Friday, February 20, 2015

The Duff

My View: The Duff  (2014) PG-13  Bianca (Mae Whitman) discovers that she has been labeled the DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) by her more popular friends. Now she enlists Wesley (Robbie Arnell) to help her reinvent herself.  The film is another in a long line of teen romantic comedies. Mae Whitman is just the right amount of cute mixed in with a bit of nerdiness to make her character likable from the start. Arnell is very believable as the jock with a sense of humor who helps Bianca find the confidence to ask her crush out on a date. The first kiss between Bianca and Wesley (come on we all knew that would happen, so it isn't a spoiler) is what makes this movie work, as the scene goes in a different direction than the ordinary rom-com. Teens looking for a "date" movie could go worse (50 Shades anyone?). My Rating: Bargain Matinee  (*Please note that I work for CBS, this is a CBS Films release)  The Duff Website

My View: McFarland USA (2015)  PG  Jim White (Kevin Costner) has lost every job he has had. Now, he is the cross-country coach of a small town in California, where most of his students are migrant farm workers.  What I really enjoyed about this film is the coach isn't some great savior but comes into a community and a culture he knows nothing about and embraces both, willing to become a part of both, instead of trying to change either. The film is strengthened by the chemistry of Costner and Maria Bello, who plays his wife. They work as a team to make their time in the community a success. Also working in favor of this film is this is a true story. The movie is a story of not only overcoming obstacles, but in believing that you can do anything you set your mind to.  My Rating: Full Price  McFarland USA website  

Forgotten Film: A Perfect World (1993)  PG-13  Butch (Kevin Costner) and Terry (Keith Szarabajka) escape from a prison and then kidnap a young boy (T.J. Lowther) as they escape across the Texas landscape, pursued by a Texas Ranger (Clint Eastwood) and a criminologist (Laura Dern).  On their travel, Butch and the boy discover that they share a very troubled and violent past. Outstanding performances by Costner and Eastwood and the film’s ability to explore the complexities of the human condition, make this film an intense and enjoyable film experience.  My Rating: Full Price  A Perfect World Info

In Memory of Ed Wood (A Movie I’ve Only Seen in Trailers But Just Looks Like a Bad Idea): Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015)   We really didn’t want chapters one or two, so why do need Chapter 3?   Insidious Info
In Case You Missed It (A Film Just Released on DVD/Blue Ray): John Wick (2015)  R   I enjoyed this film for its nonstop action, and Keanu Reeves doesn’t disappoint as a hit man who comes out of retirement to get revenge for the killing of his dog (given to him by his dying wife). My Rating: Bargain Matinee  John Wick Website  

Weird Credits: From the credits of McFarland USA:  Assistant Cross Country Coordinator  

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You: '71 (2014) R  In 1971, a young British soldier (Jack O’Connell) is accidentally abandoned by his unit following a riot in the deadly streets of Belfast. This film has been wowing film festival audiences worldwide.   '71 Website

Mike’s Fearless Oscar Picks: Click here to see Mike’s picks for this year’s Academy Awards.
Until Next Time!

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