Thursday, January 22, 2015

Mortdecai: Movie Review


Mortdecai's moustache is not nearly as funny as it needs to be.
Mortdecai (Johnny Depp) is a not-so-suave art dealer/thief living the life of luxury in retro-designed (but it's actually contemporary) England. He has a moustache and he loves it! That is the single most important characteristic of the title character, and you're going to need to love it as well or else none of the first hundred or so jokes will be funny. Nothing stands out as truly funny in Mortdecai so it's a long adventure in trying to find the funniest moustache joke there is. 2015

Directed by: David Koepp

Screenplay by: Eric Aronson
Based on novel by Kyril Bonfiglioli

Starring: Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor and Paul Bettany

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Cake: Movie Review

A journey of physical and emotional pain meanders to nowhere.

Cake stars Jennifer Aniston as Claire, a woman suffering from chronic pain with an attitude that is sure to keep everyone else at bay. It's Claire's story and Aniston imbibes her with enough humanity that we care to stick with her even if everyone else can't. It's not Claire's visible scars, or her caustic demeanor, or the fact that she's a self-described bitch, but eventually the film loses its point on what it wants to have happen to Claire, and there's nowhere for us to go. 2014

Directed by: Daniel Barnz

Screenplay by: Patrick Tobin

Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Adriana Barraza

Saturday, January 17, 2015

American Sniper: Movie Review

A complex character portrait of a complicated issue.

What we have here is an anti-war film disguised as patriotism, a character study under the guise of action and war, and a character declared as a hero who may or may not be a hero. Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper) is the celebrated Iraq War veteran, a deadly sniper with over 160 kills. American Sniper is his tragic story revealing the mess that war leaves behind. Not just wife Taya (Sienna Miller) and children, but the psychological remnants of murder. 2014

Directed by: Clint Eastwood

Screenplay by: Jason Hall
Based on book by Chris Kyle

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Selma: Movie Review


The warm, welcoming, commanding presence of Martin Luther King marches forward.
Opening with Martin Luther King Jr winning the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, historical drama Selma focuses on Martin Luther King's leadership of the American civil rights movement and the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in a protest for voting equality. It's an interesting point in King's tenure, as he has already achieved national fame and recognition, essentially has an open door to President Lyndon B. Johnson, but he's still experiencing unrest. 2014

Directed by: Ava DuVernay

Screenplay by: Paul Webb

Starring: David Oyelowo, Tom Wilkinson, Carmen Ejogo and Tim Roth

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Big Eyes: Movie Review


Going against the grain, “Big Eyes” finds success in the intersection between honest emotion and deceitful comedy.
Set in the 1950s and 60s, Big Eyes is the true story of Margaret Keane who painted sad children with big eyes. The subjects are sad and impoverished, and the story itself is how deception can utterly change one's life for the better or worse. But the movie tells the story comically and larger-than-life, after all, the eyes are big and the man behind the woman behind the art is larger-than-life. 2014

Directed by: Tim Burton

Screenplay by: Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski

Starring: Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz