Michael Leaser

Michael is a former WORLD correspondent.

Warner Bros. Pictures

Getaway

Movie
by Michael Leaser
Posted 9/06/13, 01:00 am

Any B-level chase movie worth its celluloid has several essential ingredients. Take Getaway. Morally ambiguous yet sympathetic protagonist? Check. Pretty girl? Check. Fast cars? Check. Bad guy with foreign accent? Check. Deep philosophical and inspiring message? Uh … wrong list.

Getaway does not ask you to engage your brain fully, and it is probably best not to. Otherwise, you may find yourself vigorously nodding in agreement when the hero spouts lines like “I can’t believe that worked!”

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Anne Marie Fox/The Weinstein Company

Lee Daniels' The Butler

Movie
by Michael Leaser
Posted 8/23/13, 12:00 am

If Oprah Winfrey stars in your movie, then it must be a “very important” film. Not since Beloved in 1998 has Oprah appeared on camera as anyone but herself, so her media presence and capital behind the role of a wife whose husband serves seven presidents as a White House butler has made Lee Daniels’ The Butler an event.

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Cinephil

The Act of Killing

Documentary
by Michael Leaser
Posted 8/09/13, 01:00 am

Self-deception has too often been a gateway to committing and living with atrocities. Rarely has a truth been as painfully documented as in director Joshua Oppenheimer’s chilling account of an elderly mass murderer pleasantly relating and re-enacting his killings from nearly 50 years ago.  

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