RSS feed for Joseph
  • A Most Wanted Man 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 16 Jul, 2014

    Ordinarily, I take a fair amount of notes when watching a movie. With Anton Corbijn’s A MOST WANTED MAN, I have very little to draw upon as my eyes were glued to the screen for the majority of the time. As has been proven with previous John Le Carre adaptations, like THE CONSTANT GARDNER and TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, his works, when given the attention to detail they deserve, make for very compelling thrillers. And with Phillip Seymour Hoffman leading…

  • Lucy 2014

    ★★★ Watched 23 Jul, 2014

    Luc Besson’s LUCY opens on an ape, presumably the ape that will go on to be the first woman in the course of evolution, known as Lucy. As Scarlett Johansson’s always commanding voiceover asks us what we’ve done with the precious gift that is life in the billion years since we’ve had it, we watch this ape drink from a lake and you pretty much know you’re in for a bizarre trip. Besson makes good on this implicit promise but…

  • Sex Tape 2014

    ★★ Watched 16 Jul, 2014

    As I am sure you’re well aware, sex can be a terribly awkward experience at times. That said, I’ve never had sex that is anywhere near as awkward as watching SEX TAPE is. Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel reteam with the director of BAD TEACHER, Jake Kasdan, all good things in my mind, but they never find their footing here, which makes for some very sloppy, very messy filmmaking. There are some good laughs to be had from time to…

  • Life Itself 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 29 Jun, 2014

    Roger Ebert: In the past 25 years, I have probably seen 10,000 movies and reviewed 6,000 of them. I have forgotten most of them, I hope. But I remember those worth remembering and they are on the same shelf in my mind.

    I met Roger Ebert once at a book signing for his memoir, LIFE ITSELF. I had seen him at TIFF screenings prior to this but on this occasion, I was able to thank him for everything he did…

  • Boyhood 2014

    ★★★★★ Watched 14 Jun, 2014 1

    Say what you will about writer/director, Richard Linklater, but you can’t say he isn’t willing to take big risks for his art. His latest, and dare I say it, perhaps his greatest, BOYHOOD, epitomizes dedication to one’s craft and cements Linklater as one of today’s most daring, and brilliant, directors. The undertaking of this project is just enormous and the fact that he pulls it off is impressive enough in itself; that he was able to not just make this…

  • How to Train Your Dragon 2 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 14 Jun, 2014

    Despite being based on a series of children's books, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON felt like a complete story to me, like so many other animated films. After it became a big hit though, it was announced that they would make a sequel and the question then became, would they be able to recreate the unexpected magic of the first film or would it feel tacked on, like other inferior animated sequels (RIO 2, CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS…

  • 22 Jump Street 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 12 Jun, 2014

    I was most certainly amongst the naysayers when 21 JUMP STREET, another seemingly unnecessary big screen adaptation of a television series that no one really cared about, rolled into theatres in 2012. Even when it came out, I found it amusing but I was not so swayed as to think it was worth all the hype that came with it. Like it or not though, it was a big hit and there was no denying the chemistry between stars, Jonah…

  • The Fault in Our Stars 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 07 Jun, 2014

    John Green’s THE FAULT IN OUR STARS is a remarkably unexpected piece of fiction, genuinely heartbreaking but yet strangely life affirming at the same time. Josh Boone’s adaptation of the same name is a wonderfully loyal tribute, another triumph penned by (500) DAYS OF SUMMER and THE SPECTACULAR NOW writers, Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, that captures the essence of Green’s unassuming genius and brings it to life in a way I didn’t imagine was possible. On the page,…

  • The Double 2013

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 05 Jun, 2014

    THE DOUBLE is a deliberate, decidedly dark comedy that is designed to both disorient and delight the viewer at all times. British comedian turned writer and director, Richard Ayoade follows up his critically acclaimed debut feature, SUBMARINE, with an absurdist retelling of the Fyodor Dostoyevsky novella of the same name. In doing so, he not only reaffirms the promise that most saw in him already, but builds on it as well, making him a bonafide talent to watch for.

    Jesse…

  • Tracks 2013

    ★★★★ Rewatched 04 Jun, 2014

    If I recommended you see a movie in which Mia Wasikowska treks across the Australian desert with camels for two hours, you would probably lose all faith in my abilities as a critic, but I’m going to do so all the same. John Curran’s TRACKS may not sound like much on paper but to behold this one woman’s journey and all the struggles, both external and internal, that come along with it is not only visually captivating but emotionally as…

  • Maleficent 2014

    ★★★ Watched 26 May, 2014

    In keeping with the trends, MALEFICENT, Angelina Jolie’s passion project pulled from the pages of the Disney animated classic, SLEEPING BEAUTY, debunks what we think we know about a past fairy tale and gives back story and humanity to a character that, up until now, was only seen as one dimensional. In the 1959 film, Maleficent infamously cursed Aurora, an innocent babe born to a king, to death on her 16th birthday because she wasn’t invited to share in the…

  • A Million Ways to Die in the West 2014

    ★★½ Watched 28 May, 2014

    There’s a scene in A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST, the latest from Family Guy and TED creator, Seth MacFarlane, that truly captures what its like to watch this western farce. MacFarlane shoots bullet after bullet at bottles lined up on a fence from a safe distance. He cannot hit anything and just keeps shooting and missing, shooting and missing. He even gets right up close to the bottles and still can’t hit anything. In living up to…