Friday, November 29, 2013

Dallas Buyers Club

Ron Woodward was a man with AIDS who worked outside the medical system when he could not get the treatment he wanted. A tough livin', blue collar, rough-around-the-edges guy who liked women, coke, booze and the rodeo who did not take his diagnosis lying down. In the film Dallas Buyers Club we see the lengths he went to to get treatment for himself and others outside of the medical community. This made him very unpopular with the FDA ad the local hospital. The performances in this film are authentic and gripping. I think this is one of the best films of 2013.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The second film in The Hunger Games series is very satisfying. In Catching Fire, we see President Snow pull a switch on the Tributes and they aren't happy. The arena is new, the gamemaker is new, half of the characters are new. The action of the game was excellent and there was more than one jump-start. A bit more depth was added to Katiness' relationships. For a movie that was over two hours long, this one flew. Well done.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Prince Avalanche

The burned out landscape of Texas is a stark background for the film Prince Avalanche. A two man road crew is sent to work in the area and we see the effects of the desolation and their relationship. I really liked the structure and performances in this film. worth a rental.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Heat

The odd-couple / buddy-cop formula has a long tradition in comedy. Thinking this has been a bit overdone, I skipped The Heat when it was in theaters. When I rented it, I found the story of a serious FBI agent who is forced to team up with a rough-around-the-edges cop to take down a ruthless drug lord. I was surprised by how entertaining this movie was. Genuinely funny, a bit raunchy and solid performances make this a solid rental. I liked this one.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pacific Rim

In an effort to get more bang for my movie buck, when I hear that a story is marginal, I wait until the film comes out in DVD. With Pacific Rim I should have seen it in the theater. What a gorgeous film! Story was as dumb as I expected, robots battling monsters, but Gilermo del Toro created visuals that would have been well worth the price of a theater ticket.The run time is over 2 hours, which is a little long for this kind of film, but overall I had a lot of fun watching this one.

Monday, November 11, 2013

About Time

There is more to romance than a guy and a girl. In About Time we see mature love in a family as well as in a couple. There is a little fantasy twist that gives the stories more dimension and depth. This film was a pleasant surprise, and now I understand why it was so highly recommended. So glad I saw it!

Thor: The Dark World

I really enjoyed the 2011 film Thor. We continue to follow the trials and tribulations of Marvel's interpretation of the Norse god in Thor: The Dark World. Plenty of drama and battles with bad-ass villains new and old. I will say, this is Loki's film in so many ways. I like that these superhero films have a sense of humor. There are some very funny lines to lighten things up. This was a fun film for me.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013


After seeing 12 Years a Slave, I decided to seek out the other works of director Steve McQueen. I've seen Shame, so that left the film Hunger. This film looks at Bobby Sands' hunger strike in an Irish prison in 1981. In McQueen's unblinking style, we see Sands' struggles and negotiations inside the prison. Long takes and graphic detail are his signature, dramatic and riveting. Powerful film.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

12 Years a Slave

Slavery is an ugly piece of American history. In 12 Years a Slave we see the story of a man, legally free, living in the north, trafficked into slavery. The 12 year journey to freedom is devastating. This film does not look away from the brutalities suffered at the hands of those who regarded slaves as less than human. It brings you up close and makes you watch. Long takes, a dramatic score and outstanding performances bring this film into the audience's head and hearts. It will stay with you. This film is a must-see.