Sunday, November 30, 2014

Horrible Bosses 2

Offensive humor is king in Horrible Bosses 2. I loved the first Horrible Bosses, and this movie follows suit nicely. This time the guys are trying to pull off a kidnapping and the results are hilarious. Strong performances matched with quick wit and crazy twists made this a fun ride. The banter between Charlie Day and Jason Sudekis is exhausting and hilarious. Jason Bateman is the ultimate straight man. Along with a fantastic chase scene this was a lot of fun.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

I loved the Hungergames books. Each had it's own tone , yet told a story of politics, control, rebellion and love. I have enjoyed both of the movies made from the first two books, but I was skeptical of the third being made into 2 films. That was laid aside when I saw Mockingjay Part 1. This was a strong film telling the continuing story of the Capital against the Rebellion. New characters are well developed and the story moves forward with drama. The treatment of the character Effie Trinkham is subtle and entertaining without being distracting. it is a real joy to watch Phillip Seymour Hoffman. I'm looking forward to the last film of this series. Well done.


There was a man with a petition against surveillance outside the theater when I went to see Citizenfour. I get that people are outraged that the government can watch all of our activity on the internet and cell phones, but on the other hand, you are throwing all of your information out into the public domain. In this film,the film maker talks to whistle-blower Edward Snowden in a hotel room in Hong kong. He goes through the whys and what-fors of what the government does with this information. The disturbing part of this situation to me is not the tracking, but the politics of what is done with the information. It will be interesting to see what happens as technology grows.

Happy Christmas

Even when a person screws up, remorse and forgiveness go a long way. In Happy Christmas these themes play strong in this small family. Trusts are betrayed, lessons are learned, relationships grow. I really liked this film.

Friday, November 28, 2014


The bending of science in Interstellar made my head hurt a bit, but the visuals that went along made this worthwhile. I really liked the science aspects, but when it went mushy I was in heavy eye-roll mode. And a fight scene with men in spacesuits was kinda funny. Time travel, black holes and fifth dimensions took on an awkward tone when talk turned to love. A solid sci-fi adventure film.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Merry Friggin' Christmas

I have met one of the most miserable characters in a movie in Mitch Mitchler in A Merry Friggin' Christmas. Notably, the last feature film starring Robin Williams, he plays one disgusting, abusive man. He ends up on a road trip with his son who can't stand him and the film develops a heart. It's not great, but by the end you are with the characters and there is a bit of redemption. It's an OK holiday themed film.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Willow Creek

I like a good scary movie that works on the fear of the unknown. In Willow Creek we get a dash of reality with a big helping of fantasy. A  couple goes to Willow Creek in hopes of a Bigfoot sighting. They get more than they bargained for alone in the woods, and what we don't see is the most terrifying of all. So creepy. Well done.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

22 Jump Street

The boys of Jump Street are back and they brought their sense of humor. In 22 Jump Street they are a little older, so the undercover operation moves to college. So many gags in this movie worked for me. They make fun of every absurdity in the situation. Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill have great comedic chemistry. As good as Hill is, Tatum steals many a laugh. The end credit sequence is as funny as the movie, be sure to watch the whole thing. Very funny movie!

Sunday, November 16, 2014


Incarceration, especially solitary confinement, is not that interesting to watch. In the film Rosewater, the film finds a way to draw us into the cell of Maziar Bakari during his 2009 detention in Iran. A bizarre story, it is amazing to me that hundreds of journalists have suffered the same fate in Iran and the middle east. The storytelling technique is powerful, subtle and effective. Makes for a compelling film. Well done.

Cuban Fury

I never thought I would see Nick Frost dance on screen, much less dance well. In Cuban Fury the comedian dons dance shoes and gives a strong showing. His character's love of salsa dancing and affection for a woman culminate in a competition that triumphs over a rocky road. Funny and heartfelt, I really enjoyed this film.

Saturday, November 15, 2014


Stories of teachers inspiring students have a long history. The relationship usually stars out adversarial and ends up warm an fuzzy. In Whiplash we get the adversarial relationship immediately, but warm and fuzzy never happens. The verbal abuse is at a level of many a physical fight. The battle culminates at a performance. Emotions run high and relationships are established well.  I felt genuinely nervous when Andrew was going on stage at Lincoln Center. This is a strong drama with a powerful ending.

Mood Indigo

Michel Gondry is known for his creativity, and Mood Indigo is an exclamation point in his resume. The story of a couple struggling against a strange ailment is whimsical and a visual party. The characters are endearing and did I mention how amazing the visuals are?! A ride of fantasy that balances between joy and gloom. I really liked this one.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Mr. Peabody & Sherman

It's always nice when an animated film actually has messages you want your kids to see. In Mr. Peabody & Sherman we get several. The animation is great, the jokes are actually funny and adventures abound. I really like this movie, good family fare.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

The One I Love

What if there were a place that all the things lacking in your partner could be found? In The One I Love this concept is explored in a unique way. The less you know going into this film the better. Just know that is is very creative and very good. Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass turn in fantastic performances. Cool film.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Listen Up Philip

Being in the face of a very unpleasant, self centered, egotistical author can be uncomfortable. In Listen Up Philip we experience that discomfort up close. Through some excellent writing and acting we become intimate with some very unlikable characters as they struggle for success and meaning. Some find it, some don't. Though not a happy ride, it is very satisfying. This is a dark, interesting film about creativity, ego and relationships. Well done.

Saturday, November 01, 2014


Have you ever wanted to go backstage in a Broadway theater? Have you ever wanted to see the process and emotion involved in putting on a Broadway play? Have you ever wanted to see a man's mind unravel? This is all very well done in the film Birdman. Through some very cool camerawork, we walk the backstage of the St. James theater. We follow the actors, director, producer and crew through the final days of rehearsals, previews and opening night. We get a special look inside the emotions and neurosis of the director/actor/father/boyfriend/exhusband through some clever scenes and conversations. One scene was a bit long in my opinion, but as a whole the structure of the film was it's strongest suit. Performances were outstanding, this was a very original work that I really liked.