Friday, January 26, 2018

A Futile and Stupid Gesture: Movie Review

Funny, witty, tragic - a great comedy.
A Futile and Stupid Gesture is about the life of Doug Kenney. The funny man behind the National Lampoon and a defining force of the comedy scene in the 1970s. By every definition of the phrase, an actual comic genius, who took the art of comedy to new highs, the other kind of high, and then the resulting lows. This is a truly great comedy; not only very funny but it’s actually about something more than just being funny. 2018

Directed by: David Wain

Screenplay by: Michael Colton, John Aboud
Based on the book by Josh Karp

Starring: Will Forte, Domhnall Gleeson

Friday, January 19, 2018

Created Equal: Movie Review

A legal drama with something interesting to say.
Starring Aaron Tveit as a cocky lawyer and Lou Diamond Phillips as the quietly-confident representative for the Catholic Church, Created Equal does the important things right. A name cast to try and garner some interest in this small independent feature, but more importantly, it picks an interesting case and argues both sides. It picks apart the legal and theological arguments both for and against the church’s right to disallow women into the seminary. 2018

Directed by: Bill Duke

Screenplay by: Ned Bowman, Joyce Renee Lewis, and Michael Ricigliano Jr
Based on the novel by R.A. Brown

Starring: Edy Ganem, Aaron Tveit

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Crazy Famous: Movie Review

Successfully walks to the tightrope between nonsense and comedy.
Bob Marcus (Gregory Lay) will do whatever it takes to be famous – that includes stripping down to his underwear and using a trampoline to vault over the President’s security gate. Unfortunately, he was at Camp David and the President wasn’t there at the time, so it didn’t get him on the news, but it did get him a stay at a mental institution. That’s the premise for indie comedy Crazy Famous. Silly for sure, but it’s a funny, short, entertaining romp about sanity and government agents. 2017

Directed by: Paul Jarrett

Screenplay by: Bob Farkas

Starring: Gregory Lay, Richard Short, Victor Cruz and David Neal Levin

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Post: Movie Review


Enthralling timeliness about the fight for the freedom of press.
The timeliness of The Post, set in 1971, is distressing and eye-opening to say the least. The President (Nixon, but not a visible character in the movie) is throwing the 1st Amendment out the window as he’s trying to stop newspapers from publishing the Pentagon papers and banning reporters from covering his daughter’s wedding. Meanwhile the female president of The Washington Post was facing significant gender discrimination where none of the (all male) board members thought she was capable of leading the paper and would say so to her face. 2017

Directed by: Steven Speilberg

Screenplay by: Liz Hannah, Josh Singer

Starring: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Bob Odenkirk, Tracy Letts and Bradley Whitford

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Molly's Game: Movie Review


Fast-talking, smart story of one accomplished woman.
Molly Bloom was a world-class skier, an academic over-achiever, a woman who built a legal multi-million-dollar poker business on her own wits and intelligence, and now she’s a felon. Molly’s Game is her story - all of her story, or at least the prescient moments from her first 36 years. It’s the highs and the lows and most importantly, how she got there. 2017

Directed by: Aaron Sorkin

Screenplay by: Aaron Sorkin
Based on the book by Molly Bloom

Starring: Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba

Friday, January 5, 2018

I, Tonya: Movie Review


Uproariously entertaining with astute insight into Tonya Harding.
Craig Gillespie, director of I, Tonya, opts for a comedic breaking-the-fourth-wall type biopic where characters in mid-action will either deny or confirm what they’re currently doing. When Tonya has a rifle aimed at ex-husband Jeff’s head, she says she didn’t do it. When Jeff slams Tonya’s fingers in the car door, he says he didn’t do it. But you know they did do most of it. The style works for a too-crazy-to-be-true true story. 2017

Directed by: Craig Gillespie

Screenplay by: Steven Rogers

Starring: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney, Paul Walter Hauser

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Pitch Perfect 3: Movie Review


Ludicrous plot doesn’t fit the Pitch Perfect tone.
Given the poor reception that Pitch Perfect 3 has received, it would be tempting to say the series has gone out with a whimper instead of a bang, but no, the movie literally goes out with a bang. The Bellas are performing on a yacht, Fat Amy comes crashing through a glass ceiling, blows up the boat, and Amy and Beca jump into the water together. How do we get there? Well Fat Amy becomes a fighting ninja, the Bellas get kidnapped by an international assassin, while they’re touring with the USO in Europe. 2017

Directed by: Trish Sie

Screenplay by: Kay Cannon and Mike White

Starring: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Darkest Hour: Movie Review

A mini-roller coaster of boorish, comic and political statesman.
As Joe Wright has done in all of his previous films, particularly the period pieces such as Anna Karenina and Atonement, he perfectly captures the style for the setting. In Darkest Hour, it’s a sepia-toned British Parliament, with a hundred men all wearing black suits shouting about their ineptitude to stop the German advances of World War II. It’s May 1940, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain is about to resign and Britain, and the world, need a new leader to help them defeat Hitler. 2017

Directed by: Joe Wright

Screenplay by: Anthony McCarten

Starring: Gary Oldman, Kristin Scott Thomas