Friday, July 10, 2015


Family FaireMinions  (2015)  PG  The Minions have been looking for a leader for ages to no avail. Kevin is a minion with a plan, and he, along with Stuart and Bob, are on a quest to find their next potential master. Scarlet Overkill(Sandra Bullock) just might be that leader. The Minions were always my favorite part of the Despicable Me series. Unfortunately, the Minions should only be a supporting cast, never the leads like they are in this very boring film. The film is set in 1968, and there are cultural references to things that kids are not going to know anything about (like The Beatles Abby Road).  The film does have five or six funny scenes, but it takes so long to get there that the laughs aren’t as big as they should have been. There is also a lot of Minion singing, which gets very old very quickly with the Minion way of speaking and singing in that weird language they use.  Sandra Bullock brings nothing to the film, and it goes downhill after her appearance as the villain. Little kids might like the film but older kids and adults are going to be very board. Save your money and don’t see the 3-D version, as the movie never really takes advantage of that technology.  There is a bonus scene at the end of the credits, but I am not sure you and the kids will want to stay.   My Rating: Cable   Minions Website
IndiefestAmy  (2015)  R   Documentary on the late great singer Amy Winehouse, who died too soon. This movie is a stunning and heartbreaking film to watch. I wasn’t a fan of Winehouse, but I am now because we get to see Amy in her early years before fame came crashing down on her. The film uses home videos, behind the scenes shots of her recording studio sessions and live concert footage to give us an insight into her life and what she was really like. We also see her downfall, which was brought on by a person who was not ready or meant for the spotlight. It’s a moving film that uses Winehouse’s music to illustrate what was going on in her life, and the film uses it brilliantly. Even if you aren’t a Winehouse fan, you will want to see this documentary.   My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again   Amy Website
My ViewThe Gallows  (2015) R  20 years after a horrific accident during a school play, students decide to put the play on again to honor the anniversary.  It’s a decision they will soon regret. This is a cheaply done horror movie with bad acting and very few scary parts. It  takes almost half the film before the frightening scenes start happening.  The film is shone as a found footage movie, so there are a number of shots of ceilings and people's feet (so many so, I wonder if the director has a thing for shoes). The film is boring, and the characters are so uninteresting that you almost want them to get killed. I also hated the ending, which was predictable and like most of the film, pointless.   My Rating: You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again   The Gallows Website
IndiefestTestament of Youth  (2014)  PG-13  A headstrong young woman, Vera (Alicia Vikander) enters Cambridge just as World War I is breaking out.  I was impressed with Alicia Vikander’s performance once again (she was stunning as Ava in Ex Machina) but I was let down by the slow pace of this coming-of-age film set in England. We get to see a war through the eyes of a woman who knows what she wants and is ready to fight to get it. The scenes set in the war zone, as Vera works as a nurse, are gritty and well done. It’s the time on the home soil of England that I felt slowed the film down, so much so, that, at times, I felt I was swimming in the river that Vera loves to visit. It’s a beautiful looking film that just doesn’t have enough for Vikander to do.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee  Testament of Youth Website
IndiefestHippocrates: Diary of a French Doctor  (2014)  Benjamin (Vincent Lacoste) is an intern working in a busy Parisian hospital ward that is run by his father.  Benjamin is convinced he will be a great doctor. Abdel (Reda Kateb) was a doctor in his native Algeria but is now having to work as an intern to get his license in France.  Both men will be tested like never before. This is an excellent film about what it’s like to be a doctor in a small hospital. Lacoste is perfect in the role of the young Benjamin, who quickly learns that the job isn’t going to live up to his ideals. Kateb, as the world-weary doctor having to start over from scratch, gives a profound and impressive performance. The film was directed by Thomas Lilti, who is a doctor, and that realism is one of the main strengths of this movie.  It’s a film well, worth seeing.   My Rating: Full Price  Hippocrates Info
My View:  Self/Less  (2015)  PG-13  Damian (Ben Kingsley) is a rich man dying of cancer. He undergoes a radical medical procedure that transfers his consciousness to the body of a healthy young man (Ryan Reynolds).  This isn’t a horrible film, but it’s too long, takes forever to get going, and it’s rather easy to figure out. Kingsley barely has any screen time and Reynolds, while doing an admirable job as an action scenes, is rather boring in the rest of the film. I also never bought the fact that when Damian was old he was a jerk, but when he takes over the new body, he become compassionate. If you want to see an action film, go see Mad Max again.    My Rating: Cable   Self/Less Website
Forgotten Film: Tucker: The Man and His Dream  (1988) PG   The story of the rise and fall of Preston Tucker (Jeff Bridges), who creates a revolutionary car and tries to take on the established car industry. Francis Ford Coppola directed this moving and fascinating film about a man with a dream who gets squashed by the system.  Jeff Bridges is brilliant as Tucker and gives us a stunning and riveting performance that makes the film worth watching.  You root for Tucker even though you know that the outcome is not going to be good.    My Rating: Full Price   Tucker: The Man and His Dream Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Minions:  Score Vocalist

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YouBoulevard (2015)  This film features Robin Williams in his last starring role.  Enough said.   Boulevard Info
Until Next Time

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