My View: Gone 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 View: The 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 View: Annabelle (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 Faire: The 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 View: Left 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
Indiefest: The 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 Film: Girlfriends (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 You: Alexander 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!
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