Wild is director Jean-Marc Vallee’s follow-up to Dallas Buyers’ Club and it is as powerful and rewarding an experience.
Annie is a reimagining of the Broadway musical-turned-movie based on the classic comic strip Little Orphan Annie. It’s the story of an orphan who becomes the adopted daughter of an unscrupulous, wealthy man who straightens up and flies right because of her.
In the comic strip and musical, the wealthy man was billionaire Daddy Warbucks – so named because he made his fortune selling arms to all buyers. While war profiteers will always be with us, here he’s a telecommunications mogul named Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx). Annie is played by Oscar®-nominee Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild).
After a tonally confused beginning and terrific middle episode filled with all kinds of invention, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies brings Peter Jackson’s six-movie Tolkien binge to close with a rousing mid-point finale that both wraps up the story and sets the stage for the Lord of the Rings trilogy quite nicely.
Chris Rock has been in a host of movies – some good, some not so much – but first time, he’s made a film that feels true to the person we’ve come to know from his stand up. Top Five is loud and rude and angry – but it’s also thoughtful, thought-provoking and tender.
As Moses, Christian Bale is no Charlton Heston – and as good a filmmaker as he is, Ridley Scott is no Cecil B. DeMille.
I won’t lie; I walked into The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 knowing that I would hate it. I liked the first two films well enough, but really don’t like Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and I’m sorry but I’m sick to death of watching movies that don’t seem to end. I miss the days when movies had clear beginnings, middles and endings. I don’t want to wait 4 or 5 years to get a complete story because frankly, by the time it concludes, I just don’t give a crap anymore. Can anyone tell me what’s going on in The Hobbit movies?
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 could have gone wrong in so many ways that it’s a genuine relief to be able to say it’s infinitely better than the book – at least, so far. It’s smart and thought provoking while having considerably more action that I was expecting. In fact, it’s the best film in the series, so far.
Dumb and Dumber was a really smart movie about a couple of really stupid people. Dumb and Dumber To is not.
It was only a matter of time before Disney tackled an animated Marvel movie. Picking an extremely obscure title allowed the company to set up a unique world and introduce a group of genuinely fun characters.
Loss leads to superheroic adventure in Disney’s Big Hero 6. It is one of the best films of the year – in any genre.
Christopher Nolan’s new epic, Interstellar, is a magnificent achievement technically but falls a bit short in terms of story and character development. It’s an intriguing mix of science fact and fiction that attempts to turn a potential end of the world scenario with a phoenix-like rise from the ashes story. It spends a lot of time thinking and paying homage to Kubrick, but falls short with plot points that don’t add up and maybe one-and-a-half characters that are at all developed.
Matthew McConaughey shines as Cooper, an engineer turned farmer by necessity and Mackenzie Foy shines as his intelligent, earnest, determined young daughter, Murph. Otherwise, there are no characters we can really care about – which makes all the cool science stuff less relatable.
Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is a brilliant bombastic, bizarre skewering of: superhero movies, egocentric actors, actors’ insecurities, Broadway, Broadway critics, and pretty much all things entertainment.
The story of Riggan Thomson’s (Michael Keaton) effort to be taken seriously as an actor/director/playwright after having starred in three superhero movies twenty years ago – Birdman is directed as a continuous shot (which is difficult because the film takes place over a considerably longer period that its two-hour running time).