Fellow Movie Buffs

Sunday, December 13, 2015


What a powerful movie. If you're up for an action flick, fuggetaboutit! This is a very slow-paced, dramatic film. It's about a woman who is released  from a WW2 concentration  camp after having her face reconstructed. She reconnects with her husband who doesn't recognize her, and  begins  a plan  to receive her inheritance.  Excellent writing and storyline.  I thought it was pretty slow moving  until the last few seconds of the movie. Wonderful acting and story.

4.5 out of 5 stars

Friday, November 20, 2015

Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus

I know it sounds like an animated Disney film, but it's far from it. In fact, it's the polar opposite of a Disney film. The story revolves around Jamie, (Michael Cera), who plays a self-centered, abrasive jerk. He's living in Chile and teams up with a bunch of natives to go on a trek in search of a cactus that produces mescaline. Another road trip, I know. But this one's is a bit different. They hook up with Crystal Fairy ( Gaby Hoffman) who is a New Age, young hippie. She looks a lot like Freda Kahlo, and probably acts a lot like the way she'd act today. They end up camping on a beach where they plan on ingesting the drug. The group has several deep conversations and Crystal gets each of the boys to open up. Unfortunately, it's no longer streaming on Netflix, but it's worth looking out for as a rental.
4 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

"Human Capital"

This movie starts with a hit-and-run accident and what follows it. It's basically about the rich versus the poor. A common theme. But it gets a lot more complicated then than that. The main suspect is a kid from a wealthy family who leaves a party so drunk he doesn't remember how he got home. But did he actually do it? You'll have to watch it to find out. The title of the movie comes from a term insurance company's use for the price of a human life, based on age, potential earnings, etc. Very cold-blooded but that's the real world. It's a griping drama that keeps you hanging on right until the end.
4.5 stars out of 5

Thursday, October 29, 2015

"Midnight's Children"

An epic drama based on a novel by Salmon Rushdie. The story takes place mainly in India where two buys are born at midnight on the day the county gained its independence fro Britain. The boys are switched at birth, one is the son of a poor street musician, the other from an aristocratic family. The son being raised in the rich family discovers at a young age, he can summon various children from around India who were born on the same night, just after midnight. Hence the title, "Midnight's Children". They all have magical powers and they come together from time to time as the story progresses, during the separation on Pakistan and the war from independence of East Pakistan which becomes Bangladesh. The movie clocks in at 2 hours and 25 minutes, but the time flies by. The acting and the scenery are excellent.
4.5 out of 5 stars.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

"The Suicide Theory"

What a powerful movie. It's all about fate. Without giving away too much of the story, I'll just say it's about severely depressed artist who hires a hit man to kill him. He maintains that although he's attempted suicide several times, he just can't be killed. And sure enough, the hit man shoots him on two occasions and he survives both incidents. As the plot enfolds, it turns out that both men have lost someone close to them, and that fate has thrown the two of them together. This is one dark film with a fair amount of violence. It's slow moving but in the end, there are a couple "Aha" moments that make it with watching. I sure didn't see the ending coming. Both Steve Muzakis and Leon Cane are incredible.
4 1/2 stars out of 5.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


First of all, I have to admit, I love road trip movies. And as my daughter says, every movie and book is either the Iliad or the Odyssey. This movie is just one of those whacko, fun movies that you don't want to end. And one of those movies that you can't believe was totally overlooked by the critics.

The story is about a guy who works as a janitor in a mental institution. He hooks up with a mental patient and he pretends that she's his girlfriend as they go home to his family, who's famously wealthy, for his brother's wedding. They end up on a wild adventure/road trip and there the fun begins. What a sweet movie. The two principles are great and they have such wonderful chemistry together. Starring Evan Rachel Wood and Scott Speedman.
5 stars out of 5.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

"Seeking a Friend for the End of the World".

It's miss-categorized as a sci-fi. Sure, the premise of the movie is the earth has been warned that a giant asteroid will destroy it in three weeks. But as my daughter pointed out, every story is either the "Illiad" or the "Odyssey".  So this story is about a woman who would like to re-unite with her family in England (the movie takes place in the U.S.) and a guy who would like to reunite with a childhood sweetheart. They go on a road trip during end-times. It stars Steve Carell and Kiera Knightley who have a wonderful chemistry together. Even though it's a road trip, you know how it's going to end. One of the finer movies I've seen in the last year.

5 stars out of 5

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Skeleton Twins

Great movie. It's about a set of twins who decide to commit suicide on the same day.  It's about a totally dysfunctional family. And it's so much fun to watch.  It features Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, and Luke Wilson.  Not a happy movie, but really well done. This movie is zany at times but what a fun ride it is. Wonderful cinematography. Well worth checking out.
4.5 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

"Get Low"

Skip this one if you're into action flicks. It's a slow moving drama centered around Robert Duvall who plays a bitter old codger who has lived by himself out in the woods for 40 years. He decides to have a wake for himself before he dies. The movie slowly reveals his secret past, and I found it riveting. Sissy Spacek was her usual amazing self as was the rest of the cast including Bill Murray in one of his dramatic roles. What a great little gem of a movie.
4.5 out of 5 stars

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Battered Bastards of Baseball

When I first started watching this film, I thought it was a mocumentary, like Spinal Tap and the passel of movies by Christopher Guest. But as the film progressed, I wasn't quite so sure. As it turns out, this is the true tale of a rogue individual who decided to invest in an independent baseball team in Portland, Oregon after the AAA Beavers left town. He's Kurt Russell's father which lead me to believe it was a put-on. He invited anyone to try out for the team and created a quirky/fun team that the city fell in love with and set minor league records for attendance. And the rest is history. I don't watch many documentaries, but this one is a lot of fun.
5 stars out of 5

Thursday, July 9, 2015


Although this is a fairly predictable movie, it's very well done. The acting is excellent and the dialogue is consistently good. What can you say about a movie that has a line like, "This is like a Nuremberg rally sponsored by MTV." It's a story about a misfit who starts at a new high school and ends up putting a band together to enter a state-wide music competition. There were a couple of subtle plot twists that kept things interesting. If you're into intelligent teen movies that are aren't full of foul language and kids getting high, you 'll enjoy this one.
4 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

"Why Stop Now?"

The story is about a gifted young pianist (Jessie Eisenberg) who has an important audition at a prestigious East Coast music school. But before he can leave for the audition he has to get his mom (Melissa Leo) into rehab. However, she tests clean and the only way she can get in is if she's high. To this crazy plot, add a couple of dope dealers, a young sister with a hate-spewing hand puppet, and a group of Revolutionary War reenactors and you get a sense of what this off-the-wall film is all about.
4 out of 5 stars

Sunday, June 7, 2015

"Hector and the search for happiness"

What a wonderful film. I haven't seen a movie that captivated me like this in a long while. The story is about a psychiatrist  who becomes disillusioned with his job. He decides to travel the world and discover what makes people happy. It's at times corny, melodramatic, and funny, but has some amazing cinematography. I really love this film. The two principles Simon Pegg and Rosamund Pike were both amazing. Well worth watching! What a fun movie. Almost 5 stars!

4.5 out of 5 starts

Saturday, May 23, 2015

"Living is easy with eyes closed."

What a sweet film. It's about a nerdy English teacher in Spain in the early 60s who worships the Beatles. He finds out that John Lennon is shooting a movie in Spain and goes on on a trek to meet him. On his way, he picks up a couple hitch-hikers and the story enfolds. It's such an enjoyable movie. And the actors are all wonderful.
4.5 stars out of 5

Saturday, May 9, 2015


An excellent movie for sci-fi buffs. It's different indeed. Alex returns to his hometown after 10 years to be part of a project to make robots with human emotion. He left years ago in the middle of a project working with his brother and future sister-in-law. When he meets his precocious niece, he decides to model the robot after her. I'll say no more. It's a wonderful movie. And I have to say, the young actress, Claudia Vega was absolutely amazing. Don't miss this one.
4.5 out of 5 stars

Monday, April 27, 2015


I love the way the movie evolves. It starts out with an innocent  surveyor  who is trying to map a county in the north of Ireland. As the story enfolds, he's preyed upon by the suspicious locals. As it turns out, he's heavily involved. I'll say no more, but the plot does indeed, thicken. Interesting movie. Especially if you enjoy all things Irish.
3.5 out of 5 stars

Saturday, April 18, 2015


What a fun movie. It's based on a true story. A group of gays and lesbians decide to support a coal miners strike in Wales. They collect money for them and then decide to go to Wales to join the strike. As you'd expect, at first they're rejected by the wary and somewhat bigoted miners. Eventually the two join hands. What a wonderful ride of a film. I'm not sure why this movie wasn't more talked about. Well worth a watch.
4 stars out of 5.

Friday, April 3, 2015

"You're Not You"

I have to admit, I'm a sucker for a well done tearjerker. And this one was extremely well done. It was the usual, someone's dying of a debilitating disease and befriends a caregiver. In this case, Hillary Swank plays a former concert pianist who's married to a rich attorney. When she contracts ALS, she hires a feisty young woman who's down on her luck and just needs a job, played by Emmy Rossum. The two form a bond and the chemistry between them is simply amazing. Both actors give outstanding performance which make this a much better movie than it would have been otherwise. It's pretty formulaic, but I thought it was great nevertheless. Get out your handkerchiefs for this one.
4 out of 5 stars.

Friday, March 20, 2015

"Shun Li and the Poet"

I was attracted to this movie because it was set in Venice. I was looking forward to beautiful scenes of one of my favorite cities in the world. But alas, it takes place in one of the grittier fishing villages in the lagoon. That aside, this is a wonderful yet subtle movie. It centers around a Chinese immigrant who works in a bar to pay off her debt to immigrate to Italy and raise enough money to be reunited with her young son. She befriends an older Yugoslavian immigrant and the story is about their relationship. The movie is slow moving and there isn't much drama except when some of the locals turn on her because they feel she's just a gold-digger. A very moving little film.
4 1/2 stars out of 5.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

"The Matchmaker'

Perhaps the best way to describe this film is "A Jewish Fellini" movie. It takes place in the Jewish city of Hebron in the late 60s. A young kid, from a Romanian Jewish family, who survived the Holocaust, is hired by a family friend who is a Matchmaker. It turns out that he's an old acquaintance of his father's. The young kid has the task of being the "spy-guy." Along the way, his best friend's cousin moves in for the summer. She's beautiful and of course he's smitten with her. The movie is an amazing showcase of wonderful characters, plot twists, and great cinematography. It's a movie that you lose yourself in over two hours, but I wish went on forever.
4.5 out of 5

Friday, January 23, 2015


A very subtle gem of an indie movie. At first, I doubted I could make it through the whole movie. The main character was a self-centered. obnoxious asshole. He's on a trip vagabonding around Europe with a childhood friend and his friend's girlfriend, determined to bang every good-looking girl he sets eyes on. They end up in Copenhagen where his grandfather lived, and he attempts to track him down. Along the way, he meets up with a 14-year old Danish girl who wants to help him locate his family. They strike up a friendship, and I'll let it go at that. There's absolutely no sex, but she ends up transforming his outlook on life. It's a charming move and the young actress, Fredrikke Dahl Hansen is truly amazing. Check this one out. And if you don't like it, I'll give you a refund.

4.5 out of 5 stars

Thursday, January 8, 2015

"Le Chef"

Three star chef, Alexandre Lagarde is confronted by the corporate owner of his restaurant who has big plans to fire him and completely redo his restaurant. Problem is, he can't do it unless he loses one of his Michelin stars. Lagarde ends up hiring a protege who not only worships him, but knows just about every one of his signature dishes, to devise a new menu. The plot is somewhat predictable but it's a fun ride getting to the conclusion. About the only negative is a scene that's very silly and slapsticky, but what do you expect? It's French. From the folks who worship Jerry Lewis. It's not food porn, but provides just enough to satisfy a foodie like me. If you in the market for an evening of fun, check this one out.
4.5 stars out of 5