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

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