Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Nice Guys

A good script, great chemistry and loads of action makes The Nice Guys a great ride. Two men are thrown together as they are looking for the same person. Their investigations bring them to dangerous, volatile people. Both have their strengths and flaws. They misstep many times before they get it together. These situations are fuel for comedy. The crime action thriller formula is enhanced by excellent writing and performances. Fun and funny.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

A Bigger Splash

I had heard A Bigger Splash called a solid adult drama. It surely is. A rock star recovering at a resort from throat surgery is visited by her ex-husband and his daughter. They are all exotic characters and their interactions are interesting and sometimes volatile. This is a very insightful, mature film about relationships over the long and short term. Good film.

Ghosts of Mississippi

After seeing Turn Me Loose I wanted to know more about Medgar Evers. In Ghosts of Mississippi the third trial to prosecute his murderer is the focus. An all star cast reenacts the events around the third trial and it is excellent.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Bernard and Doris

Doris Duke was a wealthy woman. In Bernard and Doris we see the years Bernard was her personal butler. He is attentive and efficient and dotes on the woman. It is an interesting relationship and a sweet film.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


When you don't feel well, yet cannot pinpoint the source of the malady, it is frustrating. In the film Safe a woman who is mentally fragile starts feeling ill. Her husband tries to be supportive, yet he is wondering if her illness is in her head. She happens on a group that goes after environmental illnesses. It is interesting and a little trippy. Decent film.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Turn Me Loose

My grandson's music teacher was going to be in the off-Broadway play Turn Me Loose, so my daughter picked up tickets to be supportive. When the play opened to glowing reviews in the New York Times, we knew that we were in for something special. The play is Joe Morgan playing the comedian Dick Gregory going back and forth in time from the early days of his comedy career to present day. Morgan pulls off the time change with posture and tone. This is a long conversation about race, rights and life. Not only was it powerful, but it's accurate. On the way out of the theater we realized that Dick Gregory himself was in the audience which was a bit of a thrill. It was exciting to re-live this chapter of history in a small New York theater. Well done.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Jungle Book

Taking the opportunity to see the live-action version The Jungle Book in the theater is worth it. The CGI is beautiful and is worth seeing Mowgli's adventures, trying to stay out of the way of Shere Khan, on the big screen. There are a few songs from the Disney animated version that work well. I especially liked the scenes with King Louie and his crew. A little Walken humor tickled me. Cool film.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Witch

I was hesitant to rent The Witch because witches don't scare me. This was a decent horror film though. Set in the 1630s in New England, a family moves to a farm and they suffer at the hands of demons. A bit slow at times, but if you like this kind of film it's an OK rental.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Frank and Cindy

At first I thought Frank and Cindy was just a dysfunctional family rant, but as the film progressed it became more about the individuals and what they were looking for in life. The music is great, this is a solid rental.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Family Fang

I ran into Nicole Kidman in NYC the morning after the premiere of The Family Fang at Tribeca Film Festival. She was sweet and relaxed going to lunch with her family. I said, "I love your work" and she smiled back and said thank you. I'm glad that I had not seen the film yet, because I would have gushed more. The story of a family parented by parents who use their children in performances pieces in the name of art hit me in all the right places. Directed by and staring Jason Bateman, with Kidman as his sibling, they deal with their parents as adults. Secrets are revealed, feelings are explored and decisions are made. The less you know going into this film the better. The writing, directing and acting are great. I really liked this film.

Where to Invade Next

Michael Moore tends to be a blow-hard, but in the documentary Where to Invade Next, his queries into the laws and practices in other countries makes you think. There are a lot of things that other countries do better than the US, but as I watched I realized that that's easier in a small country. This film was OK.

Friday, May 13, 2016


Turkish social norms abound when five orphaned sisters coming of age in the film Mustang. From schools, to behavior, to marriage these teens battle not only the strict rules of their culture, but their own desires and goals. Well acted and beautifully shot, it is easy to see why this film was nominated for an Oscar. The ending was very poignant. Well done.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

We Are Still Here

Watching the extras on the DVD I agree that "classic haunted house film in a modern style" describes We Are Still Here well. A grieving couple who have lost their son, move into an old house in a rural town. Terror ensues. The tone and effects are good. I liked this more than I expected to.

Friday, May 06, 2016

Janis: Little Girl Blue

Janis Joplin was a force in the music world. She passed away just as I was entering high school. In the documentary Janis: Little Girl Blue I learn about her life and her story. The archive footage is impressive considering the times and technology. An important force in music history with a tragic ending. Good documentary.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Get on Up

I like James Brown music OK, but stories of his explosive behavior and abusive behavior toward women was always a turn off for me. The biopic Get on Up gives the background of his behavior moving back and forth from his childhood to his rise to fame and success. All of his struggles laid out to see. A much better film than I expected. The performances are great.