afghan enemies from the comfort of a  Las Vegas control room by day, then attempts to maintain a normal family life by night. Writer-director Andrew Niccol ( Gattaca) ingeniously explores the face of modern war without passing judgment on it. (FULL REVIEW)

I’ll See You in My Dreams
The latest star in a welcome string of grownup-movie love stories,  Blythe Danner shines as a long-widowed woman who finds herself in an unexpected late-life romance with a charming, wealthy retiree ( Sam Elliott). FULL REVIEW

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Iris
This final film from legendary documentary maker Albert Maysles ( Gimme Shelter,  Grey Gardens) is a love letter to style icon  Iris Apfel, who at 93 still wows the fashion world with her distinctive looks. “Life is gray and dull and you might as well have a little fun when you dress,” says Apfel. (FULL REVIEW)

Mad Max: Fury Road
Is this reboot of the original “Road Warrior” series any good? That’s for those of us who recall the original  Mel Gibson classic to decide. Tom Hardy stars as the hero this time around.

Ride
Helen Hunt wrote, directed and stars in this gentle comic drama about a successful New Yorker editor who tails her son (Brenton Thwaites) to California to talk him out of becoming a beach bum. She winds up falling for the sand, the sea...and a handsome surfing instructor (Luke Wilson). (FULL REVIEW)

Tomorrowland
As director, Brad Bird gives us a dazzling glimpse of an idealized future city. As co-writer, though, he leaves us somewhere this side of Utopia with a muddled plot about a mismatched pair — grizzled, cantankerous George Clooney and perky, ever-optimistic Britt Robertson — trying to stave off the end of the world. House star Hugh Laurie, speaking in his native British accent for a change, is fun as the misguided villain. (FULL REVIEW)

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