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  • Love Is Strange 2014

    ★★★ Watched 15 Sep, 2014

    Yes, love is strange, but I’m not so sure it is as strange as this latest film by Ira Sachs (KEEP THE LIGHTS ON). With LOVE IS STRANGE, Sachs paints his picture of a long time couple who have been separated by circumstance with all the right strokes, but the story itself is never fully realized all the same. The acting, the pacing, the tone, everything is on point, but the story itself is either too New York-centric or simply…

  • The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them 2014

    ★★★ Watched 15 Sep, 2014

    THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY: THEM is basically the disappearance of almost all of the elements that made this film’s original incarnation so great. If you’re not already familiar with this film’s history, it was initially two films, HIM and HER. Both films told the same story about the same couple dealing with the dissolution of their 7-year relationship and marriage. One was told from his prospective and one was told from hers. These two films have now been amalgamated…

  • Nightcrawler 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 22 Aug, 2014

    When you first meet Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal, looking very gaunt), you won’t think him to be a very bright man. He has just sold stolen goods to a construction site foreman and when he’s done collecting his fee, he asks the man for a job, going into a pitch he has obviously practiced in a mirror. By the time you’re done watching his progression from small time thief to full fledged sociopath in Dan Gilroy’s stunning debut, NIGHTCRAWLER, you…

  • Wild 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 02 Sep, 2014

    Jean-Marc Vallee’s latest film, WILD, announces the triumphant return of Reese Witherspoon to prestige acting. She is electric in WILD and she lets you know it within the first few frames of the film. As she watches her hiking boots plummet down a ravine from the top of a mountain she has spent all day climbing, she lets out a scream you know is about so much more than her boot disaster. The ride that she and Vallee (DALLAS BUYERS…

  • The Equalizer 2014

    Watched 11 Sep, 2014

    For the first twenty or thirty minutes of THE EQUALIZER, nothing really happens. Denzel Washington plays Robert McCall, or Bob to his friends. Bob works at a home renovation store, helps coworkers with their diets and spends his nights reading the classics at a diner because he can’t sleep. There is nothing particularly special about him but there obviously has to be something about him, otherwise, why would we be watching this movie? Well, this is a question that I…

  • Rosewater 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 28 Aug, 2014

    Political funny man, Jon Stewart, has made a movie that is both political and, oddly enough, at times even funny. ROSEWATER tells the true account of Iranian-Canadian journalist, Maziar Bahari, and his incarceration and torture for 118 days in an Iranian prison. The subject matter may seem a bit bleak for Stewart to take on as his first film, and it is. Still, Stewart does his best to infuse the film with enough hope to make it more uplifting than…

  • Mommy 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 19 Aug, 2014

    I don’t want to say that Canadian filmmaker, Xavier Dolan, has mommy issues, but given that his latest film, MOMMY, is the most visceral and emotionally effective film since his debut feature, I KILLED MY MOTHER, I don’t think it would too much of a stretch to suggest that they might a little something going on there. That said, as long as he continued to produce films as wonderful as this last one, then he can continue exploring his issues…

  • Whiplash 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 18 Aug, 2014

    To achieve true greatness, the kind of greatness that will still be talked about long after you’re dead, you have to dedicate yourself entirely to your craft or cause. Furthermore, the belief is that you cannot create the kind of art that lasts if you don’t suffer for it first. These are just a couple of the misconceptions that young drumming prodigy, Andrew Neyman (Miles Teller), adheres to in his pursuit of success in the world of music. Unfortunately for…

  • Foxcatcher 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 27 Aug, 2014

    Bennett Miller, the Academy Award nominated director of CAPOTE and MONEYBALL, returns with another stellar turn behind the camera, FOXCATCHER, the true story of a truly eerie American crime story. In doing so, not only does he solidify himself as one of the most consistent directors working today but he also pulls career changing performances out of stars, Steve Carrell and Channing Tatum.

    Tatum plays professional wrestler, Mark Schultz. In the mid to late 80’s, Mark had already won a…

  • Miss Julie 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 09 Sep, 2014

    I learned a valuable lesson the other day when I saw Liv Ullmann’s MISS JULIE, an adaptation of the 1888 Swedish play by August Strindberg. When watching a tragedy, it is best to just surrender to the despair that emanates from the screen, rather than fight your natural impulses to dismiss the happenings on screen as merely melodramatic nonsense. In this particular case, if you don’t give in to MISS JULIE, you will miss some stunning cinematography, some astounding dialogue,…

  • Men, Women & Children 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 13 Sep, 2014

    The first thing I did when I finished watching Jason Reitman’s latest opus was to take to Twitter to share my thoughts on how much I enjoyed the film. If you’ve seen it, then you know how ironic that is. MEN, WOMEN & CHILDREN attempts to break down the walls we have erected around ourselves in Western society with our online personas and technological advancements in communication. By now, it is somewhat plain to suggest that the abundance of tools made…

  • St. Vincent 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 06 Sep, 2014

    Theodore Melfi’s debut feature is about as assured as they come. ST. VINCENT may be conventional storytelling but Melfi proves that a story we have already heard in one form or another can still be told with enough originality to make it seem new again. He also proves that as a writer and director, he is capable of being very funny without being obvious or broad and that he can be just as dramatic without being overly sentimental. In doing…