RSS feed for Joseph
  • The Unknown Known 2013

    ★★★★ Watched 01 Apr, 2014

    Erol Morris’s mesmerizing documentary, THE UNKNOWN KNOWN, opens with former American Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, staring directly into the camera and reading us an excerpt of one of the more than 20,000 memos he wrote while he worked in the White House. In this memo, he refers to the known known, which would be things that one knows they know for a fact; he then goes on to address the known unknown, which would be elements one knows they…

  • Dom Hemingway 2013

    ★★ Watched 02 Apr, 2014

    Perhaps it is my own personal bias but I have a very hard time getting behind characters who do whatever they please for their entire lives, no matter how that affects the people around them, and then expect the people they’ve burned to find forgiveness for them when they’re in their moment of need but yet haven’t changed in the least. The title character in DOM HEMINGWAY is definitely one of these people. Writer/Director, Richard Shepard (whose work on the…

  • Noah 2014

    ★★ Watched 29 Mar, 2014

    It has been some time since I last read the bible, so much time really that when I did read it, it was imposed upon me as part of my curriculum as a young boy in a Catholic school. As long as it has been though, I cannot for the life of me remember fallen angels encrusted with rock structures coming to Noah’s aid to help build his ark. This is the first of many departures director, Darren Aronofsky takes…

  • Bad Words 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 18 Mar, 2014

    Without question, BAD WORDS, Jason Bateman’s directorial debut, is going to turn some people off from the very start. Bateman stars as Guy Trilby, a 40-year old man who lives alone and who just lost his mother a couple of months prior to our meeting him. We are introduced to Guy as he is about to essentially hijack a regional spelling bee by forcing his way into the child’s competition, citing a loophole as justification and threatening legal action if…

  • Muppets Most Wanted 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 14 Mar, 2014

    The Muppets may be made of felt but they aren’t dumb. Even they know that a sequel is ordinarily inferior to its predecessor. In fact, they even sing about it in the opening number to their latest film, MUPPETS MOST WANTED. The bad news is that they’re mostly right. Despite bringing back the same creative team that worked on 2011’s THE MUPPETS, the follow-up is nowhere near as amusing, endearing or spontaneous. The good news however, is that none of…

  • Nymphomaniac 2013

    ★★★½ Watched 07 Mar, 2014

    There is a disclaimer at the very onset of NYMPHOMANIAC, Lars von Trier’s controversial 4-hour epic about one woman’s sexual affliction, that states quite cheekily that von Trier gave his permission to make this cut of the film, which was originally over five hours long, but was not involved in its construction. This makes it very difficult to know whose film it is I’m judging really, as we cannot know if this truly comes close to matching von Trier’s original…

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 19 Feb, 2014

    There is no use in trying to prove otherwise; Wes Anderson has distinctly unmistakable style. His films are instantly recognizable and his colourful approach to storytelling has just as many ardent fans as it does detractors (or, as I like to refer to them as, sticks in the mud). As an admirer of his oeuvre, I would think it insulting to call him one note but I would also be hard pressed to say otherwise. That said, when the note…

  • Need for Speed 2014

    ★★★ Watched 19 Feb, 2014

    Need for Speed needs many things but speed is not one of them. It’s got plenty of that already, along with plenty of flashy cars, plenty of impressive stunts and more slow motion close ups of Aaron Paul emoting intensely than I ever imagined possible, but that’s pretty much all it has. For some, there really isn’t anything else required. This is a movie about drag racing after all, so as long as the action never slows, the race should…

  • The Monuments Men 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 04 Feb, 2014

    When it comes to monumental men in Hollywood today, you can’t get much more monumental than George Clooney. The man has carved out a career for himself that is impressive by any standard and oscillates with ease between acting, writing and directing. In his latest film, THE MONUMENTS MEN, he takes on all three of these duties at once and his split focus leads to uneven results across the board. It isn’t that THE MONUMENTS MEN, a film that tells…

  • Stranger by the Lake 2013

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 10 Jan, 2014

    This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.

  • Lone Survivor 2013

    ★★★★ Watched 06 Jan, 2014

    What’s in a name? In the case of Peter Berg’s latest film, LONE SURVIVOR, pretty much everything. This is a war movie about a small group of navy SEALs on a dangerous mission in Afghanistan, in June of 2005, and the title implies that only one of these fine, young men will make it home alive. Any intelligent filmgoer could surmise that the biggest name actor above the title is the likeliest survivor, but Berg is craftier than I expected…

  • What If 2013

    ★★★★ Watched 04 Jan, 2014

    Boy meets girl at a party; they have an instant connection that catches each of them off guard; girl slips it casually into conversation with boy that she actually has a boyfriend before the night is over. We are all familiar with this scenario. In fact, a great deal of us have lived through this exact scenario. The boy wonders why the universe put this girl on his path if she wasn’t actually available, while the girl doesn’t want to…