Friday, May 29, 2015

San Andreas

My View: San Andreas  (2015)   PG-13   For years California has been trying to prepare for the “Big One,” and now it has happened. A series of earthquakes occur, and rescue chopper pilot, Ray (Dwayne Johnson), is making every effort to find his daughter (Alexandra Daddario). This is your standard disaster film where California, especially San Francisco, is falling apart due to massive earthquakes. Dwayne Johnson plays a fire and rescue guy who forgets that he is a public servant, passing up thousands of people in need of rescue to go and find his wife and daughter. In this two-hour movie, he rescues a total of four people…four, which is the same amount of vehicles that he flies or rides. The effects are fun to watch and there are a couple of scenes that are spectacular looking (the start of the film is some of the best part of the film), but the storyline is weak and some of the dialogue is laughable. The film is a disaster movie that doesn’t bring anything new to the screen. The film was shot in 3D, but I didn’t notice the 3D effects, so save your money and see it on a regular screen.  My Rating: Bargain Matinee   San Andreas Website 
My View: Aloha  (2015)  PG-13  Brian (Bradley Cooper), a former Air Force pilot, comes back to the site of some of his biggest triumphs and his most spectacular failures. As a private defense contractor, he has to work closely with a gung-ho Air Force Pilot (Emma Stone), and against his better judgment, he starts to fall for her. Complicating matters is his ex-wife (Rachel McAdams) who still lives in the area. Watching this movie is like walking into a conversation that has been going on for two hours. It took me a long time into the film to figure out what was going on, and I still don’t know exactly what Bradley Cooper’s job is. Is he a fighter pilot? Is he a computer coder? I just don’t know. I didn’t like how Emma Stone’s character was such a strong, independent woman at the start of the film and then boom, she is in love and can’t do anything without Bradley Cooper’s character. Bill Murray is fun as an owner of a private company that is launching a satellite, but his scenes are few and far between. Rachel McAdams is wasted as the ex-wife of Cooper’s character, and John Krasinski is used even less. There is a comedic scene near the end of the film that is quite funny, but the scene’s tone (broad comedy) doesn’t fit the rest of the movie. This is another one of those films whose cast is let down by the film’s script and director. By the way, there is a bonus scene during credits but like most of the film, I have no idea what is going on during them.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee   Aloha Website 
Indiefest: I’ll See You in My Dreams (2015)  PG-13   Carol (Blythe Danner) is a widow who lost her husband 20 years ago. Her beloved dog dies, which propels her to make changes in her life. With the help of her pool guy (Martin Starr) and a possible romantic encounter with a rich man (Sam Elliott), she just might succeed. "I'll See You in My Dreams" is that rare film, part romantic comedy, part drama, whose main character is over sixty and a woman. The film doesn't always work, but it's an earnest attempt at exploring the possibilities of life when older and alone. Danner and Elliott have incredible chemistry on screen, and their scenes together are some of the best of the film. I also loved the scenes between Martin Starr and Danner. They work well on screen, and their experience at a Karaoke bar is a lot of fun. The weakest points of the film are when the film tries to go into broader comedy, especially the scene where Carol and her friends try marijuana. Overall, this is a sweet and moving film with some outstanding performances.   My Rating: Full Price   I'll See You in My Dreams Website 
Indiefest: Sunshine Superman (2015)  PG   A documentary about Carl Boenish, who started the sport of BASE jumping – where you skydive off of buildings, bridges, and mountains. I loved this documentary. Boenish is a character and is extremely likable. He gets excited just talking about jumping off of buildings or cliffs. The footage is remarkable as Boenish was an early adopter of the helmet mounted camera. While the film documents Boenish’s attempts to make BASE jumping a legitimate sport (you see how they avoided the police after jumping off of a downtown building), but it’s also a love story, as he finds his future wife through the sport. I highly recommend this beautiful and exciting film that is a blast to watch. It’s a sport that I would never participate in, but I could watch this movie over and over.    My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again   Sunshine Superman Website    
Indiefest: Good Kill (2014)   R   Major Thomas Egan (Ethan Hawke) used to fly fighter jets. Now he flies drones from an air-conditioned building in Las Vegas. His job is to hunt the Taliban, and he is very good at it. After fighting a war from thousands of miles away, Egan starts questioning if this war is creating more terrorists than he’s killing. The film tries to explore too many ideas, making the film feel full of stops and starts. The problem is the film never fully explores these ideas with any conviction or purpose, making it those scenes seem just another part of the film. Ethan Hawke, as the brooding pilot is at no time asked to do too much, and much like the character that he plays, it's a lackluster performance. Hawke's character rarely interacts with anyone, never giving him a chance to explore his character. The film never quite connects with its audience, failing to give anything other than a rather predictable story that can't settle on what its message is.    My Rating: Bargain Matinee  Good Kill Info

Forgotten Film: Reversal of Fortune (1990) The film is based on the true story of Sunny von Bulow (Glen Close), who was in a coma, possibly at the hand of her husband Claus (Jeremy Irons). He is put on trial and convicted. He then hires the brilliant lawyer, Alan Dershowitz (Ron Silver). The whole cast is dazzling with Jeremy Irons standing out as the creepy, egomaniac Claus. The story is fascinating, and the tension builds as you, along with Dershowitz, try to figure out what happened.  My Rating: Full Price   Reversal of Fortune Info 

Weird Credits: From the credits of Aloha: Pashto Voice Actor 

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You: Me and Earl and Dying Girl  (2015)  PG-13   It’s the senior year of Greg (Thomas Mann), his friend Earl (R.J. Cyler), and Rachel (Olivia Cooke). Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia and is determined to live a normal life as possible. Any film with Connie Britton and Nick Offerman (who play Rachel’s parents) is a film I want to see.  Me and Earl and the Dying Girl Website
Until Next Time!

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