Showing posts with label ***stars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ***stars. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

'The Heat'***stars

this sandra bullock-melissa mccarthy buddy flick is a hoot. i seldom fine consistent laughs on film or tv lately. however i found myself laughing out loud a lot and less out loud often. some critics are comparing it to 'bridesmaids' which is absurd. it shares nothing with that film other than it's director and ms mccarthy. the two stars have real chemistry and it follows through  from mutual dislike to mutual respect.

i have to say ms mccarthy has grown as an actress since 'bridesmaids'. she no longer goes just for the laugh. i think she is becoming a good actress. sandra, well sandra, always impresses me even in her less than stellar films. she remains in my book 'america's sweetheart'.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

'Salmon Fishing in the Yemen' ***stars

'salmon fishing in the yemen' opened earlier this year without much fanfare. it's a shame. despite having one of the worst titles of the year it's a good film. it's a nice accessible film with wonderful performances by emily blunt and ewan mcgregor and a rare comedic turn from the great kristen scott thomas. so don't let the title fool you. sure there is salmon fishing but that's only the starting point for this heartwarming film and romance. rent this charmer, sit back and enjoy a film aimed at grownup audiences.

available at amazon. see sidebar.

Friday, August 10, 2012

'Last Night': A Lost Gem From 2011 ***stars

 'last night' is a universal slice of life story. i can only imagine we have all had a 'last night'. i certainly have. a couple is separated for 24 hours, in this case because of a business trip, and events just unfold. the events being people. one a business associate: the other a former lover. temptation and old feelings surface. different decisions are made. the overriding consequences not immediately known. 

keira knightley shines. sam worthington and guillaume canet are more than effective in their respective roles. the only weak link is eva mendes. really, would anyone cheat on keira with eva? it's like beauty vs a second hand rose. a better looking actress, or at the very least a better actress, would have made a temptation more plausible. but as we all know most men do not think with their heads but rather think from below our waists. that's a fact! 

this one bit of miscasting does not diminish the whole however. this is definitely worth a viewing or two. you may relate. i sure did.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Look Back At: 'Shame' ***stars

 so i just wrote about what seemed to be michael fassbender's valium induced role in 'a dangerous method'. but i want to give him his due and kudos for his amazing performance in 2011's psycho sexual drama 'shame'. he gives a truly daring performance in a daring film. mr fassbender plays brandon a successful new yorker in a moving intense film. he could be any new yorker you pass on the street. see on the subway. work with. you just don't know the secrets they have. the lonliness they live in. the sexual drama they deal with alone or with others. i saw a lot of myself in the character of brandon. he played me and all the other brandon's well. he gives a grand performance in a tricky art house film. he plays it unashamedly. i believed him. it's not for everyone but i can't rave enough about the film or michael's performance. and he does not mind being totally, yes totally, nude on screen which is just fine by me!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Help' ***stars

it is wonderful that 'the help' has become a grand slam winner at the box office. it's a mainstream film that touches the heart while it is at the same time disturbing. but wait...the disturbing parts are infact the most touching. i think this movie could have been second rate though were it not for the brilliant performances of the lead women in it. viola davis, emma stone, octavia spencer, allison janney, sissy spacek and bryce dallas howard all shine.

pampered white southern women and their 'help'. i have often seen this subject matter treated in more cliched films over the years. here it is not so cliched. i don't think it's the 'last word' on the subject. it should not be the 'last word' but for now it is the best word so far.

viola davis and octavia spencer should get academy consideration come oscar time in best actress and supporting categories respectively. they get a nom from me. there are not many really good parts for black actresses on screen. these two actresses nabbed two of the best to date.

i think just about everyone has seen this film judging from the boffo box office it has done. if you have not i say put it on your list of things to do and see it before the fall/winter oscar hopefuls take over our collective movie going.



now why have i waited so long to see it? well i heard melissa harris-perry discuss it on 'the last word with lawrence o'donnell'. i so so respect ms harris-perry and hearing her 'review' i opted out of going to see it. but word of mouth spread and thus i had see it. also, good friends were urging me to see it. so using viola davis's probable oscar nom as an excuse i went.needless to say i am not sorry i did. but the words of ms harris-perry would not leave me throughout my viewing of it.

when i got home i had to re-watch her interview with mr o'donnell. now, i am not a black woman nor a black man. i'm a northern white gay man somehow transplanted to the south (what the hell was i thinking or smoking?). i do not stand in ms harris-perry's shoes nor the shoes of her ancestors. yet after seeing the film i have to ask: 'what am i missing here?'.

i have no answer to in a way i bow to melissa's first hand knowledge. i am sharing her interview so you can hear her in her own words. you need to decide for yourself. in any case i continue to follow ms harris-perry and her thoughtfulness and hope msnbc graduates her from the 'best substitute teacher' around and gives her tenure as tulane university has done.

ms harris-perry in her own words:

i see strength in adversity in these women. and may i add that i also see the strength in emma stone's character as the white woman who dared to stand up and be counted as a woman of courage. i recommend this beautifully told story and it's wonderful performances.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Bridesmaids' ***stars

anyone who has followed my blog knows that comedic films are not my thing. so kicking and screaming, figuratively, i went with my friends this weekend. i had the best time. perhaps part of it was the company of friends. but mostly it was in the end the film. bathroom humor abounded literally in fact. the lines were funny, the sight gags hysterical. i was surprised. happily. i can really recommend this flick although i may be the last person who saw it as it's been doing blockbuster business. i assure this will not start a trend. i will not go see 'hangover 2' as the first was was as dumb as gw bush.

so there are some comedy surprises still coming out of hollywood every decade or so.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

'Fair Game' Rates ***stars

naomi watts shines in this story of the bullies of the bush administration vs all well the meaning dedicated americans embodied by cia agent valerie plame. the outing of ms. plame by cheney and his lap dog scotter libby is condensed well and keeps a good pace by director doug liman. mr. liman keeps it strangely pibartisan. an amazing fete considering mr. libby was guilty as hell in her outing and the dark shadow of the mad dick cheyney looms ominously over the proceedings.

sean penn so becomes ms. plames husband joe wilson that it's almost eerie. ina more subdued than usual performance he once again proves how great an actor he is. but the film does belong to naomi watts. i see a possible oscar nom looming for her.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

"Propostion 8: Equality for Some" ***stars on DVD

i just caught up with this documentary on the prop 8 amendment in california that makes gay men and women unequal under the law according to the state constitution. it is more a worthy indictment of the mormon religion, with a subtext of the catholic religion, than a call for gay rights. albeit they certainly intermingle here. and it is an indictment that is justified. i know less about the church of latter day saints* than any other religion. they want it that way. they are a secretive group. a cult really which all kidding aside has secret and seemingly magic underwear.  it has at it's center the tenant that all it's members practice obedience. obedience to the elders and to god. mostly to the elders first and their illusion (delusion) of god second. religion is a strange thing. you either believe or you don't. you tithe or you don't (i sure as hell would not). you will be blackmailed into making contributions to a cause that the elders adhere to or you will be banished. take banishment!

this film makes makes a good argument that this church in particular should not be tax exempt. i think no church should be tax exempt as they are able to hide their political financial wheeling and dealing with a clock of protection around them. the power that the roman church had in the 50- early 60's is now held by latter day saints. the papists are crumbling under the weight of scandals and hocus pocus. we can only wait for the same for the lds. mitt romney for president? magic underwear indeed!

i recommend this for the information unearthed about lds. if documentaries are not your thing catch up with hbo's 'big love' a more dramatic and fulfilling look at the absurdity and abominations emanating from utah.

we are in the age of aquarius now. pisces is over. thus the symbol of the fish is replaced. i.e. christianity as we know it is on the way out. wake up ye papists. 

*i don't consider scientology a religion. i see it more as a scify movie in real time. it's a cult like all the others but with no redeeming value. at least the vatican has art on it's side. pillaged art but they have it none the less.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

"Twilight: Eclipse" ***stars

with a new director at the helm, david slade, what is eclipsed this time around is just another vampire movie. mr. slade knows his material. he has gotten to know the actors. he has made a semi-classic romance almost bordering on romantic tragedy. or is falling madly for an undead already the tragedy. well not if you are bella swan. yet who knows that may still happen.

the oft too brooding bella swan now broods with a newfound sensuality. the twosome of bella and the vampire edward cullen begins taking a turn while the mostly in the shadows jacob the werewolf comes out swinging front and center. there is a kiss that could change everything or not. there are glances and stares that have multiple possibilities. yes edward? yes jacob? bella what is going on with the three of you. powerful sensuality with so many unanswered questions. can a human, a vampire, and a shape shifting werewolf ever really get questions answered? their feelings sorted? bella will she or won't she? edward will he or won't he? does this leave jacob with the winning ace?

kristen stewart bursts forward as a new sensual bella...more comfortable in her own skin making her that much more pleasing to us and more able for us to care about and care for. you've made me care bella.

taylor lautner gets a meatier role and just gets meatier. edward asks 'does he ever wear a shirt'. no he doesn't and we don't want him too wear one. he is a better defined jacob now physically and emotionally. he has the acting chops and now gets to truly show them along with those abs.

but it is robert pattinson who truly shines as the vampiric edward cullen. he is the real star here. he shines in every frame he is in. he shows more emotion in one word or one single gesture than most actors of his generation. some compare him to james dean. i say the brilliant montgomery clift. as the movie year is now half over i see only two potential best oscar actor nominees: leo decaprio for 'shutter island' and yes mr. pattinson for this 'eclipse'. i'll nominate him. this is the type of film that is overlooked. his performance should not be. i plan on pushing him as i pushed and cheered on sandra bullock last time around. we all know how that turned out! i only said a nomination so far.

besides the three leads there is the battle. the vampires and wolves team up to do battle with the 'newbies', a wild and undisciplined crazed new born gang of vampires, headed by the queen of mean vampire victoria. the goal is to kill bella to get even with edward. the battle is a rousing edge of the seat scene brilliantly editet sequence.

bravo mr. slade and a damn good supporting cast.

taylor and kirsten and robert bask in the glory you deserve

robert think about getting a tux*.

*i believe this is the official start of oscarbation 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

'The Messenger': ***stars on DVD and BluRay

a good script, a military subject rarely seen yet not directed terribly well, kind of too slow paced, gets this 3 stars. why? well with different actors it may have gotten fewer stars. but for no other reason it gets one star for each of the three amazing performances by ben foster, woody harrelson and a super amazing samantha morton. if you appreciate good acting, great considering samantha morton, rent this film.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

'It's Complicated' ***stars

i really liked this movie a lot!

rent it or buy it.