Fellow Movie Buffs

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

"Certain Women"

A wonderfully slow-moving, and subtly beautiful movie. It's based on short stories by Maile Maloy, which are very loosely connected. The movie stars Laura Darn, Michelle Williams, and Kristen Stewart, each featured in one movement of a zen-like poem of a film. The stories are about an attorney, (Dern), representing a crazy old man, a woman, (Williams), looking to build a home out in the country, and a young woman, (Stewart), teaching a constitutional rights class to a group of small-town teachers. The film features excellent acting,  gorgeous scenery, and superb photography.
4 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, March 12, 2019


You could describe this one as a raunchy girls' night out. A bunch of old college pals get together the night before their friend's big wedding day. And as you'd expect, just about everything that could go wrong, does. The situations get a bit slapsticky and over the top at times. But overall, it's a lot of fun. Definitely not for the squeamish or for those who are easily offended. It looks like they had an absolute blast making this film!
3 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

"To the Bone"

I was expecting a dark, depressing take on eating disorders, but this movie really wasn't. Lilly Collins did a great job as a 20-year old girl in treatment for anorexia nervosa. She's been in and out of various programs all her teen years and finally gets into one of the most effective clinics in the country. She comes from a dysfunctional family, which largely explains her illness.  I found it interesting the way eating disorders are treated much like alcohol and substance abuse cases. Very well done and worth watching.
3.5 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

"The Breaker Upperers"

A laugh-out-loud offbeat comedy from New Zealand. In a weird way, it reminded me a bit of Flight of the Concords, and sure enough, Jemaine has a small part in the movie. The story is about a two woman agency that helps couples break up e.i. a partner who wants out of a relationship. One of the first scenes features them breaking the news to a woman who they tell her husband has dissapeared. From there, their exploits get zanier and zanier. The two actresses, Madeleine Sami and Jackie van Been, are comedic geniuses and they play off each other wonderfully. Warning: there's some pretty raunchy language and some of the dialogue is so hard to understand, it could easily be subtitled. Especially some of the lines from the Maori's. One of the funniest movies I've seen in quite a while.
4 out of 5 stars

Monday, February 18, 2019


Although the movie is from 2015, I avoided watching it until recently. I was under the mistaken impression that it focused a woman and her child who were held captive and abused for the entire length of the film. While that is partially true, the abuse is only hinted at, and the story of their captivity is only a part of the movie. The plot is about a young woman named Ma (Brie Larson) and her six-year old son Jack (Jacob Tremblay). She's been held captive since before her son was born, and she does everything in her powers to make their world seem normal. They devise an elaborate escape plan, and it's after they're free that their lives get interesting. The two of them now have to process the real world and Ma has to make sense of the changed family dynamics. This is due to her divorced mother and her new step-dad. The two principal actors give thoroughly convincing performances.  Ms Larson came to my attention in the film "Short Term 12," which I also highly recommend.
4 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

"Sour Grapes"

I rarely watch documentaries. And it's even rarer for me to review one. But I thought this doc was well worth reviewing. It's all about the world of wine snobs and how they were duped by a mysterious Asian named Rudy. Some of the scenes where these oenophiles describe the wines they're tasting are almost comical. Christopher Guest would have a field day making a spoof about them, not unlike what he did with dog breeders in "Best in Show". These million/billionaires get caught up in a frenzy, buying hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of rare wines. When it's revealed what Rudy does to these folks, you almost root for him--they simply have way too much disposable income and are far too full of themselves. While watching this film I kept saying to myself, you just can't make stuff up this good!

4 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Mr. Church

This was hailed as Eddie Murphy's comeback film, and indeed it was. I haven't really paid attention to him in recent years, but I decided to take a chance with this one. And I was pleasantly surprised. The story revolves around a single mom who is dying of breast cancer. Her former and deceased lover hires Mr. Church (Murphy) to come and cook for her and her young daughter, Charlie. Mr. Church makes their meals, (he's an amazing chef), and mysteriously disappears at the end of each day. While there, he introduces Charlie to the world of classic literature. It's a heart-felt movie about love, relationships, and ultimately, what family is all about.
4 out of 5 stars