RSS feed for Joseph
  • 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…

  • Chef 2014

    ★★★ Watched 20 May, 2014

    In CHEF, writer/director, Jon Favreau, stars as an aging Los Angeles chef who once dazzled his diners and who now simply caters to the masses without pushing himself or his food forward. In real life, Favreau is an aging Hollywood director, who once impressed with indie hits like SWINGERS and MADE, but who now makes massive blockbusters, like the first two IRON MAN movies and mediocre summer fare like 2011’s COWBOYS AND ALIENS. It would be ridiculous to not draw…

  • Palo Alto 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 17 May, 2014

    Lately, any film I see about adolescents that has any interest in doing its subjects justice has played out like an anthropological exploration of sorts. From SPRING BREAKERS to THE BLING RING, we watch these young people in their natural habitats, as they party excessively, disregard their surroundings and those that care about them, and generally treat their futures like garbage, as if they genuinely believe that there will always be one waiting for them when they’re done having their…

  • Million Dollar Arm 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 12 May, 2014

    If I wasn’t told right off the bat that MILLION DOLLAR ARM was a true story, I’m not sure I would have believed that it was. A man who has been living large but who has fallen on hard times, decides to organize a nationwide reality competition in India, to find the best cricket players in hopes of turning them into Major League Baseball players, in a final effort to salvage his career. It sounds insane but the even crazier…