RSS feed for Joseph
  • The One I Love 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 15 Aug, 2014

    A struggling, married couple get away for the weekend at the behest of their therapist. That is essentially all I can tell you about director, Charlie McDowell’s bewildering debut feature, The One I Love. Basically, after said couple arrives at the cottage, they discover something odd about the cottage’s guest house, and the entire film hangs on the balance of what they find there. It is certainly an original and well executed twist, but maintaining the delicate illusion they’ve created…

  • Are You Here 2014

    Watched 11 Aug, 2014

    The answer to the question posed in the title of Matthew Weiner’s film debut, ARE YOU HERE, is, if you happen to be watching said film when asked it, unfortunately yes. The “Mad Man” creator’s first film effort appears promising on the surface but is such a mess on screen that I began to wonder how Weiner managed to make the magic that is “Mad Men” to begin with. Weiner is a double offender here for first having written a…

  • The Trip to Italy 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 07 Aug, 2014

    In 2010’s THE TRIP, writer/director, Michael Winterbottom, paired British actor/comedians, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon on a road trip through Northern England. They played versions of themselves and in this slightly altered reality, Brydon was a last minute replacement for Coogan’s estranged girlfriend on said road trip, which was basically research for a series of articles Coogan had been hired to write on the local cuisine. Known for their quick wit and uncanny impressions, these colleagues traverses the English countryside…

  • Magic in the Moonlight 2014

    ★★ Watched 28 Jul, 2014

    MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT may be the most misleading title of Woody Allen’s career. There is maybe one shot of the moon in the entire film and I dare you to find a single trace of magic in this supposedly romantic comedy. I say supposedly because the comedy in this film is pretty scarce but more importantly, the film is far too nihilistic to take any of its more romantic elements seriously. If you know me at all, you know…

  • 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,…