Reel Dad: A Star Is Born – A father and son take a look

In 1999, Mark and Jonathan Schumann started writing film reviews for Hersam Acorn in the column, Take Two, a father-and-son go to the movies. This week Jonathan, who now lives in New York City, joins his dad to consider the new film, A Star Is Born. Magical, memorable and meaningful By Mark Schumann The Dad What a wonderful surprise. I was skeptical what Bradley Cooper could do with A Star Is Born to justify one more movie about the conflicting professional and personal paths of two show business stars. But the crafty and creative Cooper — as director, co-writer and … Read more

Reel Dad: Book Club plays with the realities of aging

Let’s face it, getting older has its pluses and minuses. On the good side, time provides a sense of perspective that enables us to balance what we worry about. And the years help us develop shock absorbers to handle whatever we may face. And aging can, as well, produce funny movies. The new comedy Book Club — now available on demand, on DVD, and streaming online — will not be remembered at Oscar time. It may not make it to the holidays. But its comic twist on the challenging of aging generates some hearty laughs, especially if you happen to … Read more

Reel Dad: Remembering Burt Reynolds – A surprising superstar

More than anything, Burt Reynolds wanted to be considered a serious actor. Instead he became a movie star. And during his years as the top box office draw at the movies — from 1978 to 1982 — he tried many times to reach beyond his engaging screen persona to show how deep he could travel. Could he have become the actor he said he wanted to be? A closer look at his films reveals the late actor has more happening on screen than we may have noticed at the time. Take a look. Deliverance (1972) Today, the movie might be … Read more

Reel Dad: Glenn Close electrifies in The Wife

The lady simply watches. She is so well practiced in the role she plays — supporting the star performer as he captures all the attention — that she comfortably steps onto her tiny stage without needing rehearsal. She has little dialogue to remember because the star rarely lets her speak. And few people in the crowd care what she thinks. Or what she knows. In the captivating film The Wife, a lady named Joan rarely misses a cue in a performance perfected for most of her married life. Her husband — a renowned writer with an ego to match — … Read more

Reel Dad: Crazy Rich Asians delivers delightful escape

Perhaps it’s the weather. Or the world’s mood. Or, maybe, a message filled with hope is just what the world needs, at this moment, to believe that people can find ways to get along. Much to the surprise of many, the romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians has become a global phenomenon, prompting people who haven’t been to a movie in years to rush to theaters to watch a daffy collection of exaggerated characters navigate the beauty of Singapore and the complexities of relationships. Not since Bridesmaids or Little Miss Sunshine has a film seemed to come from nowhere (well, not … Read more

Reel Dad: Remembering the humor and humanity of Neil Simon

He made us laugh and think, chuckle and cry, wonder and resolve. For more than 50 years, the humor and humanity of Neil Simon — who died on Sunday, Aug. 26, at age 91 — filled stage and movie theaters with a rich collection of characters, a broad range of situations and lasting memories of times well spent. While most of Simon’s work originated on stage, he quickly discovered the magic of the movies with a series of adapted and original films that still leave us wanting more. Take a look. The Odd Couple (1968) While our memories may initially … Read more

Reel Dad: Three Identical Strangers examines the miracle of multiples

As the father of twin sons, I have spent many of the past 31 years pondering the question, “nature or nurture” to consider what has most influenced their lives. From my first days with Matthew and Garrett, I have found myself captivated by their similarities, fascinated by their differences, and overwhelmed by such a marvelous miracle. And I was intensely curious, frequently wondering, “were they simply born this way or have they experienced different influences?” Certainly, as they matured into grown men, they have selected different paths. Yet the similarities remain. All these years later, we are still amazed when, … Read more

Reel Dad: BlacKkKlansman hits between the eyes when we need it

Sadly, we live in a divided nation. Despite claiming to live the common values that framed our country, we let ourselves, with each passing year, become more rooted in the echo chambers we unfortunately label as red and blue, conservative and liberal, white and black. Or brown. Or anything and anyone some consider different. And, conveniently, perhaps, we may consider this divide a new phenomena; that, in the “good old days,” we were a more united as a nation, one that, despite the differences in people, found common ground in the values that initially ignited our nation’s dream. Spike Lee … Read more

Reel Dad: Christopher Robin – Disappointing return to favorite characters

Some movies sound better than they actually turn out. Perhaps something happens between the concept and the screen. Maybe the various elements don’t work as well in production as in a writer’s imagination. Or it could be that too many cooks try to control the cinema kitchen. Whatever the reasons, some films disappoint. Christopher Robin is a major letdown. On paper, the idea sounds promising. Take the beloved characters of the famed stories for children, package them with the polish that computer generation can create, and give them voices from talented vocal actors. Place the cuddly creatures in a simple … Read more

Reel Dad: Once again, Tom Cruise makes it work

Ethan Hunt has come a long way. In the 22 years since this mild-mannered secret agent first saved the world in the big screen reboot of the television series, Ethan has grown from being a restless and rebellious young man determined to right many wrongs to an older and wiser rogue who still tries to save even one life. Of course, time has been kind to this man who, in the form of Tom Cruise, hardly seems to have aged a day. But Ethan does carry the weight of the past on his shoulders. And a $3 billion movie franchise. … Read more

Pin It on Pinterest