Friday, May 8, 2015

Hot Pursuit

My View:  Hot Pursuit  (2015)  PG-13   A by-the-book cop (Reese Witherspoon) and a widow of a drug kingpin (Sofia Vergara) are on the run as they race through Texas trying to avoid mobsters and crooked cops.  Let me say that this film is guaranteed a spot on my Bottom Ten Films list for 2015. I kept thinking, why would Reese Witherspoon, hot off an Oscar nomination, make this crappy film?  The movie is full of bad jokes with a script full of loopholes. Vergara’s acting is horrible, and Witherspoon’s isn’t much better. It’s sad when even the outtakes (shown during the credits) are unfunny.    My Rating: You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again   Hot Pursuit Facebook Page
My View:  Far From the Madding Crowd (2015)  PG-13  In Victorian England, a beautiful, headstrong, independent woman named, Bathsheba (Carey Mulligan), is courted by three suitors.  Carey Mulligan is exceptional as the self-sufficient woman who holds her own. There are some superb scenes between Mulligan and Matthias Schoenaerts, who plays the sheepherder who falls in love with Bathsheba. The film is beautifully shot, showing off the glorious English countryside. The problem with the film is the story, itself. It has this strong woman who falls for a guy because of his looks alone, which makes her seem very shallow.   My Rating:  Bargain Matinee   Far From the Madding Crowd Website
My View:  The D Train (2015)  R  The head of the high school reunion party, Dan (Jack Black), is worried that no one will come. So he decides to travel to Los Angeles to track down the most popular guy, Oliver (James Marsden).  Dan knows if Oliver attends, everyone else will too.  Be careful what you wish for!  There is a huge twist in this film and, while I didn’t mind the twist, itself, I hated everything that happened after the twist. I rarely laughed at the jokes, and I thought the plot was downright stupid. Black and Marsden do work well together on screen, but the film wastes the talents of the supporting cast of Kathryn Hahn and Jeffrey Tambor. The ending of the film is just awful and insults the audience. There will be some critics who will love this film, but I am not one of them.  My Rating: Cable   The D Train Website
Indiefest:  5 Flights Up  (2015)  PG-13  Alex (Morgan Freeman) and his wife, Ruth (Diane Keaton) have been living in the same apartment for forty years. They decide to move to a more convenient neighborhood, but is it worth giving up the place where they have made so many good memories?  The film follows the couple for a few days as they try to sell their home and buy a new one. Keaton and Freeman have a nice rapport, but the film has few dramatic moments and feels very slow moving. I did like Carrie Preston and Cynthia Nixon as two real estate brokers. Both are very funny in their roles. This isn’t a bad film, but you just want it to be more with the cast it has.    My Rating: Bargain Matinee       
Indiefest:  Noble  (2014)  PG-13  A woman, Christine Noble (Deirdre O'Kane),  overcomes her harsh childhood to help orphans in Vietnam.  Noble is a moving, heartfelt true story, and O’Kane shines as Christine as an adult. She is insanely likable in the role and works well with the children in the film. This is a film that celebrates a woman who refused to be told she couldn't succeed. Instead, she kept moving forward and spread her love to the children of Vietnam, making a real difference in their lives. You will come away from this film inspired and hopeful, a rare feat these days.   My Rating:  Full Price   Noble Website  
Indiefest:  The 100-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared (2013)  R  After traveling the world and experiencing the most unbelievable things, Allan Karlsson (Robert Gustafsson) finds himself stuck in a nursing home. On his 100th birthday, he climbs out his window and starts a new adventure.  This film is supposed to be a comedy, but the humor falls flat, and I have misgivings about a film that mixes violent death with comedic elements.  The film jumps back and forth between when Allan was a young man and present day, which never lets the film pick up steam.  The film is a poor man’s version of Forest Gump without the humor or the heart as Allan interacts with a number of famous people in flashbacks from the past. The film has an interesting premise but never delivers its potential.   My Rating: Cable   The 100-Year Old Man Website
Indiefest: Maggie (2015)  PG-13   A zombie outbreak has hit the U.S. hard, and society is hanging on by a thread. Humans bitten by a zombie do not turn right away, but take weeks, sometimes months before they become fully controlled by the virus. Maggie (Abigail Breslin) has become infected, and her father (Arnold Schwarzenegger) has brought her home so she can be with her family before she turns. Breslin is dazzling as the headstrong girl who wishes she had treasured her family before all this happened. As good as Breslin is, it's Schwarzenegger who makes this movie so moving and heartfelt. In an incredibly restrained portrayal, Arnold gives possibly his best performance of his life. He is brilliant in the role of the father that holds out hope that his daughter will survive. I loved everything about this film, and especially it's touching finale.    My Rating: Full Price    Maggie Website
Forgotten Film:  Cactus Flower  (1969)  A dentist (Walter Matthau) pretends to be married to avoid a long term commitment. He falls for his girlfriend (Goldie Hawn) and proposes.  The only problem is that his girlfriend thinks he is still married. So he needs a wife to divorce…enter in his long-time nurse (Ingrid Bergman).  This film is so much better than the remake (Just Go With It) that starred Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston. Goldie Hawn, in an Oscar-winning role, is brilliant as the loveable, slightly goofy girlfriend. Matthau is outstanding as the playboy dentist, and Ingrid Bergman shows a real talent for comedy (I wish she had done more).  Cactus Flower is an excellent film that still holds up 45 years later.   My Rating: Full Price   Cactus Flower Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Hot Pursuit:  Dialect Coach: Pre-production

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  Tomorrowland (2015)  PG   George Clooney and Britt Robertson in Sci-Fi film? Yes, please.
Until Next Time!

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