Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Back in June Tribeca Film issued the Indi Summer Film Challenge. Watch 4 films by the end of July. Easy, right? Only Obvious Child came to theaters in my little corner of the world, the rest were streaming online. I leaned how much I dislike watching films on my laptop and abandoned the challenge. I did put all the films in my Netflix queue and over the last few months  have seen Ping Pong Summer, Lucky Them and tonight I finished up with Hellion. An excellent drama about a boy struggling with growing up in a difficult situation. He wants approval from his father and wants to protect his younger brother. Both tall orders, both difficult. He ends up in trouble and in survival mode. The acting is excellent and I really liked the way this was shot. Well done. Thanks to Tribeca Film for the challenge. It may have taken me 4 months instead of 4 weeks, but it was worth it!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

St. Vincent

The grumpy neighbor-next-door story is a familiar one. In St. Vincent it is done with heart, humor and a bit of an edge. The performances are refreshing, there's a little twist and yes, it made me cry. Well done and well worth seeing. One of my favorites this year.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Gone Girl

The film Gone Girl is a strong entry to new thrillers. The story of a woman missing and presumed murdered makes the husband a prime suspect. The portrayal of media and law enforcement is interesting, especially when you are not sure who is telling the truth. This film stays very true to the book. If you like the film you should read the book for more details, though the film does a pretty thorough job. I like a thriller where people are not as they seem and the plot turns keep you on your toes. Even though I read the book, I really enjoyed this film for the performances, structure and interpretation. They bring in just the right amount of tension, creepy moments and well placed comic relief. Strong film.

Love Is Strange

When a couple of 39 years marry, their world is turned upside down. In Love Is Strange it is ok for the music director at a catholic school to have a boyfriend, but when he marries him the school fires him. This forces the couple to sell their apartment and temporarily move in with their families. Separately. The portrayal of the difference of lifestyle and relationships are very good. Alfred Molina and John Lithgow make a wonderful couple and deliver very real, touching and poignant performances. A different take on a love story that worked for me. Well done.

The Boxtrolls

The Boxtrolls are the latest misunderstood monsters from Laika Entertainment (Coraline, Paranorman). Living underground, they are not what people think, and a little girl helps save the day. The animation on this film is brilliant. There are gross stunts and lots of action. This one may be too intense for kids under 5. A little girl in front of me asked her Mom if they could go home about 15 minutes into the film. It is worth staying through the credits.