Saturday, November 24, 2012

Silver Linings Playbook: Movie Review


   


Showing us the silver linings of life with funny, entertaining and inspirational results.
Pat (Bradley Cooper) has just been signed out of the Karel Psychiatric Facility by his mother in Baltimore, Maryland after an 8-month court-ordered stint from bipolar disorder with mood swings. But it’s okay, he’s good now (at least he insists that he is). He has a plan for his life — his “Silver Linings Playbook”. He thinks he just has to get in shape, read Nikki’s entire high school syllabus, get his job back, and then he’ll get back together with his ex-wife. 2012

Directed by: David O. Russell

Screenplay by: David O. Russell
Based on the novel by Matthew Quick

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Jennifer Lawrence and Jacki Weaver

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Sessions: Movie Review


An adult man coming-of-age with sex therapy, personal guidance and false sympathy.

Crowned as the King of Independent Cinema, John Hawkes is starring in what was supposed to be the indie movie of the year. “The Sessions” is about the true story of Mark O’Brien a man left debilitated after suffering from Polio as a child. He works as a journalist, spends his time being taken care of by a personal nurse and goes to church for spiritual inspiration and guidance. And in 1988, decides it’s the year he’s going to lose his virginity. 2012

Directed by: Ben Lewin

Screenplay by: Ben Lewin

Starring: John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, William H. Macy and Moon Bloodgood

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Life of Pi: Movie Review


Telling a life story with imagination and visual entertainment.

“Life of Pi” is better than “this year’s ‘Hugo’”. It has a story. A simple story but a global one that pulls you in and then lets you marvel at the epic cinematography and impressive visuals. Pi (Irfan Khan), as a middle-aged man, retells the story of how he became the man he is today, and how he got the name “Pi”. He was named after a swimming pool in Paris, the Piscine Molitar. This has brought him both grief and happiness. 2012

Directed by: Ang Lee

Screenplay by: David Magee
Based on the novel by Yann Martel

Starring: Suraj Sharma, Irfan Khan and Rafe Spall

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Flight: Movie Review


   


Character study boldly blurring the lines of life, happiness and right and wrong.
Beginning Awards Season with a crash (in a good way), “Flight” eschews the general desire to turn a plane crash into either a dramatic sob-fest or a suspenseful thriller. What we have here is a character study, plain and simple. It doesn’t cower under the idea that your lead character needs to be sympathetic. He’s not. It’s dramatic but it’s also ambiguous without ever purposely leading the audience astray. I can’t say the same about the trailer. 2012

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

Screenplay by: John Gatins

Starring: Denzel Washington, Kelly Reilly and Don Cheadle

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Lincoln: Movie Review


Reducing the impact by drawing out history with false sentimentality.

“Lincoln” focuses on the months leading up to the historical vote on the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to ban slavery. This is of course during the curtain call of the Civil War. This being a Steven Spielberg movie means that he has decided to frame the entire movie with war shots — just because he can, and probably because it adds a few million dollars more to the budget. The production design really was epically beautiful contrasting the closed in nature of the attempts to procure votes. 2012

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Screenplay by: Tony Kushner
Based on the book by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, and Tommy Lee Jones

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Paperboy: Movie Review


In southern Florida where a racial murder case turns into a coming-of-age character study.

“The Paperboy” has received some harsh criticism, not just divisive but mostly negative reviews. I’m happy to provide an opposite perspective but it is worth mentioning that most critiques seem to come from a superficial point-of-view. Anita (Macy Gray) as the narrator takes us down to small town life in Florida in the late 1960s where she worked as a maid for the white, upper class Jansen family. Nothing is as it seems. 2012

Directed by: Lee Daniels

Screenplay by: Lee Daniels, Peter Dexter
Based on the novel by Peter Dexter

Starring: Zac Efron, Matthew McConaughey, and Nicole Kidman

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Smashed: Movie Review


Deteriorating relationship drama with realism and questionable humour.

“Smashed” stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Kate a twenty-something alcoholic who has finally had enough of her drug and alcohol-fuelled lifestyle. The good thing is that it’s not presented as a superficial inspirational drama. The bad part is that that means that Kate is pretty unlikable from beginning to end. She goes to work as a school teacher while hung-over and concocts a lie about being pregnant when she can’t keep the contents of her stomach down. 2012

Directed by: James Ponsoldt

Screenplay by: James Ponsoldt

Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Aaron Paul, and Nick Offerman

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Arbitrage: Movie Review


Intelligence of a character study and the intrigue of a thriller.

In “Arbitrage”, Robert Miller (Richard Gere) is a rich, successful business man and family man. Except he’s not as perfect as he seems. He’s involving his business in illegal fraudulent activities and he has a mistress on the side. While everyone is singing his praises at his 60th birthday party, and news journalists want to do reports on how smart, business-savvy and successful he is, Julie (Laetitia Casta) is complaining that he isn’t with her when she wants him to be. 2012

Directed by: Nicholas Jarecki

Screenplay by: Nicholas Jarecki

Starring: Richard Gere, Brit Marling, and Susan Sarandon

Friday, November 2, 2012

Seven Psychopaths: Movie Review


   


Finding the middle ground between comedy, violence and psychopaths.
Depending on how you count, there really are seven psychopaths. Also depending on how you count, there could be more, which is a good thing because Marty – the lead character played by Colin Farrell not the screenwriter Martin McDonagh – can use as many as he can find. Marty (Colin Farrell) is an alcoholic Irish screenwriter suffering from writer’s block since Hollywood’s needs and his ideals do not match up at all. 2012

Directed by: Martin McDonagh

Screenplay by: Martin McDonagh

Starring: Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken