Fellow Movie Buffs

Thursday, September 14, 2017

"Drone"

A CIA operative (Sean Bean), who orchestrates drone strikes in Pakistan, accidentally wipes out a family while taking out an enemy. He lives in a wealthy suburb and one day a Pakistani gentleman visits him, under the premise of  buying his recently deceased father's sailboat. This is where the story gets interesting, and pretty intense. It's a subtle, edgy thriller.
3.5 out of 5 stars.


Thursday, September 7, 2017

"The Hippopotamus"

Based on a novel by Stephan Fry, it's sort of an off-beat English mystery. A down on his luck, boozing poet loses his job as a critic. He's hired by his niece to investigate a country estate where miracles occur. All kinds of crazy things occur while he stays there. The acting, especially that of Roger Allam, are excellent. It's full of English swearing and great British slang, and lots of sexual references. So if you're squeamish about those things, you might be offended. I thought it was a lot of fun.
4 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

"Donald Cried"

This is what indie films are all about. It's a relatively low-budget movie with a good storyline and great acting from a couple of unknown actors (Jesse Wakeman and Kris Avedisian). Off-beat comedy with plenty of serious moments too. Pete returns to his small town where he grew up to take care of his recently deceased grandma's affairs. He hooks up with Donald, an old high school buddy he hasn't spoken to in years. Pete's a buttoned-down financial advisor and Donald is an off-the-wall eccentric, nut job.  The two spend a day together getting into all kinds of trouble while taking a trip down memory lane. Don't expect a lot of action, just excellent dialogue, good story telling, and great acting.
4 stars out of 5


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

"What happened to Monday"

If you're a fan of sci-fi-fi and thriller movies, you'll love this flick. It takes place about 75 years in the future. Overpopulation has gotten so out of control that a couple is only allowed to have one child. Much like China today. A grandfather ends up inheriting seven grandchildren. He hides them from the government and teaches them how to survive. It gets complicated, but in the end, the government seeks them out to kill them. It's a pretty intense movie, unlike anything you've ever seen. Well worth watching. 
4 stars out of 5

Saturday, August 19, 2017

"The Wedding Party"

A very different Indie flick. It's about a wedding ceremony and the party that follows it. It focuses mainly around the groomsmen and the bridesmaids and their backstories. I didn't notice until about a third of the way through the movie that it was done in one take. No cuts or fade-outs whatsoever. Which means, every actor had exactly one take to deliver his or her line. Sort of like a stage play. Absolutely no retakes. And they pulled it off brilliantly.

4 stars out of 5


Monday, August 14, 2017

"After the Reality"

Interesting and heartfelt movie. It's revolves around two parallel stories. One is a cheesy dating reality tv show and the other is about a brother and sister dealing with the death of their father. The brother is an actor on the dating show, and he meets his sister at their family cabin to clean out their father's belongings before they sell it. It's definitely slow moving and subtle, but I though the acting and writing were great.
4 out of 5 stars

Saturday, July 22, 2017

"Take Me"

What an off-beat movie. If you're up for crazy, this movie is for you. It's about a guy who has a company that abducts people who hire him to nab them. He ties them up in his mother's basement and deals with their problems. Then he get an assignment from a well-paying psycho and his job goes horribly wrong. This movie will keep you guessing right until the end.
3.5 out of 5 stars



Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Astronaut Farmer

A refreshing family-friendly and inspiring movie. An astronaut, who leaves the space program, decides years later to build his own rocket to circumnavigate the world on his own.  Of course, the FBI, CIA and NASA have to intervene. It stars Billie Bob Thorton, who lives on a farm in Texas. He can't pay his bills and the local bank is going to foreclose on his home, but he continues to chase his dream to blast off into space.
4 stars out of 5

Sunday, July 9, 2017

"About Alex"

An off-beat, dialogue heavy movie. If you're looking for an action flick, skip this one. I get the impression that this could originally have been a play. Alex, (Jason Rittrer), tries to commit suicide, to get his old college friends to get together and rally around him. In a way, even though he tried to commit suicide, he was the most normal of the bunch. Great performances all around. Very enjoyable movie.
4 stars out of 5.




Friday, July 7, 2017

"No Escape"


Wow! This was one intense movie. While watching it I kept thinking of the line from "Wayne's World," Intensity in Ten Cities. A couple and their two young daughters move to an unnamed Southeast Asian country for a new job. As soon as they arrive, a bloody revolution breaks out. The target is westerners and things get pretty bloody. Almost the whole movie is the family staying ahead of the unruly mob who want to kill them. Owen Wilson and Pierce Brosnan are both great.
4.5 out of 5 stars


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

"Playing it Cool".

This is a total rom-com. A lot of people on Netflix totally panned this film. It's about a screenwriter (Chris Evans) who's working on a rom-com film,  but has never really been in love. He finally meets a woman (Michelle Monaghan) who he falls madly in love with, only to find out she's engaged to another man. The chemistry between the two of them is magical. I know this movie is full of cliches, but it's still a a nice, feel good film.
4 out of 5 stars




Thursday, June 22, 2017

"A Street Cat Named Bob".

What a wonderful, feel good movie. It's about a stray cat who adopts a street musician who's trying to get off drugs. It's a totally offbeat movie based on a true story. So ya gotta love that. The acting is great, especially the cat who plays Bob. Not a lot of plot or action, but it's a small, indie film that I totally fell in love with. Hope you enjoy it.
4 out of 5 stars




Tuesday, June 20, 2017

"Neerja"

What an inspiring film. It's about a plane that's taken over by hijackers. A young stewardess takes over the negotiations with them. The young actress, Sonam Kapoor does an amazing job keeping the passengers from harm.  And the film cuts to her family back at home following her plight. (I don't know this for sure, but I'm guessing, the soundtrack is by A.R. Ramen). This is based on a true story and it is a very intense film. I'll be surprised if you don't have tears by the end of this one. I have two daughters and my only though at the the end of this movie is: GIRL POWER!
4.5 out of 5 stars




Wednesday, June 14, 2017

"The Other Sister"

How did I miss this gem from 1999? It stars Juliette Lewis and Dianne Keaton and centers around a college-age girl who's mentally challenged and falls for a boy who is also mentally challenged. Her mother, Dianne Keaton, is an overly protective parent who tries to control her life to protect her. The young girl decides to move in with her boyfriend and fights tooth and nail with her mother to do so. It's very well done, however I've seen a couple movies that starred actual mentally challenged actors,  and the movies were way more provocative. A sweet movie nonetheless.
4 out of 5 stars


Thursday, June 8, 2017

"!3 going on 30"

If you're in the mood for some light comedy, this is a great film. Nothing deep, just a fun, mindless film very well done. It's fairly predictable, but sometimes you need that. It stars Jennifer Garner and Mark Rufallo. The movie starts at a 13th birthday party that's totally embarrassing because the birthday girl is a nerd and the party is taken over by the cool girls. She wishes she was thirty, and because the guy next door sprinkles some magical dust over her, her wish is granted when she wakes up. I know it sounds stupid, but trust me, it's really well done. A heartfelt movie.
3.5 out of 5 stars


Friday, June 2, 2017

"100 Streets"

I really enjoy movies with parallel stories that overlap in the end. This movie is about the lives of an ex-rugby star and his estranged wife, a sensitive cabbie, and a young, gifted small-time drug dealer trying to distance himself from the gangs he's surrounded by. All the actors in this movie are amazing. This film had the potential to be mediocre, however the level of acting raised it to another level.
4.5 out of 5 stars


Saturday, May 27, 2017

"Two Lovers and a Bear."

A really offbeat movie that will only appeal to indie film fans. It's abut two young lovers, Roman and Lucy, who live in northern (as in Arctic) Canada. They're there to escape their pasts. They're afraid of returning south but eventually have to. It's about their journey and dealing with the ghosts that haunt them. Beautiful scenery and great acting and chemistry between the two lead actors. And a very unexpected ending to boot. And the "Two Lovers and a Bear" joke Lucy tells is one of the funniest I've heard in a long, long time.
4 stars out of 5

Sunday, May 21, 2017

"Lovesong"

Another little indie gem. It's a story about two women, Sarah and Mindy, who were close friends in college. They get together several years later for the first time in ages. Sarah has a precocious young daughter and a husband who is constantly away on business, and Mindy is a free spirit. They spend a day or two rekindling their friendship. Cut to three years later to Mindy's wedding weekend where the two friends reunite. It's a total chick-flick, which is fine with me--I love chick flicks. The scriptwriting, acting, and photography are all perfect. I can't understand why movies like this never get the attention they deserve, yet the crappy, overproduced Hollywood blockbusters gross millions. Go figure.
4 stars out of 5


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

"All We Had"

A reckless mon and her 15-yearl old daughter are a couple of drifters. They decide to head from the Midwest to Boston and end up getting stuck in a small town. This is a classic indie film at its best. The acting and photography are first rate. Not a lot happens, except the two lead actresses move ahead in their lives. If you like subtle, nuanced films, you'll enjoy this one. 4 stars out of 5.


Friday, April 28, 2017

"A Patch of Fog"

A psychological thriller that creeped me out. A lonely security guard catches an author/TV personality shoplifting. Instead of turning him in, he blackmails him into being his friend. He eventually ends turning his life into a total nightmare. The acting is absolutely superb. The security guard is one of the most evil characters I've seen in a long, long time. Warning: this one will surely haunt you.
4 stars out of 5




Tuesday, April 18, 2017

"Come What May"

Beautiful epic drama set during WWII. The story focuses on a German Nazi resister who flees to a small French village with his young son. As the Germans near the village, all the townspeople decide to head south. The father and son are separated, and the rest of the film centers on their journeys. Beautifully shot and great acting. A deeply moving and heartfelt story.
4.5 stars out of 5


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

"Hot Fuzz"

A London cop is assigned to a small British town because he's so good, he's making the others on the force look bad. After he arrives he discovers it's a town of real characters. Then things get strange. Very strange. There's a string of unexplained murders, which he investigates with his partner Dave,  the son of the police chief. Then things get even weirder. The ending is sort a spoof of the average blockbuster American action film. What a hoot. It's a wacky comedy as only the English can do. Well written, witty dialogue, and well acted.
4 stars out of 5


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

"Another Forever"

What a beautiful film. A woman who's recently widowed, travels to Europe to reconnect with an old friend. The story is told through a series of flashbacks and is a poetic view of recovery from a tragic loss. The story unfolds slowly, there's not much action beyond a knowing glance here and there, but it's a truly captivating film. I absolutely adored this movie. Give it a shot. I think about 10 minutes in, you'll be hooked. I'd buy this film if I could find it on line. Even Amazon doesn't have it.
4.5 out of 5 stars


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

"The Butterfly's Dream"

This little Turkish film just captured my heart. It's about a couple of young poets who are in love with the same woman. It takes place in the early 1940s, but the war isn't really a factor in the movie. The actors are great as well as the scenery. And the cinematography is commendable. What a great film!
4.5 stars out of 5.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

"Match"

This movie is based on a stage play so you know right off that it's going to be dialogue heavy. A younger couple meet with a retired dancer to interview him. The premise is that the woman is going to use the information to complete her dissertation. I won't give any more of the plot away but it gets pretty intense, pretty quickly. The writing and the acting are both superb. And Patrick Stewart gives a truly Oscar-worthy performance. Don't miss this one.
4.5 out of 5 stars



Wednesday, March 8, 2017

"Cardboard Boxer"

A touching indie film about Willie, a lonely, sensitive homeless person, played by Thomas Haden Church. Willie just barely gets by until some wealthy suburban kids show up and pay the street people to box for their amusement. Willie wins several bouts and the kids name him "Cardboard Boxer". But this isn't a boxing movie, it focuses on the struggle Willie and his fellow homeless people face every day. Willie doesn't have any friends until he finds a diary written by a lonely little girl who's just lost her mom. She speaks to him and relieves him of some of his loneliness. Mr. Church should have won this year's Oscar for Best Actor, but the movie was largely overlooked by the general public. And I'm guessing it wasn't widely distributed either. If this film doesn't move you, you don't have an ounce of compassion in you.
4.5 out of 5 stars


Sunday, February 26, 2017

"I Don't Feel At Home in This World Anymore"

What an original movie. A young nurse (Malenie Lynskey)  has her house robbed. She is so obsessed about people not caring for each other she goes on a rampage. A neighbor (Elijah Woods) hooks up with her and the two of them go out to recover her stollen items. It's a little bit over the top (a bit like a Tarantino movie) as far a the graphic violence, but it's quite a wild ride. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
4 out of 5 stars

Thursday, February 16, 2017

"Clouds of Sils Maria".

Not a movie for those looking for an action film. This is a slow moving drama about an older actress (Juilette Binoche) who is invited to play the older role of a couple she played as the younger girl, twenty years earlier.. She has an extremely capable personal assistant who helps her learn her lines for a remake of the play. The two have amazing chemistry and it earned Kristen Stewart the the honor of being the first American to win the French Cesar Award (for best supporting actress). As typical of French films, the movie leaves you hanging at the end, so don't expect a resolution. (Maybe that was a spoiler. Sorry)

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

"The Ghost Writer"

Nice subtle thriller. A writer, (Ewan McGregor) is hired to be a ghost writer to a former Prime Minister,(Pierce Brosnan) who's working on his autobiography. The previous writer is found dead of an apparent suicide. Then things get interesting. I won't reveal any more of the plot, but I have to say, the acting, cinematography, scenery, and soundtrack make for a very enjoyable two hours.
4 out of 5 stars


Saturday, January 28, 2017

"iBoy"

Very interesting Netflix original film. It's a sci-fi revenge themed movie. A young kid walks in on an rape scene and is chased by a gang of attackers. He's shot in the head and as a result, ends up with extraordinary powers. He can tap into the internet, cell phone conversations, and much more. He goes on a mission to avenge the girl's attackers, along with the drug lords who rule his London neighborhood. While somewhat predictable, the movie is very well done.
4 out of 5 stars.




Thursday, January 19, 2017

"Last Cab to Darwin"

Just a wonderful sleeper of a film. An old Australian bloke finds out he has cancer so he goes on a road trip to get treatment. This movie is just full of surprises and is totally delightful. I know it sounds depressing, but it's a great movie. Give it a chance. It's worth an hour and a half of your time.
4 stars out of 5


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

"Camp X-Ray"

This is one intense movie. It's about a young female enlistee in the army who's assigned to Gitmo. She's ordered not to have any contact with the "detainees", since they're not prisoners. If they were classified as prisoners, they'd have to follow the Geneva Code. She relates to one of the detainees  and the story goes on from there. Great acting and a very subtle storyline--which, as my daughters know, I love.