My View: A Star Is Born (2018) R A legendary musician, Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) takes a young singer (Lady Gaga) under his wing and guides her to becoming a star, all the while his career beings to suffer due to his drinking. This is a fantastic movie with an excellent soundtrack (some of the songs were written by Cooper and of course, Lady Gaga). I highly recommend going out and buying the music to this film because there isn’t a bad song in the bunch. Bradley Cooper not only co-wrote the film and stars in it, he also directed the film and did an incredible job. I had doubts about Lady Gaga in the role, but she knocks it out of the park with a multi-level performance that will bring you to tears. Cooper is perfect as the weathered music star whose career has seen better times. I can’t recommend this film more. Go see this magical film but bring a tissue or two. My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again A Star is Born Website
My View: The Sisters Brothers (2018) R In 1850’s Oregon, two legendary gunmen (John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix) the Sisters brothers, are chasing a gold prospector (Riz Ahmed with the help of a scout (Jake Gyllenhaal). I highly enjoyed this slightly unconventional western. Phoenix is excellent as the brash, drunken younger brother but it’s Reilly steals the movie as the older, more thoughtful brother who dreams of a girl back home. Reilly’s performance is moving and funny as his character struggles to deal with his troublesome brother who tends to get them into trouble. I liked the performances of the rest of the cast, including Jake Gyllenhaal as the thoughtful scout trying to track the prospector down and Riz Ahmed as the said prospector who is on the run because he possesses something take could make a lot of money. It's also fun to see Allison Tolman (season 1 of Fargo) as the hooker with the heart of gold. My Rating: Full Price The Sisters Brothers Website
My View: Venom (2018) R When Eddie (Tom Hardy) acquires the powers of a symbiote, he will have to release his alter-ego “Venom’ to save his life. I went into this film with minimum expectations, and all I knew about the Venom character was from the horrible Spiderman 3. That being said, I enjoyed this film. It was very different than what I was expecting. The Venom character is what you would call an ‘anti-hero.’ He really isn’t about the normal Marvel hero who is all about saving lives, he is all about what is best for him. Eddie is a self-called ‘loser’ who is his own worst enemy. His world changes when he gets infected by Venom, a creature from outer space. What was the most fun in this movie was the interaction between Venom and Eddie. Venom talks to Eddie in his mind and Eddie talks to Venom out loud, which made for some hilarious interactions. The action sequences are well done, and there is a thrilling chase sequence about halfway through the film. I didn’t like that fact that it took too long for Venom to show up (about 35 minutes into the movie) which made the film much longer than it needed to be. All in all its a fun ride, not a great film, but still fun to watch. My Rating: Bargain Matinee Venom Website
Indiefest: Hal (2018) Documentary on the legendary director Hal Ashby, who directed cinema classics in the 1970s including Harold and Maude, Shampoo and Being There. Exceptional documentary about a talented man who consistently fought for his films. Ashby went on a run in the 70’s where he directed 7 films in 9 years, and Hal rightly concentrates on those years. Those seven films got twenty-four Oscar nominations and seven wins. Unfortunately, Ashby fought the studio system constantly, and his movies in the eighties suffered for it. This is an excellent introduction to a director that should be talked about in the same circles as Coppola, Scorsese, and Lucas. My Rating: Full Price Hal Website
Forgotten Film: Shampoo (1975) Directed by Hal Ashby and written by Robert Towne and Warren Beatty, the film is about a Beverly Hills hairdresser named George (Beatty) who sleeps with just about every client. George is sleeping with Felicia (Lee Grant) a wealthy married woman who George hopes will give him money to start his own shop. George’s girlfriend is Jill (Goldie Hawn) whose best friend is Jackie, an old girlfriend of George. The performances are top notch, and Lee Grant won an Academy Award for her performance of Felicia, a woman who is a little too involved with the life and loves of George. This is a scintillating look a man who loves women too much and his indiscretions will soon catch up with him. My Rating: I would Pay to See it Again Shampoo Info
Weird Credits: From the credits of The Sisters Brothers: With the Participation of Rutger Hauer
Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You: Vice (2018) The story of Dick Cheney (Christian Bale) and his turn as Vice President of the United States. Christian Bale does another chameleon job as he looks so much like Cheney. All you need to know is that it is written and directed by Adam McKay who won an Academy Award for The Big Short (2015) and the cast includes Amy Adams, Steve Carell, and Sam Rockwell. In addition, the film is being released in late December, which means the studio thinks it could win some major awards. Vice Info
Until Next Time!
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