The Secret Life of Pets (***1/2) and Sing (*1/2) shows Illumination is just pumping them out there regardless of quality

It's plain that Illumination is banking on a distinct visual flair while sacrificing originality of story (and, in Sing's case, distinct vocal talent). There are worse films out there, but it all makes me happy that my youngest one is 10 and I will likely be skipping more of the automatic animation viewing destinations in the future.

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Finding Dory (***1/2) is about new beginnings and never ending

If anything, this film shows us who the real star of the series is. There would have to be some major work done to incorporate Marlin as essential at this point. I am not sure Nemo ever mattered less.

A Most Violent Year (****1/2) is a good story excellently told

A Most Violent Year - 2014 Written and Directed by J.C. Chandor Starring Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo, Alessandro Nivola, Albert Brooks  A Most Violent Year is a fascinatingly simple story that underlines the strength of a man and all the things that contribute and detract from it. Oscar Isaac is Abel Morales, the owner of the small but thriving … Continue reading A Most Violent Year (****1/2) is a good story excellently told

Forgotten Gem: Elmore Leonard’s Out of Sight – Made of stars

Out of Sight - 1998 Directed by Steven Soderbergh Starring George Clooney, Jennifer Lopez, Ving Rhames, Steve Zahn, Dennis Farina, Don Cheadle, Albert Brooks, Samuel L. Jackson, Luis Guzman, Isaiah Washington, Catherine Keener, Nancy Allen, Viola Davis, Michael Keaton Screenplay by Scott Frank, based on the novel by Elmore Leonard There was a time, before I was married, when … Continue reading Forgotten Gem: Elmore Leonard’s Out of Sight – Made of stars

This is 40: The sort of Sequel to Knocked Up

This is 40 - 2012 Written and Directed by Judd Apatow Starring Leslie Mann, Paul Rudd, Maude Apatow, Iris Apatow, Jason Segel, Albert Brooks, Charlene Yi, Megan Fox, Ryan Lee, Lena Dunham, Melissa McCarthy, Graham Parker, Chris O'Dowd, Robert Smigel, Tim Bagley, John Lithgow, Anne Mumalo "This is coming out wrong." A lesser storyteller would have saved … Continue reading This is 40: The sort of Sequel to Knocked Up

Drive starts out in the fast lane; ends up in the ditch

Drive - 2011 Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn Starring Ryan Gosling, Albert Brooks, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Ron Perlman, Christina Hendricks, Oscar Isaac Written by Hossein Amini based on Drive by James Sallis There is a scene at the beginning of Drive that is as clever as any car chase I have seen.  Acting as driver for a … Continue reading Drive starts out in the fast lane; ends up in the ditch