Friday, August 28, 2015

Digging for Fire: Movie Review


Lack of murder mystery still reveals a funny and insightful film.
Digging for Fire is both Joe Swanberg's funniest film and most mature film to date. It's another one of his indie films with mainstream accessibility, but it should be noted that it's not a murder mystery, or murder mystery comedy, as it easily could be with the excellent premise with such great potential. 2015

Directed by: Joe Swanberg

Screenplay by: Joe Swanberg, Jake Johnson

Starring: Jake Johnson, Rosemarie DeWitt

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

We Are Your Friends: Movie Review

An overly dramatic, mostly uninteresting story of a DJ.

There are three (well, actually, four) things that We Are Your Friends wants you to know: Zac Efron is really hot; electronic music is really cool; and Emily Ratajkowski has really nice boobs. Presumably you already know and/or don't care about points one and three which leaves you with the music. Thankfully, it didn't give me a headache and when Efron was actually creating his tracks, it was even interesting; just not enough to carry the entire movie. 2015

Directed by: Max Joseph

Screenplay by: Max Joseph and Meaghan Oppenheimer

Starring: Zac Efron

Monday, August 24, 2015

A Walk in the Woods: Movie Review


A simple journey with light humour.
Bill Bryson's memoir and trek along the Appalachian Trail are recreated (and changed) in A Walk in the Woods. It's a very light film, filled with Bryson's famous wit, and simple comedy as two septuagenarians go on an adventure which even people half their age would have difficulty with. Bill Bryson (Robert Redford) is just ready to shake up his life rather than head into retirement and instead of hitting the trail alone, he's joined by his old friend Stephen Katz (Nick Nolte). 2015

Directed by: Ken Kwapis

Screenplay by: Rick Kerb, Bill Holderman
Based on the novel by Bill Bryson

Starring: Robert Redford and Nick Nolte

Thursday, August 20, 2015

American Ultra: Movie Review


Goes for more action than comedy, but is entertaining.
American Ultra is trying to juggle quite a few ideas, a few genres, and different styles of humour, but it can be a genuinely good time in its earnestness to be entertaining. First it's a stoner comedy and it's a Hollywood-style shoot 'em up action movie, all the while actually being based in reality – albeit a hyper-stylized, uber-violent, way over-the-top form of reality. And you usually can't put those adjectives and the word “reality” in the same sentence, so you can get a sense of the problems that American Ultra is creating for itself. 2015

Directed by: Nima Nourizadeh

Screenplay by: Max Landis

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart

Sunday, August 16, 2015

She's Funny That Way: Movie Review


A farce that pays tribute to a bygone age of movies.
She's Funny That Way is the story of a prostitute named Izzy who becomes an actress named Isabella and the theatre director who changed her life. The movie's a throwback to the screwball comedies of the 1940s where movies were seen as magical and and an escape from one's life. While this doesn't reach the same heights as a must-see comedy, it is clever and funny in its own way. 2014

Directed by: Peter Bogdanovich

Screenplay by: Peter Bogdanovich
Based on play by Louise Stratten

Starring: Imogen Poots, Owen Wilson

Friday, August 14, 2015

Irrational Man: Movie Review


Shifting from drama to comedy with murder.
Irrational Man doesn't feel like a Woody Allen movie, even though it is one. The beautiful cinematography comforts you as it opens with a very odd tone, and we know the older-man/younger-woman relationship story is going to come, but it still doesn't feel right. Part of the problem is that it's supposed to be one of his comedies, even though the lead character, Joaquin Phoenix as Abe, acts as though it's a drama. 2015

Directed by: Woody Allen

Screenplay by: Woody Allen

Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone

Friday, August 7, 2015

Ricki and the Flash: Movie Review


The family drama and comedy end up playing back-up to Ricki and her songs.
Meryl Streep is Ricki. I think it has already been determined that she can play whatever she wants and an aging rock star who still glams it up as if it's the 1980s and as if she's still in her thirties, doesn't even seem like a stretch anymore. For the movie itself, Ricki and the Flash is stretching and contorting itself into whichever genre it feels like being in the moment. 2015

Directed by: Jonathan Demme

Screenplay by: Diablo Cody

Starring: Meryl Streep

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Barely Lethal: Movie Review

A giant leap into nonsense with a preposterous premise and limited comedy.

Barely Lethal is a teen girl comedy and a spy action movie. Like combining Clueless (1995) and Mean Girls (2004) with Kick-Ass (2010) and Sucker Punch (2011). Not a bad combination if it works, but the premise starts at such a ridiculous level and it only gets worse from there. There are some good ideas, but overall it's a far-fetched mess. 2015

Directed by: Kyle Newman

Screenplay by: John D'Arco

Starring: Hailee Steinfeld