12 days of not-so-Christmassy Christmas movies: ‘Eyes Wide Shut’

“Eyes Wide Shut” (1999) – Christmas in New York City brings images of Rockefeller Center, ice skating and shopping on 5th Avenue.  Stanley Kubrick’s last film takes place at Christmastime, but this “holiday story” explores infidelity, visceral temptations, frank conversations between spouses, and sexual masquerade parties where mistletoe is not required. Not the “exactly” same. Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman were married in real life at the time, as they play a couple questioning their relationship during the most wonderful time of the year.   Just wondering how much will they…

‘American Made’ reproduces a truly wild story

“American Made” – Thirty-one years ago, Tom Cruise “owned” the skies and movie theatres everywhere by playing a hotshot U.S. Navy pilot in “Top Gun” (1986).  This flashy, testosterone-filled box office juggernaut cemented Cruise’s big screen appeal after his breakout role in “Risky Business” (1983), just three years prior.  In 2017, Cruise plays a pilot again, another daredevil who takes massive risks, but sports a very, very different career in the wild, true story of Barry Seal, who made an American fortune in “American Made”. Barry’s tale of fortune begins during…