Even though things are apparently so easy a caveman to can do it, everything leading up to The Croods left me skeptical that animated movies were something they could tackle. With expectations set low, The Croods could only go up from there. [Read more...]
Week after week I apparently find ways to theme my rentals without realizing it beforehand. Scratch that, I totally did it on purpose, and you know it’s true cuz I said totally. A couple of weeks ago I went with creature features, and this week’s selection of The Nines and Being John Malkovich has me going for films in which reality is not really all it seems to be, creating odd words that raise questions, both for the betterment, and detrimental to, the film. [Read more...]
Now, don’t let that last bit scare you, this film is a comedy first and foremost but there are many quiet and sweet moments of introspection that really help elevate the film to another level of being just a comedy. The story follows John, a still sort of love sick divorcé who still works closely with his ex who is also his closest friend after seven years apart, that finally meets a woman, Molly, that seems to gel with him but she has a minor hindrance; her 21 year old son who still lives at home, Cyrus. Now, this wouldn’t seem like the biggest problem but their relationship is a bit too close for most peoples comfort. Home schooled and having never gone off to college, Cyrus, is a bit of a mama’s boy and doesn’t know much of a life beyond his mother and his electric industrial synth music.
The latest adaptation from Chris Columbus is a huge step forward from his dismal last effort but for every good scene in this film there is a bad line or plot hole that levels the film out to just being an alright, mildly entertaining experience.
Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief is quite a long title but the film is the first adaptation from this fantasy series that has quite the following and is hoping to be the next big thing with kids. After watching the first film, I think it will connect quite well with younger audiences and even works for the older audience at times but anyone with a bit of common sense will have quite a lot to shake their head at as this film rushes through to the end.
Percy Jackson seems like just like any other high school kid, but what he doesn’t know is that he is actually the son of Poseidon and is in the middle of brewing war between the Greek gods that the blame firmly falls on young Percy’s shoulders. It is unfortunate that Percy doesn’t know this yet and before he knows it he is attacked by a number of evil beasts as he, his mother, and his recently revealed protector/ best friend comes out of hiding and leads them in flee to “the camp.” The party reaches the camp which houses and trains all of the half-man/half-gods to use their powers and Percy must train to head off on his quest to stop the impending war. [Read more...]
Spike Jonze’s long delayed adaptation of the beloved novel Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak finally has hit the screens and the results are more or less wonderful on every level.
Our hero is Max, a young nine year old with a wild side that can emerge from his everyday child hood demeanor when his buttons get pushed a little too far. In fact, it doesn’t take much pressure to set the kid off and when Max and his mother get into when she has a gentleman caller over, Max runs out of the house and sails of to a foreign land inhabited by a group of giant monster like wild things. Max quickly becomes anointed their king with promises to bring changes and happiness to their land.
That’s right, happiness, and I think you will quickly find that this film isn’t the fun filled adventure the trailers are selling it as. The wild things are not a happy race of creatures and their defacto leader, Carol, is riding an emotional roller coaster over the course of the film. Elated one minute, angry the next, and moping around depressed the next, Carol, is a fairly diverse and complicated character that is much unexpected for a film for younger audiences. In fact, outside Ira, most of the wild things are grappling with some kind of emotional distress and Max does his best to try and address everyone’s issues though very little is resolved over the course of the film. [Read more...]
The latest from Joe Wright is an amazing story that is reproduced to great effect, but leaves the viewer asking questions that this true story just doesn’t have the answers too.
Steve Lopez is a columnist at The Los Angeles Times which is unfortunately forcing to change its image a bit in the world of the newspaper crisis. Lopez’s editor, who also happens to be his ex-wife, is pushing stories on him while Lopez tries to hold on to finding and creating original stories from the streets of Los Angeles. Enter Nathaniel Ayers, a homeless man playing a two stringed violin underneath a statue of Beethoven. Lopez approaches Nathaniel and discovers that in between his exceptional play, even minus a couple strings, Nathaniel has a pretty warped perception on what is going on around him. Rambling and spouting off gibberish that is almost completely incomprehensible Lopez gets one bit of information off him that is rather interesting, that Nathaniel attended Julliard. After a bit of investigation Lopez discovers this to be true and finds himself quite a story worth telling. As Lopez begins to write more and more stories about the life of this musical prodigy living on the streets we are also shown flashes of Nathaniel’s life [Read more...]
Charlie Kaufman is back in his most ambitious, intriguing, bizarre, and out there script yet and at the helm he creates a thought provoking piece of work, that demands a second viewing.
Caden Cotard (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is a successful play director, with a bit of a strained marriage to his wife Adele (Catherine Keener), as he plods through life and marriage counseling with little happiness and a sad demeanor. After successfully opening his “young” version of the Death of a Salesman he is awarded a grant to create something amazing and original, in which Caden begins investing his thoughts and time into coming up with his spectacular idea. Getting in the way of all of this is his fear of death and medical sickness and a quickly degenerating marriage, and before we know it, Caden is renting out a giant warehouse to begin rehearsing his play.
I will share no more, as with any Kaufman film less is definitely more, and encourage that if you have any interest in the film that you stop reading now and just experience it as fresh as possible. [Read more...]
Barry Levinson’s latest is a look at Hollywood through the eyes of a big time producer who is dealing with crisis in all aspects of his life, and the result is a solid comedy that gives us a look into Hollywood behind the scenes.
Based off screenwriter Art Linson’s own book, the film is a reflection on his experiences as a producer through the eyes of the fictional Ben, who is warding off three crises over a two week period; one personal, two professional. First up for Ben is his personal struggle with trying to get back in with his most recent family which he has been estranged. As him and his ex work through separation counseling, Ben is trying to get back in and prove he is good for it. Making things hard on this front is the constant badgering he gets handling his professional crisis that keep getting in the way in his present as they did his past that was his downfall at home in the first place. The professional crisis in question is the re-editing of an egotistical director’s (Michael Wincott) film ending after a poor test screening that really went soar after a canine assassination in the end. Added to the mess is the production of his new film is in jeopardy due to the reluctance of Bruce Willis [Read more...]
This irreverent and silly comedy starting Steve Coogan is coming off being the hit film of Sundance and it does a very good job of being funny, even with the lunacy, absurdness, and predictability that fill the picture.
Dana Marschz is a high school drama teacher that has moved to Tucson, AZ after failing to be an actor. He turns out to not be a very good theater producer either and has a whole two students to star in his tri-annual stage shows that are remakes of random films such as Erin Brockovich. Dana is in awe at his productions, but is ravaged by the school critic and is the laughing stock of the administrative community at the school. Match this with his awkward living arrangement and self-loathing/drunk wife and it is amazing that he is able to keep his unmatched ability to remind blindly optimistic about everything. To his surprise, a large group of troublemakers and “ethnics” get enrolled in his drama class, as there is no where else to put them due to asbestos, and Dana takes on the task of having an effect on these children’s lives. [Read more...]
Sean Penn directs his first movie in six years and knocks it out of the park. Into the Wild follows the post graduate life of Christopher McCandless, an Emory graduate that decides to give up everything he has and set off on a life of tramping around the country in an attempt to rediscover himself. [Read more...]