Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Master: Movie Review

 

Destructive forces taking us on an historical ride through the allure of cults.

Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) is a sexually-frustrated World War II Navy vet who struggles to find his place in the world when he returns to America. He excels at mixing highly-toxic liquids into consumable alcoholic concoctions and seducing women, but neither are self-fulfilling careers. Then he meets The Master, Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a charismatic cult leader perfecting his writing and theories. 2012

Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson

Screenplay by: Paul Thomas Anderson

Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Pitch Perfect: Movie Review

 

Romance to cheer for, low-grade comedy, but musical numbers both predictable and perfect.

“Pitch Perfect” is kind of like taking “Glee” and putting it into a college environment, but is more like mixing the popularity of “Bridesmaids”-styled humour and the popularity of a cappella singing. The Barden Bellas are a struggling all-girl singing group trying to succeed with old-school female pop songs and bikini bodies, but after an on-stage meltdown, the team is left with two high-strung seniors and is forced to rebuild. 2012

Directed by: Jason Moore

Screenplay by: Kay Cannon
Based on the novel by Mickey Rapkin

Starring: Anna Kendrick, Skylar Astin, and Rebel Wilson

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Love Guide: Movie Review

 

Worse characters and situations than even the reality show they're producing.

Have you ever wanted to see an American hippie pretend that she’s an Indian lifestyle guru hosting her own reality show and guiding gullible people stupider than herself? While I can’t imagine anybody is actually looking to watch something like that, that is the premise of “The Love Guide”. The “guru” is Angelica Lovecraft (Parker Posey) but she’s not even the stupidest character. That honour goes to Millie (Kathryn Erbe). 2011

Directed by: Derek Estlin Purvis

Screenplay by: Christy Scott Cashman

Starring: Kathryn Erbe, Parkey Posey

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Trouble with the Curve: Movie Review

 

One great character, good comedic chemistry, but many simple turns.

“Trouble with the Curve” starts with Gus (Clint Eastwood) and his curmudgeonly ways going about his job as a baseball scout. The jokes about being old and losing his sight and getting up to pee in the middle of the night aren’t very funny, but the introduction of John Goodman as his boss and best friend, and then Amy Adams as his daughter Mickey, help heighten the level of jokes. 2012

Directed by: Robert Lorenz

Screenplay by: Randy Brown

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

For a Good Time, Call...: Movie Review


     


Crass and crude but sweet and cute, this female friendship is funny and enjoyable.
Lauren (Lauren Miller) and Katie (Ari Graynor) have a mutual friend (Justin Long), but they hate each other. A humorous flashback scene is included to help explain their hatred. Essentially, they’re opposites. Lauren lives the settled conservative life with her perfect, boring boyfriend; Katie is an adventurous, flamboyant sex phone operator. And now their current situations force them to become roommates. 2012

Directed by: Jamie Travis

Screenplay by: Lauren Miller, Katie Anne Naylon

Starring: Lauren Miller, Ari Graynor, and Justin Long

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Celeste & Jesse Forever: Movie Review


   


A new take on a sweet and funny romantic comedy overtaken by unlikable characters.
Celeste (Rashida Jones) and Jesse (Andy Samberg) are best friends forever. They dated in high school then they got married and they love each other more than anything else in the world. Now they’re getting divorced. It’s a romantic comedy type story told backwards, kind of. It’s not about how Celeste and Jesse fell in love, it’s about how they’re going to move on. 2012

Directed by: Lee Toland Krieger

Screenplay by: Rashida Jones, and Will McCormack

Starring: Rashida Jones, Andy Samberg

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Chapter 27: Movie Review

 

Observations without judgement for a character study deserving of judgement.

Mark David Chapman (Jared Leto) has flown from Hawaii to New York to meet John Lennon. This is his second trip. This time he’s going to do something big; he just doesn’t know if it’s going to be a good or bad thing. There are multiple ways to interpret that line. I like the inference that he knows what he’s going to do, he just doesn’t know if it’s good or bad. 2007

Directed by: J.P. Schaefer

Screenplay by: J.P. Schaefer

Starring: Jared Leto, Lindsay Lohan, Judah Friedlander

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Compliance: Movie Review


   


Straight-forward approach to the realistic depravity of mankind.
“Compliance” is about how far people will go to a voice of authority. Sandra (Ann Dowd) the manager at a fast food restaurant is called by an Officer Daniels (Pat Healy) and is told to interrogate and search the young employee Becky (Dreama Walker). It’s yet another example of the Milgram experiment in real life. The drama is not just based on one true event, but a true event that occurred 70 times. 2012

Directed by: Craig Zobel

Screenplay by: Craig Zobel

Starring: Ann Dowd, and Dreama Walker

Friday, September 14, 2012

Lola Versus: Movie Review

 

The new generation of girls who don't have anything better to do
than complain about love, sex, life and sex again.

Lola (Greta Gerwig) has a hard time finding her place in the world. So does the film. What starts out as a romantic comedy-styled drama, turns into a sex comedy, and then tries to find its way as a character study. But the character of Lola will turn off some before the film gets going and bore others who have already solved her life’s problems. 2012

Directed by: Daryl Wein

Screenplay by: Daryl Wain, Zoe Lister-Jones

Starring: Greta Gerwig

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Scalene: Movie Review

 

Following three interesting characters until it loses its edge.

There are essentially three characters in “Scalene”. And with respect to the writers for their rather ingenious title, we can pretend there are three points of view. The first half of the film is spent with the mother, but mostly told backwards in time. She’s seeking justice and revenge for the incarceration of her mentally-handicapped son charged with rape. Then we hear from the son and then the abused girl herself.   2011

Directed by: Zack Parker

Screenplay by: Brandon Owens, and Zack Parker

Starring: Margo Martindale, Hannah Hall and Adam Scarimbolo

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Goats: Movie Review

 

A quirky comedy turns into a coming-of-age dramedy and gets a little lost on the way.

What starts out as a silly comedy quickly descends into a fairly average coming-of-age dramedy. But after reading an interview with the director, “Goats” is very clearly a coming-of-age dramedy; it’s just the marketers that would like to pretend that it’s a quirky comedy – usually an easier sell for indies. The change in genre is both good and bad news for the audience. 2012

Directed by: Christopher Neil

Screenplay by: Mark Poirier
Based on the novel by Mark Poirier

Starring: Graham Phillips, David Duchovny, Vera Farmiga and Ty Burrell

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Words: Movie Review




Unwrites characters who are well acted but provide very little substance.
Clay Hammond (Dennis Quaid) is reading an excerpt from his latest book “The Words”. Rory Jansen (Bradley Cooper) is accepting an award for his successful first published novel “The Window Tears”. Quaid then serves as a narrator for a movie that does not need a narrator. Mostly because nothing happens and when something does happen, we know exactly what it is because we’ve been anticipating it for half the movie. 2012

Directed by: Brian Klugman, and Lee Sternthal

Screenplay by: Brian Klugman, and Lee Sternthal

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana

Monday, September 3, 2012

Killer Joe: Movie Review

 

Perverted maturity and twisted humour take us through Texas and the chillingly evil plot.

A dirt road at night in Texas; the sky is dark blue, pitch black, and a streak of lightning flashes across the sky. A clunker of a car rumbles down the road and turns into a trailer park. An under-fed dog, chained out front, barks his head off, and Chris (Emile Hirsch) is banging on the door in the pouring rain, demanding Dottie to let him in. Dottie (Juno Temple) is pretending to sleep, a desire to be innocent keeping her in bed. 2011

Directed by: William Friedkin

Screenplay by: Tracy Letts

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Juno Temple, and Emile Hirsch

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Hit and Run: Movie Review

     


A guy's movie for girls with good action, comedy and romance.
"Hit and Run" is an action, comedy, romance, and for the first time in a long time, that's exactly what it is, and in three equal parts. The romance pits Charlie (Dax Shepard) and Annie (Kristen Bell) as a small town couple in love. She's up for her dream job in Los Angeles. The action starts when Charlie drives her to LA in his home-built classic car wtih an engine that all hillbillies desire. 2012

Directed by: David Palmer, and Dax Shepard

Screenplay by: Dax Shepard

Starring: Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell, Bradley Cooper and Tom Arnold