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!

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