Jan 8, 2017

Bridge Of Spies (2015)

A relatively quiet spy thriller that was lacking in the thrills department. Makes up for it with acting and a solid 1950s recreation.

Rating: C

Welcome (2009)

A French film about an immigrant boy from Iraq trying to reach his girlfriend in London. A lot of powerful messages amidst good performances. It’s a shame they chose to end it in such a depressing manner. Probably closer to reality, but not the way to end a film.

Spoiler alert. The boy drowns and his girlfriend gets forced into a marriage where she’ll be raped repeatedly by an old creep. Credits roll.

Rating: C

Son of a Gun (2014)

A very good action drama from Australia starring Ewan McGregor. I liked how the story gave us a little bit of everything, including hard time in the prison, the big job, and the double cross.

Rating: B-

Dark Water (2005)

All creeped up with nowhere to go. There's a great mood throughout the film, but the story is worn out and boring. How many versions of this plot are we going to copy from Japan anyway?

Rating: D

The Way Way Back (2013)

A great coming of age movie with some fun performances. It managed to avoid many of the schmaltzy and clichéd pitfalls similar films have fallen prey to.

Rating: B-

The Book Of Eli (2010)

A Bible thumping approach to the post apocalyptic story. Don't worry, the film doesn't come off as preachy, but it is part of the central theme. Fortunately, there's some nice knife and gun play to satisfy even the most bloodthirsty moviegoer.

You'll need to overlook many plot holes in the script. Also, they didn't seem to put much thought into how things would wrap up.

Rating: C

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