Saturday, December 20, 2014

Wild: Movie Review

A simple and beautiful journey through the wilds of California and the mind.
Wild is an apt title for the film and Cheryl Strayed's memoirs that it is based on about her journey from depression through drug addiction to an actual physical 1,100-mile journey along the Pacific Coast Trail to find herself. The title applies to both Cheryl's wild past including drugs, alcohol, more drugs, and even more men, and the unforgiving wild terrain from the deserts of southern California to the snow-covered mountains of northern California and the hippies in Oregon. 2014

Directed by: Jean-Marc Vallée

Screenplay by: Nick Hornby
Based on the memoir by Cheryl Strayed

Starring: Reese Witherspoon

Friday, December 19, 2014

Foxcatcher: Movie Review


A cold atmosphere for a heartless act.
Murder is a dark and cold act, so the story that leads up to it might as well be as dark and cold as you can make it. Such seems to be the thought that goes into the crafting of Foxcatcher. It is meticulously crafted, but also as austere and void of warmth that most films would dare to be. This one goes further. It presents the true story of ornithologist, philatelist and philanthropist John E. du Pont (Steve Carell) who persuades wrestling champion Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) and brother David (Mark Ruffalo) to join his team. 2014

Directed by: Bennett Miller

Screenplay by: E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman

Starring: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, and Mark Ruffalo

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Take Care: Movie Review

Taking their sweet time to get to a charming romantic comedy.

Leslie Bibb stars as Frannie, a young woman immobilized by a car accident and finds that independent living is significantly more difficult without the ability to walk around. Her friends and family abandon her in her time of need, so Frannie decides to turn to her ex-boyfriend Devon (Thomas Sadoski) for help. Take Care is indeed a romantic comedy; sometimes light on the comedy, sometimes light on the romance, but it all comes together in the end. 2014

Directed by: Liz Tuccillo

Screenplay by: Liz Tuccillo

Starring: Leslie Bibb, Thomas Sadoski

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Imitation Game: Movie Review


Codes, war and homosexuality in an interesting balancing act.
A bio-pic of English Mathematician Alan Turing (played here by Benedict Cumberbatch),  The Imitation Game  has to juggle his extreme ego (probably played up for the purposes of entertainment), his achievements of solving the Enigma code and winning World War II for the Allies, and his homosexuality – a crucial element that makes the interesting film engaging and emotionally-affecting. Focusing on the war years, the film achieved the critical balance. 2014

Directed by: Morten Tyldum

Screenplay by: Graham Moore
Based on the book by Andrew Hodges

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley and Matthew Goode

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Murder of a Cat: Movie Review

A deceptively clever and very funny murder mystery.
Fran Kranz is Clinton - a young man who lives in his mother's basement, wears a robe all day long, has his mother drive him around town, laughs at  Who's the Boss re-runs, and refers to his cat Mouser as his best friend. The comedy angle is clear and it works. Kranz's ability to portray a comedic every-man lends Clinton a perfect amount of familiarity but mixed with an over-the-top ridiculousness that allows the film to take us wherever it wants to go. 2014

Directed by: Gillian Greene

Screenplay by: Christian Magalhaes, Robert Snow

Starring: Fran Kranz, J.K. Simmons, Greg Kinnear and Nikki Reed