Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Focus: Movie Review

Playing a game that doesn't need to be played.

Focus is about getting out of the game before the game gets you. Veteran con man Nicky (Will Smith) decides to take a young, hot aspiring con woman, Jess (Margot Robbie), under his wing. And the storyline that follows is a romance where one of them is constantly trying to make the right play and the other is still learning what the right play is. But what this also means is that the movie is a crime comedy with no substantial crime stories and no comedy. 2015

Directed by: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa

Screenplay by: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa

Starring: Will Smith, Margot Robbie

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Voices: Movie Review


A dark comedy that veers too far into a messy horror-comedy.
The Voices stars Ryan Reynolds as a really creepy version of a lonely everyman working at factory and shipping warehouse in a small town. He is just so clearly unhinged that when we see him talking to his pets, and they talk back to him, it's not surprising at all because no part of him lives in any kind of reality. I know the premise of a man who hears his pets talking to him is going to be a weird film, but here they just took things too far. 2014

Directed by: Marjane Satrapi

Screenplay by: Michael R. Perry

Starring: Ryan Renolds, Anna Kendrick
and Gemma Arterton

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

McFarland: Movie Review

Easy to cheer for underdogs.

Disney's latest inspirational true underdog story and Kevin Costner's latest sports drama are one in the same. McFarland is actually pretty high on the inspiration and the additional family drama element provides some fun and nice humour. Set in McFarland, California in 1987, Costner stars as Jim White, a down-on-his-luck football coach who has nowhere else to go except this dirt poor southern town filled with perennially out-of-luck students. 2015

Directed by: Niki Caro

Screenplay and Story by: Grant Thompson, Bettina Gilois and Christopher Cleveland

Starring: Kevin Costner, Maria Bello

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Last Five Years: Movie Review


The musical version of a dramatic love story.
The Last Five Years is the five years in a relationship, the deconstruction of a marriage, but still romantic in its own way. Based on the musical of the same name, the movie is entirely sung. Each song verbalizes where each character is at in their life and in the story of their love, and then transitions into the next song which gets us into the next chapter of their relationship. 2014

Directed by: Richard LaGravenese

Screenplay by: Richard LaGravenese
Based on the musical by Jason Robert Brown

Starring: Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Dear White People: Movie Review


Has something to say with intriguing characters.
Dear White People has been described as a satire, but a satire of what exactly is not entirely clear. It's a comedy but with humour that's hard to find. It's a simple story of college life but with more 'he's sleeping with her and she's sleeping with him but he's sleeping with him' than most of us would like. The narrative doesn't flow smoothly, but it's also clever, curious and very compelling. A racial comedy that is funny and also very disarming. Year

Directed by: Justin Simien

Screenplay by: Justin Simien

Starring: Tyler James Williams, Tessa Thompson, Brandon P. Bell and Kyle Gallner

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Interview: Movie Review


Hapless idiots plot to kill a foreign leader and kill too much of the comedy along the way.
The Interview sets up our two hapless idiots Dave Skylark (James Franco) and Aaron Rapaport (Seth Rogen) as they travel to North Korea to assassinate President Kim Jong Un (Randall Park) at the request of the CIA. What sounds like a completely ridiculous, off-the-walls comedy turns into a subtle comedy focusing on character motivations with unnecessary action. While it isn't a bad result, it is disappointing considering how funny its potential was. 2014

Directed by: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen

Screenplay by: Dan Sterling

Starring: Seth Rogen, James Franco