Friday, May 31, 2013

Bachelorette: Movie Review


A night of partying and jokes for three poorly-devised characters.
“Bachelorette” is like a high school reunion, an excuse for thirty-somethings to throw logic, respect, decency and maturity out the window. Regan (Kirsten Dunst), Gena (Lizzy Caplan) and Katie (Isla Fisher) are gathering for the wedding of their high school friend (aka, the butt of their jokes). And they are determined to have one hell of a party. The problem is that is just like any other day in their life and the film doesn’t seem to suggest that that might not be a good thing. 2012

Directed by: Leslye Headland

Screenplay by: Leslye Headland
Based on the play by Leslye Headland

Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher and Lizzy Caplan

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Mighty Fine: Movie Review

Unstable characters and deceitful genres make it a tough family to like.

The problems with “Mighty Fine” begin with the genre. Let’s make this clear, it’s not the comedy it was advertised as. There are a few moments and lines at the beginning that aren’t as serious and fairly humorous, but it’s a drama. The plot quickly devolves into a full-on family drama with serious issues where the characters need to rely on their internal strength to rise above.   2012

Directed by: Debbie Goodstein

Screenplay by: Debbie Goodstein

Starring: Chazz Palminteri, Rainey Qualley, Jodelle Ferland and Andie MacDowell

Monday, May 20, 2013

Revenge for Jolly: Movie Review

Nonsense comedy and extreme violence that did not fit together.

“Revenge for Jolly” is a crime drama masquerading as a dark comedy. It starts out very serious. Harry (Brian Petsos) is a good guy who has done bad things and is in over his head. But then bad guys kill his dog and he and his cousin, Cecil (Oscar Isaac), are out for revenge. And then with another bad decision Harry kills a guy. Ha ha ha, isn’t that hilarious?   2012

Directed by: Chadd Harbold

Screenplay by: Brian Petsos

Starring: Brian Petsos, and Oscar Isaac

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Lay the Favorite: Movie Review


Tried to turn an unbelievable true story into a fun ride but forgot about the stupidity.
“Lay the Favorite” has many dissenters, most complaining that it’s completely unbelievable. It’s true, it is. Beth (Rebecca Hall) is a ditzy bimbo who quits her job as a stripper and moves to Las Vegas to become a cocktail waitress. A great idea! (Sarcasm). Instead, as soon as she arrives, she gets a very lucrative job as a sports bettor for a bookie who isn’t a bookie since bookmaking is illegal. Apparently, she’s a genius with numbers and words. 2012

Directed by: Stephen Frears

Screenplay by: D.V. DeVincentis

Starring: Rebecca Hall, Bruce Willis, Joshua Jackson, Catherine Zeta-Jones

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Mud: Movie Review

Arkansas, a boat, a tree, two boys, girls, love, snakes and Mud.

Mud (Matthew McConaughey) is the central adult character. He lives in a boat in a tree on an island in Arkansas. And he is dirty. He probably hasn’t bathed in weeks, if not years. He also muddies the truth a bit – just a bit, to reflect his version of the world. Our teenage boy protagonists hesitantly take him at his word – there’s no reason for him to be any less dependable than their own parents and guardian.   2012

Directed by: Jeff Nichols

Screenplay by: Jeff Nichols

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland, Ray McKinnon

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Oranges: Movie Review

A plethora of actors show how to make a dysfunctional family dramedy funny.

“The Oranges” centers on two families, each with mom and dad and former teenage daughter (now a twenty-something daughter), living across the street from each other in West Orange, New Jersey. It’s kind of like a dysfunctional family dramedy except the families really do function normal enough and well enough prior to the beginning of the plot. And also it’s a comedy. It poses some fairly serious questions but presents them all in a light-hearted, humorous fashion.   2011

Directed by: Julian Farino

Screenplay by: Ian Helfer, Jay Reiss

Starring: Leighton Meester, Hugh Laurie, Alia Shawkat, Oliver Platt

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Great Gatsby: Movie Review

Famous scenes and symbolism re-imagined beautifully but also problematically.

“In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. ‘Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,’ he told me, ‘just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.’” I have been frequently convinced that Baz Luhrmann does not know how to read, but I do have the advantage of literacy. However, I am not Nick Carraway and am not compelled to follow his father’s advice that opens Fitzgerald’s classic novel. 2013

Directed by: Baz Luhrmann

Screenplay by: Baz Luhrmann, Craig Pearce
Based on the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton

Sunday, May 5, 2013

See Girl Run: Movie Review

See girl travel back home and slowly think about changing her depression.

“See Girl Run” sees Emmie (Robin Tunney) missing her old high school boyfriend. She’s married now but decides she’s not happy and wants to revisit her life with Jason (Adam Scott). Jason still lives in their hometown, is the local star of a seafood restaurant and is in a dead-end relationship. And the whole movie is reinforcing those same concepts over and over again.   2012

Directed by: Nate Meyer

Screenplay by: Nate Meyer

Starring: Robin Tunney and Adam Scott

Friday, May 3, 2013

Like Someone in Love: Movie Review

A peculiar relationship dissected as subtly as possible.

“Like Someone in Love” is Abbas Kiarostami’s follow-up to the mind-bending relationship drama “Certified Copy”. Dissection of the title alone provides so many interesting clues and directions for the film to take in addition to what was analyzed previously. And while it does in fact address those interesting ideas (indirectly), it is as minimal as any film-going audience could possibly stand. 2012

Directed by: Abbas Kiarostami

Screenplay by: Abbas Kiarostami

Starring: Rin Takanashi, Tadashi Okuno, Ryo Kase