Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Strangers on a Train

In anticipation of Halloween, I thought I'd revisit a few Hitchcock films, and realized I have never seen Strangers on a Train. Taught and suspenseful, we watch a psychotic man haunt a man after an accidental connection. Murder is on the plate as we watch a well crafted cat and mouse game. There is a fantastic action sequence at the end that I did not expect. Well done.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Robot & Frank

A future story of dealing with ageing parents with technology is interesting. In Robot & Frank, Frank Langella is masterful as an ailing thief who has done is time and is living out his years in his own home. His son sends a robot to care for his father when his health begins to decline. Susan Sarandon is genuine as a local woman who is kind to Frank and accepts the progress and technology. There is a nice twist at the end. I liked this film.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

As a young adult drama The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a strong film. Well written, generous performances and a story with many facets and familiar emotions. I loved Ezra Miller in City Island, Beware the Gonzo and We Need to Talk about Kevin, and in this film he just shines. Music plays an important part in the story and the soundtrack is rich. I liked this film a lot.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Argo is one of the best films I've seen this year. The events surrounding the mission to free six American diplomats from Iran in 1980 is suspenseful, tense and scary as hell. Ben Affleck stars and directs. He builds the tension so well, combining news footage with strong character development. He constructs a chase scene in this film that had me holding my breath. So well done, excellent film.

Seven Psychopaths

The quest to write a film about Seven Psychopaths is a bloody journey. I saw Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell on stage in  Martin McDonagh's Behanding in Spokane two years ago. They reunite with Martin here, with Woody Harrellson and Colin Farrell, to create a motley crew. They kidnaps dogs for cash as Farrell tries to write a screenplay. The crime caper vibe is strong. Rockwell gives one of his finest performances. Animated and obviously in love with the script, his screen time is magical. The third act is a little slow, but the rest of the film makes this forgivable. I'd like to see this film again. Very entertaining.

Monday, October 08, 2012


In Frankenweenie I did not expect a sweet story with a dash of creepy. Tim Burton combines the two well. There are many nods to classic horror films that are very well placed. Keep your eyes open in the pet cemetery for subtle chuckles. This film will find a place in my DVD collection.

The Master

Amazing performances and gorgeous, long close ups are the strengths of The Master. When a young man suffering from PTSD, finds a home in a cult, there is compassion, struggle and conflict. A complicated piece with beautiful images and a moving sound track.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Tim Russert

Cleaning out a bunch of drafts, I came across this one from 2008. I still feel the same.

June 2008
It has taken me a while to digest the news of Tim Russert's sudden death for few reasons. He's one of those pleasant fixtures on television that has been so dependable, how could he suddenly be gone? Also, my father suffered a heart attack the week before (he's ok). It was all a bit surreal. I have been a fan of Russert's dedication to his family, his job, his audience and living life to the fullest. I am also grateful for the appearance of Mr. Russert in the, yet to be released, Mr. Rogers & Me. When I saw the first trailer for this film, I was struck by his enthusiasm, respect and appreciation of the work of Fred Rogers. I'm glad he gave the Wagners a bit of his time and insight. We are all better for the influence of Tim Russert, I hope I can keep his attitude in mind.