Honestly, I just do not really care that Lance Armstrong was “doping” and lied about it. He still has an amazingly powerful story and in this day and age where all we want is a celebrity to screw up so we can talk about, it’s simply adding fuel to the flame that is our degrading society. “The Armstrong Lie” is a documentary that is half before the scandal and half after, directed by Alex Gibney. With considerations on the film for the Oscars, there’s a chance I could see it when the nominations come out, but for now I’m not interested.
When Scott’s (Justin Long) best man dies at their destination wedding, he and his newly wed wife, Kristin (Jess Weixler) travel to his home in the Midwest to get his funeral arrangements in order. Testing his new marriage and discovering he had no idea who his dead friend really was, “Best Man Down” looks to be a touching story with a strong cast, including the young and gorgeous Addison Timlin.
There’s something about Saoirse Ronan that keeps me completely captivated. She’s such a strong young actress and has such a huge career ahead of her that everything she’s involved in peaks my interest immediately. “How I Live Now” is no difference, blending romance and war into one film. As she’s sent off to stay with a family, a love blossoms yet when military gets involved and she’s forced to run, her life gets complicated. Ronan’s in it, so I will be seeing it.
Building perfectly off the previous films and adding an entirely new level of character development, the sequel delivers in all the right ways, bringing fantasy, action, and comedy together in a gorgeous kaleidoscope. Chris Hemsworth returns triumphantly as Thor, much bulkier than we last left him but the star of the show becomes Tom Hiddleston, returning as the trickster god, Loki, whose character is much more three-dimensional than those surrounding him. With a fantastic story-line of being locked in the Asgard dungeons and later having to help his brother Thor, there’s still an innocence to Loki’s character, brought out by his mother, played by Rene Russo. Loki’s scenes steal the spotlight and make his involvement the best portions of the film. Overall, “Thor: The Dark World” has enough going for it to rise above some weak plot points, characters, and an overabundance of humor and produces yet another great notch in the Marvel annals.
Banking on the producer credit of Luc Besson, “22 Bullets” looks terrible. A mob boss that is shot 22 times and then goes on a killing spree, the premise for this film is almost as bad as the voice over the trailer uses to get the point across, almost coming off more like a joke than an actual thriller. Jean Reno is fine as a supporting actor but as the lead in a truly independent film with nothing going for it, this entire film is doomed.
In the vein of “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion”, but with a dirty twist, Casey Wilson and real-life best friend June Diane Raphael star and co-write in “Ass Backwards”, a road trip movie where two losers attempt to regain their pageant glory, stolen by Alicia Silverstone’s character. There’s nothing outright funny about this trailer but with enough stock in Casey Wilson after her year’s on “Happy Endings” and enough of a sex appeal from both of these women, I can’t deny the attraction.
Unless you went to Berkeley or love something about the university, there’s little reason anyone would go see the film “At Berkeley” which basically covers why the college should be better than all other colleges.
As much as I’m going to pass on this film, “Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans Of My Little Pony”, I did sit through the entire almost four minute trailer and have to say this phenomenon is completely interesting. People become fans of everything and I’ve heard this show is completely well written, but this group comes off a little too sensitive and almost church like for me to take too seriously.
What a fantastic cast for such an unknown romantic film. “A Case Of You” sees Justin Long going after Evan Rachel Wood by stalking her Facebook page and learning what she likes and trying to be that guy, until she falls for him and doesn’t realize it’s all a rouse. With some great chemistry and a great soundtrack to the trailer, I’m the slightest bit sold on the pairing and am curious to see if it can deliver.
“Go For Sisters” does look like a gripping, suspenseful drama about a mother looking for her son in Mexico, and with the help of Edward James Olmos, this film almost succeeds in convincing me to see it, but in the end, it’s a little too gender and race specific for me to be fully on board and doesn’t deliver much beyond the promise of intensity and the search for a boy on the wrong side of the law.
“Great Expectations” is one of my all-time favorite novels by Charles Dickens, with an immense conflicting love story at the center of the film. With Academy Award nominees Helen Bonham Carter and Ralph Fiennes playing some iconic roles and Holliday Grainger continuing her claim to fame (“The Borgias”, “Bonnie & Clyde” mini-series), this film looks exotic and like all my favorite novels, I usually enjoy seeing the adaptations on screen.
Focusing on an economically stressed small town in Indiana, “Medora” is a documentary following the high school basketball team that is the worst in the state and the picture of a dwindling town. Depicting each of the boys on the team, who face trouble outside of school, deadbeat dads, and a drive to keep going, the narrative of this film is strong but with little else to back it up, it has little hope of grabbing much attention compared to similar sports documentary titles.
Emile Hirsch and Stephen Dorff team up as brothers in this independent drama titled “The Motel Life”. After a hit-and-run, the duo runs away, dealing with their guilt and their relationship. Also starring the talented Dakota Fanning, there’s enough acting prowess and enough emotion to warrant a viewing of this film.
DOCUMENTARY PICK OF THE WEEK: Beginning with a staggering statistic of “Juarez, Mexico: 3,622 murders in 2010; El Paso, Texas: 5 murders in 2010” and men and women openly shooting guns on camera, “Narco Cultura” proves its worth within a few seconds of introducing the film. Interviewing those who idolize men singing about drugs and killing, this documentary takes a look at the Mexico Drug War from the front line and those looking to use drugs and violence to their advantage to get out of the Mexican ghettos.
“Paris Countdown” is trying to be a lot of things but one thing it’s not is at all interesting. There’s no hook. You can throw cards at me all day long, but it doesn’t mean a thing if I’m not connecting with the characters or story. We’re in Paris, we’re in the future of some story, and there’s guns and shooting. Other than that, I have no idea and this point simply don’t care.
When poet Elizabeth Bishop (Miranda Otto) moves to Brazil, she discovers a love affair with a female architect that brings her out of her writers block and ends up winning her a Pulitzer Prize. Were this not a plodding drama that I feel like I’ve seen a hundred times before, it could be very emotional and engaging. Instead, I’m pressed to say a good thing about the looks of “Reaching For The Moon”.
Any film that garners a huge following like “The Hunger Games” will also eventually get its own parody. “The Starving Games” takes a page out of the Wayans Brothers’ book and delivers some of the dumbest, ill-advised camp to make it on screen. I wonder who finds these films funny and who thinks they’re a good idea. Regardless, this is crap and I won’t go near it.
Not that it means much coming from me, but until I saw this trailer I had never heard of The Stone Roses, a rock band that sets off on a reunion tour after over 20 years, for this documentary, “The Stone Roses: Made Of Stone”, highlighting their rise and fall and return to the spotlight. Sadly, they come off like a rip-off of several other bands and though I am sure they have an enormous following, I’m not apart of it nor will I be apart of this film.
How I Live Now
Thor: The Dark World
Best Man Down
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Motel Life, The
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A Case Of You
Armstrong Lie, The
Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans Of My Little Pony