Under the Skin
28 Dec, 2014
A moody horror/suspense movie set in Scotland starring Scarlett Johanson, I thought what could be better?
People seem to love it or hate it. People who read the book are upset about the liberties taken by the director. As a naive viewer, I wondered if it was a put on–using obtuseness to give me the impression of depth.
Johnson does a great job of presenting herself as an alien huntress. She glides through scenes without human emotion and almost panicked when she encounters them in "packs," but when she corners one, she turns on the aggressive charms of a realtor in heat–acting very human and needy.
Still, while very well shot, with great music to heighten the mood; I found it confusing and disjointed. The minimal dialog made me feel like I was watching a foreign film without understanding the language and no subtitles to help.
Into the Woods
25 Dec, 2014
This was the movie to see on Xmas day, and like all families, we went to dutifully see it.
A watered down and sanitized version of the musical that made it more palatable to the masses. As a movie, it plays long.
But I was pleasantly surprised by the performances. Especially after Mamma Mia!, I wasn't excepting that voice to show up.
The Imitation Game
29 Nov, 2014
Everyone will tell you that the story has been "streamlined" for cinema, so I won't beat that dead horse.
The movie celebrates a story that is difficult and does an admirable job. The acting is solid and the script keeps things moving. It is effective at evoking a time that isn't that long ago but seems worlds away: technically and socially – yet still to familiar in terms of the games people play.
The movie does follow the stereotypical trope of the absent minded professor and Cumberbatch does a good job of making him prickly yet vulnerable.
15 Nov, 2014
If you see this, see it in IMAX. It was amazing. I can see where some people wouldn't like it. It is a great space movie that will go down as a great. It references the obvious 2001, Gravity, etc – but is wholly original, smart, and gorgeous.
18 Oct, 2014
I have never been more excited to get older than after watching these people. Yes, some were a bit crazy, some needed to adjust their meds; but all of them looked like the kind of people you want to discover you have grown into.
11 Oct, 2014
I hate, HATE, HATED this movie.
It is like three movies piled onto each other. The first is a well done, Hitchcockian suspense movie that is a modern "Shadow of Doubt." We watch a shady character and watch the pieces fall into place. Then it switches to a M. Night Shamalongadingdong movie where it is all about showing us a clever twist that stretches plausibility – thus breaking from the previous tight plot to be a little fast and loose. Then it turns into a loose and unexplainable Fatal Attraction that makes no sense and leaves you hating everyone and thinking that nothing made sense. It is like when a movie ends up being a dream. You feel that your time with the first part was just wasted and cheated away.
HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE
04 Oct, 2014
This must be what qualifies as a screwball comedy. The thin premise and Bacall's thick voice make this as delicious as it is preposterous by today's standards. It is a gem of watching these classic IT girls showing you glamor, comedy, and romance is a stylish package.
The Day the Earth Stood Still
05 Sep, 2014
This classic holds up well and left me chilled with 50's paranoia. As effective today as it was back then. Another great time at the Aero.
Guardians of the Galaxy
02 Aug, 2014
This movie was just plain fun. Nothing more and nothing less...well actually good plain fun with a killer soundtrack as a bonus.
28 Jun, 2014
You have to know a couple of things about this movie before you go: it is based on a French graphic novel, it stars Tilda Swinton, and it is directed by Bong Joon Ho; so, you know that this is not going to be a traditional story.
Because of the source material, the movie tells you the story of what would happen in a world that never could exist. You have to suspend your disbelief in the fictional post-apocylyse where man has accidentally frozen the whole world and only the passengers on an over-engineered luxury train survive as they ride out their lives on a perpetual world cruise.
The train becomes an allegory for society, similar to Dante's Inferno. From here the characters, struggles, and story all spin out.
Chris Evans was a credible leading man; going well beyond his mainstream charms. Tilda Swinton is great as the personification bureaucracy. Ed Harris and John Hurt anchor the film with solid foils.
The graphic nature of the source material lends to fantastic shots, great images, and a setting that will literally transport you.
Yves Saint Laurent
28 Jun, 2014
This was a wonderful rose colored look at a magical time and place. It was also a self-serving propaganda piece for YSL's one time lover and long time business partner.
It showed YSL as a fragile egotist who was capable of amazing creations, fueled by his own self-doubt and self-destruction. It played well against the stereotypical tortured artist, clearly elevating him from simple fashion designer to immortal artist.
It also made me want to run rampant through 70's discos, high on cocaine and cheap street hustlers.
Edge of Tomorrow
15 Jun, 2014
Based on the manga "All You Need is Kill," this movie captures that fast past and complex plot.
Tom Cruise is bearable, but seems to be playing yet another Mission Impossible. Watching Emily Blunt as an action hero was a hoot and she totally pulled it off.
The plot is a bit silly and thin in place, so you are not here for great ideas. You are here for a very solid and well done episode of the Twilight Zone and exciting tale of "What If?"
30 May, 2014
Someone asked a good question. The story is that the little girl in the movie is played by Angelina's daughter, because she wasn't scared of her mother in costumer – which made them ask what does she wear around her home that made this look normal to a child?!?
The movie was pretty bad. Angelina does a good job or stalking about and making it work – but everyone else leaves you cringing. The plot is a mish-mash trying to re-introduce a beloved villain.
The best part of the movie was dinner before hand and the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM afterwards.
West Side Story
25 May, 2014
Start your vocal warms ups and get ready to sing-a-long. Crack your knuckles now, there be a whole lotta snapping!
Certainly a timepiece film, it shows its age with a charm. The story and music still hold up as great. The straight forward and theatrical setup and design make it simple and at times cringe worthy by today's standards.
But it was a great nightcap to R+D and a charming blast of a classic past.
X-Men: Days of Future Past
24 May, 2014
Another satisfying entry to the X-Men line. In what should have been a very confusing movie, it actually comes of clean. Watching Wolverine get inexplicably buffer is a bit odd. The new cast continues to hold there own. there are tons of hidden treats for X-Men fans.
09 May, 2014
There are not a lot of great father and son movies, but this one is. It has the light bawdy humor that young boys giggle and and parents won't cringe at sharing.
It is a great movie of a man who rediscovers his passion, his family, and himself. It is totally feel good with minimal schmaltz and formula. It avoids distracting B-plots and artificial devices to create drama.
On top of being a good movie, it is amazing food porn, great sound track, and a love song to the Sun Belt states.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
03 May, 2014
Stop! Just stop already.
This was two movies. A cute love story between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone and a terribly ham fisted, over acted bomb of a superhero movie running as a B-plot.
I cannot explain how this sequel was. God, they will have to do another reboot which means sitting through the origin story a third time. Booo!
Jurassic Park 1, 2, & 3
26 Apr, 2014
Never a huge fan of this franchise, but I never could pass up a chance to eat at the place across the street. They were not great in their day and they certainly didn't hold up. Everything from the kids to the script gets more tired. The dinosaur effects are the only thing that really hold up.
The Man Who Knew Too Much
19 Apr, 2014
I love Hitchcock movies because they just hold up so well. In a remake of his own movie, you see Doris Day's famous song weave into the plot line. Africa looked so much more exciting and fun back in the day.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
05 Apr, 2014
I actually liked this more than the first Captain America. Without having to waste time with an origin story, you ended up with a tighter story and film.
The plot was heavy handed, but it is a comic book. The acting was solid and the spectacles were spectacular.
It was a long movie, but didn't seem like it. All in all, a great start to the summer blockbusters.
29 Mar, 2014
Billed as a documentary about the greatest movie never made, I can only thank the maker. We can all agree that David Lynch's Dune was a mess, but this seemed like a train wreck on the Titanic.
I was not familiar with Jodorosky, but the sketches and trailers made him seem to be something to behold. The story behind his attempt seems crazier than the actual story. He is mad. Not mad-brilliant, just mad. The only thing I wish was made was the costume design.
The 70's sci-fi artwork was amazing. The feel seemed to be beyond anything. However, you could see just over his head Jodorosky was in the world of big production vs. his crazy art projects.
Muppets Most Wanted
21 Mar, 2014
Classic muppets. It thankfully returns to the muppets as the stars format of the original movies and leaves the humans for effective cameos.
It has the sight gags, word play, adventure, and vaudeville silliness that you love them for. Plus, I am still singing the songs.
300: Rise of An Empire
15 Mar, 2014
The sequel to 300, this keeps the same style over substance – and the style doesn't disappoint. This movie is a visual spectacle that batters the viewer almost as much as the actors seem to batter each other.
The characters are over the top, two dimensional archetypes that never deviate from the core purpose.
Some scenes are so over the top, that the stand out as unbelievable – even in this movie.
Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me
08 Mar, 2014
After a harried week, I missed it at the theater. Thank God for iTunes and their recommendations to find me and remind me.
I found it both joyful and very depressing. She seems like she has this force inside here that will not relinquish her. She seems, at times in the film, to be so exhausted that she wants to stop–but she doesn't know how. Maybe that is the core of show biz people, not an exhaustless drive but a ceaseless compulsion that they themselves cannot escape.
06 Mar, 2014
I was very excited to see this at the NuArt. They had some of the CERN scientist to talk about their work along with the director of the film.
Watching the theoretical scientist and their work with the experimentalist made for tension, storylines, and drama. But it was watching their pursuit of something wonderful and invisible that was moving. You saw a scientist speak about esoteric math, then answer another person in Italian, switch back to German, then listen to something in French.
You don't just glimpse a world of physics, you glimpse a world united by an idea and a pursuit of this idea. You see a community that transcends nations and the 40 some odd years it took to go from theory to the tools to test it.
You have to remember, the SSC at CERN is the single largest, most complex thing ever built by man... period. This is the story of the people, the ideas, and the hopes behind it.
The LEGO Movie
08 Feb, 2014
Everything was awesome. This and Chef, what a great year for father and son movies.
This movie was like the The Muppets in that it had the same humor and adventure that adults and kids could share. The ending was way better than this movie deserved and really elevated the whole thing. A total must see.
01 Feb, 2014
This is one of those hidden gem movies that makes me love living in L.A.
I loved watching Tim, the quintessential engineer, doing what engineers do. They get interested in something. They obsess over it. They re-invent themselves around the problem, and they go about the long and patient task of solving it.
You see the results and we gasp that it is a miracle, but the entire movie showed us that it was exactly the opposite. Vermeer was an engineer. Thus asking the age old question of the different, if any, between Art and Science. Fascinating when you remember that Tim mad this fortune as a scientist who enabled artist!
Plus Tim goes about the whole thing with a sense of humor and enough funny stories to keep the whole thing moving.