Melanie Dishman's archive

Establishing a sense of place is as important to an Alexander Payne movie as the complex characters he crafts. Five years ago it was the wine country of “Sideways,” and before that the plain-spoken Midwest in “About Schmidt.” For his latest film, Payne uses the backdrop of Hawaii, with all its lush landscapes and island sensibilities, but as the main character Matt King (George Clooney) narrates in the beginning, just because it seems like paradise doesn’t mean its residents don’t have problems.


‘J. Edgar’

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio,

Armie Hammer, Naomi Watts

Director: Clinet Eastwood

Rated: PG-13


The last two months of the year are the best for movie lovers. It’s not that summer movies don’t have their place, but I’ve had enough of super heroes for one year. So bring on the holidays filled with movies of every kind, from comedies to dramas and those important Oscar contenders, and did someone say puppets?


‘Texas Killing Fields’

Starring: Sam Worthington, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Jessica Chastain

Director: Ami Canaan Mann

Rated: R


Based on the Beau Willimon play “Farragut North,” a political thriller set on the eve of the Democratic primary in Ohio, this feature starts out with promise but eventually fails to live up to it in the end.