You can always tell when Oscar season has arrived. Films grow maudlin and tackle subjects like racism, genocide and human dysfunction. The Judge is early out of the gate for Academy consideration and packs a cast of lauded actors, a couple of whom have already made the trip to the dais. The film isn't perfect, but if you want to see some spectacular acting, this is your movie.
If you're thinking of heading to the Cineplex this week, here's the recap of what's worth seeing:
So I've been doing some substitute-teaching of late—just a class here and there. I get to brush up on some subjects in which I used to be proficient, back when the wheels were well-oiled. It's a win-win, really—for me. The students (I think) enjoy their time with their new sub. I haven't been pelted with spit wads or been fooled into spending the entire class discussing The League on FX (OK, once, it happened once). So far, I'm teaching, they're learning. All is as it should be. And that's when the teacher I am helping out informs me of one tiny detail: On Tuesday, you'll be taking my beginning Greek class.
Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) leaves his rural Missouri cul de sac one sunny July day and heads to visit his twin sister, Margo (Carrie Coon), at a neighborhood bar they co-own. There, Nick receives a call from a neighbor letting him know—we assume—that his front door is open and his cat has gotten out. When Nick returns to retrieve the animal, something is not right.
Supporters, and state and local officials recently attended the grand opening of SouthSide Early Childhood Center. The new building is twice the size of the previous facility, and includes 10 classrooms, a multipurpose room, resource library, kids’ ‘kitchen’ and preschool garden, state-of-the-art meeting and conference rooms, and a natural playground.
Story: Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker were two kids chafing to escape the cross-hairs of the Great Depression. Clyde’s father was an itinerant farmer, always beholden to someone else for the meager wages that fed his wife and two sons, while Bonnie was raised by her God-fearing widowed mother to work hard and respect the system.
It seems that lately, a slew of former Saturday Night Live cast-members are branching out, with varying degrees of success. One need only glance at a Rob Schneider comedy to know the downside of these attempts. Will Forte turned in a solid performance in Nebraska, Tina Fey has had spotty success, and Will Ferrell is a superstar. And while Kristen Wiig had a monster hit with Bridesmaids, this is her first foray into an actor-driven independent film, and she and her SNL castmate Bill Hader deliver.
Nothing grabbing you at the theater? Here are the options for home:
With seemingly endless choices, varietals spanning the globe, and descriptive words like ‘angular’ and ‘toasty’, the wine aisle can be an intimidating spot. Add the task of matching seasonal fall dishes with specific flavor profiles, and choosing the right bottle might leave a sour taste. But fret not—below, local sommeliers and wine managers dish about their go-to bottles for fall, meaning you can sit back, relax, and uncork a bottle…or two!
When you think of the hybrid genre of family dramedy, a lot of poignant, funny movies come to mind like Terms of Endearment (poignant) and The Royal Tennenbaums (funny); but either way, it's clear the awkward family reunion is rife with potential. Here, sadly, most of that potential remains untapped.
I have to say I almost skipped this movie because the title sounds so much like a Western. I just kept picturing Clint Eastwood at a cemetery at high noon for the shootout, a low whistling music in the background...you see my point. This movie, however, is most definitely not a Western. Here, action mainstay Liam Neeson helps a man find out what happened when his wife is abducted. Sound familiar? Rest assured, it's not Taken; this film is something much darker, and much less satisfying.
It's officially fall: School is in full swing, sweaters are coming out and thoughts turn to pumpkin-carving and apple-picking. I know it's fall for another reason: At the cineplex, the film previews have turned to all things sinister. You know what I mean. The trailer starts off with a girl entering a long, abandoned attic, and pulling drop cloths off Victorian furniture. Then she comes across an old charm/mirror/clock/masque and the violent montage begins. After a few lines of dialogue explaining the premise--the man murdered a dozen girls then disappeared/they thought she was a witch and burned her home with her in it/he walked into the old mine one day and never emerged—the credits pop up. Brace yourself. Then, there's one final scary shot of a face with yellow eyes (or a dead body sitting up). Yeah, yeah.
When I see a movie released in 2014 that stars the late James Gandolfini, I worry. The cynic in me assumes the film was shelved after it was shot, and only released after Gandolfini's death in hopes of sympathy ticket sales. I don't know if that's what actually happened, regardless, this film is certainly worthy.
Steve Coogan is an interesting actor. While his film, Philomena, was not my favorite, it did catch the eye of critics and brought him to the forefront as an Indie mainstay. He has a unique ability to find humor in serious material, and reveals a surprising vulnerability when playing a thick-skinned grouch--in this case, himself. Combine that with a relatively lighthearted jaunt through the European countryside and you have an enjoyable, if protracted couple of hours.
So, that happened. After some 17 years of being louse-free, last week, I got the call: Punch has head lice. Now, before you recoil in disgust—well, after you've finished recoiling in disgust, I feel I need to clarify. Having lice is not a reflection of one's general hygiene. The daughter of my most germaphobic friend had head lice five separate times. The cleaner the head of hair, the more likely a louse will find a suitable home. Much like us, it seems lice like a clean living space. Why they would choose to reside on the head of a 13-year-old boy who showers only at gunpoint only confounds me more. Regardless, a home they did indeed find.
Frankly, I don't understand how this thing got produced. The film spans the final two years in the short but memorable life of screen legend Errol Flynn. And while the film seems to be merely allegation and conjecture, if we are to believe what is being portrayed, it has to be one of the more nauseating tales from the Golden Age of Hollywood.
I'll give you the good news first: If you are a special-effects fan, there are plenty of choices for movie rentals. If you're not...well, the new fall TV season starts soon. Here's what's new on DVD. Oh, and if you can only handle one big superhero movie, I've ranked them in order of preference.
Summer is over—maybe not according to the calendar; but according to the cineplex, it is.
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.
From walking up the red carpet to strutting down the runway, kids will be in the spotlight at the Friends of Kids with Cancer Fashion Show and Boutique on Nov. 6 at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis. “It’s like the Academy Awards,” says executive director Judy Ciapciak.
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.
I am no stranger to the impact of a carefully worded, succinct message. In my previous life as a news reporter, I honed the craft of telling a story in 45 seconds or less. And currently, I am given this weekly platform to communicate directly with you, our readers, in approximately 180 words. But how does one capture the range of feelings and emotions and opinions throughout St. Louis these past few days?