My View: The Heat (2013) R FBI agent Sarah Ashburn (Sandra Bullock) has made it her life’s work to take down the bad guys, and, to the point where she has no social life. Now she’s hot on the trail of a ruthless drug lord, and her investigation takes her to Boston. But, her worst nightmare happens when she gets partnered with a local Boston cop, Shannon Mullins (Melissa McCarthy), who hasn’t had a partner in years for good reason - no one can get along with her. The film is directed by Paul Feig, who directed the 2011 comedy hit, Bridesmaids. Melissa McCarthy is brilliant as the tough Boston cop whose own police force even fears her. Bullock holds her own with McCarthy and is able to keep up with her in every scene, which is amazing as McCarthy, in this film, is a bulldozer in a china shop. The storyline is one we have seen before, but because of the talents of the two leads, the film seems fresh and moves at an incredibly quick pace. This is one of those films you will have to see twice because you will be laughing so hard, you won’t hear all the lines. One bit of warning - McCarthy says the F word about every other line (that’s part of a gag near the end of the film), so be warned the language in this film is filthy. But it’s so much fun, I just want to know how much of McCarthy’s lines were scripted, and how much did she just make up on the set. There is a bonus scene right after the first of the closing credits. My Rating: Full Price The Heat Website
My View: White House Down (2013) PG-13 A capitol policeman, John Cale (Channing Tatum), with dreams of someday working in the Secret Service, is on a White House tour with his daughter (Joey King) when it’s attacked by a terrorist group. Now Cale may be the only thing between the terrorists and the President (Jamie Foxx). This is a film that goes way over the top, but in a good way. It’s as if when the idea for the film was created, the director said “we could do this as a serious picture or we could just say screw it and have fun with it." There is more comedy in this film than some of the recent Adam Sandler films (I know, that’s not saying a lot), as the characters spew out lines that are meant to be outrageous and possibly repeated by the audience as they leave the theatre. The action is fast and well done, with each explosion getting bigger as the film goes on (so do the weapons). The film doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, though. You can see where the film is going from the start as it really doesn’t try and hide its villains, but it’s a blast (no pun intended) to watch and Foxx /Tatum are fantastic playing off each other in their bromance. Don’t expect much from this film, but do expect to be entertained. My Rating: Bargain Matinee White House Down Website
Indiefest: Fill The Void (2013) PG An 18-year old girl named Shira (Hadas Yaron), who lives in a Tel Aviv ultra-Orthodox Hasidic community, is about to meet her potential husband in this world of arraigned marriages. But Shira’s life changes when her older, married sister dies giving birth to her first child. Suddenly, Shira is pressured by friends and family to marry the husband of her late sister. If she doesn’t marry him, he may move with his newborn to another country. This is an interesting film about a world we know little about. Hadas Yaron gives a moving and complex performance as she tries to decide between her happiness and her family’s wishes. It’s a well done film about a complex world where religion rules over people’s lives. My Rating: Full Price Fill the Void Website
Forgotten Film: Election (1999) R A high school civics teacher (Matthew Broderick) decides that he will teach his students about the democratic process. So, he enlists the school’s star football player (Chris Klein) to run against Tracy (Reese Witherspoon), an overachiever who is determined to win at any cost. Reese Witherspoon has never been better as the student who sees the election as a life or death moment. Broderick is funny as the teacher who doesn’t like Tracy and will do try, at all costs, to see her defeated. But it’s Jessica Campbell as the football player’s sister who steals the movie when she decides to run as well and gives an incredible speech about government being a sham in front of the student body. This film is funny with incredibly quick dialogue and brilliant performances by the cast. My Rating: Full Price Election Info
In Case You Missed It (A Film Just Released on DVD): Quartet (2012) PG-13 Directed by Dustin Hoffman, this film stars Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly and Tom Courtenay as residents of a retired musician's home. The annual fundraising concert is disrupted by the arrival of Jean (Maggie Smith), an Opera diva who is the former wife of one of the residents. Think The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel but set in Great Britain and with music. It’s an enjoyable film where the actors are far better than the script. My Rating: Full Price Quartet Website
Weird Credits: From the credits of White House Down: Pre-visualization artist
Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You: 20 Feet from Stardom (2013) PG-13 A film about the world of backup singers, like Merry Clayton and Darlene Love, who, while in the background, really shape the music we fall in love with. The film features interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger and others while featuring old performance clips from TV and concerts. 20 Feet from Stardom Website
Until Next Time!