Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Hit & Run (2012)

Written by Dax Shepard
Directed by Dax Shepard, David Palmer
Starring Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell, and Bradley Cooper

This is Dax Shepards baby. Shepard made this film with his friends and wife. He wrote it himself. This movie is a part of him and a window into his soul if you will. This movie is a dream of his.

This was a good fun film. It had lots of great action and character development. Lots of the film takes place in the car. Dax Shepard looks like he does most of his own driving in this one. The movie really plays well as an action chase adventure.

Bradley Cooper plays a very interesting role as a hipster type bank robber who spent a some traumatizing time in jail. Bradley Cooper is a long time friend of Shepard and obviously had fun on this film set. Kristen Bell does an amazing job of being cute and sweet and pretty. Tom Arnold adds a great sense of comedy to the piece that really makes everything work well together.

Michael Rosenbaum is an amazing actor but known for playing Lex Luthor in the TV Show Smallville. He is the antagonist in this film and does a wonderful job of being believable and horrible at the same time. Simply put he is a total jerk!

Top 5. The movie isn’t great but the accomplishment by Shepard is something I respect. Go see this just to support Shepard’s dream! You wont be disappointed. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hope Springs (2012)

Written by David Frankel
Directed by Vanessa Taylor
Starring Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, Steve Carrell

This was a fun movie.

Meryl Streep is fantastic in this film. Streep shows all of her skill with this roll playing a repressed and uptight housewife who is exposing her self to help heal her failing marriage. Streep is known for her powerful feminine characters that are mold breakers and stronger example of feminism. Her feminity comes off in this as tender and meek. She is truly a wonderful actress and this role is a new Streep. It’s as if we are being let into a much more intimate woman who we thought we knew well.

Tommy Lee Jones shows his willingness to show himself in an unattractive light. Jones makes a wonderful character out of a grumpy old man. Where other actors might make you fear or resent his disposition you’ll find yourself laughing at his absurdities. Jones is so convincing and yet so unthreatening he becomes a lovable example of a scary personality. Isn’t that what acting is all about.

This film is simple and honest. The therapeutic moments with Carell are intense and awkward.  It’s uncomfortable because that’s what intimacy is. This film is opening up an aging relationship and showing the audience the underpinnings and connections that need maintenance. That’s what makes this film a great date movie.

Top 5. Enjoyable for almost everyone. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Words (2012)

Written by Brain Klugman, Lee Sternthal
Directed by Brian Klugman, Lee Sternthal
Starring Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Irons, Dennis Quaid, Zoe Saldana & Olivia Wilde

I love Bradley Cooper and this is another great role for him. He is a struggling writer who falls upon an old manuscript of the great American novel. Cooper is a very believable character in everything he plays. His insecurities and his vulnerabilities play on screen. He isn’t of the same caliber as Philip Saymour Hoffman or Gary Oldman but he is more of a Hollywood leading man. His physic and his abilities are vastly appreciated on film. Cooper has vast amounts of subtlety and depth to his character that a Channing Tatum or a Josh Hartnett wouldn’t be able to portray.

Olivia Wilde makes an appearance along with Jeremy Irons, Dennis Quaid, and Zoe Saldana. In truth its an all-star cast and a wonderful mix of faces and characters. Everything fits cleanly and properly together.  The cinematography keeps it simple and bright making each actor shines with talent.

The story plays more like a novel then a film. The characters don’t jump out of exploding buildings or stab each other in the back. Its much more of a think piece. The film plays with the idea that each word has meaning even in its familiarity. The characters have strong relationships and meaningful expressions of life and love.

The plot is very much rooted in real life and the meaning of life. Its hard to watch at some point because of how grounded it is. This is the kind of movie that really makes you think. The entertainment value is given in the spirit of wisdom not distraction. If you are a deep thinker this movie will stimulate your brain vain.

Top 5. This is a film about life and the meaning peaks through the lines of a filmstrip and burns it’s image on the walls.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Campaign (2012)

Written by Chris Henchy, Shawn Harwell
Directed by Jay Roach
Starring Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis

Will Ferrell is a comedy giant. Seriously, he’s a very tall man. Galifianakis is a very fat man. Both are comedy wizards wielding vast amounts of power and influence. Both star in this film and yes the laughs are all over the pace.

The movie is about a Senate seat in South Carolina and its between these to guys. The film revolves around how dirty and mean spirited the film campaign is. The movie is not a epic battle, more like a epic error. One by one the pressures of the powers that be unravel both candidates and the become unhinged. 

If you’re a fan of Ferrell or Galifianakis then you should support their movies and go see this one.

No rating. Just another comedy with a kinda good plot and a kinda good ending.

Anti Christ (2009)

Written by Lars Von Trier
Directed By Lars van Trier
Starring Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg

This movie is not good! Obviously by the name its meant to scare you. But unfortunately this movie does not.

Willem Dafoe is an amazing actor and he does nothing but a superb job in this film. Its amazing to watch such a master of character play this role. Dafoe is a theropist dealing with his grieving wife after losing their son who jumped out their apartment window as a toddler. Dafoe ties to council his wife Gainsbourg by giving her a ful-time therapy session.

The film doesn’t make you very comfortable about anything. Lars von Trier does have a unique voice through this piece. Therapy, nature, despair & guilt all play large roles in Trier’s work and this film is no different.

If you enjoy artistic films and wonderful cinematography then you’ll enjoy this film. The camera work is wonderful. It makes the audience wonder “how did he capture these images like this?”

Bottom five. This film is depressing and leaves you with very little to take away. Don’t watch this unless you have nothing better to do or feel like beating up on yourself.