Thursday, July 31, 2014

Snowpiercer: Movie Review


   


All aboard the Snowpiercer for a revolution.
Set in 2031, 17 years after a climate change experiment went awry and froze the entire world, all that is left is a technologically advanced train called the Snowpiercer and its occupants. It’s a post-apocalyptic movie, and yet it’s historically accurate. Take any revolution in history, place it on a train in the future, and you have Snowpiercer. It’s an action movie, but it’s also a thoughtful character piece. 2013

Directed by: Joon-ho Bong

Screenplay by: Joon-ho Bong
Based on Le Transperceneige

Starring: Chris Evans, Jamie Bell and Tilda Swinton

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Angriest Man in Brooklyn: Movie Review


   


The angry routine is dropped along with the comedy in favour of a heartfelt character drama.
Robin Williams is The Angriest Man in Brooklyn and for a dark comedy that casting does seem to be perfection, but Williams’ comedic rant routine is not the highlight of the film. What starts as a dark comedy becomes a drama and most viewers who are expecting to laugh won’t be ready for the dramatic shift in tone. The premise is Dr. Sharon Gill is living the worst day of her life and accidentally tells Henry Altmann that he’s living the last 90 minutes of his life. 2014

Directed by: Phil Alden Robinson

Screenplay by: Daniel Taplitz
Based on film by Assi Dayan

Starring: Robin Williams, Mila Kunis

Monday, July 28, 2014

Wish I Was Here: Movie Review


A fantasy twist on a family drama.

Wish I Was Here features a multitude of characters all struggling with where they are in life. Aidan Bloom (Zach Braff) is a father and an out of work actor unable to pay for his kids’ school. His own father is dying and doesn’t know how to accept that maybe he wasn’t a great father. Aidan’s wife Sarah (Kate Hudson) doesn’t know how to tell him that she’s unhappy with her job. 2014

Directed by: Zach Braff

Screenplay by: Adam J. Braff, Zach Braff

Starring: Zach Braff, Kate Hudson, and Mandy Patinkin

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Frozen: Movie Review


A winter wonderland of magical mystique.

Disney has truly created a marvel of an animated children’s film. I’m not in the target audience (which explains why it has taken me so long to see the critically-lauded piece) and yet I loved it. Frozen takes all the standard Disney story pieces but then switches them all around to keep the story interesting and then layers it up with dazzling visuals and songs. 2013

Directed by: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee

Screenplay by: Jennifer Lee

Starring: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad

Monday, July 21, 2014

Audrey: Movie Review


Funny girl, annoying girl, Audrey will make you smile.

Audrey (Sybil Darrow) is the title character of the indie comedy Audrey. It’s also her show as she’s the only main character in a movie with only one main setting. The premise is simple: Audrey is waiting for a date that is late. This is not simple for Audrey. The restaurant is filled with people who are going to judge her, she is going to judge herself, and then she'll judge other people too. 2014

Directed by: Dean Pollack

Screenplay by: Sybil Darrow, Dean Pollack

Starring: Sybil Darrow

Thursday, July 17, 2014

And So It Goes: Movie Review


   


Balancing family drama, romance, sex and comedy is a tough act.
And So It Goes is a romantic comedy for the 65+ crowd, light on the comedy and romance, and heavy on the drama. It also stars two of the most iconic actors of their generation who make the sad and tired plot more palpable than it otherwise would be. Michael Douglas plays Oren Little a successful realtor who lost his wife to cancer. Diane Keaton plays Leah a lonely widow. They both have to move on in life. 2014

Directed by: Rob Reiner

Screenplay by: Mark Andrus

Starring: Michael Douglas, Diane Keaton

Monday, July 14, 2014

Happy Christmas: Movie Review


   


A look at the line between immaturity and maturity with charming characters.
Happy Christmas is an oddly mature look at immature people as they approach a happy time in people’s lives – Christmas. Kelly (Melanie Lynskey) and Jeff (Joe Swanberg) is a happily married couple with a young baby. Jeff’s younger sister, Jenny (Anna Kendrick), just went through a break-up and is coming to stay with them in Chicago. She isn’t particularly happy, but she does have a certain happy-go-lucky nature to her. 2014

Directed by: Joe Swanberg

Screenplay by: Joe Swanberg

Starring: Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lynskey

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Let's Be Cops: Movie Review


Funnier pretending to be cops than actually being cops.

After they confuse a masquerade party for a costume party, Ryan (Jake Johnson) and Justin (Damon Wayans Jr) realize that fun can be had when dressed up as cops and they decide, Let’s Be Cops. They are two 30-year-old guys who are struggling with their place in life whether they realize it or not (Justin does, Ryan does not) so pretending to be cops is a great way to pass some time. Pretending is the best part and neither the film nor its lead guys know when to stop. 2014

Directed by: Luke Greenfield

Screenplay by: Luke Greenfield, Nicholas Thomas

Starring: Jake Johnson, Damon Wayans Jr.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Begin Again: Movie Review


   


Straddles the line between indie and Hollywood well; delivering a feel-good, enjoyable story.
Begin Again features a young, formerly idealistic singer-songwriter ready to abandon her dream in New York City and an older, completely cynical indie music exec ready to abandon the abandonment of his dream. Keira Knightley plays singer-songwriter Greta, alone in New York City after her boyfriend made it big and abandoned her. Mark Ruffalo plays Dan, in the midst of drinking his life and career away just for the fun of it. 2013

Directed by: John Carney

Screenplay by: John Carney

Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Keira Knightley

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

4 Minute Mile: Movie Review


   


Good characters can't outrun heavy drama.
4 Minute Mile is the story of a teenager, Drew Jacobs (Kelly Blatz), who has nothing else in his life that’s good, except for running. He’s always been good at running, but he lost his father, he lost his mother to hopelessness and depression, and lost his brother to a world of money, drugs and crime. He’s not a happy kid, to say the least, but he does want a way out. 2014

Directed by: Charles-Olivier Michaud

Screenplay by: Josh Campbell, Jeff Van Wie

Starring: Kelly Blatz, Richard Jenkins

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Locke: Movie Review


   


Brilliant character study navigating the decisions between good and bad.
Locke stars Tom Hardy as Ivan Locke. He’s a construction manager by day and by night, well, this particular night, he’s driving. The film is the hour and a half trip from his construction site to London, and it’s going to take him as far away from his previous life as he could get in that time. He makes and receives a series of phone calls that define his life and start shaping what his life is no longer going to be when, or if, he reaches his destination. 2013

Directed by: Steven Knight

Screenplay by: Steven Knight

Starring: Tom Hardy

Friday, July 4, 2014

Tammy: Movie Review


A funny mess that doesn't know how to get from one joke to the next.

In “Tammy,” Melissa McCarthy stars as Tammy because when you’re hot, you’re hot. Her last movies have proven her popularity, her box office star status, and her undeniable talent. As an actress and a comedienne, she really is at the top of her game. So WB is banking off of giving her control of her own career, where she and her husband serve as producer, executive producer, writer and director. The result is a funny mess.   2014

Directed by: Ben Falcone

Screenplay by: Melissa McCarthy, Ben Falcone

Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Devil's Knot: Movie Review


   


An affecting film of injustice, corruption and hopelessness in Arkansas 1993 (or Salem 1693).
“Devil’s Knot” is the story of the West Memphis Three. Three young boys murdered in West Memphis, Arkansas, and the three teenage “devil worshippers” hung out to dry, oh, I’m sorry, I mean accused of the crime. It’s an unfortunate story and an odd movie and one that doesn’t let go until you’re convinced that the world is going to hell in a handbasket. 2013

Directed by: Atom Egoyan

Screenplay by: Paul Harris Boardman, and Scott Derrickson
Based on book by Mara Leveritt

Starring: Colin Firth, Reese Witherspoon