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Monthly Archives: February 2016

The Good Dinosaur

At the beginning of the film, a meteor flies by, presumably the one that makes dinosaurs extinct, but it misses the earth, and the dinosaurs flourish. Arlo is the “runt of the litter” of a family of 5 dinosaurs, and he is not old enough or big enough to make his mark. He becomes separated from his family, befriends a small human child, and both try to get back to Arlo’s home. The film is the story of that adventure. I enjoyed the movie; it is beautifully animated and tells a wonderful story about adjusting to family loss and ultimately …

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Straight Outta Compton

Film about the rise of the band N.W.A and the solo careers that the group spawned. The best thing about the film is the acting – the entire cast is excellent, particularly the men who played Ice Cube (the guy who played him looks amazingly like him), Dr. Dre, and Easy E. I also really enjoyed watching the story of these guys who came out of Compton CA and made gangsta rap popular – music whose lyrics and passion and anger came directly out of the lives of black men and women and spoke to a generation of people. Whether …

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Hail Caesar!

This should have been a really good movie. It is written and directed by the Coen Bothers, and the majority of their films are smart and funny. This movie is supposed to be a satire on the Hollywood film industry in the 1950’s during the McCarthy era and when Hollywood studio heads owned their lead actors and actresses. It has a phenomenal cast – George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Scarlett Johansson, Jonah Hill, and many others. While there were a couple of scenes that made me laugh, overall, it wasn’t funny, and I don’t think the film got its point across …

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Deadpool

Ryan Reynolds plays Superhero Wade, a guy who became disfigured during an experiment that went badly but resulted his ability to heal himself very quickly. He becomes Deadpool, and the movie is the story of how he got to Deadpool and his search for the person who was responsible for his disfiguration. The movie is very funny; this is a great role for Ryan Reynolds (who to me has been rather hit or miss and had his best role to date in a serious film Buried). In this movie, he reminds me of a male version of Melissa McCarthy – …

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45 Years

45 Years – Kate (Charlotte Rampling) and her husband Geoff (Tom Courtenay) are only a few days away from their 45th wedding anniversary party when Geoff learns that the body of a former lover prior to Kate was found in a glacier in the Swiss Alps. The movie, told in daily segments leading up to the party, tells the story of the effect of that news on their marriage. I think the film is amazing. First, while the performances of both leads are stellar, Charlotte Rampling gives the performance that I think should win the Oscar. The dialogue is spare, …

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Son of Saul

(Hungarian with subtitles) – story of Saul, who is one of the members of a group of Jews (Sonderkommando) who were responsible for participating in extinction of other Jews. At the very beginning, the film tells us that this group only extended their lives a few months and were killed and replaced by others. Saul recognizes that one of the boys who died was his son (or is it?), and the movie is the story of the choices he is forced to make as he strives to provide a proper burial for him. There have been many films about the …

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Kung Fu Panda 3

The movie starts off with Po being reunited with his biological father, and together, they journey to the land where pandas live. Enter the villain Kai, who has traveled the world defeating Kung Fu masters and stealing their chi. The last one to defeat is Po, the great warrior, and the film is the story of their fight. The movie has a lot of great laughs, and it was very pretty to look at (I unfortunately did not see it in 3D, since it was only playing in 3D late at night). It also features a lot of action scenes, …

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Youth

Fred (Michael Caine) and Mick (Harvey Keitel) are two friends who are vacationing in the Swiss Alps. Fred is a conductor who has retired, and Mick has some young actors and writers who are helping him to put together his last movie. The film is about the reflections by both men about aging and life. I really enjoyed the movie for many reasons: (a) The acting is very good – the two leads are superb together, Rachel Weisz gives a nice performance as Michael Caine’s daughter, and Paul Dano plays an actor (only known for one major role) Fred meets …

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Southpaw

Southpaw – Jake Gyllenhaal plays Billy, a world ranked boxer who is at the top of his game when his wife dies. Billy’s world falls apart – he loses his title, his house, and his daughter. Forest Whitaker plays Titus, a trainer who agrees to take on Billy and train him to fight to reclaim his title. I had mixed feelings about the movie. Jake Gyllenhaal is a great actor and does a wonderful job in this film. It is a good story, but it felt like the same one we have seen before (Rocky, perhaps?), and the script overall …

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