Set in a high-tech yet shabby future, the remake of Total Recall is a fully realized piece of production design. But its script, credited to six authors, is more like a preliminary sketch.

Directed by Underworld franchise veteran Len Wiseman, the movie retains some elements of Paul Verhoeven's friskier (and more graphically violent) 1990 original. Yet it also makes lots of changes, notably by downplaying the brain-bending aspects of the scenario in favor of thought-free action. (Also, it never leaves a devastated Earth for Mars.)

It's Movie Time August 3, 2012: The Watch

Aug 2, 2012

Carolyn and John advise their audience not to watch The Watch.

Cinema Classics August 2, 2012 : Warren Beatty

Aug 2, 2012

Starring in the  Double Barrell Summer Western Series' McCabe and Mrs. Miller  at The Gateway Film Center, Warren Beatty embodies the best and worst of Hollywood.

Woodstock on a Rail in 'Festival Express'

Aug 1, 2012

In the summer of 1970, a train carrying Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead, The Band, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Buddy Guy and Janis Joplin rolled from Toronto to Calgary, stopping for scheduled concerts along the way.

Billed as the Canadian Woodstock, The Festival Express was a musician's dream and a promoter's nightmare. The train was loaded with musical instruments, food, liquor -- and a film crew.

The Watch

Jul 30, 2012

Four boy-men guard their neighborhood from aliens.

Fresh Air Remembers Actress Lupe Ontiveros

Jul 30, 2012

Actress Lupe Ontiveros died Thursday of cancer at the age of 69. She was most famous for her role in the 1997 film Selena, but Ontiveros also acted with Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets, played a strict mother in the independent film Real Women Have Curves and had a recurring role in the television series Desperate Housewives.

The Deep Blue Sea

Jul 29, 2012

Desperate love with first-rate acting

The Deep Blue Sea

Grade: B

Director: Terence Davies (The House of Mirth)

Screenplay: Davies (From Terence Rattigan play)

Cast: Rachel Weisz (The Lovely Bones), Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers)

Rating: R

Runtime: 98 min.

by John DeSando


“Love, that's all.”  (Hester responds to her husband when he asks her what happened.)

Cinema Classics Kickoff Party

Jul 27, 2012
Cinema Classics
Cinema Classics

Cinema Classics Kickoff Party
Friday, August 03, 2012 
(6:00 PM - 10:00 PM)
Gateway Film Center

Celebrate the launch of Cinema Classics with WCBE's own Johnny DiLoretto and John DeSando at 6 PM on Friday, August 3 before the premiere of DR. STRANGELOVE at 7 PM. Talk with John and Johnny about your favorite classic films while enjoying light hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar. Bar tended by celebrity bartender & WCBE staff member, Jim Coe.

Acclaimed film director William Friedkin is perhaps best known for his 1971 film, The French Connection. He won an Oscar for directing the gritty tale of New York narcotics cop, Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle.

Friedkin went on to direct The Exorcist, and his latest film is Bug, starring Ashley Judd and Harry Connick, Jr.

But a few years ago, he took up another art form: opera.

Although Friedkin, 71, had listened to plenty of opera, he says he had never been to one — until his friend, the conductor Zubin Mehta, suggested that he try directing one.

The savings are never passed on to the consumer, but a little product placement has become standard practice for Hollywood movies — a pizza box here or a conspicuously angled soda can there, and few take notice. But product integration is another matter: If a movie has been explicitly designed to accommodate a sponsor, it's worse than just a commercial movie. It's a movie commercial.

Amid the slapstick comedies, sequels and superhero movies that have come to define summer moviegoing, two films opening today center on disturbed and disturbing romantic ties. Ruby Sparks and Killer Joe aren't fantasy or horror pictures, but they're within screaming distance — close enough to remind you how much deeper artists go when they barrel past realism into weirder areas of the psyche.

Step Up Revolution

Jul 27, 2012

Energetic dance sequences tell a story of youthful rebellion against business development in Miami.

Two movies with talented young people striving to perform magic and dance.

"This is our last song." You've probably heard words to that effect any number of times at concerts over the years, but when James Murphy said them on April 2, 2011, from the stage at Madison Square Garden, it was a little different.

This wasn't the last song before the encore. It wasn't the last song of the night, or the last song of the tour. This was to be the last song, period, that Murphy's band — the danceable indie-rock outfit LCD Soundsystem — would play together. Ever.

It's Movie Time July 20, 2012: The Dark Knight Rises

Jul 21, 2012

Films reviewed: The Dark Knight Rises.

The trilogy's third edition has John and Carolyn divided in their grades but of one mind about its super acting.


Make Believe

Jul 21, 2012

An informative  documentary about competition for Teen World Champion of magic.

The Dark Knight Rises

Jul 20, 2012

Batman returns from self-imposed exile for 8 years to save Gotham again.

Academy Award-winning actress Celeste Holm has died. A star on both stage and screen, Holm was best known for roles in Gentleman's Agreement, All About Eve and Oklahoma! She was 95.

Holm died early Sunday morning in her Manhattan apartment with her husband, family and close friends by her side. She had been hospitalized a couple weeks ago following a fire in actor Robert De Niro's apartment in the same building.

If there was one role that put Holm on the map, it was as the coquettish Ado Annie, in the 1943 hit musical, Oklahoma!

The Intouchables

Jul 13, 2012

No better comedic bromance this year and one of the best ever.

Imagine you're a movie producer, and you've got a couple of hundred million dollars to gamble on a single massive blockbuster. Which genre do you suppose will be your safest bet — superhero? Action-adventure? Sci-fi? All of those have had huge successes, but they've also all had hugely expensive failures.

There's one genre, though, that's hardly a gamble at all. It's been almost foolproof since it first came into being in 1995: computer animation.

It's Movie Time July 13, 2012: Pixar

Jul 12, 2012

Films reviewed: Pixar classics including Toy Story and The Incredibles. 

It's Movie Time: Tim Burton

Jul 12, 2012

Films reviewed: Tim Burton's greatest films featuring actors like Johnny Depp.

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Jul 11, 2012

Beasts of the Southern Wilds

Grade: A

Director: Benh Zeitlin

Screenplay: Zeitlin, Lucy Alibar

Cast: Quvenzhane Wallis, Dwight Henry

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 91 min.

John DeSando, WCBE’s “It’s Movie Time” and “Cinema Classics”

A Cat in Paris

Jul 11, 2012

A Cat in Paris

Grade: B

Directors: Jean-Loup Felicioli, Alain Gagnol

Screenplay: Gagol

Cast: Dominique Blanc (voice), Bruno Salomone (voice)

Rating: PG

Runtime: 70 min.

John DeSando, WCBE’s “It’s Movie Time” and “Cinema Classics”


Jul 11, 2012


Grade: C

Director: Oliver Stone (Wall Street)

Screenplay: Shane Salerno (Shaft), Don Winslow (Full Ride) from the Winslow novel.

Cast: Blake Lively (The Town), Taylor Kitsch (John Carter)

Rating: R

Runtime: 130 min.

John DeSando, WCBE’s “It’s Movie Time,” “Cinema Classics”

“They must love each other more than you, otherwise how could they share you.”Elena  (Salma Hyek to O about Ben and Chon)

Your Sister's Sister

Jul 6, 2012

Your Sister’s Sister

Grade: B

Director: Lynn Shelton (Humpday)

Screenplay: Shelton

Cast: Mark Duplass (People Like Us), Emily Blunt (The Adjustment Bureau)

Rating: R

Runtime: 90 min

John DeSando, WCBE’s “It’s Movie Time” and “Cinema Classics”

May 3, 2012 Cinema Classics: Red Necks

May 3, 2012

A Cinema Classic: Red Necks

Award-winning Cinema Classics discusses great movies then and now. From films, genres, directors, and actors to everything else in between, the hosts don't always agree, but they are always fun and informative.

Cinema Classics is regularly broadcast at 8:01 pm Thursday on WCBE 90.5 FM and streaming at

Films reviewed: Greenberg, Hot Tub TIme Machine

It's Movie Time has won numerous national awards including Silver Microphone, Communicator, MarCom, and LA Press Club honors.

The Majestic

Dec 17, 2001

Darabont must have been counting his money from "Shawshank Redemption" and "The Green Mile"; Jim Carrey must have been remembering he pulled off "Truman Show."

Kate and Leopold

Dec 11, 2001

Meg Ryan is surprisingly mature, while still retaining her shaggy perkiness.

Kate and Leopold is a sometimes romantic and amusing spin on a very tired H.G. Wells and Hollywood theme about time traveling. Fortunately it has some insightful things to say along the way about the loss of Victorian gentility and the dishonesty of modern marketing. Its references to "Breakfast at Tiffany's" are a reminder that all modern romantic comedies owe much to that model.