Friday, August 14, 2015
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
My View: The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015) PG-13 Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) and Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) team up with the help of a beautiful woman (Alicia Vikander) to stop a mysterious international criminal organization led by Victoria Vinciguerrra (Elizabeth Debicki). This is a Guy Ritchie film, and it looks it. It’s very stylish (in a good way) with lots of creative action sequences and witty dialog. There are also some great running gags, including Solo and Kuryakin having such a fashion war that they could be contestants on Project Runway. I liked Alicia Vikander in the role of the German mechanic who can hold her own with the boys, though I wish she had done more action scenes. Both Cavill and Hammer play their roles with perfection. I especially liked Hammer’s tough, Russian vibe that he gave his character. The film is a little long but has an enjoyable ending that sets the team up for more adventures. My Rating: Full Price The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Website
My View: Straight Outta Compton (2015) R The film revolves around the rise and fall of the Compton, California hip hop group N.W.A., led by Eazy-E (Jason Mitchell), Dr. Dre (Corey Hawkins), and Ice Cube (O’Shea Jackson Jr.). The first part of this film, showing the origins of the three principal rappers, is a blast to watch. I especially enjoyed Ice Cube’s story, and O’Shea Jackson Jr. (Ice Cube’s real life son) stands out in his picture perfect portrayal. The movie's concert scenes are fun, powerful and make you feel like you are in the live audience. The film slows down considerably once (spoiler alert, sort of) when the group breaks up. And, it just seems that the film is just introducing characters like Snoop Dogg and Tupac for the wow factor instead of propelling the storyline. I also would have liked to have seen more of how songs were written and recorded. Fans of hip hop and N.W.A. will enjoy this film as music is used perfectly to set the scenes. Overall, it’s an interesting film that has some stunning and awesome concert scenes. My Review: Full Price Straight Outta Compton Website
Indiefest: The End of the Tour (2015) R In 1996, immediately after the publication of his second book, David Foster Wallace (Jason Segal) goes on a five-day book tour with Rolling Stone writer, David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg). I think that if I had read either of David Foster Wallace’s books I would have enjoyed this more. It’s a movie mostly about two men, both writers, discussing life, writing and being famous. Segal gives a great performance as the rather withdrawn and quite strange Wallace. The film shows that Segal has quite the range, as his performance is brilliant and moving. I felt that Eisenberg didn’t have to work too hard in his performance, and the film bogs down a little when they guys are traveling by themselves in the car. I wanted to like/love this picture, but like a few of the conversations, it’s a little long-winded and boring. The End of the Tour is a road picture that just doesn’t seem to go anywhere. My Rating: Full Price The End of the Tour Website
Indiefest: Cop Car (2015) R A small town sheriff (Kevin Bacon) sets out to find the two youths who have taken his police car on a joyride. Director Jon Watts, who co-wrote the screenplay with Christopher D. Ford, brings out the best in his cast. The two boys, Welftford and Freedson-Jackson, play well off each other, and Watts lets the boys be boys, as they have a blast driving around in a police car. Bacon is perfect as the menacing sheriff, and we know the instant that we meet him, he is not to be annoyed. This sheriff is certainly someone who will do anything to survive. The film's second half just isn’t as compelling or fascinating as the first. The film becomes a cat and mouse game with a very ambiguous ending that is downright frustrating. Overall, the cast and the excellent pace make up for that ending and make the film an engaging and sometimes amusing film with an acute style that slowly creates tension. “Cop Car” is an interesting take on the modern western. My Take: Full Price Cop Car Website
Indiefest: Fort Tilden (2014) R Allie (Claire McNulty) and Harper (Bridey Elliot) are best friends, and all they want to do is spend a day at the beach, but life has other plans for their day. Sarah-Violet Bliss and Charles Rogers, who co-directed and wrote the film, have created two lead characters to whom you would hate to be seated beside at Starbucks. Allie and Harper are two young women who are spoiled, egotistical and clueless about how the world works. Harper is a mixed-media artist who spends most of her days coming up with ideas that will never be realized. Allie, who sometimes is the more level-headed of the two, is solely consumed with her upcoming Peace Corps trip. Harper is convinced that, like many other endeavors that Allie has taken up, that Allie will not go on her trip, afterall. Neither woman has faith in each other; and it's as if they are in an endless cycle of letting each other down, only to forget about the transgression in a short amount of time. This is one of those films that some critics will find endearing and even possibly enchanting. I found the film a little tedious, rarely funny, and I was very often frustrated with the characters and their cluelessness. My Rating: Cable Fort Tilden Website
Forgotten Film: Newsfront (1978) PG A group of cameramen and reporters struggle in post-war Australia to create newsreels for the movie going public. For a long time, most of Australia got a lot of their news from newsreels shown before the featured movie. The film, while a little low-key, is a poignant look at a proud cameraman (Bill Hunter) who takes all sorts of risks to get the best shot. Hunter is brilliant in the role and makes the film work as well as it does. The movie shows a lot of actual newsreels which gives it a bit of authenticity. It’s an intriguing film about our quick changing world and how it affects people. My Rating: Full Price Newsfront Info
Weird Credits: From the credits of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: Costume Cutter
Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You: A Walk in the Woods (2015) R After spending 20 years in England, Bill (Robert Redford) decides to travel the Appalachian Trail to reconnect with his homeland. This film has a brilliant cast including Nick Offerman, Nick Nolte, Kristen Schaal, Mary Steenburgen, and Emma Thompson. A Walk in the Woods Website
Until Next Time!