RSS feed for Leighton
  • Pitch Perfect 2

    Pitch Perfect 2 2015

    ★★★ Watched 15 May, 2015

    Same song, different day.

    And that's no bad thing. There are things to like here, a lot of fun actually (shout out to Keegan Michael-Key), but where the first felt refreshing, different, this sequel strains to be bigger and better. And it didn't need to be. The first relied on sharp humor and sly character development. Here, those seem to be sacrificed in favor of more jokes and gags. Granted, there's not much more they can do with these characters,…

  • Paddington

    Paddington 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 12 May, 2015

    Warm, sweet, inviting, and so very English. It manages to be a great family film because there's an obvious love behind the ones making it; it also manages to be funny without being dumb about it. Not to mention, it's impeccably designed across the board. How can you not love this movie...

  • Selma

    Selma 2014

    ★★★★★ Watched 11 May, 2015

    First, the performance by David Oyelowo is towering. He is magnificent, showing the magnanimous nature of King, while also showing his vulnerabilities and the small moments that actually made up this man we read about in history books.
    But as much as it's his show, it's really the coming out party for director Ava DuVernay. She wields her vision with tenacity; the film is such a dramatic force of nature. Every scene bristles with the electricity of someone who knows…

  • Wild

    Wild 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 06 May, 2015

    It's not that personal revelation/finding yourself stories are not my thing, it's just that this sub-genre has become generic, familiar, rote. They all follow the same pattern. This one doesn't though. We flash back and forth from Cheryl's physical journey and her past emotional one. The combination of the editing and the meshing and layering of memories, sounds, images, even the fox that follows her, is what provides such depth to this narrative. It's not that Reese Witherspoon or Laura…

  • The Battered Bastards of Baseball

    The Battered Bastards of Baseball 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 03 May, 2015

    A fantastic niche story within the annals of baseball told by filmmakers who obviously have a love for the game. What is best about this is the way it skews the "Big Brother" that is the MLB. That is what makes this story of this team just as relevant today. Not only did they shape the way baseball is governed now, but how this is an ever-growing problem in all the various major sports as to just how much control these leagues governing bodies should have.

  • Annie

    Annie 2014

    ★★½ Watched 17 Mar, 2015

    Nowhere near the drivel I was expecting, but nothing to really like all that much either.

  • Frank

    Frank 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 01 May, 2015

    An ordinary story that is beautifully weird and touching. Is it strange to say that I think this is one of Michael Fassbender's best performances?

  • Avengers: Age of Ultron

    Avengers: Age of Ultron 2015

    ★★★½ Watched 02 May, 2015

    "Heavy is the head that wears the crown."

    Joss Whedon has been wearing this crown for three years now ever since the explosion of the first Avengers and the Phase Two set-up for this sequel. And it shows not just in his sounds bites in the press, but in the film itself. Age of Ultron is a labor in a very good way. It's two-and-half hours of darker, meatier, nerdier moments - he finds time for Bansky and Eugene O'Neil…

  • Top Five

    Top Five 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 02 May, 2015

    Chris Rock is at once examining his own career in comedy and also poking some fun at the celebrity world we live in. "Write what you know" they say, and here, this serves him well. It's his funniest and most honest piece of work in some time.

  • Dear White People

    Dear White People 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 30 Apr, 2015

    A debut that certainly doesn't feel like one. It's fierce, smart, funny, assured. The various characters are all dealing with some measure of insecurity when it comes to their person and their race and this all combined with a decent plot and timely, sharp dialogue makes it great.

  • John Wick

    John Wick 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 26 Apr, 2015

    Unabashedly unapologetic of what it is and it does this so damn well.

  • The Babadook

    The Babadook 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 28 Apr, 2015

    The beauty of the film is it's not really horror. Not really - just a woman whose damaged psyche has become more than she can handle. Kent provides an evocative and imaginative demonstration of what our demons can do to us when we give them power. And that it's written and directed by a woman only gives it even more truth and life. An equally frightening and beautiful piece of filmmaking.