Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Million Ways to Die in the West: Movie Review


Funny when it's parodying the west, less funny when the plot drags on.

This time, Seth MacFarlane has decided to adventure out in front of the camera as Albert Starks, a guy who does not belong in the American west in 1882. And, indeed, the funniest jokes in “A Million Ways to Die in the West” stem from the point of view of somebody from modern times who couldn’t understand why anybody would even want to try living in western times, because there probably really is a million ways to die.   2014

Directed by: Seth MacFarlane

Screenplay by: Seth MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild

Starring: Seth MacFarlane, Giovanni Ribisi and Charlize Theron

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Lucky Them: Movie Review


Immature character loses the plot as she finds herself.

“Lucky Them” stars Toni Collette as Ellie a music journalist in her early 40s acting like she’s in her early 20s. We first meet her as she’s breaking up with some guy and then her boss (Oliver Platt) is desperately pleading with her to write a good story otherwise her job is in jeopardy. She doesn’t get it, but she agrees to locate her long-lost presumed-dead ex-boyfriend former rock star to write his story.   2013

Directed by: Megan Griffiths

Screenplay by: Emily Wachtel, Huck Botko

Starring: Toni Collette, Thomas Haden Church, and Ryan Eggold

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Molly Maxwell: Movie Review


Takes an inappropriate relationship and turns it into a naturally honest 
and realistic portrayal of two well-developed characters.

Molly Maxwell is a 16-year-old student at a private school. The simplistic view is that she’s one of those smarter-than-thou, wise-beyond-her-years teenagers who gets herself into an improper relationship with her teacher through maturity and manipulation. "Lolita" movies are rarely good, but “Molly Maxwell” is able to overcome all the negative expectancies because Molly is way more realistic and normal than the type of character she would normally be. Sympathy for Molly and Ben arise out of a natural honesty, and then the film starts toying with our sympathies.   2013

Directed by: Sara St. Onge

Screenplay by: Sara St. Onge

Starring: Lola Tash, Charlie Carrick

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Squatters: Movie Review


Simplistic and convenient writing of unsympathetic characters.

“Squatters” features a pair of homeless hippies, Jonas (Thomas Dekker) who likes sticking it to the man by robbing anything and everything, and Kelly (Gabriella Wilde) who is so strung out on drugs she wouldn’t know who or where she is. Like in real life, these characters are despicable people and don’t deserve our sympathies. Jonas’ newest target is a filthy rich family leaving for vacation; sympathy for these characters isn’t introduced until much later. 2014

Directed by: Martin Weisz

Screenplay by: Justin Shilton

Starring: Gabriella Wilde, Thomas Dekker

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Belle: Movie Review


Beautiful portraiture of equality and a woman desperate to find her place in life.

“Belle” is the story of an illegitimate mixed-race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral raised by her aristocratic High Court great uncle in England in the late 1700s. Dido Elizabeth Belle Lindsay (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) has a curious, but heart-warming place in society and in history, and the film tells her story beautifully. Her story isn’t entirely known, but the film fills in the missing times between the factual touch-points with a mix between the expectations for the time and what the audience would want to see. 2013

Directed by: Amma Asante

Screenplay by: Misan Sagay

Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Sam Reid, Tom Wilkinson and Sarah Gadon

Friday, May 9, 2014

Neighbors: Movie Review


Frat boys don’t up the ante of outrageous comedy but find an enjoyable middle ground.

“Neighbors” takes the appears-to-have-been-done-a-million- times-but-actually-hasn’t concept of frat boys clashing with the married couple next door and then runs with it. And run, they do. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the movie goes farther than the jokes of a prank war that is shown in the trailer. The R rating is really just for language (because, you know, they’re frat boys) and marijuana use (because, you know, they’re frat boys) and fake nudity. 2014

Directed by: Nicholas Stoller

Screenplay by: Andrew J. Cohen and Brendan O'Brien

Starring: Seth Rogen, Zac Efron

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Million Dollar Arm: Movie Review


A cute and funny story of Indian boys succeeding in America let down
 by a class A jerk for a main character.

Jon Hamm plays down-on-his-luck sports agent JB Bernstein who attempts to find his next big client by turning baseball scouting into a talent contest called “Million Dollar Arm.” Disney’s latest inspirational sports story is based on the true story of the American agent travelling to India to turn a cricket bowler into a baseball pitcher with a major league contract. It’s a true story so it’s predictability is part of its charm, the clash-of-cultures jokes are expected but cute and funny, and the overall story is heart-warming.   2014

Directed by: Craig Gillespie

Screenplay by: Thomas McCarthy

Starring: Jon Hamm, Aasif Mandvi

Monday, May 5, 2014

Favor: Movie Review


   


Well-written characters debating success, friendship and murder.
Friends help friends get rid of dead bodies, right? Or, so asks the film “Favor”. Kip (Blayne Weaver) is a successful, happily married man (or at least a married man) who has been seeing a waitress and after a disagreement, he accidentally kills her. Kip calls on his old friend Marvin (Patrick Day) to help him out. Things don’t go very well, but that’s mostly based on the characteristics of these two men. 2013

Directed by: Paul Osborne

Screenplay by: Paul Osborne

Starring: Blayne Weaver, Patrick Day

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Other Woman: Movie Review


A movie full of toilet humour cheapens the rather amusing women.

“The Other Woman” stars Leslie Mann, Cameron Diaz and Kate Upton as the jilted wife, the girlfriend and the mistress, respectively. Mark King (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is responsible for the upheaval of these women’s lives (or at the least the first two), and they’re going to make him pay. So get ready for revenge humour, chick flick humour and toilet humour – literally and especially toilet humour. 2014

Directed by: Nick Cassavetes

Screenplay by: Melissa Stack

Starring: Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Kate Upton and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau