Dope is “dope”; a fast moving comedy crime drama that takes you into the hood of LA and treats you to a story of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The nicely directed characters, equally good acting and satisfactory camera work combines indie magic with an exciting script. The movie won the audience award at Sundance and will delight moviegoers across the US. Other than a few flaws in production value you wouldn’t know the movie was made with a low budget. Read more
Just when you thought you knew what was going on in your child’s brain, up pops Inside Out a funny little film from Disney/PIXAR. The animation is PIXAR flawless, the direction pin point and the voice acting, well “pitch perfect”. The family film however is not without a downside as I feel it’s a bit too depressing. This little adventure is amusing, but let’s hope the sequel is a little more cheerful, adventurous, filled with fasciation and kindhearted next time. “Just saying.” Read more
In the film Time Lapse a different kind of Sci-fi time travel takes center stage delivering a cool ride into danger. On target and compelling the filmmakers do more on a modest budget than some large production companies. The movie has some fine acting, directing and cinematography, but the story deals have a very tricky premise that can be puzzling. In my review I attempt to make the premise clear, so read on. Time Lapse entertains right up to the last twisted minute. Read more
The humorously amusing, provocative and depressing film Welcome to Me comes to home video featuring a daring performance by Kristen Wiig. With an offbeat script, incisive direction by Shira Piven and a support cast that comes through, the movie brazenly entertains. While the story may not appeal to all audiences, those that like an unusual comedy that holds nothing back should appreciate the film for its weird celebration of life.
The world of dinosaurs continues with this fourth episode of the Jurassic Park franchise. This time however, we get to see a completed theme park that’s teeming with visitors from around the planet. Called Jurassic World the film takes you on an adventure into the prehistoric reptiles that roamed the earth most all docile from genetic cloning. It’s a playground that educates and entertains.
Looking for a very cool romantic comedy for a night out, then look no further. Gemma Bovery opens today in select theaters and has a very good plot that will keep you intrigued, romantically tangled and completely entertained. At first I thought “Madame Bovary” the novel by Gustave Flaubert, a steamy sexually charged book that titillates and sets minds in forbidden dreams. Actually as the film opens there’s a direct relationship to the winsome story, but only in the mind of a man who in the twilight of his life has romantic thoughts and an imagination as impetuous as Flaubert.
Sometimes you come across a cherry of a film from a small studio that entertains more than the majors. This one is called The Squeeze, a fun well-made movie with some familiar faces and performances from good upcoming stars as well. The movie based on a real person gets you engrossed from its cool beginning to a surprise twist ending that satisfies. If you like films that give more than the same old story, than check out The Squeeze now on DVD. Read more
Intriguing and sinister the film Debug takes you into the sci-fi world in outer space with this well-made terror flick. Although the film does have somewhat of a feel similar to 2001: A Space Odyssey, but truly a movie that survives on its own with a horror sensation. The acting, direction, sets and cinematography are all good making the film worth seeing. Now on DVD Debug is a great watch-at-home treat for science fiction lovers that like action, suspense and evil. Read more
Combining two iconic stars into one songwriting dynamo, the film Love & Mercy delves into the life of The Beach Boys lead singer. The film depicts Paul Dano as the younger vibrant Brian Wilson and John Cusack as the older troubled musician who tries to come to terms with his past of glory, a troubling mental illness and conflicted advice. Whether you are a fan of the famous The Beach Boys or just like good dramatic performances, Love & Mercy should be at the top of your list this weekend.
There’s always a good size audience for an inspirational film and McFarland USA has all the trappings of one of the best. The film features a very good cast lead by Kevin Costner and aptly directed by Niki Caro. Now on Blu-ray and DVD, the film is made for family audiences. This underdog story is based on true events in the small town of McFarland, California. Read more
Just when you think you’ve seen the funniest comedy of 2015 up pops Spy a hilarious silly movie that entertains big time. The scrappy little film with a lot of raunchy dialogue had me in stitches from the outlandish beginning to the very last scene during the credits. Since it stars Melissa McCarthy, you may think I’m referring to her as she most always provides a good laugh, but how about pairing her up with the likes of Jason Statham. No way you say because he’s an action star and why would he be in a comedy? Well, it’s genius that he’s cast in Spy as his performance gets so off-the-wall that it takes the film to another comedic level.
Taking the HBO winner and bringing Entourage to the screen, writer and director Doug Ellin takes a big chance on finding an audience. While HBO is paid television for those who spend the bucks for their programming, followers tend to be those who subscribed have watched the comedy over the years. The campy, silly and often ridiculous satire on filmmaking tries to convince its audience that sex, pervasive language, drugs and nudity are all you need to make a film a hit, but unless you are hooked from the HBO series, you may find Entourage a waste of time.
One of the better films depicting women’s rights, Free the Nipple shows how a group of young women can stand up for what they believe in, even being topless in public. The drama with comedy is loosely based on true events and has very good acting, direction and a positive storyline. It’s more than just entertainment, it’s a show of women’s rights that brings up fallacies in our government’s view of the Constitution’s first amendment. The film has been released on DVD and digital download. The main cast are committed activists to the cause. Read more
Delivering an excellent performance doesn’t save this view into the cells at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba Detention Center. The sympathetic story of long held dissidents tied into 9/11 has no basis for truth giving the premise a cold shoulder. The insubordination depicted in Camp X-Ray without consequences makes it even more bizarre. That said, if you look at the content as pure fiction without provocation, then those who like a good drama may find the acting by Kristen Stewart and Peyman Maadi extremely good. Read more
Surprisingly the low budget mystery thriller Private Number hits the mark in all three categories, directing, acting and storyline. The film had a brief theatrical bow a month ago, but the crowded box-office with several blockbusters must have taken its toll on this cunning little film. But now it has been released on DVD and I highly recommend it for those who like a good compelling plot that twists and turns to the closing credits.