Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Horrible Bosses 2

My View:  Horrible Bosses 2 (2014) R   Dale (Charlie Day), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Nick (Jason Bateman) have decided to be their own boss and start up a company to manufacture the, “Shower Buddy.”  A father (Christoph Waltz) and son (Chris Pine) steal the boys’ idea, and it looks like they will get away with it.  The guys come up with a plan to save their company, kidnap the son and hold him for ransom.  What could go wrong?  I wasn't a big fan of the first film. I thought that there wasn't enough of the bosses and too much of the guys.  This film has the same problem as Christoph Waltz’s character is so much more interesting than the main characters. This film, just like the first one, is crass (way too many rape jokes) and too often goes for the easy joke.  I just didn't laugh enough to make this one a film I would recommend.   My Rating: Cable  Horrible Bosses 2 Website

Family Faire:  Penguins of Madagascar  (2014) PG  Skipper (Tom McGrath), Kowalski (Chris Miller), Rico (Conrad Vernon) and Private (Christopher Knights) are out to stop the evil Dr. Octavius Brine (John Malkovich) from taking all the penguins out of zoos.  Skipper comes up with a plan that just might work if the undercover organization, The North Wind, comes to their aid.  I had so much fun watching this film. Kids will love all the action and the pratfalls, and adults will love the puns and quick dialogue. This is a film that doesn't take itself too seriously and just decides to have a good time, making fun of the world's obsession with cute animals.  Malkovich is a blast playing the evil bad guy with a bit of a grudge. I really like the Skipper character, especially when he does a running gag where he can't remember the bad guy’s name.  Stay through the first part of the credits for some bonus material.  I didn't really notice the 3-D effects, so save a few bucks, but do go see this film. 
 My Rating:  Full Price  Penguins of Madagascar Website
IndiefestDiplomacy (2014)  As the Allies march towards Paris in 1944, Hitler wants Paris not to fall into enemy’s hands.  He has given the order to General Dietrich von Choltitz (Niels Arestrup) that if he leaves Paris, it should be in rubble.  The Swedish Consul General Raoul Nordling (Andre Dussollier) finds out that mines have been planted on all the important French landmarks (such as the Eiffel Tower) and most of the bridges in the city.  Nordling’s plan is to talk the General out of blowing up Paris. This is a film that works due to the chemistry and on-screen presence of the two leads. The dialogue is well written and moves quickly, as the two debate why the General shouldn't blow up Paris. It's a fascinating look at a tense few hours that could have changed France forever.  My Rating: Full Price  Diplomacy Website
Forgotten Film:  Vanishing Point (1971) R    A car delivery driver, Kowalski(Barry Newman), makes a bet that he can drive a 1970 Doge Challenger from Denver to San Francisco in less than a day.  Kowalski is a man haunted by his past, and he survives his demons by adrenaline. It's a film that is filled with great scenery, and, even better, car races and police pursuits. While not a great film and a little dated (lot of counter-culture references), it's still full of great action sequences with some thrilling car crashes.   My Rating:  Bargain Matinee  Vanishing Point Info
In Case You Missed it (A Film Just Released onDVD/Blue Ray):  The Giver (2014) PG-13  A very strange Young Adult book adaptation that misses the mark.  There is very little action in this story of a young man who receives the memory of his people.  My Rating:  Bargain Matinee  The Giver Website

Weird Credits
:  From the credits of Horrible Bosses 2 (2014):  pursuit crane operator

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You: Inherent Vice (2014)  In 1970’s Los Angeles, detective Larry “Doc” Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) investigates the disappearance of a former girlfriend. From Paul Thomas Anderson, the director of Magnolia (1999), Punch-Drunk Love (2002) and There Will Be Blood (2007) comes a film that looks be a combination of The Big Lebowski (1998) and American Hustle (2013).  Inherent Vice Website

Until Next Time!

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

My View:  The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1  (2014) PG-13  After destroying the games forever, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) fights for the rebellion, determined to rescue Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) from the clutches of President Snow (Donald Sutherland). I enjoyed this film and fans of the book won’t be disappointed.  It is darker in tone than the first two films, and while there are a few weak points, it’s still a blast to watch.  While this is Lawrence’s film, and she does a great job, it’s sad to see the late great Philip Seymour Hoffman on-screen.  Of the supporting cast, I thought Hoffman and Elizabeth Banks  stood out from the rest of the cast as both have some interesting, fun scenes.  The first part of this film takes a while to get going, but once the action starts, the film starts to click.  My Rating:  Full Price   The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Website

Indiefest:  The Homesman  (2014) R Three women have been driven insane by the hard life of living in the west.  Mary Bee Cuddy (Hilary Swank) volunteers to help transport the three across the country by covered wagon.  She enlists the help of a low-life drifter (Tommy Lee Jones) to move the women.  The best word to describe this film is meandering.  With a cast that includes Jones, Swank, John Lithgow, James Spader and Meryl Streep, you would think this film would be filled with memorable scenes and high energy performances - but it isn’t. The film takes a very strange turn about two-thirds through and never recovers from with an ending that is just puzzling and unsatisfying. I was excited to see this film, but I would recommend going back and watching Lonesome Dove, instead.  My Rating: Bargain Matinee The Homesman Facebook page

Forgotten Film:  Chaplin  (1992) PG-13 The story of Charlie Chaplin (Robert Downey Jr.) as told by Chaplin to his autobiographer (Anthony Hopkins).  The film is a little long and tries to cover too much ground, but Downey nails Chaplin, making him come alive, especially when he plays Charlie working on the set.  The supporting cast is outstanding with Kevin Kline as Douglas Fairbanks and Dan Aykroyd as Mack Sennett.  My Rating:  Bargain Matinee  Chaplin Info

In Memory of Ed Wood (A Movie I’ve Only Seen in Trailers But Just Looks Like a Bad Idea)The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death (2015) PG-13 I didn’t like the first one, so why would I like this sequel about the house haunted by the “Woman in Black?”  Plus, no Daniel Radcliffe.  The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death Info

In Case You Missed It (A Film Just Released on DVD/Blue Ray)The Wind Rises (2014)    PG-13 This is a beautiful, animated film that is let down by its very long and slow moving storyline. Other critics went nuts over this film by legendary filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, but I think it just doesn’t rank up there with his Spirited Away (2002) or Princess Mononoke (2000).  My Rating: Bargain Matinee  The Wind Rises Website

Weird Credits:  From the credits of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1:  Screening Operations Executive

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YouStill Alice  (2014) PG-13 Julianne Moore plays a linguistics professor who starts to forget words and soon learns she has an illness that will change both her and her family’s lives.  Many are saying that Julianne Moore gives a performance of a lifetime.  Still Alice Info
Until Next Time!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Dumb and Dumber To

My View: Dumb and Dumber To (2014) PG-13   It’s been 20 years since their last adventure, so the boys (Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels) are ready for a new road trip. This time Lloyd and Harry try to find Harry’s daughter. If you are a fan of the first film, then stay away from this one. This film isn't funny (I saw the film with a screening full of fans of the first film, and not much laughter occurred.).  This film is mean-spirited and badly written, and, too often goes for the easy, predictable joke. The first film has a sweetness to it, a film about really stupid but loveable guys. This film is full of fart jokes, harmful practical stunts and a plot that takes way too much time to get going. Apparently, you can get too dumb with your material. There is a very short bonus scene at the end of the credits but it's not worth staying to see it.  My Rating: You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again  Dumb and Dumber To Website
My View: Beyond the Lights (2014)  PG-13  A young musician (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) has been trained her whole life by her manager / mother (Minnie Driver) to become a pop star at any price. It all becomes too much until the striving star encounters a knight in shining armor - a police officer named, Kaz (Nate Parker). This is a good film made better by the amazing performance of Gugu Mbatha-Raw as the talented pop star who is trying to find her place and get out from under her dominating mother. Mbatha-Raw just radiates on the screen, as your eyes just constantly follow her. The film has a great supporting cast including Minnie Driver as the mother and Danny Glover as Nate's father. The film moves at a nice pace and will remind you of the old Whitney Houston / Kevin Costner film, The Bodyguard (1992). It's a feel-good romantic movie that hits all the marks.  My Rating: Full Price  Beyond the Lights Facebook page
Indiefest: Rosewater (2014)  R   Journalist Maziar Bahari (Gael Garcia Bernal) was back in his home country of Iran to cover the national elections for the BBC. After reporting on protests going on in the country, he was arrested and held for more than 100 days in solitary confinement, enduring both mental and physical torture. This is a good, first effort from director / writer Jon Stewart. Bahari, played by the talented Garcia Bernal, uses humor as one of his coping mechanisms, so this film isn't all torture and despair. There are some moving scenes in the film, and Gael Garcia Bernal gives it his all. While it is a film about the power of journalism, at its core, it's really a film about the importance of family and love.  My Rating: Bargain Matinee  Rosewater Facebook page
Indiefest: The Theory of Everything (2014) PG-13  The love story between the famous physicist Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) and his wife, Jane (Felicity Jones). Redmayne and Jones are extraordinary in this film about the love between two people who decide to live every day like it could be their last. They give unbelievable performances and have an incredible chemistry on screen. It's a beautiful story and has a lot of up and downs, as two people team up to achieve remarkable things, not only in their professional lives but also in their personal lives. If you are a fan of romantic films, then this one is for you.  My Rating: Full Price  The Theory of Everything Website
Indiefest: The Way He Looks (2014) PG-13  Leonardo (Ghilherme Lobo) is a blind teenager who is searching for his place in the world. His world changes when Gabriel (Fabio Audi) enters his life. This is a great coming-of-age film that is a sweet, touching look at first love. Lobo is perfect in the role of Leonardo, a boy who is a little shy but is determined to live life on his own terms. This Brazilian film has won awards at a number of film festivals, and it doesn't disappoint, hitting it out of the park. This is a film that will move you and make you root for the underdog.  My Rating: Full Price  The Way He Looks Website
Forgotten Film: A Simple Plan (1998) R  Hank (Bill Paxton), Jacob (Billy Bob Thornton) and Lou (Brent Briscoe) find a deserted plane out in the woods filled with millions of dollars. They figure out a plan to claim the money, and then everything goes wrong. This is a combo of a rather dark comedy, mixed in with a bit of a mystery/thriller vibe. Paxton and Thornton give some of their best performances in this film that explores what happens when ordinary men are overwhelmed by greed.  My Rating: Full Price  A Simple Plan Info

Weird Credits: From the credits of Rosewater: Audience Engagement Strategist

Coming to a Theatre Near You: Into the Woods (2014) PG  A witch (Meryl Streep) sets out to teach important lessons to various characters of popular children's stories. The film has an outstanding cast, including Anna Kendrick, Streep, Chris Pine and Emily Blunt. The trailer for this film makes you want to buy your tickets now! Into the Woods Website
Until Next Time!

Friday, November 7, 2014


My ViewInterstellar (2014)  PG-13 Earth is dying, and, when a wormhole is discovered, scientists come up with a plan to use the wormhole to travel through space.  A team of astronauts are assembled, led by Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) to fly the mission to find another planet where humans can live. This is an absolutely beautiful film, and I highly recommend watching it on the biggest screen you can find. I enjoyed this film, though it is full of scientific theories that are sometimes hard to follow. The film does take a while to get started (it’s almost 45 minutes until we get into space), but the action sequences are very cool and impressive.  McConaughey is on screen for almost the entire film and is superb in the role of a father who puts the needs of many others in front of the needs of his family. Out of the remainder of the cast (there are a few surprise actors in the film), I especially enjoyed Mackenzie Foy, who plays the smart and headstrong daughter of Cooper. This is a larger than life film, and its running time is almost 3 hours, but I guarantee it won’t feel that long.   My Rating: Full Price  Interstellar Website

FamilyfaireBig Hero 6  (2014) PG  A young robotics engineer named, Hiro (Ryan Potter), and his plus-sized inflatable robot, named Baymax (Scott Adsit), uncover a criminal plot and put together a team of inexperienced crime-fighters to take on a masked villain.  I loved this film, which combines the super hero element of the Marvel films with the nice, personal touch of the Walt Disney films. You will fall in love Baymax and his little fist bump catch phrase. The film is enjoyable for both adults and children and teaches a wonderful lesson of listening to your conscience. The film is fast paced, full of colorful characters and has some exciting action sequences. I really didn’t notice the 3-D effects, so save a few bucks and see the 2-D version.  Be sure to stay through all the credits, as with most Marvel films, there is a bonus scene at the end that is worth the wait. The animated short, Feast, plays before Big Hero 6.  It’s a charming little tale of a dog with a big appetite.   My Rating: Full Price  Big Hero 6 Website

IndiefestLaggies  (2014) R 28-year-old Megan (Keira Knightley) is in a rut.  She lives with her high school boyfriend (Mark Webber) and not much has changed since her high school days.  When her boyfriend proposes, Megan freaks out and decides to take a week off from life.  She meets Annika (Chloe Grace Moretz) and starts hanging out with her and her high school friends.  Things are going well until Annika’s father (Sam Rockwell) enters the scene. If you love or even like Keira Knightley, you will enjoy this film. If you don’t like her, stay away as this is her film all the way. Knightley perfectly plays the young woman who just doesn’t know what she wants in life.  As usual, I also enjoyed Chloe Grace Moretz’s performance as the high school girl who is hurting from her mom leaving her and her dad.  This is a fun, smart romantic comedy that works well due to its stellar cast. My Rating: Full Price  Laggies Website
Indiefest:  Art and Craft  (2014)  PG  Mark Landis is a great painter.  Unfortunately, he is also one of the most prolific art forgers in US history. He doesn’t do it for the money, and, many times he has posed as a philanthropic donor, giving his work to museums.  After an investigator uncovers Landis’s work, Mark must now confront his own legacy.  This is a fascinating film about two men, one of which is Mark Landis, a disturbed man who for the past 30 years has fooled museums and art curators across the country with his forgeries. The second man is a former curator who has devoted his life to stoping Landis from fooling other museums.  Landis is a sad, but incredibly intresting man who is an extremely talented artist but one who only wants to make forgeries.  The film follows Landis as he goes about fooling galleries and museums, all the while people are trying to stop him.  My Rating: Full Price Art and Craft Website 

Forgotten FilmFat City  (1972) PG  This film, directed by John Huston, is about two boxers heading in opposite directions.  Stacy Keach plays a boxer who has seen better days and is haunted by the fight that got away.  Jeff Bridges plays the boxer whose career is on the rise but is slowly being held down by outside forces.  This is a gritty film that is fascinating to watch and is full of small dramatic moments.  Candy Clark stands out as the bride who has tricked the young boxer into marriage only to discover that it may not be everything she thought.  My Rating: Bargain Matinee  Fat City Info
In Case You Missed it (A film just released on DVD / Blu-ray):  Maleficent (2014) PG  I liked the special effects in this reworking of the Sleeping Beauty tale but I felt that the film had almost no plot.  It was if the art director made all the decisions on the film, making it a beautiful film without a lot of content.  My Rating:  Bargain Matinee  Maleficent Website

Weird Credits: From the credits of Big Hero 6:  Caffeinator

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YouThe Imitation Game  (2014) PG-13  Benedict Cumberbatch plays an English mathematician who helps break the Nazi code during World War II.  Cumberbatch could read the phone book on screen, and I would still go see that film but this film looks like it could be an Oscar contender.  The Imitation Game Website
Until Next Time!