Aug 30, 2017

Blackfish (2013)

Another important documentary that will sadly go unseen by the masses. I think if people were even nominally aware of what goes on behind the scenes for them to get splashed by Shamoo, they would stop buying tickets for places like Sea World.

Rating: C

Welcome To Me (2014)

At its best when going completely off the rails with the talk show within the movie. Interesting concept that had some decent laughs as well. I love when Joan Cusack plays deadpan. She’s great. 

Rating: C

Zoolander (2001)

I love Ben Stiller, but this was a big disappointment. Some parts were really funny, but movies based on skits rarely have the ability to flesh out an entire film.

Rating: C-

The Saratov Approach (2013)

This isn’t the most exciting of kidnapping capers. So much of the film is comprised of flashbacks, soul searching, nervous conversation, and prayer. Still, I thought they did a decent job of portraying an actual kidnapping, as opposed to an over-stylized Hollywood version, where The Rock busts down the door, shoots the bad guys, and carries the boys home on his back.

Rating: C

Dive! Living Off America’s Waste (2010)

Documentary about America’s food waste and the alternative lifestyle of dumpster diving. Some interesting insights that might make you reconsider those expiration dates.

Rating: C

Fools Rush In (1997)

Watching this for a second time reminds me how very 90's it was. Vegas and the clothing have both come a long way since then. Still a fun take on what happens when two cultures collide after falling in love.

Rating: C+

The Spectacular Now (2013)

Teen relationship movie. The main character was interesting, but the movie was just average.

Rating: C

Hotel Rwanda (2004)

Films like this make me hate other people. I hate people who act on their hatred. It's a great film that tells an important true story, and hopefully does more than simply entertain. Excellent performances.

Rating: B

Garbage Warrior (2007)

If you are into off-the-grid living, environmentalism, and architecture, this documentary will appeal to you.

Rating: C

Cheap Thrills (2013)

Nothing here of any redeeming value. Move on.

Rating: D-

Aug 16, 2017

The Count Of Monte Cristo (2002)

Despite a confusing story, the twists and turns eventually come together into a satisfying plot. Great supporting roles from Luis Guzman and Richard Harris.

Rating: C+

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

Started out weak, however once Wick arrived in Rome, things started to flow. Bodies began piling up. The viewer must overlook, of course, the extreme number of head shots inflicted at the hands of John. He of course is never on the receiving end of any. Also, how does one man get hit by a car so many times and simply shake it off? It’s not high cinema, but it’s fun.

Rating: C+

Mud (2012)

The two young leads are going places. Authentic performances in a film that had more to say than anticipated. 

Rating: C+

Joy (2015)

Big fan of David O. Russell here. He makes the most of what he has to work with here, and much of it works. It’s a character driven movie that gives you more of an appreciation for those inventing and bringing products to market. Nothing blows you away, but it’s a solid film.

Rating: C+

Be Cool (2005)

I guess I was entertained. The movie rolled by in front of me and I watched. I didn't laugh, because nothing was really funny. I wasn't scared, because nothing was scary. I wasn't excited, because nothing was overly violent or dramatic. It was simply a story and I watched. I have no idea what this movie was trying to be, if anything at all.

Rating: D

In The High Country (2013)

Some cool scenery and editing work. Beautiful countryside. Not much beyond that.

Rating: C

Paper Heart (2009)

A quirky, original romantic comedy mockumentary. I think that covers all the bases. The movie itself is fairly entertaining, but it's the special features that actually tie everything together. Some of the funniest and most revealing moments are from the cutting room floor.

Rating: C

Aug 15, 2017

The Magnificent Seven (2016)

A decent remake of the classic Western.

Rating: C+

Something’s Gotta Give (2003)

I really enjoyed this one. I've got to hand it to Nicholson for taking challenging and age appropriate roles since 1997 when he did As Good As It Gets. About Schmidt was another great performance. I would rate these as three of his best films to date. Diane Keeton was wonderful too.

Well written and acted. 1-2 scenes were absolutely perfect. Nancy Meyers, the writer/director, has single handedly kept Diane Keeton in business, what with Baby Boom, Father of the Bride I & II, and now this.

Rating: B

The Hacker Wars (2014)

Curious about Anonymous and hacktivism? This jittery doc will give you a crash course. It’s a nice companion piece to Citizenfour and the one on Wikileaks.

Rating: C