Saturday, March 26, 2016

Hello, My Name is Doris

On her name-tag it says Hello, My Name is Doris and what a Doris she is. An awkward woman in her mid-sixties acts on a crush on a younger man. Her friends are mortified. She comes to life. There is a little heartbreak, there is humor, there is sweetness, there are consequences for inappropriate actions. A side-story with her family deals with mortality and grief. Sally Fields gives a performance that really sells the character and the story. In interviews she calls it "a coming of age about a woman of age." I really liked this film.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

James White

In the film James White we watch the process of end of life real close up. Dealing with the loss of a loved one is hard enough, but dealing with the long process of  the end of a terminal illness is heartbreaking. Realistic and intense.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

The French Connection

I saw The French Connection for the first time in the 70s. I knew nothing of the stars, I knew nothing of drug dealers. I knew nothing of New York. It was still a great ride and a thrilling crime film. Forty some years later, I've watched the film again and it really holds up as a crime thriller. The added bonus is the genius of the filming, staging and action scenes. A cop in a car chasing a hijacked subway train is suspenseful and thrilling. A stakeout scene off Front Street in Brooklyn held familiarity, drama and tension. I enjoyed seeing this film again, a true classic.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Cobain: Montage of Heck

The documentary Cobain: Montage of Heck takes us up through the creative process of Kurt Cobain to his success with Nirvana. His process, his energy, his motivation. The second half of the film chronicles his relationship with Courtney Love. His devotion to family, his addiction, his career, his music. A poignant look into a creative, fervent, passionate, short life. Good documentary.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

10 Cloverfield Lane

In 10 Cloverfield Lane what we don't see is the scary part. A woman wakes up in a bunker told of an invasion that has killed everyone and made the outside world toxic. The man delivering the news has an elaborate underground bunker. Is this guy a nut? Is he telling the truth? Is there a way out? Should she stay put? All good questions. All answered in crazy ways. Just enough jump scares. Awesome performances. So good.

Crimson Peak

As far as period pieces go Crimson Peak does the visual proud. As far as ghost stories go it is pretty thin. Couple falls in love. Man brings woman back to his creepy mansion. Woman is haunted and freaked out. Twisted family history revealed. Beautiful film, but not much to it. Kind of cheesy. An OK rental.

Friday, March 11, 2016


There are a lot of throw-backs to 007 history in the new Bond film Spectre. The opening scene reminded me of Live and Let Die. When the plane flies through the barn in the final chase sequence, I thought of the opening scene of Octopussy. That sweet old Aston Martin shows up as well. The story? Not great. Daniel Craig is almost boring in this. Could not put my finger on what was missing, but this film was just average.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Macbeth (2015)

The classic Macbeth has been interpreted many times. A man fights to be king. In this interpretation Michael Fassbender brings intensity and nuance to the battles Macbeth fought and the effects on the psyche and family. Excellent film.

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

In military terms Whiskey Tango Foxtrots translates to WTF. The film of the same name is based on the memoir of a journalist sent to cover the situation in Afghanistan after war breaks out in Iraq. The acronym WTF is appropriate to all of the messed up situations she finds there. From the violence, to the sexism, to the professional competition this is an interesting story. Good film.

Friday, March 04, 2016

Miss You Already

The film Miss You Already sounded sappy in trailers, so I took a pass when it came to theaters. A woman finds out she has breast cancer and the story shows how her coping effects her family and best friend. As a rental I found this to be a good story of friendship, choices, illness, dreams and family. The performances are outstanding.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Rock the Kasbah

When it come to movies the bigger the star, the bigger the expectation. But even someone like Bill Murray can only do so much. Rock the Kasbah has a mediocre script and takes too long to get to the interesting part of the story. It's almost like 2 movies. This was just an OK rental.