Monday, April 14, 2014

Monuments Men (2014)


Written By George Clooney

Directed By George Clooney

Starring George Clooney

Something about this film doesn't ring true.

In hollywood, famous actors tend to surround themselves with "yes" men. When a person's entourage is just always saying yes, they tend to make huge mistakes. Monuments Men feels like one of them.

George Clooney is a great actor and does a great job of directing this film but the movie it's self missess the mark, unfortunately.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

We Bought A Zoo (2011)


Written By Aline Brosh Cameron Crow 
Directed By Cameron Crow
Starring Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson

This film has good intensions. The film is terrible I almost all aspects escaped for the craft. I want to love this film because on paper it should be a knockout hit. Unfortunately this film falls far from being likeable. 

Matt Damon is a great actor and Scarlett Johansson is a beautiful, fun actress... but putting them together makes things weird. alone with the fact that they both suck at acting in this film. I'm not really sure why but every scene is just missing the emotional mark and I can't help but cringe. 

The cinematography is great! This film was shot beautifully and all the animals look great. The camera crew did a fine job producing clean soft beautiful images. Its just the subject matter that is the problem. 

Bottom Five. I don't see movies that anger me that much. but they are out there. this is one of them. 


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Admissions (2013)



Written by Karen Croner
Direted By Paul Weitz
Starring Tina Fey, Paul Rudd

An Ivey Leauge School admissions rep (Tina Fey) learns to read between the lines of the children and young adults she accepts for admitance into her school while going through a few life changes. The film is written by Karen Croner (Writer of One True Thing) and Directed by Paul Weitz (about a boy & American Reunion)

The cinematography is clean and unobtrusive. the film plays at the right pace and has a good flow to the story. Tina Fey is hilarious like always, and Paul Rudd is a dream on screen. I enjoyed this film because it wasn't trying to be something it's not. It had bad moments and good moments like any film.


No rating, its a solid rental and a good film to see on an off night.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Coriolanus (2014)


Written By William Shakespeare
Directed By Josie Rourke
Starring Tom Hiddleston

Tom Hiddleston originally tryed to play the Character, Thor in the hit movie 'Thor'. He was good but not quite strong enough physically. But he does have a presents that effects the audience. In this broadcast televised rendition of William Shakespeares play Coriolanus Hiddleston Shines as the tough and rough war hero of ancient rome.

Trailer

Unfortunately its hard to find these productions in the states. They are broadcast in Movie Houses in some locations. Thanks to Satellite broadcast you can even watch them live if you can find were they are playing.

Top 5. If you can, you should check this one out.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

This Is 40 (2012)


Written By Judd Apatow
Directed by Judd Apatow
Starring Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann & John Lithgow

This is a film based on the couple a previous film Judd Apatow Directed called "Knocked Up." This film is an in-depth look at a couples relationship as they both age slowly into their 40s. The stress and emotion of that number puts an extra burden on their relationship.

The film has almost nothing to do with Knocked Up. Infact, I don't really see any connection between the two. Mostly it a film about a family that fight all the time. Sure, you might fined truth in this family dynamic but I was mostly disapointed with the human emotion, or lack there of, in this film.

Bottom 5. It kinda felt like a waste of time.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Good Day To Die Hard (2013)


Written By Skip Woods
Directed By John Moore
Starring Bruce Willis

Bruce Willis knows how to milk a franchise. This film is a not great but it does hold true to the never ending story of Die Hard. I recommend this film if you like those other films.

If you like Bruce Willis and the Die Hard movies you'll enjoy this film. Its not the best film ever but it isn't terrible.

No Rating. continuing the story.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Non-Stop (2014)


Written by John W. Richardson
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra
Starring Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore

Non-Stop is a action packed suspeince thriller that couldn't be better. Its not Shakespeare but you will not be dispointed with this film.

Liam Neeson has still got it! The acting in this film is perfectly cast and well received. each character and each actor makes a great attempt at portraying honesty and humanity. nothing about this film is great but it all works well together. The cinematography is very nicely done without being overly obvious.

This film does everything you need to have a good time at the movies. I really enjoyed watching this film. I recommend this film for a great outing at the movies. It's not going to wow you in the end but its a fun movie goer's experience.

Top 5. I enjoyed it so I assume you will too!


Monday, March 10, 2014

Now You See Me (2013)



Written By Ed Solomon

Directed by Louis Leterrier

Starring Woody Harrelson Morgan Freeman, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Jesse Eisenberg & Common

This film is about magic and illusion. There are a group of street magicians that are recruited to serve a function. They join forces to pull off a hug heist. The characters all have different talents but when they are all put together they are unstoppable.

Woody Harrelson is the hypnotist, Eisenberg the showman, Isla Fisher the escape artist, & Dave Franco the up and comer. They all make strong attempts at making their characters real people but the movie doesn’t leave room for character development. Nothing is explained as they race to find out what illusion will be pulled off next.

You’ll like this movie if you enjoy magic shows, or basic cable thriller shows. There is nothing special about this movie. The suspense is interesting at points but it really has little to say about anything including magic.

Bottom 5. Not really worth watching.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Manhattan (1979)


Written By Woody Allen

Directed By Woody Allen

Starring Woody Allen

This was a great movie. Its simple and full of the human condition.

Some people don’t like this film because it is very close to Woody Allen’s personal life.

If you can separate the art from the artist then you’ll enjoy this film.

Top 5 I recommend this film.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Scoop (2006)



Written by Woody Allen

Directed by Woody Allen

Starring Scarlet Johansson, Hugh Jackman, & Woody Allen


Scoop is an amazing movie! Woody Allen is one of the best filmmakers of all time he really delivers in this film. Scoop is about a student with aspirations to be a journalist gets an anonymous tip from beyond the grave to investigate into the life of a rich man in regards to a string of murders. Scarlet Johanson goes undercover to get close to this mysterious man, Hugh Jackman.

Hugh Jackman and Scarlet Johansson both are fabulously unlikely pair with lots of comedic chemistry. Johansson is an incredible good ditsy silly character and she delivers woody Allen’s lines with vigor.

The film craft is simple and true to a Woody Allen’s style of storytelling. The camera plays a small role in the telling of the story and lets the characters on screen really shine as they do their best to sweep the audience off their feet. I will admit I was swept by this film.

Top 5. I recommend this film. Very enjoyable.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Her (2013)


Written by Spike Jonze
Directed By Spike Jonze
Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson

Her is a film about a computer and a man. They fall in love and have a long emotional relationship. Each one is aware of how this looks from the outside and wish to normalize it. The computer only has a voice, no body, so their physical relationship is almost non existent.

Joaquin Phoenix is a great character actor and he does a wonderful job in this film. The emotional roller coaster of his relationship with Scarlett Johansson is thrilling and uncomfortable at the same time. The real emotion we feel as an audience in surprisingly powerful given the situation we are asked to sympathize with.

The cinematography is heavily stylized and specific. Those wide open lenses really harken to a dream like feeling that is so focused and unfocused that you can help but get swept away. The costumes and sets and equally enchanting and specific all at the same time.

Top 5. This film has raw emotion. It plays well.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Captain Phillips (2013)

Written By Richard Phillips
Directed By Paul Greengrass
Starring Tom Hanks

Captain Phillips is a story based on a book about a real life event. The film is an intense real world experience of pirates attacking a cargo ship. The book was written as a first hand account of the experience of being held hostage and being tortured and beaten.

Tom Hanks stars as the heroic Richard Phillips and he does an amazing job. The film is stirring with deep personal relationships and honest portrayals of human life. The film is well made and has lots of interesting shots. The cinematography style is hand-held documentary form. This really adds to the intensity of the film. also, the score is a very chilling and primal sound that tickles up your spine with adrenalin.

Ultimately, Tom Hanks is perfect for this role. Hanks is an very emotional actor with perfect timing. His portrait of these events are surprisingly personal and he walks us through those feelings perfectly.

unfortunately, this film is empty of message. I loved every second of this film as a thrill ride and cried at the end... but I'm not sure why I watched it to begin with. Its perfectly done, but I can't say what for.

No rating. Brilliant filmmaking with little message at the end. great experience to go through.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Winters Tale (2014)


Written by Akiva Goldsman, Mark Helprin
Direced by Akiva Goldsman
Starring Colin Ferrell, Russell Crowe, Jessica Brown Findlay


A winters tale is confusing story about love, time travel, demons and angels and miracles. The plot begins with a small time thief and he is trying to find his destiny. He stumbles apon a horse that changes his life. He meets a girl who is dying and he falls in love with her. Ultimately the story takes lot of turns and lots of breaks from the conventional storytelling structure.

Collin Ferrell stars in this film along side Judith. They both do a good job falling in love with eachother but that’s about all I can say about hteir performance. Russell Crowe is good in this fllm but he’s good in most things. The entire movie makes little sence and everything kind of drags on without direction.

If you liked the film, The time travelers wife, you might like this one. For me this film is a waste of time and money and efforts because the story doesn’t really hit the major points. I excpect more form the story.

Bottom 5. It was Valentine ’s Day and I needed a romantic flick to take my girl.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Nebraska (2013)



Written by Bob Nelson

Directed by Alexander Payne

Starring Bruce Dern, Will Forte

This film is about an old man who gets a ‘million dollar winner’ ticket in the mail. His son tries to talk him out of it but they both end up bonding over the experience as they travel to claim the prize. The film is set in the Midwest and takes place across a few Midwestern states.

The cinematography is clean and simple. Each scene has a honest, real quality. The film is in black & white and that cinematic look helps with the classic quality of the story.  Will Forte helps to bring a bit of comedy to the film although he portrays an honest character with little tongue and check. Bruce Dern deserves to be recognized for being willing to portray such a sick and sad man.

The film really hits home for people of all ages. This kind story revolves around the spirit and truth we all tend to forget about. The story tells a compeling tale that illuminates a strong focus on the true value of things. If you like deep, honest films look no further.

Top 5. The true value of things is often missed but not in this film.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Kingdom Of Heaven (2005)


Written By William Monahan
Directed by Ridley Scott
Starring Orlando Bloom, Jeramy Arons, Liam Neeson & Eva Green


Orlando Bloom does a great job in this film. He is a good action fighter for the silver screen and it plays on in this film in particular. His swordplay alone is worth the watch. If you like Orlando bloom you will almost be sure to love this film.

But this film is not just eye candy for the masses. This film makes an amazing story out of something that we really don’t talk about much, The Crusades. The Kingdom of Heaven is literally about the Holy Land of Jerusalem and the surrounding areas.  Western Christian’s commanded and ordained by the Pop of Rome and The Muslim brotherhood, known as Islam. The Muslims and the Christians are fighting over the part of the world that roots both religions, Jerusalem. The film explores the meaning behind why each side fights and what is gained and lost in the process.

Ridley Scott directs the film and you can tell. Just watch the master at work making this 1500 year old war look brand spankin’ new. Ridley Scott does an amazing job with this film just like all his other films, Blade Runner, Alien, Prometheus, Gladiator, A good year.

Top 5: This is not only a great film but a great subject to explore. The crusades killed thousands of men and what did it solve? This film does a great job of portraying that in the right light.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Mission Impossible (1996)



Directed by Brian De Palma
Wrtiten by Bruce Geller
Starring Tom Cruz

Mission impossible is just what it sounds like. A team of spies all decide to try and take on some impossible mission with unbelievable odds and pull off what seemed impossible. But if that wasn’t enough for you they they also run into incredible opposition by the organization (CIA) that they are employed by. Tom Cruz is forced to become a rogue agent and find who framed him in this massive conspiracy cover up.

Tom Cruz Stars in this action adventure thriller. He looks young and athletic and everything about this movie screams 90s. Tom Cruz does a great job, like he always does, by being a strong lead character. The cinematography is incredible. And the art direction and scene construction is superb. This is a great blockbuster movie for the whole family to enjoy.

The story glide on ice all the way till the end credits. There is almost no down time for this action adventure. If you like Tom Cruz, or the old mission impossible Television show, my bet is you’ll enjoy this one.

Top 5 rating. This film played an important roll in my development as a film aficionado.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Doubt (2008)


Written & Directed By John Patrick Shanley
Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Meryl Streep, & Amy Adams

     This film is incredibly well done. It’s about a catholic priest and an accusation of sexual misconduct. The issues are obvious I. E. is there any proof, what are the next steps to be taken. All of this casting shadows on the father Flynn Hoffman’s character.

     Philip Seymour Hoffman does an amazing job in this film. He is willing to play the character that represents evil and innocence at the same time. His role as the all-knowing father figure is nothing short of brilliance. Amy Adams plays an incredibly innocent nun. And Meryl Streep play and uptight suspicious nun. All are incredibly well played and totally believable. You will get caught up in the story no matter what you think.

     This story is an uncomfortable one for most people. The craft of the film is electrifying and daring. I would say there is no other film I can liken it to because it stands in a class of its own. This film should have won all the awards.


Top 5. No matter how uncomfortable you feel this film will take you down a path that is incredibly brilliant. 


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013)


Written by Jordan Belfort, Terence Winter
Directed By Martin Scorsese

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie & Matthew McConaughey

     The Wolf of Wall Street is an adaptation of the book from the same name. Jordan Belfort’s memoir is a “larger than life” tail of a stock broker who made millions of dollars by faking stock prices and gaming the stock market. This film is an exciting and wild experience of a man on the edge of sanity and complete narcissistic hysteria. despite the fact that this man had no appreciation for human dignity, the film portrays drugs, sex, crime and the demoralization of woman as being glorifying acts of success. I found it hard to take anything useful away from this film.  I mostly ended up hating the character and being thankful I don’t use narcotics.

     This film screams Scorsese. Its plays just a like a good fellas film mixed with casino elements of easy money. Despite hating Jorden Belfort the man, I loved Leonardo DiCaprio’s portrayal of him. DiCaprio does a drug induced human being very well. Take a look at basketball diaries for more on this subject. The filmmaking is superb as you would expect form Scorsese.

     The style film is incredibly dynamic and full of one montage after the next. Scorsese tends to do that type of character development while making each moment feel like a lifetime of experience. If you liked Goodfellas or Mean Streets you will almost definitely like this film.



No rating. Classic Scorsese film without the respectfulness for women or human dignity.


Monday, February 3, 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffmen: A Dedication


Dear Philip,

        Your body of work has been vast and transformative for many. There are few you haven’t enjoyed your mastery of one character or another. Many have marveled at your variety of faces that you mascaraed from piece to piece. Your craft has been tested and you training rewarded and honored. I just want take a few moments to dedicate my own experience of you.

        At 19, I worked in a DVD rental Shop. This was in 2003. I loved movies. So many times customers would come in and tell me, “I need great movie most people haven’t seen?” Often I would point them in directions like Magnolia, or The Talented Mr. Ripley. No one can forget your character in Almost Famous shouting that Jim Morrison is a buffoon and the b42s are Gods! I often would sometimes drop your name to Movie Rental snobs who would refuse to rent anything that didn’t have independent written on the cover. If you were in it, the movie had street cred.

        I remember watching 25th hour in the theatre and thinking this guy is incredible. So many different characters he plays without judgment or narcissism.  Your desire to disappear was as mystifying as your ability to reappear in new and deeper form. Your award for Capote was justified even if the rest of your work seemed to go unnoticed by the masses.

       You surprised me in The Master. I loved your candor and sophistication. I always enjoyed your commanding rolls as much as you repressed characters. Taking a look at the breadth of your style, I compare Brandt from The Big Labowski and Father Flynn from Doubt. Both portraits couldn’t be any further from one another and yet you do them both with such exactness. It is truly a delight to analogize your life’s work.

       But you were taken from us much too soon. I was so sorry to hear the news. It is an indescribable lost that I cannot explain or quantify.  For those of us who love acting, storytelling, and the world of the cinema, a beacon of light has just gone out. I will always treasure your work and characters as gifts to the world. I’m sorry to lose you. Rest in eternal piece.

Just another fan,

Elliot

List of Films Hoffman has been in:

Catching Fire (Hunger Games)
The Master
Doubt
The Talented Mr. Ripley
Mondeyball
Magnolia
Almost Famous
Punch Drunk Love

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Last Stand (2013)





Written by Andrew Knauer
Directed By Kim Jee-Woon
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Forest Whitaker

The last stand is an action movie about a cop who does the right thing. There is a mob boss who’s breaking out of jail. And if he gets passed this small town copy he will make it back to Mexico and become infamous again.  So it’s all up to this rag tag team of cops to stop this big mob boss. Excited?
Arnold Schwarzenegger is back in the movies with this film. He’s making cars explode, he’s jumping through doors and windows, he’s shooting guns at bad guys. Yes, he is 65 years old in this film and yes he still has what it takes. Unfortunately Hollywood has really let him down in this film. They gave him a bad script. But who cares if you love Arnold you’ll love this film.
The movie is basically a no surprise action movie. Nothing really surprising about this film, it’s just basically a good action flick. if you like explosions you’ll enjoy this one.  I don’t really like these kinds of movies but I also don’t hate them. These fly by the seat of your pants actions movies have a place for those who love this kind of film.

No rating. If you’re debating whether it’s worth it then you should pick something else. If you gotta see it… then do what you gotta do!



Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Jack Reacher (2012)



Written By Christopher McQuarrie
Directed By Christopher McQuarrie
Starring Tom Cruz, Werner Herzog

This film is a spy movie. It’s about some sniper guy who kills 5 random people. Then an investigation uncovers a much bigger plot that blows your mind… hopefully.  Does it feel like mission impossible? Yes! Is it Mission Impossible? No! Jack Reacher is his own thing. Don’t blur the lines like that.

Tom Cruz is Jack Reacher. That’s it, I’m done. That is all you need to know about this movie. Is it great?... I will answer that with another questions… is Tom Cruz great?... if yes then yes, if no then no. Basically I loved this film. Why? Because Tom Cruz kills it in everything.

The action, drama, and cinematography is all outstanding. Nothing about this film is lacking. It’s got comedy, love interested, explosions, gun play and investigative espionage. If you like Tom Cruz they see this film. If you are on the fence, then you will not be disappointed but this film won’t blow your mind.


No rating. Enjoyable. 


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Frozen (2013)



Written By Jennifer Lee
Directed by Jennifer Lee & Chris Buck
Starring Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff

Frozen is a fabulous film. It’s a musical animation done by Disney. This is not a Pixar movie and they make that a big deal in terms of marketing. (I’m not really sure why, Pixar is wildly successful.) The plot of the film is basically two sisters, one does magic and is dangerous, and the other is innocent.  The magical sister is dangerous because she can’t control her magical powers regarding freezing things.

The music in this film is what sets the tone. Everything about this movie makes you feel like a kid again. Each character has an emotional connection with what they are doing and it feeds the story. Menzel is an amazing voice actor and singer. Her song alone is worth the price of the ticket. Everyone does a great job in this film. The singing, acting, and animation all play perfectly on screen.

The style of the film is Pixar-esk although they say its hand drawn. I can’t really tell but it looks good. If you like kid movies, musicals, or even Nordic culture then you’ll like this film. I particularly like the song in the opening scene of the film because it’s so angelic and at the same time Celtic Nordic folk sounding. The musical alone will make you love this film even though the story is dynamic and moving.


Top 5. This film will win some awards for sure. 


Monday, January 20, 2014

Drinking Buddies (2013)



Written by Joe Swanberg
Directred by Joe Swanberg
Starring Olivia wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick & Ron Livingston

The movie is basically about four characters. Two couples that both have feelings for the counterpart’s partner. Confused? So is everyone else. Ultimately, this film explores the ideas behind forbidden love and the age old question can men and women be friends? Obviously this film is full of sexual tension.

Olivia Wilde does an amazing job of portraying the stereo typical tom boy. She makes every seen her own by being graceful yet hard skinned. Jake Johnson is his brash unforgiving self. He does this character very well in most of the roles he takes. Surprisingly, Anna Kendrick steals the show in a sweet perfect girl kind of way. She really shines as the innocent damaged girlfriend.

The cinematography along with the art direction is non-obtrusive and simple. Everything feels real and natural. Nothing shines in this film because its about real life and an honest portrait of confusing emotions and relationships. The editing and dialogues keeps you interested because its as if you’re a fly on the wall trying to keep up with each scene. You like this movie if you like beer, sex, and living in the moment. If that’s you this movie could even speak to you.

No rating. Just a solid rental film that makes you a bit more of a person after watching it.

Check out my blog at – Off2themovies.blogspot.com


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Margin Call (2011)




Written By J.C. Chandor
Directed By J.C. Chandor
Starring Zachary Quinto, Stanley Tucci, Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons

Margin call was an awesome movie. J.C. Chandor has caught my attention with this film. There is something to be said about making a small film about a big subject and making it interesting. Chandor has done that with Margin Call.

I enjoy the genre Thriller and this film fits the bill. It has a lot of great situations that make for an exciting viewing experience. The structure of this film is very well thought out and enhances the films dramatic arch. It takes place over one night and everything must be resolved by morning.

The all-Star cast really sinks their teeth into each character. The 3D characters squabble and confuse the issue at hand making mountains out of little numbers. I found myself getting excited over the stock market mambo jumbo even though I know little about it. Each character diverts the problems of morality and honesty to show the bigger picture. Oddly enough, this film paints with large strokes of gray.

The sets and cinematography are simple and don’t distract from the plot. Its important to understand what’s going on but not be wowed by the craft. The film takes a lot of human situations and makes them much more clear in our minds as to what life is like in the inner circle of the stock brokers world. This helps us understand exactly what goes on with these big numbers and how they affect us.

Top 5 film. The Writer/Director is someone to watch out for to see what he does next.


Watch it on Netflix