Friday, May 9, 2014


My View: Neighbors (2014) R  A young, newly married couple (Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne) live in an ideal, quiet neighborhood. That is until the fraternity, led by Teddy Sanders (Zac Efron), moves into the house next door. After trying various ways to get the frat to quiet down, the young couple decide to wage war on the frat next door.  This is a raucous comedy in the vein of "This is 40" and "The Hangover" films.  There are lots of scenes with drugs, some nudity and some cartoon-like violence.  There are some very funny scenes (though one is ruined because the punch line is prominent in the trailer) in this film, but I left not really like any of the characters.  Rogen and Byrne are incredibly crappy parents, willing to go with the baby to a rave, or getting extremely high while their baby is alone next door (yes, they have a baby monitor, but considering they don't always know where they are, is kind of a moot point).  I did really enjoy Zac Efron as the clueless Teddy who is more concerned that his frat leave a party legacy than he is about graduating.  It's a film that with some really funny scenes but can't this film just can't sustain that momentum. My Rating: Bargain Matinee  Neighbors Website
Indiefest: Locke. (2013) R  On the eve of the biggest night in his construction career, Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) gets a phone call that will change his life.  Now he must make a huge decision –  to drive home to his wife and kids or to drive to London to deal with this new problem.  Tom Hardy gives a Tour de Force performance in one of the best films of 2014.  He is the only character you see on-screen as this film moves along in real time.  A superb job by Hardy and its writer/director, Steven Knight, as they create a suspense when tension rises with each phone call.  The film is beautifully shot at night, and almost all the cameras are place inside the car, which makes us feel the isolation and pressure that Hardy feels as the film progresses.  This film is not to be missed, and I guarantee it will fly by faster than the 85 minute run time. My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again  Locke Website  For a full length review of the film click here
My View: Moms' Night Out (2014) PG  Allyson (Sarah Drew) and her gal-pals just want one night out, where they can dress up and get away from their husbands and kids.  That means that the men will be in charge of the kids.  What could go wrong?  Think of this as a faith based "Adventures in Babysitting."  Sarah Drew shows some comedic talent, but the script gets lost in the second half of the film it focuses less on her character and more on the others, like Patricia Heaton's pastor's wife character.  The film never quite finds its footing, and some scenes are just painful to watch.  It's a film you want to like but can't because it just doesn't work.   My Rating:  Bargain Matinee  Moms' Night Out Website  For a full length review of the film click here
Indiefest: Belle (2013) PG Based on the life of historical figure Dido Elizabeth Belle, “Belle” tells the story of the mixed–race daughter (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) of a British Naval officer and an African woman. Raised by her aristocratic great-uncle, Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson)  and his wife(Emily Watson), Belle’s lineage affords her certain privileges, yet the color of her skin prevents her from fully participating in the traditions of her social standing. Left to wonder if she will ever find love, Dido meets John Davinier (Sam Reid), a young lawyer and apprentice of Lord Mansfield. John and Dido’s meeting is the beginning of a love story that catapults Dido onto a path of self-discovery.  This is a film worth watching because of the great performance of Mbatha-Raw as Belle.  She radiates on the screen and is believable as the strong and independent woman who is willing to risk everything for love.  The film gets a little bogged down with the politics of the time but it's worth watching for the adventures of Belle as she struggle to find her place in the world.  My Rating: Full Price  Belle Website
Famiyfaire:  Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return (2014)  Dorothy ( Lea Michele) makes a return visit to Oz, this time to save the Scarecrow (Dan Aykroyd), the Lion (James Belushi) and the Tin Man (Kelsey Grammer) from the evil Jester (Martin Short).   This is another in a long line of unmemorable animated films, this time as sort of sequel to the "Wizard of Oz" but without the ruby slippers.  It's a musical that has only one song (sung at the start of the film by Lea Michele) that is memorable. The rest of the songs are used as almost filler.  The film isn't terribly imaginative, and the animation just kind of sits there.  When I attended the screening, most of the kids in the theatre didn’t pay much attention to the film.  For kids six years old and under, it might hold their attention for a while, but I feel sorry for their parents.  My Rating: Cable  Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Revenge
Forgotten Film:  Running Scared  (1986) R The 80's were full of buddy cop films, and while this is not one of the best, it's still a lot of fun.  Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines are two cops trying to bring down a drug lord  in Chicago.  When a bust goes bad, and they almost lose their lives, their captain makes them take vacation.  They travel to Key West and enjoy it so much, they decide to retire and open a bar.  But, first they must go back to Chicago to resign.  Once they get there, they find out the drug lord is out on bail and going to make a major haul.  Now, the two cops must risk their lives again to bring the man responsible for so much pain to justice.  The reason to watch this film is the great chemistry between Crystal and Hines, as they work off each other so well.  The film is a little dated (especially the 80's soundtrack...calling you out Michael McDonald) but it's a lot of fun to watch.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee  Running Scared Info

Weird Credits: From the credits of Neighbors:  Confidentiality pa

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014). Sequel to the surprise hit of 2011.  All I have to say is Chimps with shotguns.   Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Info
Until Next Time!

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