Vice (****) – It’s more complicated than that

"Much of what the film consists of is somewhat armchair knowledge of the events for the Cheney / Bush first term. It helps to put things into perspective, especially more than sixteen years later. This man viewed himself as a patriot, sure. He was also a very calculated opportunist who saw dollar signs at the expense of lives. If nothing else, America needs to remember it for what really happened."

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Justice League (***) Gathered too soon

I want to see more films with this cast. They are likable and they have something to offer. A deliberate altering of the path needs to happen behind to make that talent come alive.

Nocturnal Animals (*) is weak

Ford has no talent that I can see for the art of movie making. Most of his shots come across like those awkward photos of kids in the 70's when you get the front view and a soft side view in one shot. It's supposed to be poignant and deep. It only produces awkward chuckles.

Arrival (****1/2) is learning to accept a different language.

For those of us who are interested in good sci-fi, Arrival hits the mark pretty solidly on the head. Approaching the concept of first contact from a practicality rarely seen in films, it asks questions few movies dare to ask.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (**) – Why build a miracle at all?

It's not that I hate this film. It's got some good, albeit disconnected moments. The task of entering the DC Universe mid-step means it will necessarily be different than the origin story heavy Marvel Universe. A used universe is fine with this reviewer. It just shouldn't have to require one to watch Blade Runner to lighten the mood afterword.

Big Eyes (***) – It’s just a bunch of one big lie

Big Eyes - 2014 Director Tim Burton Starring Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Danny Huston, Jon Polito, Krysten Ritter, Jason Schwartzman, Terence Stamp, Delaney Raye, Madeleine Arthur Screenplay Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski  The more you lie, the smaller you seem. Slogging through Tim Burton films has felt like work ever since the first time I watched Edward Scissorhands. Riding the wave of the success of … Continue reading Big Eyes (***) – It’s just a bunch of one big lie

American Hustle: Like flowers, but with garbage

American Hustle - 2013 Director David O. Russell Starring Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Jennifer Lawrence Screenplay Eric Warren Singer and Russell There is a feeling of barely restrained whimsy in the events of American Hustle.  Instead of being the kind of film that aspires to be truthful while embellishing the facts, Russell and co-writer Singer make the … Continue reading American Hustle: Like flowers, but with garbage

Bearing the weight of the Man of Steel

Man of Steel - 2013 Director Zack Snyder Starring Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Laurence Fishburne, Diane Lane, Christopher Meloni, Ayelet Zurer Screenplay David S. Goyer Well documented are the difficulties of making a movie about a man with no weaknesses.  As good a Superman as Christopher Reeve was, there was really … Continue reading Bearing the weight of the Man of Steel

The Master of none

The Master - 2012 Written and Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Ambyr Childers, Jesse Plemmons, Rami Malek, Laura Dern I tried, folks.  It sucked.  This is what you get when you start writing with no end in mind, using stories of drunkenness in the Navy from Jason Robards and … Continue reading The Master of none

Trouble with the Curve: No middle ground

Trouble with the Curve - 2012 Directed by Robert Lorenz Starring Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake, Matthew Lillard, John Goodman, Robert Patrick, Scott Eastwood, Jay Galloway Screenplay Randy Brown Early on, there is a scene where baseball men are talking in the organizational offices of the Atlanta Braves.  The discussion is revolves around whether Gus Lobel (Eastwood) … Continue reading Trouble with the Curve: No middle ground