The Ocean’s Films: Then, Then and Now

Hopefully, once they get past the #metoo stain, they can include Damon and the rest of the cast in a future film.

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Birdman (***1/2): Who is this guy?

Birdman - 2014 Director Alejandro González Iñárritu Starring Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Lindsay Duncan Screenplay Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr., Armando Bo It's during the second balcony scene with Mike and Sam (Norton and Stone) that one begins to realize how riveting Birdman has become. It's not that the script is all that wonderful, … Continue reading Birdman (***1/2): Who is this guy?

Selma (*****): There can be no better time for this

Selma - 2014 Director Ava DuVernay Starring David Oyelowo, Tom Wilkinson, Tim Roth, Common, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Carmen Ejogo, Lorraine Toussaint, Oprah Winfrey, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Niecy Nash, Colman Domingo, Giovanni Ribisi, Dylan Baker, Alessandro Nivola, Keith Stanfield, André Holland, Tessa Thompson, Wendell Pierce, Henry G. Sanders Screenplay by Paul Webb There are many strong feelings evoked for the viewer of Selma. In a country that is still struggling with the callouses of racial wounds, … Continue reading Selma (*****): There can be no better time for this

Dolphin Tale 2 (***1/2) Accomplishes what it sets out to do

Dolphin Tale 2 - 2014 Writer and Director Charles Martin Smith Starring Harry Connick, Jr., Ashley Judd, Nathan Gamble, Kris Kristofferson, Cozi Zuehlsdorff, Morgan Freeman, Bethany Hamilton Dolphin Tale 2 is a continuation of a story that is a sweet if derivative of real events.  This time around, Winter, a dolphin - who lost her tail fins and was nursed back to health … Continue reading Dolphin Tale 2 (***1/2) Accomplishes what it sets out to do

Big Hero 6 is better than its individual parts

Big Hero 6 - 2014 Director Don Hall, Chris Williams Starring Scott Adsit, Ryan Potter, Daniel Henney, T. J. Miller, Jamie Chung, Damon Wayans, Jr., Génesis Rodríguez, James Cromwell Screenplay by Robert L. Baird, Dan Gerson and Jordan Roberts A Marvel property produced entirely by Disney, Big Hero 6 is a treasure in the cinematic universe for both companies. Using a completely original concept … Continue reading Big Hero 6 is better than its individual parts

Chef (***1/2) is a plea to be recognized right out in the open

Chef - 2014 Written and Directed by Jon Favreau Starring Jon Favreau, Sofía Vergara, John Leguizamo, Scarlett Johansson, Oliver Platt, Bobby Cannavale, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Downey, Jr., Emjay Anthony One has only to look at Jon Favreau's Carl Casper's delicate handling of a menu that he's made for no one while his staff makes a 10 year menu for a packed house to realize … Continue reading Chef (***1/2) is a plea to be recognized right out in the open

Machete Kills (*): Garbage in…garbage out

Machete Kills - 2013 Director Robert Rodriguez Starring Danny Trejo, Michelle Rodriguez, Sofía Vergara, Amber Heard, Antonio Banderas, Lady Gaga, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Walt Goggins, William Sadler, Demián Bichir, Mel Gibson Screenplay Kyle Ward "I have high hopes for you, Mr. Machete.  Higher than you can mentally ascend to." Ah, Machete.  Ah, humanity. The first thing we see in Machete Kills is a trailer indicating that … Continue reading Machete Kills (*): Garbage in…garbage out

The Butler (***1/2) – Broad strokes don’t work as well as fine detail

The Butler - 2013Directed by Lee Daniels Starring Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Terence Howard, David Oyelowo, Elijah Kelley, David Banner, Mariah Carey, Adriane Lenox, Yaya DaCosta, Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Redgrave, Clarence Williams III, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Lenny Kravitz, Colman Domingo, Robin Williams, James DuMont, Robert Aberdeen, James Mardsen, Minka Kelly, Liev Schreiber. John Cusack, Alex Manette, Colin … Continue reading The Butler (***1/2) – Broad strokes don’t work as well as fine detail

Mud: The dream of love lives on

Mud - 2012 Written and Directed by Jeff Nichols Starring Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Reese Witherspoon, Sam Shephard, Jacob Lofland, Sarah Paulson, Ray McKinnon, Michael Shannon, Joe Don Baker, Stuart Greer, Michael Abbott, Jr., Bonnie Sturdivant I was never more fiercely dedicated to the pursuit of love than when I was in the Grade School.  My nerves … Continue reading Mud: The dream of love lives on

CPE & Em: Iron Man 3 grows into Downey, Jr.

Iron Man 3 - 2013 Director Shane Black Starring Robert Downey, Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Jon Favreau, Rebecca Hall, Guy Pearce, Ben Kingsley, James Badge Dale, Stephanie Szostak Screenplay by Black and Drew Pearce "Don't shoot! Seriously, I don't even like working here. They are so weird!" Shane Black is the most original screenwriting voices to emerge, … Continue reading CPE & Em: Iron Man 3 grows into Downey, Jr.