May 17, 2017

Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)

I really enjoyed the unique animation style mixed with origami. The story was rich with Japanese culture. Well-made and enjoyable to watch.

Rating: B-

Babylon A.D. (2008)

The Transporter meets Children of Men, only without the tight editing and script. Someone bit off more than they could chew here. Direction was scattershot, dialogue was woeful, acting was sub par, and the screenplay needed a few more revisions. Too much movie trying to be squeezed into a 90 minute package.

Rating: D

Cooties (2014)

I loved the opening credit montage. Perfect PSA for why meat is disgusting. The movie itself hovers just above a B rated zombie flick. There are occasional funny lines that help make the 90 minutes somewhat palatable.

Rating: C-

Silverado (1985)

It took me over 30 years to finally see this classic Western. Impressive cast. They checked all the boxes and the good guys won.

Rating: B-

In The Heart Of The Sea (2015)

It’s impossible for me to root for the guys hunting whales, so no tears were shed when they met their fate. Mostly ho hum until it became a survival story, even if it did become grim rather quickly. Moral of the story—always stay on the island.

Rating: C-

Finding Neverland (2004)

An enjoyable family film. Depp and Winslett are great.

Rating: C+

Twenty Feet From Stardom (2013)

As a music lover, I enjoyed finding out more about the background singers from many songs that I love.

Rating: C

The Good Girl (2002)

Quirky, dark comedy about the life of a drug store clerk in a dull town who is unhappy with everything around her. When an odd new clerk enters her life, things begin to spin out of control. Solid indie cast makes it worth checking out.

Rating: C+

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

This felt like a movie conceived for the already converted Harry Potter fanatics. I am anything but that. To me it was another superhero movie, but with magic. If your mind is still soft and undeveloped, you may be entertained by the smoke and mirrors. I found very little of substance beneath the surface outside of a few cute ideas.

Rating: D

I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (2007)

Kevin James can be funny given the right material. Sadly, he's forced to deliver nuggets of coal from this dried up shaft.

Rating: D-

Citizenfour (2014)

It’s not that the shooting style, editing, or cinematography are anything special in this documentary about Edward Snowden, it’s the content. I wish more people would take the time to see this.

Rating: B-

May 16, 2017

Get Out (2017)

I’d heard Get Out was messed up, but the fun was in discovering just what kind of messed up we were dealing with. The closest thing I can compare it to is the film Red State. That’s a compliment. Go see it.

Rating: B-

Spectre (2015)

That entire opening sequence in Mexico City was stupid. All the ingredients of a cheesy 80s action movie were there. Is that what James Bond is aiming for these days?

This was Sam Mendes cashing in a big paycheck so he could make other films worth seeing. The whole thing was rather boring. The plot was one cliché after another. Leftover leftovers.

Rating: D-

White Noise (2005)

The film is based on completely ridiculous pseudo-science, and therefore the rest of the movie falters around it. There were two pretty good scream-out-loud scenes. That's about it.

Rating: D

Blue Ruin (2013)

A peculiar revenge flick without a happy ending. Would have rated it higher otherwise.

Rating: C

Beware Of Mr. Baker (2012)

Documentary about Ginger Baker, legendary drummer for Cream and many other bands. He’s lived an abnormal life that was showcased with mixed results in the film. An alternate title could have been Selfish Prick.

Rating: C

May 15, 2017

Suicide Squad (2016)

This third installment feels like a series of flashy music videos loosely held together by something resembling a plot. Despite watching the extended version, it felt like major storylines were missing. As if they’d taken 13 TV episodes and edited them into a 2-hour movie.

Some fun moments and likable characters make it bearable, but there was far too much magic and craziness for my liking. I prefer my superhero movies to be more subtle. 

Rating: C-

Taking Woodstock (2009)

I don't know that I would have bothered seeing this if it wasn't for Ang Lee. Not the director you first think of for this kind of movie. What you get are some really interesting characters, nice performances, authentic set pieces, and a quirky story based on actual events.

It felt uneven at times. A few scenes were simply wedged in because they needed to go somewhere; but overall it was entertaining.

Rating: C

A Most Violent Year (2014)

It felt like the entire movie was building up to something big, which never arrived. A more interesting movie would have allowed for his wife to bring in her mobster family to set things right. Conflict in their marriage would have escalated as she took over wearing the big boy britches. Oh well.

Rating: C

May 12, 2017

I Am David (2003)

A story about a 12 year old boy who escapes from a work camp in Eastern Europe during WWII and makes his way to Denmark. A good supporting cast and big enough budget to make things look authentic.

Rating: C