Monday, April 29, 2013

To the Wonder: Movie Review


A series of images adding up to one relationship, and you get to add the meaning.
Following up the dramatic success of “The Tree of Life” (2011), Terrence Malick has gone simpler but more abstract with “To the Wonder”. Following only one relationship, we see Neil (Ben Affleck) and Marina (Olga Kurylenko) fall in love, grow apart, fight to stay together, and fight to stay apart. It’s about the resolution, or lack of resolution, of one ill-fated romantic relationship. 2012

Directed by: Terrence Malick

Screenplay by: Terrence Malick

Starring: Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Big Wedding: Movie Review

Building an entire wedding movie around sex jokes, but adds in
some well-timed honest family drama.

“The Big Wedding” seems to be following in the footsteps of the recent Hollywood romantic comedies – gather as many big name stars as you can and put them all in a romantic comedy storyline. It’s the best of the bunch, even though that’s not saying anything at all. It’s also based on a French film “Mon frère se marie”, and that’s not really saying all that much either.   2013

Directed by: Justin Zackham

Screenplay by: Justin Zackham

Starring: Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Ben Barnes, and Katherine Heigl

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pain & Gain: Movie Review


Not much action, but there is comedy as muscleheads set off to achieve the American dream.
Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) and Adrien Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) are the very definition of muscleheads – more muscles than brains. Paul Doyle (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) is a Christian musclehead who has accepted Jesus Christ as his personal saviour. They believe in the American dream. If other people have what they want, then, therefore, they should get it. That is the full extent of logic that they could exercise. The premise is funny and the film manages to follow through on that promise. 2013

Directed by: Michael Bay

Screenplay by: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Based on articles by Pete Collins

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Mackie, Dwayne Johnson, Tony Shalhoub

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Trance: Movie Review

Twisting straight away from reality and into ridiculous nonsense.

Danny Boyle’s new thriller “Trance” seemingly has the ability to put its audience in an hypnotic state making them think that this is actually good as it twists and twists and twists away from reality, and logic, and coherence. I get why people would want to like it – it stars a naked Rosario Dawson and a deliciously enigmatic turn by James McAvoy, and features an intense score which amps up the volume with suspense.   2013

Directed by: Danny Boyle

Screenplay by: Joe Ahearne, John Hodge

Starring: James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson, Vincent Cassel

Friday, April 19, 2013

Sexy Evil Genius: Movie Review


So far from genius, the insanity of Nikki undoes the good character and acting work that came before.
Four strangers are mysteriously brought to a Los Angeles bar by a femme fatale-style ex-girlfriend they all have in common. That kind of set up for “Sexy Evil Genius” can be hit-or-miss; it's an especially odd case when it hits and misses in the same film. First we meet Zach (Seth Green) he's Nikki's old high school flame, and then we meet Miranda (Michelle Trachtenberg) from her recent lesbian days and she knows the most about Nikki. Primarily that she killed her last boyfriend. Uh, oh. 2013

Directed by: Shawn Piller

Screenplay by: Scott Lew

Starring: Seth Green, Katee Sackhoff, Michelle Trachtenberg, Harold Perrineau and William Baldwin

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Free Samples: Movie Review

A directionless character in a mostly directionless film supported by
good actors and some funny lines.

Jillian (Jess Weixler) is a Stanford law-school drop-out reeling from her recent life choices with no direction for her future. “Free Samples” is one day in the life of Jillian. Covering for a friend, she’s forced to work at an ice cream truck handing out free samples of ice cream or ice cream-like substances. She doesn’t like it to say the least, but she doesn’t like much in her life. 2012

Directed by: Jay Gammill

Screenplay by: Jim Beggarly

Starring: Jess Weixler, Jesse Eisenberg, Halley Feiffer, and Jason Ritter

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Paris-Manhattan: Movie Review

Getting past an immature and frustrating heroine, the film delivers a funny
and feel-good comedy about Woody Allen.

“Paris-Manhattan” features a woman obsessed with Woody Allen, much like myself and many others are. She lives in Paris, works as a pharmacist, is single, spends her days discussing Woody Allen movies and spends her nights discussing her life with Woody Allen – meaning, a poster of Woody Allen. Luckily the film got the rights to Allen’s movies, and he responds to her with things he has said before. 2012

Directed by: Sophie Lellouche

Screenplay by: Sophie Lellouche

Starring: Alice Taglioni, Patrick Bruel

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Place Beyond the Pines: Movie Review


A story of trashy criminals and dirty cops evolving into one about fathers and sons and life.
What he have here is a story about fathers and their sons. In fact, three separate stories - each one leads into the next. A lesser movie would have just told one story, but "The Place Beyond the Pines" is larger in scope and needs all three parts to tell the complete story. A life is not just about your life but those you affect and those you leave behind for years to come. 2012

Directed by: Derek Cianfrance

Screenplay by: Derek Cianfrance, Ben Coccio, Derek Marder

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Straight A's: Movie Review

Simple family dynamics haphazardly put together.

"Straight A's" is a simple family drama. The mysterious Uncle Scott (Ryan Phillippe) and his drug use and slacker attitude is a bad influence on the Henderson kids. Uptight Katherine (Anna Paquin) just wants him out of the house and wants her distant husband William (Luke Wilson) back home. The kids are pretty separate from all of this - they have their own story line where Scott shows them that "there's more to life than getting straight A's." 2013

Directed by: James Cox

Screenplay by: David Cole

Starring: Ryan Phillippe, Anna Paquin and Luke Wilson

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Spring Breakers: Movie Review

Breaks the spring-break-genre mold by telling a dark story of college girls going to
darker and darker places.

“Spring Breakers” takes the spring break vacation and turns it on its head. It’s about everything that spring break represents and nothing it represents all at the exact same time. Four college girls do in fact go to Florida for spring break; they do in fact wear bikinis, get drunk, and do drugs. The film isn’t lying when they say that’s what it’s about. But it takes that culture and places it in a whole new genre. 2012

Directed by: Harmony Korine

Screenplay by: Harmony Korine

Starring: Ashley Benson, Vanessa Hudgens, Rachel Korine, Selena Gomez and James Franco