Family history is a curious thing, especially when it inspires a well-known story.
In the 2005 film, Rumor Has It…, Sarah (Jennifer Aniston) and Jeff (Mark Ruffalo) are a newly engaged coupled. Sarah introduces Jeff to her family when they go to California for her sister’s wedding. During the visit to California, Jeff infers that Sarah’s father, Earl (Richard Jenkins) is not her biological father. Enter Beau (Kevin Costner), a successful author who may have had affairs concurrently with Sarah’s late mother and grandmother Katherine (Shirley MacLaine) back in the day. This leads Sarah to believe that the 1967 film, The Graduate is more than fiction. Like her mother and grandmother, Sarah falls for Beau’s charms, but she may end up losing Jeff in the process.
This film is an interesting one. It’s not exactly the typical romantic comedy, but it also does not use it’s source material as much as it could have.
Do I recommend it? Maybe.
*Warning: this review contains mild spoilers. Read at your own risk.
A sequel of a sequel of a superhero movie walks a fine line. It has to be entertaining, but it also has to extend the narrative and the character arc in a way that feels right to both the universe and the characters.
Two weeks ago, Thor: Ragnarok hit theaters. Odin (Anthony Hopkins) is no longer of this world. His previously unknown first child, Hela (Cate Blanchett), otherwise known as the Goddess of Death has returned from exile to return Asgard to the way it was before her exile. But to do this, she has to make sure that her brothers, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) are out-of-the-way. They find themselves in another world where Thor is a gladiator and fighting against The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). This world is ruled by Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum), who might be crazy. With the help of Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Thor, Loki and The Hulk might be able to defeat Hela and save Asgard.
If there was a proper way to do a second sequel, especially for a movie which is based on a comic book, this film is the blueprint. It is funny, entertaining and takes the narrative and characters in new directions without feeling stale or overproduced. And of course, the two female characters, played by Tessa Thompson and Cate Blanchett are amazing. They contribute to the narrative, both standing on their own two feet and neither relying on the stereotypical female caricatures that exist in the genre.
I absolutely recommend it.
Thor: Ragnarok is presently in theaters.
2014 has been a very interesting movie going year for me. While I did not see any movies that would substantiate a worst movies of 2014 list, there have been more than a few that are vying for best movie of 2014.
5. Noah-While this movie tried, it lived up to the title of biblical disaster for several reasons.
4. Get On Up– A biopic is always more interesting when the audience gets to know the whole person, warts and all. However, that doesn’t mean there can’t be a few scenes that can be saved for the extra’s portion of the DVD.
3. Monuments Men– I like this untold World War II stories, but there was something lacking.
2. Wish I Was Here– A realistic view of adulthood that felt a little too real.
1. Begin Again– Keira Knightley, breaking from her previous BPD (British Period Drama) roles and Mark Ruffalo as a disgraced music exec.
And now the fun begins. (Drum roll please) The top 5 movies of 2014 are….
5. Tie between Philomena and Maleficent– Two women who must go on a journey to re-discover their pasts and who they are.
4. Tie Between Captain America: The Winter Soldier and X-Men: Days Of Future Past– Two excellent comic book movies which could easily stand on their own, but fit in perfectly with the rest of the genre.
3. Belle– A BPD with a woman of color and an engaging true story.
2. The Theory Of Everything– The life story of Stephen Hawking.
1. Ida– This movie is story telling at it’s best.
There you have it folks. My list of the best movies of 2014. See you next year.
There is an old saying: when one door closes, another opens.
Begin Again is about new beginnings and unexpected possibilities.
Dan (Mark Ruffalo) is a disgraced record music executive going through a mid life crisis. He has been fired from the label he started, his relationship with his wife Miriam (Catherine Keener) and his daughter, Violet (Hailee Steinfeld) has been going down hill for years. Greta (Keira Knightley) has been with her boyfriend, Dave (Maroon 5 front man Adam Levine) for 5 years. Both singer-songwriters, Dave has been given a record deal and takes advantage of all the opportunities he has with his record deal. But with the record deal, comes the temptations and the loss of relationships, including his relationship with Greta. Greta has been friends with Steve (James Corden). He offers her a place to stay after her break up and encourages her to sing at an open mic night. Drowning his sorrows in whisky, Dan has a vision of Greta’s song played with a full band.
I enjoyed this movie. Breaking from the BBC, dark, period drama type of roles, Knightley’s Greta is on a journey from heartbreak to triumph; her singing voice is good. Ruffalo’s Dan is on a parallel journey. Levine, in his screen debut, is surprisingly good. I love that this movie was shot completely in New York City, providing a realistic backdrop.
I recommend this movie.
With the summer movie season upon us, the movie studios have begun to present to us what they hope to be their best movies until the award season begins.
One of the movies released this weekend is “Now You See Me”.
The movie opens and introduces the audience to four street magicians (Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Woody Harelson and Dave Franco) whose combined talents have been made into a large scale magic show in Las Vegas. They have chosen a random audience member and with a teleportation device, have transported him to Paris to transfer the money from his local bank to the audience.
But all is not as it seems when the FBI and Interpol (Mark Ruffalo and Melanie Laurent) begin to believe that these magicians are actually con artists and thieves.
The premise of this movie is interesting, but the plot is a bit convuluted and the movie is a little long. It’s not completely horrible, but a little tweaking of the screenplay and a little more editing of the movie might have helped. The plot in the beggining of the movie is also a little slow, it didnt really pick up until a third of the way into the movie.
It’s a shame, I was looking forward to this movie, but I can only give 5 and 1/2 out of ten stars.