Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Skeleton Twins

Twins who were very close as children have not spoken in 10 years. In The Skeleton Twins the brother's attempted suicide brings the two back together as adults. They are strangers who know each other very well. As they try to help each other, their personality flaws and touches of mental illness factor in. They struggle to help each other and missteps occur. Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig have great chemistry as siblings. Hader is especially good in this. I find him very enjoyable to watch. Dialogue comes very easily and he endears the audience to his character quickly. A nice film about relationships, hurt and forgiveness. I really liked this film.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Rover

The Rover is visually stunning, yet the story is grim, depressing and violent. This revenge tale is somber and bloody. I can appreciate this film, but it was tough to get through.

Friday, September 26, 2014


Race issues in 1800 England don't usually enter our consciousness. In Belle we learn of the story of Belle. She is the result of a Navy Admiral's relationship with a servant. He brings her to live with his aristocratic uncle while he is at sea. She is afforded the benefits of her birth, but is limited by her race. Very interesting dynamic. As she becomes an adult, and is eligible to be married, things get confusing and complicated. Emotions and etiquette collide in a dramatic way. Belle stands strong and perseveres. What an interesting story with great performances.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

This is Where I Leave You

The family dynamic in This Is Where I Leave You is the same as mine. Three boys, one girl and the girl is second oldest. The adult children come together at the wish of their deceased father to sit shiva for seven days. The consequences of this are funny, poignant and magnify every flaw in their relationships. The cast is stellar and there are many very funny moments. I especially liked where all of the characters ended up. This film hit all the right notes for me.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Drop

Set in Brooklyn, The Drop is an adaptation of the short story Animal Rescue. A bar that is used to move laundered money is robbed. There is a history with the bar that is dark and dangerous. In the midst of this, the bartender rescues a puppy from the trash. Though he tries to look for the good in his world the seedy stuff forces its way in and things do not end well. The violence equaks the sentimental moments. James Gandofini and Tom Hardy turn in excellent performances. A dark crime drama I really liked.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Words and Pictures

Which is more important, words or pictures? In the film Words and Pictures this conflict is played out at a prep school. The romance is a bit formulaic, but watching Juliette Binoche and Clive Owen spar with words is delightful. This film addresses human frailty, art and intellect in an uplifting way. Another rental that I really enjoyed.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Bad Words

The word is motivation. m-o-t-i-v-a-t-i-o-n In the film Bad Words motivation is key. Set at The Golden Quill Spelling bee, the motivations of all of the characters are cleverly fleshed out and resolved. I was surprised by how well this was done. Jason Bateman gives a solid performance. A bit dark, and a young actor holds his own in scenes with the veteran actor. I really liked this film.

Sunday, September 14, 2014


When a corrupt police officer tries to win a promotion as a means of getting his wife back, things do not go very well. In Filth we watch a man drowning in sex, drugs, alcohol and corruption. Nothing good is going to come of things no matter how hard he tries. Dark film.

Friday, September 12, 2014

God's Pocket

When an obnoxious boy dies, the ride to the truth is bumpy. In God's Pocket, this unlikeable character's demise is lied about by everyone in the town to protect his assailant. The boyfriend of his mother tries to help find the truth, but he is inept and dishonest himself. Everything goes badly. Though bleak, this is an interesting story and the performances make the audience care about every character, warts and all. The final scene brings it all home.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Overblown and full of chase scenes and explosions, Captain America: The Winter Soldier was an OK addition from the Marvel world. A smaller group of Avengers battle evil in present times. Lots of action and drama made this a decent rental.