Nov 15, 2016

SuperBob (2015)

Cute idea. Subpar execution. Not funny or exciting enough.

Rating: C-

Paycheck (2003)

Viewers will be frustrated trying to make sense of this haywire plot. Total CRAP! Completely unbelievable. The "romance" between Ben and Uma is just gross. No sparks whatsoever. Void this paycheck!

Rating: F

Whiplash (2014)

Absolutely intense movie. I came away emotionally damaged just watching it. An insightful look into a world of musicianship that most of us are blissfully unaware of. Terrific performances by the two male leads. Oscar worthy? Quite possibly.

Rating: B

Click (2006)

Most of the humor comes from the many supporting characters in small roles. You've seen this story played out a million different ways already. This time around, it's with a remote.

Rating: D+

Trainwreck (2015)

Amy’s first big foray into motion pictures is a mixed bag. This is not Judd Apatow’s best writing, likely because it was probably written for Amy. That would explain how forced many scenes were. Still, they rounded up a lot of funny people to make appearances in the film and I laughed enough to warrant a C rating.

Rating: C

The Rocker (2008)

No real surprises, but enough laughs to hold your attention.

Rating: C

St. Vincent (2014)

Terrific performance from Bill Murray. The plot is your typical About-A-Boy style dysfunctional pairing between a flawed adult and mature beyond his years boy. Despite often being clichéd, it’s still witty and sometimes heartwarming.

Rating: C+

Alexander: Director’s Cut (2004)

I watched the director's cut, which is a very long 167 minutes. You will find yourself in the role of editor, thinking from time to time how you would have trimmed this scene, or cut out that act completely. I imagine the theatrical version was substantially less gay than Stone's version. It's an interesting take on history, but a long, and sometimes boring lesson to sit through.

Rating: C-

The Martian (2015)

A science heavy sci-fi film that’s essentially a one man play. Matt Damon pulls a Tom Hanks on castaway, acting the hell out of his role, and holding the audience’s attention while doing it. While I would be busy figuring out the least painful way to die, he was figuring out how to live.

Is it all realistic? No. I mean, who travels into space for that long without bringing their own iTunes playlist and better TV shows than Happy Days? Despite these shortcomings, it’s highly entertaining and looks fantastic on the big screen.

Rating: B-

13 Hours (2016)

I can’t speak to how accurate the film is, but I can say the screenplay was pretty intense. Almost nonstop action reminiscent of Blackhawk Down. Does a decent job of putting the audience inside the action and makes you contemplate how it might be if you were there. You’ll definitely appreciate your shitty 9-5 more after this.

Rating: B-

Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)

Perhaps a glimpse of what the James Bond franchise could be with some new blood behind the camera? This is a sneaky film. It presents itself as an old codger spy throwback, but in reality it’s a balls out, over-the-top, head popping splatterfest. Which is to say, I enjoyed it. Belief has to be suspended, as the plot it borderline Austin Powers crazy, but it’s a fun crazy, with Samuel J going for broke.

Rating: B-

Amexicano (2007)

An interesting perspective on immigration. I liked the story and characters. I would have preferred a happier ending.

Rating: C

Man Up (2015)

Cute, but contrived. Especially the ending.

Rating: C

Beauty Is Embarrassing (2012)

Documentary on the life of Wayne White, artist known for his work on Pee Wee’s Playhouse and other projects. I found it interesting and mostly entertaining.

Rating: C

Jul 20, 2016

The Big Blue (Le Grand Bleu) (1988)

A film that depicts the intensity of championship deep sea free diving and one mans love of the water. An odd movie that can drag at times in this director's cut, but still held my attention throughout.

Rating: C

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)

Something different. Could easily be written off as an actor’s film with limited appeal designed to garner award nominations. Which is all true. But for those who do take the time to see this, I think most will generally walk away entertained. It’s bizarre, and a tad bit claustrophobic. I think I appreciated the middle section more than the beginning and end. A film that will be appreciated more for its parts than the total sum.

Rating: C

We Were Soldiers (2002)

Just as graphic, if not more so, than Saving Private Ryan. Very effective film. Nice to see them attempting to show both sides of the war for a change.

Rating: B-

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief (2015)

Outside of the South Park episode and the movie The Master, I didn’t know a whole lot about Scientology. Watching this documentary was an eye opener to say the least. Fascinating and shocking come to mind. Really curious to see where the story of Scientology ends.

Rating: C+

The Jacket (2005)

To me, this was an updated version of Somewhere In Time, that slow, boring, chick flick which nearly put me in a coma. Both involve finding one's true love in another time after lying down. Only, with The Jacket, it involves restraints and some serious drugs.

Rating: C

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014)

The gorgeous visuals and striking cinematic compositions are back. This graphic novel-film mash up really does it for me. The original Sin City is one of my favorite films of all time, so any sequel has impossible shoes to fill. With that said, A Dame To Kill For is very entertaining. Many of my favorite characters from the first are back, plus a few new ones. I didn’t find the plot quite as gripping as the original, but it does the job. Definitely worth seeing.

Rating: B-