Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again (***) but why, exactly?

James does the character a fair tribute. This film succeeds largely due to her great impression of Streep's original interpretation. Like the best retracings of characters, though, she paints enough outside the lines so we get to enjoy some amount of growth, even if we know where her story leads. Lily James deserves better than a sequel like this, even if she helps to elevate it to an above average film.

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Ted 2 (***1/2) shines for a while…

Wherever there are 2 guys who decide to spend a day off together, there is Ted. Where ever there is the friend that will tell you truths no one else will, Ted is there too. When ever there is a friend that will risk jail time with you because it makes the event funnier, and hence more memorable, that's Ted, as well. The uncomfortable truth that most reviewers of the phenomenon that is this series is that everything about these films rings true to anyone who has ever had that buddy.

The Maze Runner (****) stays on a true course

The Maze Runner - 2014 Director Wes Ball Starring Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Will Poulter, Ki Hong Lee Screenplay Noah Oppenheim, Grant Pierce Myers, T.S. Nowlin based on the book by James Dashner Never having read The Maze Runner, word has it that the series is one of the better in the immense wave of dystopian stories that have consumed mass … Continue reading The Maze Runner (****) stays on a true course

The Big Wedding: Win some, lose more

The Big Wedding - 2013 Written and Directed by Justin Zackham Starring Amanda Seyfried, Katherine Heigl, Robert DeNiro, Susan Sarandon, Diane Keaton, Robin Williams, Ben Barnes, Topher Grace, Christine Ebersole, David Rache, Patricia Rae, Ana Ayora Based on Mon frère se marie by Jean-Stéphane Bron and Karine Sudan "What is wrong with you?" a question asked by daughter Lila (Heigl), when she … Continue reading The Big Wedding: Win some, lose more

CPE, Em & El: Not quite an Epic, but it’ll do

Epic - 2013 Director Chris Wedge Starring Amanda Seyfried, Josh Hutcherson, Colin Farrell, Beyoncé Knowles, Christoph Walz, Aziz Ansari, Chris O'Dowd, Pitbull, Jason Sudeikis, Steven Tyler Written by William Joyce based on his book The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs In the end, I really expected nothing from this film, so I did not leave disappointed.  Epic … Continue reading CPE, Em & El: Not quite an Epic, but it’ll do

Les Miserables thoughts of a not so miserable viewer

Les Miserables - 2012 Director Tom Hooper Starring Hugh Jackman, Amanda Seyfried, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Eddie Redmayne, Aaron Tveit, Samantha Barks, Isabelle Allen, Daniel Hufflestone, Colm Wilkinson, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen Screenplay by William Nicholson, Alan Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg, Herbert Kretzmer based on the play by Boublil and Schönberg Random thoughts about a musical: Anytime I am discussing this with … Continue reading Les Miserables thoughts of a not so miserable viewer

Gone is a mediocre thriller, PG-13 style

Gone - 2012  Directed by Heitor Dhalia Starring Amanda Seyfried, Daniel Sunjata, Jennifer Carpenter, Wes Bentley, Sebastian Stan, Katherine Moenning, Michael Paré Screenplay by Allison Burnett Here's for not being a victim.  The protagonist from the movie Gone had been kidnapped, nearly killed and lived to tell about it.  She wasn't believed.  Instead of accepting this, she changes her life, becoming … Continue reading Gone is a mediocre thriller, PG-13 style

In Time is Gattica with an eye on the clock

In Time - 2011 Written & Directed by Andrew Niccol Starring Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy, Olivia Wilde, Matt Bomer, Vincent Kartheiser, Alex Pettyfer So, if you've seen Gattica, you've pretty much seen In Time.  Y0u have a lowly guy, who is a factory worker, eking out an existence while a privileged class lives on the other side. … Continue reading In Time is Gattica with an eye on the clock

Red Riding Hood has a woman’s touch, but it ain’t enough

Red Riding Hood - 2011 Directed by Catherine Hardwicke Starring Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman, Julie Christie, Virginia Madsen, Billy Burke, Shiloh Fernandez, Max Irons, Lukas Haas Written by David Johnson based on the Brothers Grimm tale Catherine Hardwicke must have high standards.  She declined to direct Twilight: New Moon, which then made about a gazillion dollars. … Continue reading Red Riding Hood has a woman’s touch, but it ain’t enough