Friday, October 24, 2014

John Wick

My ViewJohn Wick (2014) R   A hit man (Keanu Reeves) comes out of retirement to hunt the gangsters who took everything from him. If you are looking for a kick-butt action film that has lots of fight sequences with very little plot, this film is for you. I am guessing that Wick kills between 50 and 60 bad guys in this film. The film takes only about ten minutes for you to figure out the plot and then the killing begins. Reeves is a great action figure, and he doesn’t disappoint. The fight sequences are long, and action is intense.  It’s not a film that’s going to win many screenplay awards, but it’s a fun film to watch.  And you will want him to kill everyone after what they do to Wick at the beginning of the film (spoiler alert:  animal lovers will not be happy).    My Rating: Bargain Matinee  John Wick Website

IndiefestBirdman (2014) R   A washed up actor named Riggan (Michael Keaton), who once played an iconic superhero  named, “Birdman,” attempts a comeback on Broadway. This is a fascinating film that is part comedy, part satire.  While I enjoyed Keaton’s performance (there is lots of Oscar talk about it), I thought that Emma Stone, playing Riggan’s daughter, and Edward Norton, a fellow actor, were even better.  Stone perfectly plays the damaged daughter who has a ton of issues with her father. Norton does a masterful job of portraying a talented actor whose ego is out of control. This is one of those films that goes in and out of reality at the turn of a corner, and, therefore, won’t be for everybody. The film is a little long, and I would have preferred a different ending, but if you are into great acting and an interesting storyline, this film is for you.  My Rating: Full Price  Birdman Website

My ViewOuija  (2014) PG-13  A group of friends unknowingly awaken  the dark powers of an ancient board game. From the same people who brought you the horrible stinker of a film Battleship (2012) comes this badly done horror film. The only slightly scary parts of this film are generated by the jump out of the dark with a loud bang type of scare.  The plot is confusing and never makes sense. It’s as if the filmmakers were making it up as they shot the movie.   My Rating: You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again  Ouija Website
My View: 23 Blast (2014)  Based on a true story, 23 Blast is about two best friends who have grown up playing football together.  Travis (Mark Hapka) is the more successful of the two as the star running back of the high school team.  Jerry (Bram Hoover) is not as successful or popular, as he is the second string quarterback of the team. Suddenly, a life changing incident changes both of their lives.  This is a heartfelt film that just goes to the cliché  too many times. As with most faith-based movies, the acting in this film is the weak link. It’s an uplifting, feel good story that I just wished had a more believable ending My Rating: Cable  23 Blast Website

IndiefestViktor (2013)  After spending seven years in prison for an art heist, Frenchman Victor Lambert (Gerard Depardieu) travels to Moscow to try and figure out who killed his son.  When Victor makes the discovery, he will make them pay. he film also stars Elizabeth Hurley as a former lover and partner in crime who helps Victor in his quest.  The movie takes way too long to set up, and though there are some good action sequences, they are few and far between.  Depardieu is very disappointing in the role, rarely giving us the emotional performance on screen  that we want. The film is also hurt by most of the actors who have a tough time speaking English, making some of the dialogue extremely hard to understand. It’s a beautiful film to watch, shot on location in Russia, but it’s a film with just style and no substance. My Rating: Cable  Viktor Website

IndiefestPump (2014)  PG  A documentary on America’s addiction to oil.  The film explores a variety of replacement fuels that could possibly lead us away from our dependency on oil. The world is changing, and one example of these dramatic changes is in 2014, GM sold as many cars in China as it did in the U.S.The first portion of this film is sobering and a little depressing as you learn how dependent America is on the supply of oil and how it’s not getting better. The film does an excellent job of showing how much our economy is dependent on oil, but the film isn’t all about bad news.  There are also stories about the numerous alternative fuels that are available now. The film shows that there is hope for the future of transportation in this country. This is an informative film that will make you think about your relationship with your car and the future of energy sources. I will say that this film only gives one side of the picture and never interviews anyone from the current oil industry leadership, so take the facts the film gives out with a grain of salt.  My Rating: Full Price  Pump Website

IndiefestThe Blue Room (2014)  R  Mathieu Amalric (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Grand Budapest Hotel) directs and stars as Julien, a middle-aged salesman embroiled in a steamy love affair with a married woman.The film goes back and forth from the present time where Julien is in for questioning (we don’t know why) and the past where Julien starts up an affair with a woman from his past. It’s a rich and engrossing film that slowly lets us see how Julien ended up in custody.  This is definitely a brilliantly crafted film, especially for mystery fans.  It’s a movie that you will be talking about for some time as even the ending has a few twists to it.  My Rating: Full Price   The Blue Room Website
Forgotten FilmTalk Radio (1988) R  Eric Bogosian (who also wrote the screenplay) stars as Barry, a late night radio talk show host who likes to agitate his listeners on air.  Barry’s personal life is falling apart just as he is on the cusp of getting a syndicated radio deal. But, Barry has pissed off a lot of people, and there is a neo-Nazi group who has threated to kill him if he keeps giving his opinions. With an outstanding performance by Bogosian, this is a smart, fast moving film that is still relevant today. While most of the film takes place inside the booth at the radio station, the movie never feels slow and creates more tension than most mysteries.  My Rating: Full Price   Talk Radio Info

Weird Credits: From the credits of Birdman: ultimate arm driver

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YouNightcrawler (2014)  R  I have heard great things about this film.  Jake Gyllenhaal plays a young man who gets involved with the high-speed world of L.A. crime journalism where “reporters” follow the sirens to crime scenes.  Nightcrawler Website
Until Next Time!






Friday, October 17, 2014

Fury

My ViewFury (2014) R It’s April, 1945, and the Germans are determined to defend their homeland with everything they have.  A Sergeant named, Wardaddy (Brad Pitt), leads his five-man tank crew with the goal of getting everybody back alive.  Norman (Logan Lerman) has just joined the crew but was trained as a typist, not a warrior. Now the crew must go on a mission that has impossible odds -  just what Wardaddy has trained his crew for. This is not a movie for the faint of heart or someone who faints at the sight of blood.  The film has some of the most realistic war scenes ever filmed.  Bodies literally fly apart as they are hit by bullets or bombs. The language in this film is equally coarse, and there aren’t many likable characters. The film, though, realistic tries too hard to hit all the bases, and though it wants to be Oscar material, it is just an average film.  Pitt, though serviceable in the lead role, never quite connects with the audience, and we are left not really knowing his character. It’s an interesting film, but not the great film you want it to be.    My Rating: Bargain Matinee  Fury Website

IndiefestSt. Vincent (2014) PG-13  A mother (Melissa McCarthy) and her son (Jaeden Lieberher) move next door to a cranky war veteran (Bill Murray). An unlikely friendship between the boy and the old man starts up when the vet begins babysitting the boy after school. This is a fun, smart film about a man who is unlikable, and still a kid can see the good in the man. Murray is funny as the old man, and his chemistry with Lieberher is wonderful. Lieberher shows great comedic timing, able to deliver the best lines of the film. McCarthy shows some dramatic acting chops in this role, as her part is mostly supporting. It’s a joy to watch, and Lieberher gives a beautiful speech near the end of the film that had many people, at my screening, crying.   My Rating: Full Price  St. Vincent Website

IndiefestKeep On Keepin’ On (2014)  R 90-year-old jazz musician, Clark Terry, has mentored blind 23-year-old Justin Kauflin for a few years. Just as Kauflin’s career is taking off, Terry’s health turns for the worse.  This is their story, one of friendship bound by the love of music. The film documents a year in the life of the two men. Kauflin has to move back home with his parents and is preparing for an international jazz competition.  Terry is battling diabetes and is trying not to lose his leg to the disease.  They get through the hard times by their friendship and support of one another.  Terry is a remarkable man, full of knowledge, and this is a brilliant film that will make you feel better about your place in the world.   My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again  Keep On Keepin' On Website

My View: The Best of Me (2014)  PG-13  A pair of high school sweethearts, Dawson(James Marsden) and Amanda (Michelle Monagham), reunite years later when they both return to their small hometown.  Can they overcome the past to start their romance again?  This film has every romantic cliché in the book.  The film is highly predictable, way too long and has an ending that is just cringe worthy.  Marsden and Monaghan have a bit of chemistry together, but it takes the film so long to get them in a romantic situation that you just don’t care.  I did like Liana Liberato in the part of the young Amanda, as she breathes life into this film every time she is on camera, but it’s just not enough.  If you want to see a Nicolas Sparks film, go rent The Notebook because this film just doesn’t work.  My Rating: Cable  The Best of Me Website
Family FaireThe Book of Life (2014) PG Growing up in a small town in Mexico, Manolo (Diego Luna), Joaquin (Channing Tatum) and Maria (Zoe Saldana) are the best of friends. Manolo wants to be a musician, Joaquin a solider, and Maria has a passion for saving animals. After Maria is sent away, the three are reunited years later.  Will the musician or the soldier win Maria’s heart?  Imaginative storylines and beautiful animation make this film a joy to watch.  It’s about time we had some animation films based on the Mexican culture and this film does just that by using the traditional holiday “The Day of the Dead” as its central plot point. Very young kids may be a bit frightened by some the scary aspects of the film, but older kids will delight at the story of three young people trying to make the own way in the world.  My only complaint with this movie is Channing Tatum, playing a Mexican native part,  does not sound like he is from Mexico, he just sounds like Channing Tatum. I will say that while I did see the film in 3-D, I did not notice the 3-D effects, so save your money and see it in 2-D.   My Rating: Full Price  The Book of Life Website

IndiefestDear White People (2104)  R  The lives of four black students(Tyler James Williams, Tessa Thompson, Kyle Gallner, Teyonah Parris) at an Ivy League school change drastically after an ill-conceived Halloween party goes down.  It can be tough going to college, trying to find your place in the world; it’s even harder when you are in the minority.  This is a film that will spark many conversations, and, while funny at times, it is mostly a serious look at dealing with race relations in this country.  The standout performance of this film is Tyler James Williams, who plays a gay student who just doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere. This is an interesting film that examines not only how the world sees young African Americans but also how they perceive themselves. My Rating: Full Price  Dear White People Website

Forgotten Film: Lady Sings the Blues (1972) R The story of legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday (Diana Ross) as she struggles to make it in the music world.  This film has an incredible score with Ross singing some moving jazz standards. Billy Dee Williams plays the romantic interest in the film, but the standout performance (besides Ross’s) is Richard Pryor as Piano Man.  Pryor gives a funny and moving performance making this a much richer film.  My Rating: Full Price  Lady Sings the Blues Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of The Book of Life:  additional voice


Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YouWhite Bird in a Blizzard  (2014)  I am looking forward to one of my favorite young actresses, Shailene Woodley, taking on more mature roles.  When Kat (Woodley) is 17 years old, her mother (Eva Green) disappears.  Years later she comes home to confront the feelings of abandonment and guilt.  White Bird in a Blizzard Website
Until Next Time!


Friday, October 10, 2014

The Judge

My ViewThe Judge  (2014)  PG-13  A hot-shot defense attorney, Hank Palmer (Robert Downey Jr.), returns to his hometown where his father (Robert Duvall) is suspected of murder. Now Hank must reconnect with his father (whom he hasn’t talked to in years) and find out the truth..  With this cast, this film should have been far better than it is. The film is too long, and goes way over the top to let us know that Hank and his father are not in a good place in their relationship. Vera Farmiga plays Hank's love interest, but her part isn't necessary to the plot. It's always disappointing when a film starts strong (great opening scene with Downey harassing a fellow lawyer) but ends weak. My Rating: Cable  The Judge Website

Family Faire:   Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day  (2014) PG  Alexander (Ed Oxenbould) is not having a very good day, which started out with him getting gum in his hair.  He’s not alone as it seems his whole family is having a very bad day, too. Why Jennifer Garner and Steve Carell, two fine actors, are in this film, that at best should have been an Adam Sandler starring vehicle, I have no idea. Only young children will laugh at this film as it goes for the easy, quick joke every time. The film contains the most not believable teenager I have ever seen (writers at fault, not the actor). Parents, send the kids into the theatre and then go see Gone Girl. My Rating: Cable  Alexander and the Terrible website  

IndiefestMen, Women and Children  (2014) R A group of high school students and their parents try to navigate life in a world where the Internet has become a major part of our lives. Though many people will say this is a film about the Internet, it's really about how people relate to each other. This is an ensemble piece that is uneven. There are some great moments, especially in scenes between the two teen misfits who find each other (played by Kaitlyn Dever and Ansel Elgort), however, Jennifer Garner doesn't carry off the part of the over-protective mom.  The story of the unhappy marriage (Adam Sandler/Rosemarie DeWitt) doesn't work, mostly because we don't like either person. It's not a bad movie, and there are some very enjoyable parts, but it just doesn't hit its mark.  My Rating: Bargain Matinee  Men, Woman and Children Website

My View: Dracula Untold  (2014) PG-13 With his kingdom and his family being threatened, Vlad Tepes (Luke Evans) decides to deal with the supernatural and make a deal with the dark world. This film is as stupid as you think it will be. Special effects were better in the 1930's Universal monster films than this film. Plot points are just thrown in, hoping we won't notice. Luke Evans cuts a dashing figure, but his acting is like he was rejected from Game of Thrones, and he is hell-bent on showing them they were wrong. Stay at home and watch the original Dracula, a much better film, and you won't be laughing at the special effects. My Rating: Cable  Dracula Untold Website
Indiefest Kill the Messenger  (2014) R  Gary Webb (Jeremy Renner) uncovers the story of a lifetime.  The CIA used money from drug smuggling to fund the Contras in Nicaragua.  Once the story is published, it changes Gary’s life and not for the best. This is probably the best film Jeremy Renner has been in since The Hurt Locker, as he shows he has more in him than just playing the pretty-boy action figure. The film, based on true events, is a fascinating look at how an investigating journalist works and then shows what effect his profession can have on his life and his family. This film is well worth seeing and is sure to start up conversations. But be warned - like, in life, not all movies have happy endings. My Rating: Full Price Kill the Messenger Website  

IndiefestPride  (2014) R  Set in 1984, a group of gay and lesbians decide to show solidarity against Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher by supporting the striking miners in Wales.  After raising money for the strikers, the group decides to visit one of the mining towns and meet them face to face.  The small Welsh town of Onliwyn will never be the same again. I enjoyed this funny, touching film based on a true story. It’s the kind of smart, moving film that the British do so well.  There are some outstanding performances, including  Ben Schnetzer as the gay activist leader and Dominic West as the flamboyant one of the group. Why this film got an R rating is a mystery. My Rating: Full Price (Please note that I work for CBS and this film is released by CBS Films)   Pride Website

IndiefestThe Two Faces of January  (2014)  PG-13  A husband  and wife (Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst) are traveling in Greece when they meet a friendly tour guide named, Rydal (Oscar Isaac), who offers to show them the sites. Before he knows it, Rydal is caught up in a deadly game of cat and mouse. This is a beautiful, stylish film that fails due to its plot and heavy-handed direction. While there is great chemistry between Isaac and Dunst, there is almost no chemistry between Mortensen and Dunst. The film is easy to figure out from the start.  Its twists are predictable, and the end just sort of slows down to a trickle. This film will make you want to visit the places where the characters go, but it won't make you care about the people in the film. My Rating: Bargain Matinee  The Two Faces of January

Forgotten Film: Jeremy (1973) PG  Two high school students, a shy cellist (Robby Benson) and an ballerina (Glynnis O’Connor) are destined to have a great romance… that is if they can get up the nerve to talk to each other.  This is a small movie about the trials and tribulations of high school romance, where just making the phone call to the girl to ask her out can be traumatizing. The center of the film are two wonderful performances by Benson and O’Connor.  They have great chemistry together making this an above average teen romance.  My Rating: Bargain Matinee  Jeremy Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Dracula Untold:  contact lens coordinator


Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YouBirdman (2014) R Michael Keaton stars as a washed up actor who once played an iconic superhero.  Now he is trying to mount a comeback on Broadway.  Critics have been raving about this movie for quite a while.  Birdman Website
Until Next Time


Friday, October 3, 2014

Gone Girl

My ViewGone Girl  (2014)  R  A husband (Ben Affleck) comes home to find a smashed coffee table and his wife (Rosamund Pike) missing.  As the media intensifies, the husband quickly goes from victim to villain. Is he really responsible for his wife missing?  This is one of the best films I have seen this year, filled with brilliant performances and a plot that keeps you guessing until the end.  Readers of the best-selling book will be happy with this adaptation, and those who haven’t read it will love how twisted the storyline is.  Funny, yet also dark and depressing, it’s a tale about how quickly the media can turn a hero into a villain and how quickly we make judgments about people, often due to just their appearance. I will not be surprised when this film gets multiple Oscar nominations.   My Rating:  I Would Pay to See it Again  Gone Girl Website  

My ViewThe Good Lie  (2014) PG-13  Three “Lost Boys”  escape the civil war in the Sudan and are transported to Missouri  by a humanitarian organization. There they encounter a fiery employment agency counselor (Reese Witherspoon).  Their meeting not only changes their world but her life, as well.  I was expecting this film to be like The Blind Side, with Reese  playing the plucky woman who dominates the film.  Instead we get a thoughtful, insightful film about the continuing problem of refugees being forced to live in camps for years and sometimes lifetimes without any hope of getting out.  This film also explores the idea of people having to deal with completely new situations while still being haunted by their past. There are some brilliant performances in this film, especially Arnold Oceng, who plays the leader of the little gang that relocates and Kuoth Wiel, who plays the sister of the boys who is sent to a separate city and has to survive without them.  My Rating: Full Price  The Good Lie Website

My ViewAnnabelle  (2014) R  A couple (Ward Horton, Annabelle Wallis) acquire a vintage doll.  Soon after, horrifying things begin happening in the home. This is a prequel to the marvelous 2013 horror film, The Conjuring,” one of the best horror films of the past five years.  Unfortunately, this film isn’t as smart or creative as the first and goes for the easy scares with a storyline that is too easy to figure out.  By the way, the main character, Mia (Annabelle Wallis), has the creepiest doll collection known to man.  Skip this film and re-watch the first film - you will be much happier and very scared.   My Rating: Cable  Annabelle Website

Family FaireThe Hero of Color City  (2014) G Crayons come to life while their owner, a little boy, is asleep.  Now a paper giant is threatening their home in Color City.  Only kids 6 years old and under will enjoy this film.  It’s very colorful and has a couple of mildly catchy songs, but the storyline is weak, and the animation is just ordinary.  My Rating: Cable  The Hero of Color City Website  

My ViewLeft Behind (2014)  PG-13  An airline pilot (Nicolas Cage), his daughter (Cassi Thomson) and a reporter (Chad Michael Murray) are “Left Behind” after millions around the world just vanish in one moment.  The first clue that this film isn’t going to be good is in the opening scene, when the soundtrack starts up, which sounds like it was bought off of Craig’s List.  A photo-shopped picture of Cage and his family is so badly done, it looks like a five- year-old did it.  This film continually hits you over the head that you better get your life in order, because the rapture is going to happen and happen soon.  Cage sleep walks throughout the picture (you don’t even get that Cage over the top moment, which would have made this film at least a little campy). Most of the supporting cast looks as if they took the actors from the Nashville First Baptist Church variety playhouse.  As I said to a fellow critic as we left the theatre “If this film is this bad, how bad was the Kirk Cameron Left Behind film from 2000?” Apparently this one is worse.  My Rating:  You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again  Left Behind Website

IndiefestThe Notebook  (2014) R  Two boys (Laszlo and Andras Gyemant), a set of twins, are given a notebook to record their lives by their father (Ulrich Matthes), a German officer in Hitler’s army.  Their world is shattered when things start going bad for Germany, and they are sent off to live in Hungary with their Grandmother.  This a film that is very uncomfortable to watch as we see the boys go through all sorts of horrible things like molestation and beatings. At the same time, it is a moving film that delves deeply into how man treats man during times of war. There are some beautifully shot scenes of heartbreaking subjects, such as a forced march through town of a group of Jews on their way to the local concentration camp. This is a movie that I will only be able to see once, though I am glad that I did see it. My Rating: Full Price  The Notebook Website

Forgotten FilmGirlfriends (1978)  PG  Susan (Melanie Mayron) is a photographer who has big dreams but is forced to shoot birthday parties and Bar Mitzvahs.  Her roommate, Anne (Anita Skinner), suddenly decides to marry a man she barely knows, leaving Susan without a roommate.  Susan’s love life isn’t any better, as she has an on again off again relationship with a college professor (Christopher Guest).  Mayron is the reason to see this film, and her performance is touching, funny and sad, sometimes all at the same time. It’s a fascinating film about the struggle to find yourself and how sometimes life’s ambitions are not always achieved. My Rating: Full Price  Girlfriends Info  

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Gone Girl:  Book covers Illustrator


Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YouAlexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day (2014) PG The trailer for this film looks like the outtake reel for an Adam Sandler film.  Any time you show a clip in the trailer (which is supposed to make me want to see the film) where a man gets kicked in the crouch by a kangaroo, I say “Um, no.”   Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day Website 
Until Next Time!


Friday, September 26, 2014

The Equalizer

My ViewThe Equalizer (2014) R  Robert McCall (Denzel Washington)might look like an ordinary worker at a DIY supply store. But Robert is a man not to be messed with. McCall meets Teri (Chloe Grace Moretz), a young girl whose life is being controlled by Russian gangsters.  He decides to help her the only way he knows how – with his fists and his guns. This is a fun, but extremely violent film that has more substance to it than your normal action film. Washington gives his usual excellent performance, making Robert a very quiet, restrained man who doesn’t hesitate to defend the weak and come down hard on the bullies. I don’t think he uses the same technique twice in killing the bad guys, and you will never look at “Home Depot” the same again.  My Rating: Full Price  The Equalizer Website
IndiefestThe Skeleton Twins (2014) R  Maggie (Kristen Wiig) and Milo (Bill Hader) are adult twins who haven’t seen or talked to each other in years. An unexpected reunion forces the two together and causes them to re-examine their lives.  I absolutely loved this film and the two performances of Wiig and Hader.  They have perfect chemistry, making this film such a joy to watch.  This is probably the funniest film about two depressed, suicidal people you will ever see. Wiig is brilliant as Maggie, who, on the surface has a perfect life but in reality is extremely unhappy with her life choices. Hader does the impossible with this role, making us like a character who isn’t always a joy to be around.  Go see this terrific, funny film!  My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again The Skeleton Twins website
IndiefestHector and the Search for Happiness  (2014) R  A psychiatrist (Simon Pegg) searches the world to find the secret to happiness. Pegg has fun with this role as he travels to China, Tibet, Africa and L.A. to sort out his life and visit friends. There are some very funny scenes in this film, though it is let down a little by some attempts to be more serious at times that doesn’t always work. If you are a fan of Pegg and his film career, you will enjoy this film. My Rating: Bargain Matinee Hector and the Search for Happiness Facebook page 
Indiefest: Believe Me  (2014) PG-13  Sam (Alex Russell) and his three roommates come up with a plan to make some money. They start up a sham charity and campaign across the country raising funds for a cause as fake as their message. I didn’t like this faith based- film, mostly because it couldn’t decide if it was a comedy or a drama.  I also didn’t like any of the characters as they all are out just to make a buck on unsuspecting churchgoers and never have any character growth.  The film’s ambiguous ending just made me not like the film more. My Rating: Cable  Believe Me Website
Indiefest: Jimi: All Is by My Side (2014)  R  This is the story of Jimi Hendrix (Andre Benjamin), the year before he became famous. He is discovered by Linda Keith (Imogen Poots), a famous British model who is notorious for dating rock stars. The film follows Hendrix to London, where he develops his sound and starts playing gigs. The film ends right before his famous appearance at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, which made him a star. Andre Benjamin is brilliant in the role of Hendrix. He perfectly portrays the man and does extremely well singing in the Hendrix style. I loved Benjamin’s performance, but I was dissatisfied by the film.  The film is too long, and there isn’t any original Hendrix music in the film. The music that Hendrix plays is mostly old blues songs, though there is a rousing performance of a Beatles song near the end of the film. Much like Hendrix’s real life, it's an interesting film but I found it a little too unfocused, moving from one scene to another without a lot of reason.  My Rating: Bargain Matinee  Jimi: All Is by My Side Info
Forgotten FilmLenny  (1974) R Dustin Hoffman is brilliant as the 1960’s standup comic Lenny Bruce. Bruce was not an ordinary comic; his humor was a commentary on the social strifes of the day, thumbing his nose at the establishment.  This film perfectly shows the ups and downs of this intelligent but troubled comedian.  Hoffman was the ideal choice for this role, and he gives it his all.   My Rating:  Full Price  Lenny Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of The Equalizer:  graphic designer specialty tattoos


Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YouWhiplash (2014) R A talented young drummer (Miles Teller) enrolls at a music conservatory.  A grizzled instructor (J.K. Simmons) begins teaching the young drummer, pushing him to his limits. Advanced word from film festivals is both actors give Oscar worthy performances.  Whiplash Website
Until Next Time!



Friday, September 19, 2014

The Maze Runner

My ViewThe Maze Runner (2014) PG-13  Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) finds himself in an elevator with no memory of anything other than his name.  The doors open, and he’s in “The Glades,” a community of sixty boys surrounded by a hundred foot wall.  Their only shot at escape is from time to time a wall opens up to reveal a maze that no one has ever returned from.  I thought this was a high energy film with some impressive action sequences, some of which are quite scary. The lead is a little dull, but the supporting cast is top notch, and the storyline is very interesting.  I am looking forward to seeing the sequel as I want to get to know more about these characters. My Rating: Full Price  The Maze Runner Website

My View: This is Where I Leave You (2014) R  When their father dies, four grown siblings come back to their childhood home for a week of sitting Shiva (their father’s last request). Will the family survive, and what will be left of them? I enjoyed this film, mostly for the performances of the leads, Jason Bateman and Tina Fey, who plays his sister.  They have some charming moments as they try and deal with all the craziness that is going on around them.  There are some funny moments in the film, and while not all the ensemble pieces work, it’s a fun film to watch.  My Rating : Bargain Matinee  This Is Where I Leave You Website

IndiefestTusk (2014) R  Podcaster Wallace Bryton (Justin Long) is missing after going out into the backwoods of Manitoba, and after interviewing a mysterious seafarer goes missing.  Wallace’s best friend, Teddy (Haley Joel Osment), and Wallace’s girlfriend (Genesis Rodriquez) team up with an ex-cop named Guy (Johnny Depp) to find him.  They aren’t going to like what they discover.   As I watched this film, one question kept coming up…how the heck did this film get made? This is a horrible film that is meant to be a comedy (which it isn’t funny) or a horror film (also not scary).   This film is just a big, gross mess of a movie.  And please, Johnny Depp, quite trying to be quirky and funny -  your appearance in this film just makes your weirdness worse. There is a bonus scene at the end of the film but don't watch it, it will make you regret your viewing of this film even more. My Rating: You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again  Tusk Website

IndiefestMy Old Lady (2014) PG-13  Mathias Gold (Kevin Kline) is an American who inherits an apartment in Paris.  It seems like a dream until he discovers a nightmare - an old lady (Maggie Smith) who refuses to leave.  I enjoyed the performances in this film, but its actors are let down by a script that is too longwinded.  There is nice chemistry between Kline and Smith, and both actors give it their all.  I just wish the filmmaker had cut some of their lines.  My Rating: Bargain Matinee  My Old Lady Website  

Forgotten FilmTremors (1990) PG-13  Kevin Bacon is a maintenance worker in a small town in Nevada.  A creature starts picking off the townspeople one by one.  Now it’s time for the town to fight back.  This is a funny, almost sweet comedic horror film that is just a blast to watch.  Reba McEntire as a gun-packing mama is so hilarious.  It’s stupid and funny, all at the same time. My Rating: Bargain Matinee  Tremors Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Tusk:  teddy photo double


Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YouThe Good Lie (2014) PG-13 Reese Witherspoon plays an employment agency counselor who helps the “Lost Boys” of the Sudan resettle in America.  A feel good movie with Reese Witherspoon?  Yeah, you can sign me up for that one.  The Good Lie Website
Until Next Time!