Logan Lucky (****1/2) is Ocean’s on a budget

This film is a perfect Sunday afternoon flick. Low commitment and it doesn't cure the world's ills. There are some touching moments like the last time you hear that John Denver song. There is some amount of overdoing it with the accent, especially on the peripheral characters. It's a minor quibble, though. If you like movies, but aren't shooting for the moon, this is it. Where else are you going to hear Patsy Cline in a bar?

Advertisements

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (****) – Viva Las Vegan

There is no dip in quality or effort in this film. If you enjoyed the first one and can willingly suspend disbelief when it comes to characters that come and go, you should have no problems here. Vaughn's sense of humor, understanding of visual flair and development of character is still on point here.

The Hateful Eight (Roadshow Edition) ****1/2 is a study of balance

The Hateful Eight - 2015 Written and Directed by Quentin Tarantino Starring  Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demián Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, Lee Horsley, Zoë Bell, James Park, Gene Jones, Dana Gourrier That actors save their best performances for Quentin Tarantino is certainly not a surprise. That he continues to pull new good actors from the fringes … Continue reading The Hateful Eight (Roadshow Edition) ****1/2 is a study of balance

Jupiter Ascending (**): Plateaus quickly, then sinks under its own insignificance

Jupiter Ascending - 2015 Written and Directed by The Wachowskis Starring Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis, Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth, Tuppence Middleton, Maria Boyle Kennedy, James D'Arcy, Gugu Mbatha-Raw Jupiter Jones (Kunis) is the daughter of a broken young Russian couple.  When her father is killed while she is in the womb, her mother journeys with the rest of the family … Continue reading Jupiter Ascending (**): Plateaus quickly, then sinks under its own insignificance

Foxcatcher (***): It doesn’t take a genius to be born into money

Foxcatcher - 2014 Director Bennett Miller Starring Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Vanessa Redgrave, Sienna Miller, Anthony Michael Hall Screenplay by E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman A story about misfits can be a sweet thing about overcoming adversity. In the case of Mark (Tatum) and Dave Shultz' (Ruffalo) intersection with John "Golden Eagle" du Pont (Carrell), it is an eerie and dangerous … Continue reading Foxcatcher (***): It doesn’t take a genius to be born into money

22 Jump Street: Does Blanche do heroin?

22 Jump Street - 2014 Directors Lord and Miller Starring Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Peter Stromare, Ice Cube, Amber Stevenson, Jillian Bell, Wyatt Russell Screenplay Michael Bacall, Oren Uziel, Rodney Rothman Conventional wisdom tells us the story about most sequels, and it tells even more about those who review sequels.  Many sequels are made on some sort of auto … Continue reading 22 Jump Street: Does Blanche do heroin?

White House Down: Because White House Up is too heavy

White House Down - 2013 Director Roland Emmerich Starring Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Richard Jenkins, James Woods, Joey King Screenplay James Vanderbilt Rule 604: Kids are convenient vehicles for jingoistic propaganda.  Make it look like they still believe. Rule 606: It also helps if the president looks at the capital scene with wide-eyed wonder. Rule 607: Throwing out snippets … Continue reading White House Down: Because White House Up is too heavy

G.I. Joe: Retaliation: Caricatures will die…

G.I. Joe: Retaliation - 2013 Director John M. Chu Starring Dwayne Johnson, Bruce Willis, D.J. Cotrona, Byung-hun Lee, Adrianne Palicki, Ray Park, Jonathan Pryce, Ray Stevenson, Channing Tatum, Luke Bracey, Walton Goggins, Joseph Mazzello, Robert Baker, James Carville, RZA Screenplay Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick Probably on video.  Definitely.  One had every reason to look forward to the second installment of G.I. Joe, and almost as … Continue reading G.I. Joe: Retaliation: Caricatures will die…

Side Effects is full frontal storytelling

Side Effects - 2013 Director Steven Soderbergh Starring Jude Law, Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Vinessa Shaw Screenplay Scott Z. Burns There is a propulsive feeling to the first 1/3 of Side Effects.   It's a little like we're heading towards inevitable disaster.  Once disaster strikes, the viewer is somewhat shocked, and like Dr. Jonathan Banks … Continue reading Side Effects is full frontal storytelling

Magic Mike: Typical story made special by Soderbergh and Horn

Magic Mike - 2012 Director Steven Soderbergh Starring Channing Tatum, Cody Horn, Alex Pettyfer, Matthew McConaughey, Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer, Olivia Munn, Kevin Nash Screenplay Reid Carolin Almost 1/3 of the way through Magic Mike, there is a point where Brooke (Horn) has just discovered where her brother Alex (Pettyfer) has been working.  She does her best to … Continue reading Magic Mike: Typical story made special by Soderbergh and Horn