People go to the movies for many different reasons. We go to be entertained, provoked, intrigued. Some people go to be shocked, challenged or even scared. This film is intense, well-acted and certainly thought-provoking. It is an awkward look into evil and forgiveness and the role of religion in both. It is not, however, why I go to the movies.
I'm sorry, I can't help myself: This has to be the worst title in movie history. I get it, it has meaning. It's also wordy and uninteresting. There, I said it. Moving on...There are great high-school football movies like Remember the Titans and Friday Night Lights. There are great movies about faith and moral certainty (Becket, Signs). Unfortunately, this movie is neither.
If you decide to skip the cineplex, these are the top rental options:
You might recognize Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr., if you are fans of the hit sitcom, New Girl. Johnson plays Zooey Deschanel's wildly unmotivated on-again, off-again boyfriend. Wayans plays her underachieving roommate. If you forgot to refill your Ambien prescription, a few episodes should do the trick. Apparently, Hollywood was of the opinion that America needed more of these two, because too much is never enough. So, more is what we got.
Movies that revolve around food and cooking make me nervous. It’s almost as if the director thinks he can sacrifice a plot for a lingering shot of a bell pepper--or a magical moment of whisking an egg. And while food is an incredible thing to look at, assembling a salad does not a movie make. This film, I’m delighted to say, was more than a pleasant surprise. Yes, the food is mouth-watering, but the story is even better.
Woody Allen evokes a strong reaction from movie-goers—sometimes for the right reasons; sometimes, not. And I will admit, despite being a fan, his films can miss the mark. That usually occurs when he sacrifices story for agenda—or self indulgence. However, when he writes a compelling script and lets his love of filmmaking show, it’s captivating.
I am extremely cautious of movies that take on the basic rules that govern our world: time, space, gravity, relativity, and so forth. It’s possible that I have so much trouble grasping most of the basic premises that when an alternative theory is presented, I know I disagree, but I’m not completely sure why. In any event, I can completely and thoroughly grasp a good movie—and if it’s done well, the science still may be fiction, but it is nonetheless plausible and even interesting.
It’s always hard seeing films with posthumous performances. I don’t mean watching a Jimmy Stewart classic or a Marilyn Monroe comedy. I mean watching Heath Ledger’s Joker or James Gandolfini in Enough Said. Here, we have Philip Seymour Hoffman (who died in February) in one of his final roles. Sadly, even his brilliant, charismatic performance isn’t enough to help this film.
So, Frozen, Disney’s most recent animated offering, received an avalanche of critical acclaim. The film won two Academy Awards—Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song—and is being called the best animated feature film since…since what? What are the best animated movies of all time? Where are you failing in the parent (or grandparent) department, if you have deprived the little ones a viewing?
Show: The ninth annual St. Louis Cabaret Conference was held July 28 through August 1, allowing students to take lessons from a variety of artists adept in the stylistic art form. Founded by Tim Schall and Sharon Hunter in 2006, the conference was expanded in 2012 by producer Schall to include the St. Louis Cabaret Festival, a series of cabaret performances occurring while the conference is under way.
Story: Return with us now to 1959 for the senior year of the fun-loving kids at fictional Rydell High School (anyone else remember Bobby Rydell?). It seems that over the summer, Danny Zuko, leader of a group of school greasers known as the T-Birds, had a romance with a chick named Sandy Dumbrowski.
Zach Braff is an interesting filmmaker. It’s clear his subject matter always is intensely personal and this movie is no exception. He raised money to make this film—written with his brother—by using a Kickstarter campaign online and recruiting a few of his friends from his hit show, Scrubs. It certainly was worth the effort.
Let me begin by saying it has been a very pleasant weekend at the cineplex. This film is one reason: Here, we have a compilation of plot points, none of which are particularly original or extreme, but by the miracle of strong writing and exceptional acting, we get a movie that is refreshing and surprisingly original.
Here’s a quick look at what’s showing--what to run out and see, and which ones to avoid:
Story: There’s hell to pay, which generally is OK with Morticia Addams, when she suspects that her beloved husband, Gomez, is keeping a secret from her. That’s not happened before in their boisterous, 25-year marriage, which generally has been a quarter-century of good times in their decrepit home hidden (somehow) within New York City’s fabled Central Park.
Story: An infant boy, shipwrecked in the early 20th century with his parents off the west coast of Africa, is left alone after the boy’s parents are killed by a leopard. A nurturing gorilla named Kala, whose own infant is carried off by the same leopard, finds the boy and takes care of him as her own child.
Let me start off by saying I think Clint Eastwood is one of the greatest directors working today. He has an almost magical ability to capture the heart of a story, to let the audience connect with the human element. That makes it all the more difficult to understand what went wrong here.
Let me start by saying that I absolutely love an 80-minute movie. When did everyone decide that for a film to be legitimate, it has to hover around the two-hour mark? It’s like everyone’s back in high school, trying to get the term paper to 10 pages. The brilliance of this story is only amplified by its brevity.
I will be brief: On the one hand, I can appreciate the tongue-in-cheek references to big box-office sequels. We can almost chuckle at how the film beats a dead horse with constant quips about formula plots and increased production budgets…almost. Honestly, I really could have appreciated all the wink-and-a-smile,‘breaking-the-fourth-wall’ references if filmmakers had put an iota of thought into the script. It’s all well and good to joke about how sequels are more expensive, less amusing repeats of the original, but to then go ahead an actually be just that is mind-boggling. It would seem the joke is on us.
There are very few actors working today I would rather watch on screen than Clive Owen. He is talented and handsome, and capable of demonstrating that rare combination of strength and vulnerability. He’s an Oscar-caliber actor just waiting for the right film. His costar here, Juliette Binoche, is a beautiful and charming actress--and yes, she already has an Oscar. Together, one would think there would be very little that could keep them from making a terrific film--unless that one thing is the script.
In the wake of a string of atrocious big-budget bombs for Tom Cruise--and a title that makes it sound like a '70s soap opera--I was fully prepared to hate this movie. I was hoping it would be so bad I could walk out, get a little payback for having to sit through Oblivion. However, I should have known that if any movie star can weather the storm, it’s Tom Cruise. After countless maybe-I’ll-rent-it releases, he finally picked a winner.
I will be brief. People interested in seeing this movie want to know one of two things: 1) Is it tame enough for little kids? and 2) Is it interesting enough for adults? The answer to both is yes. Regarding the first point: This is Disney, after all. Regarding the second: This is Angelina Jolie.
Considering one of the plot points of this film is how critics—who have no talent or ability in their field of expertise—can devastate their subjects, I am a tad hesitant to proceed. Let me start by saying this: I have seen every film Jon Favreau has directed. He is an extremely talented director, and lets the movie speak without being heavy-handed or pretentious. Like his work in front of the camera, his direction is charming. When Favreau decided to make this movie, he came on board with a director, a screenwriter and a leading man. What he apparently did not have was an editor.
A film about a noble of mixed race in 18th-century England might evoke a lot of images, thoughts and questions. How would a child of a noble and a black commoner survive in such a rigidly structured society? What would her life be like? All interesting questions...sadly, this film does a remarkably unsatisfying job of answering them.
My brother and I used to spend the night at my grandmother’s house and watch the original Godzilla movies. I would bury my head in my pillow, begging for him to change the channel as he dangled the antique remote over my head with a sinister grin. That one sequel with the giant moth scarred me. So, you can imagine my surprise years later, when I realized I had had the dinner scared out of me by a puppet smashing cardboard models on a ping-pong table. Special effects have come a long way…as have film budgets.