Showing Tag: " independent" (Show all posts)

REVIEW: From Boulder City & Chicken On a Stick To Paris and Seb's, The Jazz-Filled La La Land Is For the Fools Who Dream Season After Season

Posted by James Brown on Monday, December 19, 2016, In : 0.00% Water 
La La Land





Directed By: Damien Chazelle

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend, Rosemarie DeWitt, and J. K. Simmons


If there is such a thing as a liberal bubble, Hollywood is the absolute epitome of it.  There have been plenty of years where the film crowned best picture does not speak to the times in any way, shape, or form.  Just look to winners like No Country for Old Men, Birdman, and especially The Artist.  In two of these examples, it's clear that Hollywood has an affinity for mov...

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REVIEW: Embracing the Vanity of Camelot, Jackie Gives a Beautiful Tour of White House History

Posted by James Brown on Monday, December 19, 2016, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Jackie





Directed By: Pablo Larraín

Starring: Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup, and John Hurt


"Don’t ever let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment that was Camelot.  There will be great presidents again, but there will never be another Camelot.
-Jackie Kennedy

I've been pretty political in many of my recent reviews.  With all that's happening just a dozen or so miles away from me downtown that's tearing the moral fabric of these Uni...

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REVIEW: With Joe Chandler's Congestive Heart Failure, Janitor Lee & Nephew Patrick Need a New Motor to Take Manchester by the Sea

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, December 3, 2016, In : 0.00% Water 
Manchester by the Sea





Directed By: Kenneth Lonergan

Starring: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler, Gretchen Mol, Lucas Hedges, and Matthew Broderick


We're starting to get a little deeper into awards season, and we're increasingly seeing studios bring out the big guns.  Enter Amazon Studios with Manchester by the Sea.  Incredibly lucky to have won the bidding on writer-director Kenneth Lonergan's latest feature instead of Nate Parker's directorial debut The Birth of a Nation at the Su...

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REVIEW: For Susan, The Creativity of Nocturnal Animals Is a Heartbeat Away from the Real World

Posted by James Brown on Thursday, November 24, 2016, In : 0.00% Water 
Nocturnal Animals





Directed By: Tom Ford

Starring: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Isla Fisher, Armie Hammer, Laura Linney, Andrea Riseborough, and Michael Sheen

If you've been reading my posts this awards season, you've probably noticed that I haven't given too many sober ratings as of late.  With the Oscars on the way, you would think there would be something fantastic that would come my way.  So far, this has not been the case.  That's about to change for the...

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REVIEW: Loving Reminds Us That Caroline County Virginia Was Not Always for Lovers

Posted by James Brown on Thursday, November 24, 2016, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Loving





Directed By: Jeff Nichols

Starring: Joel Edgerton, Ruth Negga, Nick Kroll, Michael Shannon, and Marton Csokas

"I miss him.  He took care of me."
-Mildred Jeter Loving

With Donald Trump busy building his Injustice League of racists, sexists, and other deplorables that will comprise his cabinet, I was in need of a reminder that two million people more said no to the politics of hate than those who foolishly said yes.  Loving presented that very opportunity.  The film centers on the developmen...

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REVIEW: If It Bleeds, It Leads in the Sensational Television First Christine

Posted by James Brown on Friday, November 4, 2016, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Christine





Directed By: Antonio Campos

Starring: Rebecca Hall, Michael C. Hall, Tracy Letts, Maria Dizzia, J. Smith-Cameron, John Cullum, and Timothy Simons


I had the distinct pleasure of voting this past weekend.  As you can all probably guess, I'm voting to be able say Madam President by the time the next Commander-in-Chief is sworn into office in January.  I recognize that with all the chaos that is unfolding, there is a pretty large possibility that we could turn back the clock on the idea th...

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REVIEW: Chasing Jobs at Weekend Live, Members of The Commune Don't Think Twice While Doing Improv for America

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, August 27, 2016, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Don't Think Twice





Directed By: Mike Birbiglia

Starring: Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, Mike Birbiglia, Kate Micucci, Chris Gethard, and Tami Sagher


"Has anyone had a particularly hard day?"
-Samantha (Gillian Jacobs)

I can't say that I have upon reflecting on my screening of Mike Birbiglia's improv-themed comedy Don't Think Twice.  With the notable exceptions of Hello, My Name Is Doris and Hunt for the Wilderpeople, we haven't exactly had a glut of pure comedies or dramedies at the indie box ...

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REVIEW: Indignation Features Son of a Kosher Butcher & Atheist Marcus Messner Spurning Dean Caudwell & The Winesburg Chapel

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, August 13, 2016, In : 0.00% Water 
Indignation





Directed By: James Schamus

Starring: Logan Lerman, Sarah Gadon, Tracy Letts, Linda Emond, Danny Burstein, Ben Rosenfield, Pico Alexander, Philip Ettinger, and Noah Robbins

I'm really enjoying my return to independent film.  The timing couldn't have been better.  As the mainstream box office continues to largely disappoint, arthouse cinemas are here to pick up the pieces of aficionados' dashes hopes, as long as we're willing to indulge indie filmmakers' tendencies to experiment and di...

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REVIEW: In Café Society, Dreams Are Dreams

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, August 7, 2016, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Café Society





Directed By: Woody Allen

Starring: Jeannie Berlin, Steve Carell, Jesse Eisenberg, Blake Lively, Richard Portnow, Parker Posey, Kristen Stewart, Corey Stoll, and Ken Stott


"Socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living, but the examined one is no bargain."
-Leonard (Stephen Kunken)

I haven't reviewed a Woody Allen film in a couple of years.  Honestly, it's been since his 2014 feature Magic in the Moonlight.  I couldn't tell you if it's just that I'm repulsed by the factoids of...

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REVIEW: Riding Steve On Noam Chomsky Day, Captain Fantastic Succeeds at Mission Rescue Moviegoers & Sticks It to the Man

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, August 6, 2016, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Captain Fantastic





Directed By: Matt Ross

Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Frank Langella, Kathryn Hahn, Ann Dowd, and Steve Zahn


I'll admit it.  I've been quiet on the indie front this summer.  With the exception of A Bigger Splash —which I just so happen to be overdue on reviewing— and perhaps The Lobster (if it can be loved), I haven't fallen in love with too many movies.  I also don't think our more artistic filmmakers have been speaking to the times in recent months.  With a pun intended given...

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REVIEW: Lovingly Short Sighted With Its Rabbit Bouquets, The Lobster Is One Horrific Sci-Fi Romance

Posted by James Brown on Tuesday, May 31, 2016, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
The Lobster





Directed By: Yorgos Lanthimos

Starring: Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Jessica Barden, Olivia Colman, Ashley Jensen, Ariane Labed, Angeliki Papoulia, John C. Reilly, Léa Seydoux, Michael Smiley, and Ben Whishaw


Dystopian science fiction thrillers have been dominating the mainstream for the last several years.  The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Maze Runner all serve as pertinent examples.  This hasn't held true to the same extent at the independent box office.  There are hidden gems...

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REVIEW: For Her Kentish Nightingale Frederica, Lady Susan Vernon Brings Love & Friendship to Churchill

Posted by James Brown on Tuesday, May 31, 2016, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Love & Friendship





Directed By: Whit Stillman

Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Xavier Samuel, Emma Greenwell, Morfydd Clark, Jemma Redgrave, Tom Bennett, James Fleet, Justin Edwards, Jenn Murray, Stephen Fry, and Chloë Sevigny


There are such things as guilty pleasures at the box office.  They're like Donald Trump for his supporters still in the closet.  Just look to films such as Twilight, Step Up, and most horror movies.  Adaptations of Jane Austen novels appear to fit that bill as well.  Take Austen...

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REVIEW: With Black Shoes & Duran Duran, Sing Street Lead Cosmo Solves The Happy Sad Riddle of the Model Raphina

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, April 24, 2016, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Sing Street





Directed By: John Carney

Starring: Lucy Boynton, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Aidan Gillen, Jack Reynor, Kelly Thornton, and Ferdia Walsh-Peelo


2016 has been a hard year for music aficionados of all genres.  We've lost a lot of legends this year.  The names are iconic to say the least.  David Bowie, Natalie Cole, Phife Dawg, Glenn Frey, Maurice White, and many others have transitioned to the next life in the last several months leaving legacies that will endure for years to come.  This weeke...

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REVIEW: From the Sound Machine to Dorm Room 307, Everybody Wants Some of Richard Linklater's Baseball F*ckwithery

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, April 2, 2016, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Everybody Wants Some!!





Directed By: Richard Linklater

Starring: Blake Jenner, Zoey Deutch, Will Brittain, Ryan Guzman, Tyler Hoechlin, Glen Powell, Wyatt Russell, and J. Quinton Johnson


It must be April Fool's Day because I really can't write this stuff.  Oscar-winning director of Birdman Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu starts a winning streak by rolling out The Revenant.  Meanwhile, his biggest competition (and last year's more deserving winner), Boyhood director Richard Linklater goes back to di...

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REVIEW: When Lilith Primrose Thinks I'm Possible, She Says Hello My Name Is Doris

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, April 2, 2016, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Hello My Name Is Doris





Directed By: Michael Showalter

Starring: Sally Field, Max Greenfield, Beth Behrs, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Stephen Root, Elizabeth Reaser, Natasha Lyonne, and Tyne Daly


Unless you're Meryl Streep, good roles don't often come for leading ladies of a certain age.  That's how Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, and Angela Bassett end up on FX in American Horror Story.  That's how Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin end up on Netflix in Grace & Frankie.  That's how Sally Field ends up on ABC in B...

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REVIEW: Referring Up, Eye in the Sky Brings Down the Hellfire In Spite of the Rules of Engagement

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, March 19, 2016, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Eye in the Sky





Directed By: Gavin Hood

Starring: Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, Alan Rickman, and Barkhad Abdi


There may never be another like the late great Alan Rickman.  He truly was a distinguished thespian whose every word was delivered in a savory, captivating manner on the big screen.  Whether you remember him as Hans Gruber, Sheriff George, Severus Snape, or any of the many other characters he's portrayed over the years, I pray you don't remember him for his final role as Blue Caterpillar in ...

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REVIEW: When Girls Just Wanna Have Fun & Apple Mojitos, Anomalisa Chooses A Belvedere Martini Straight Up With a Twist

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, January 16, 2016, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Anomalisa





Directed By: Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson


Starring: David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Tom Noonan

This awards season is shaping up to be pretty intriguing with regard to animated fare.  The two films going head to head are Inside Out and Anomalisa.  In one corner, you have an innocent but brilliant exploration of the inner workings of a child's mind and the competing emotions within it.  The fifteenth film from Pixar is no doubt a landmark achievement.  In the other corner, w...

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REVIEW: Flung Out of Space, Therese Gives Carol A Portfolio of Things to Worry Her Including Love & A Morality Clause

Posted by James Brown on Tuesday, December 29, 2015, In : 0.00% Water 
Carol





Directed By: Todd Haynes

Starring: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson, Kyle Chandler, and Jake Lacy


I've just about covered all the films in the mix this awards season, excluding The Revenant and 45 Years.  Throughout this year’s litany of films, I've mentioned that there was an uptick in the number of adaptations, and I still believe this holds true.  The Danish Girl, The Big Short, and Concussion have all continued this trend over the last couple of weeks.  Now, we have yet ano...

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REVIEW: The Danish Girl Entirely Her Violet Self, Lili / Einar Proves That Married People Are Easily Shocked

Posted by James Brown on Tuesday, December 22, 2015, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
The Danish Girl





Directed By: Tom Hooper

Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander, Matthias Schoenaerts, Ben Whishaw, Sebastian Koch, and Amber Heard

On paper, The Danish Girl has a winning formula.  We've got the filmmaker behind The King's Speech and Les Misérables directing Oscar winner and future Harry Potter torchbearer Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) and current Hollywood "it girl" Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina, Testament of Youth, The Man ...

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REVIEW: Hail Tyrant Macbeth, AKA Michael Fassbender in the Next Great Shakespeare Adaptation

Posted by James Brown on Monday, December 21, 2015, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Macbeth





Directed By: Justin Kurzel

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Paddy Considine, Sean Harris, Jack Reynor, Elizabeth Debicki, and David Thewlis


Here we are again with yet another Shakespearean adaptation at the box office. The fun thing about reviewing these films is that the narrative hardly ever factors into my review.  It's all about the execution and the overarching creative vision driving each big screen take on the famed playwright’s theatrical works (if he wrote them)...

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REVIEW: For the Simple Song of His Youth, Composer Fred Ballinger Lives Life's Last Day with a Little Levity

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, December 20, 2015, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Youth





Directed By: Paolo Sorrentino

Starring: Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, Paul Dano, and Jane Fonda


The Great Beauty
was a high mark for Paolo Sorrentino two years ago, and I've got nothing but respect for Sorrentino's Oscar-winning artistic achievement, which just happens to be one of my favorite movies featuring the Eternal City.  With this in mind, I came into his latest endeavor Youth with a certain curiosity.  When you factor in the incredible cast of beloved thespians he's ...

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REVIEW: Immigrant Eilis Lacey Has a Fun Choice Between the Irish Catholic Life With Jim or the Brooklyn Dodgers Life With Tony

Posted by James Brown on Thursday, November 26, 2015, In : 0.00% Water 
Brooklyn





Directed By: John Crowley

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson, Emory Cohen, Jim Broadbent, Julie Walters, Jessica Paré, Eve Macklin, Nora-Jane Noone, and Emily Bett Rickards


Immigrant-themed period piece Brooklyn couldn't have had more perfect timing for its release.  It's a time when courts are blocking President Obama's executive action on immigration reform.  It's a time when Donald Trump and his fellow Republican presidential contenders are indoctrinating their base with the ...

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REVIEW: The Boston Globe's Spotlight Team Nimbly Tackles Systematic Child Abuse in the Catholic Church

Posted by James Brown on Tuesday, November 17, 2015, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Spotlight





Directed By: Tom McCarthy
 
Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, and Stanley Tucci
 
If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse one.
-Mitchell Garabedian (Stanley Tucci)
 
As we’ve seen one adaptation after another arrive at the box office throughout the fall movie season, I’ve been highly critical of many of the films in terms of scope.  Movies like Steve Jobs and Trumbo have failed to convey the grandness...

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REVIEW: With Roman Holiday, The Brave One & Spartacus, Trumbo & the Blacklisted Hollywood Ten Fight the Motion Picture Alliance

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, November 14, 2015, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Trumbo





Directed By: Jay Roach

Starring: Bryan Cranston, Diane Lane, Louis C.K., Elle Fanning, John Goodman, Michael Stuhlbarg, Helen Mirren, Alan Tudyk, and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje


Hollywood loves films about itself.  The proof is in the awards-filled pudding.  Movies about the movies have gotten lots of awards love over the last several years.  The Artist and Argo added Best Picture Oscars under their belts, while Hugo cleaned up in the technical awards categories across the board.  Films such...

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REVIEW: With Deeds Not Words, Foot Soldier & Suffragette Maud Watts Never Surrenders & Never Gives Up the Fight for the Vote for Women

Posted by James Brown on Monday, November 2, 2015, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Suffragette





Directed By: Sarah Gavron

Starring: Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Brendan Gleeson, Anne-Marie Duff, Ben Whishaw, and Meryl Streep


The best cinematic experiences are often the ones from which moviegoers take away something, the ones from which they learn something.  Entertainment and education aren't mutually exclusive objectives in filmmaking.  With all the adaptations we're seeing during this particular awards season, it's safe to say that we as a movie-going public ought to...

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REVIEW: Truth Finds the Courage to Say FEA to Its Abusive Dad America

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, November 1, 2015, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Truth





Directed By: James Vanderbilt

Starring: Robert Redford, Cate Blanchett, Topher Grace, Dennis Quaid, and Elisabeth Moss


As much as the right wing tries to put every single one of our nation's woes on President Obama (and his liberal media), everyone has to admit that his direct predecessor George W. Bush left the United States FUBAR.  The Iraq War.  Hurricane Katrina.  Scooter Libby.  The Great Recession.  The list goes on and on. Yes, Bush 43 has plenty of failures.  Even Republican presid...

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REVIEW: With Joy and Jack Newsome, Room Rolls, Wiggles Free, and Jumps to Greatness From A Garden Shed World

Posted by James Brown on Thursday, October 29, 2015, In : 0.00% Water 
Room





Directed By: Lenny Abrahamson

Starring: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen, Sean Bridgers, and William H. Macy


Brie Larson has been one to watch over the last several years.  From bit roles in Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World and 21 Jump Street to meatier supporting roles in The Spectacular Now and Don Jon, Larson has stolen scenes in film after film.  Her breakout lead role was equally impressive in the outstanding indie drama Short Term 12.  Since then, she's had supporting roles in The G...

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REVIEW: The Facts Behind Mr. Holmes' Long Life on the Big Screen Include Royal Jelly, Prickly Ash & the Delightful Charms of Sir Ian McKellen

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, July 19, 2015, In : 0.00% Water 
Mr. Holmes





Directed By: Bill Condon

Starring: Sir Ian McKellen, Laura Linney, Hiroyuki Sanada, and Milo Parker

In the pantheon of British fictional characters, there are three reigning kings.  Harry Potter certainly has a place in our hearts with the magic he's to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in recent years.  MI-6 secret agent James Bond has had us preferring our martinis shaken not stirred for more than half a century now.  The most iconic British character of them all, however, ...

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REVIEW: Testament of Youth Is A Beautiful, Tragic Testament for Pacifism from WWI Nurse, Oxford Scholar, & Writer Vera Brittain

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, July 12, 2015, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Testament of Youth





Directed By: James Kent


Starring: Alicia Vikander, Kit Harington, Colin Morgan, Emily Watson, Hayley Atwell, Dominic West, and Miranda Richardson

I recently had the distinct displeasure of watching Kit Harington die twice in the same weekend on the big and small screens.  As you all may be aware, there was a mutiny against Jon Snow (Harington) on Game of Thrones for his love of the Wildlings, for the Watch.  With the perception of Snow as breaking bread with their enemy, the i...

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REVIEW: During The Overnight, Kurt & Charlotte Make New Friends in Alex & Emily With Their Expansion Courtesy of Mommy's Milk

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, July 12, 2015, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
The Overnight





Directed By: Patrick Brice

Starring: Adam Scott, Taylor Schilling, Jason Schwartzman, and Judith Godrèche

We've been overdue for some weird ones at the box office.  We've had quirky movies but not those kinds of strikingly weird movies that render moviegoers speechless.  I'm talking about the kinds of movies that leave you wondering what the hell you're watching on the big screen and why you ever would have paid good money to see something like them in the first place.  Well, my l...

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REVIEW: The Part Where You Respect the Research On the Doomed Friendships of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, June 14, 2015, In : 0.00% Water 
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl





Directed By: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon


Starring: Thomas Mann, Olivia Cooke, Ronald Cyler II, Jon Bernthal, Nick Offerman, Connie Britton, and Molly Shannon

We've had a terrific run of coming-of-age movies in recent years.  Boyhood, The Way, Way Back, The Spectacular Now, Short Term 12, Mud, and The Kings of Summer have all risen to the occasion at one point or another in the last several years.  What's so marvelous about this list of quality movies is that they're all so...

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REVIEW: Love & Mercy Is All About the Beach Boys' Paranoid Schizophrenic Brian Wilson

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, June 14, 2015, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Love & Mercy





Directed By: Bill Pohlad

Starring: John Cusack, Paul Dano, Elizabeth Banks, and Paul Giamatti

I would be lying if I were to say that am a huge fan of the Beach Boys.  I'm familiar with their discography, and I respect what they accomplished in their day.  However, I'm not exactly rocking to their tunes on Amazon Prime.  That being said, this doesn't mean that I can't appreciate Brian Wilson's tale.  After all, there's a rich story to be told here.  A musical heavyweight whose career...

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REVIEW: I'll See You In My Dreams With An Appletini & A Black Rat

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, June 14, 2015, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
I'll See You In My Dreams





Directed By: Brett Haley

Starring: Blythe Danner, Martin Starr, Sam Elliott, Malin Akerman, June Squibb, Rhea Perlman, and Mary Kay Place


I'm one who frequently espouses the notion that we go to the movies and get exposed to different worlds, different cultures, and different ways of thinking.  While I certainly still cling to this belief, I'd also argue that we go to the movies to escape from the reality of our own lives.  We catch a flick after a long day at work.  We...

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REVIEW: The Personal Trainers at Austin's Power4Life Deliver Humorous Results Because No Fear Excuses Surrender

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, June 13, 2015, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Results





Directed By: Andrew Bujalski


Starring: Guy Pearce, Cobie Smulders, Kevin Corrigan, Giovanni Ribisi, Brooklyn Decker, Anthony Michael Hall, Tishuan Scott, Zoe Graham, David Bernon, and Constance Zimmer

You may have noticed that I've been quiet on the independent film front lately.  The reason for this is that I have a day job, and my personal life has kept me fairly busy lately.  With this, I've slowed down my pace a bit.  All that being said, I haven't forgotten about STMR or my love of ...

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REVIEW: For the Klimt Painting “Woman in Gold” & the Memory of Her Aunt Adele, Austrian Maria Altmann Gives Us A Lesson in Art Restitution

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, April 19, 2015, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
Woman in Gold





Directed By: Simon Curtis

Starring: Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Brühl, Katie Holmes, Tatiana Maslany, Max Irons, Charles Dance, Elizabeth McGovern, and Jonathan Pryce

A couple of years ago, I fumed in a series of reviews about having had enough of WWII-themed movies.  As much as I hate to admit it, I might have been wrong.  There are many facets to the Second Great War, and there might just be a few of them left untold on the big screen.  In the last couple of years, filmm...

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REVIEW: In True Story, Shortstop Christian Longo Gives Mike Finkel of The New York Times a Double Negative Wink

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, April 19, 2015, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
True Story





Directed By: Rupert Goold


Starring: Jonah Hill, James Franco, Felicity Jones, Gretchen Mol, Betty Gilpin, and John Sharian


Both James Franco and Jonah Hill are extremely versatile actors.  Having appeared in superhero movies, comedies, dramas, animated films, and everything in between over the years, these two are now perhaps a bit overexposed.  I'm a fan of both of them.  However, they're always in something at the box office.  It's time for them to take a little break.  With fourtee...

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REVIEW: Ex Machina's Turing Test of Magician's Assistant Ava & Her Bluebook Software Boasts One Intriguing Chess Match With No Power Cuts

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, April 19, 2015, In : 0.00% Water 
Ex Machina





Directed By: Alex Garland


Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, and Oscar Isaac

There are many themes that have come to define the science fiction genre over the years.  Space travel, time travel, and aliens are just a few that pervade the genre.  One particular theme has stood out prominently in the last several decades, namely the battle of man versus machine.  It's mankind against the artificially intelligent beings we've created.  With films like The Terminator and The Matr...

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REVIEW: With Darby's Ice Cream & Arthritis Arthritis, While We're Young Has No Process in Finding the Beautiful Truth of Life

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, April 5, 2015, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
While We're Young





Directed By: Noah Baumbach

Starring: Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Adam Driver, Amanda Seyfried, Charles Grodin, Adam Horovitz, and Maria Dizzia


I've still got a few good years left in my twenties, but I do realize that time is ticking away.  Thankfully, I'm not at the beginning of some long monologue about getting older.  I am, however, at the beginning of a rather interesting realization about how the generational gap widens with each passing generation.  We live longer than ever...

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REVIEW: Hey, Baby Doll! As Danny Collins, Al Pacino Gets His Patter Back With the Camera Thanks to a Letter from John Lennon

Posted by James Brown on Monday, March 30, 2015, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Danny Collins





Directed By: Dan Fogelman

Starring: Al Pacino, Annette Bening, Jennifer Garner, Bobby Cannavale, Christopher Plummer, Melissa Benoist, and Josh Peck

A couple of years ago, I heard of this challenge for film aficionados called Mount Rushmore.  It essentially entails naming one's four favorite actors who would be on their cinematic Rushmore, figuratively speaking.  Without a shadow of a doubt, the one person who has a guaranteed spot on mine is the iconic Al Pacino.  In my humble opi...

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REVIEW: With the IRA on the Hunt in Belfast in '71, British Soldier Gary Hook Finds Himself in a Confused Situation & Has One Bloody, Brutal Night

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, March 22, 2015, In : 0.00% Water 
'71





Directed By: Yann Demange

Starring: Jack O'Connell, Richard Dormer, Sean Harris, Sam Reid, Charlie Murphy, Paul Anderson, and Paul Popplewell

I must admit that I've been a bit of a pessimist when it comes to the cinematic landscape as of late.  In the interest of full disclosure, there's nothing that's quite motivating me to make my way to my local theater.  The next movie on my radar is Avengers: Age of Ultron, which will not arrive until May.  While many would argue that this predisposes m...

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REVIEW: Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem Showcases One Wife’s Incompatibility With Her Stubborn Jewish Husband Shimon Amsalem

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, March 21, 2015, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem





Directed By: Ronit Elkabetz and Shlomi Elkabetz


Starring: Ronit Elkabetz, Menashe Noy, Sasson Gabai, and Simon Abkarian


Some people just aren't meant to be together.  The blinding nature of love can have disastrous consequences.  Still, the divorce rate isn't exactly sky high in the United States, or most other countries around the globe for that matter.  As of 2011, the divorce rate stateside sits at a respectable 6.8%, but I'm certain the percentage of unsucc...

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REVIEW: Wild Tales Rages Comically With Gabrielle Pasternak, Bombita, An Angry Driver, Rat Poison, & One Crazy Bride

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, March 21, 2015, In : 0.00% Water 
Wild Tales (Relatos Salvajes)





Directed By: Damián Szifron

Starring: Ricardo Darín, Oscar Martínez, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Érica Rivas, Rita Cortese, Julieta Zylberberg, and Darío Grandinetti

I normally am not one to review short films, but I must make an exception in the case of Damián Szifron's Wild Tales.  This Argentinian anthology of shorts offers the biggest laughs I've had in a movie theater since last year's Chef.  It's a rather insane series of films, but they all deliver incredible h...

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REVIEW: Seniors Galore, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Is All About the Supreme Quality Hotel and the Viceroy Club

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, March 7, 2015, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel





Directed By: John Madden

Starring: Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, Celia Imrie, Penelope Wilton, Ronald Pickup, Tena Desae, David Strathairn, Tamsin Greig, and Richard Gere

Independent films are back on the market!  With the awards season having reached its conclusion, it's time for the nominees to begin trickling out of theaters and for fresh original content to begin trickling in.  To get things started, we're going back to a familiar plac...

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REVIEW: Creative Comedy Is What We Vampires Do in the Shadows During the Unholy Masquerade

Posted by James Brown on Friday, February 27, 2015, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
What We Do in the Shadows





Directed By: Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement


Starring: Taika Waititi, Jemaine Clement, Rhys Darby, Jonathan Brugh, Cori Gonzalez-Macuer, and Stu Rutherford

Vampire movies have been getting increasingly creative over the last several years.  2013's Kiss of the Damned wasn't particularly enjoyable, but it certainly broke the mold for vampire flicks.  Last year's post-modern drama Only Lovers Left Alive gave us some cool vampires portrayed by Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddlesto...

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REVIEW: Unusually Attached to Mommy Die, Steve Loves to Mingle, Especially With Kyla

Posted by James Brown on Friday, February 27, 2015, In : 0.00% Water 
Mommy





Directed By: Xavier Dolan

Starring: Anne Dorval, Antoine-Olivier Pilon, and Suzanne Clément

I've said this a million times, but I love movies about crazy people.  These are the kinds of films that feature immensely intriguing characters and offer loads of spontaneity.  These are the kinds of films that tend to boast fuller, richer performances that resonate with me.  It's one of the reasons I love Xavier Dolan's Mommy.  The Canadian drama boasts some fascinating performances as Dolan navi...

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REVIEW: For Two Days, One Night, Sandra Tries to Sway Her Voting Co-Workers to Save Her Job Instead of Their 1,000 Euro Bonuses

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, January 31, 2015, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Two Days, One Night (Deux jours, une nuit)





Directed By: Luc Dardenne and Jean-Pierre Dardenne


Starring: Marion Cotillard and Fabrizio Rongione

I've been slipping on the foreign film front over the past year.  Sadly, I've not seen any of the nominees in the best foreign language film category for the Oscars.  It's a real shame because foreign films are often hidden gems that don't get the respect or recognition they deserve.  In light of my shortcomings on this front, I'm going to make one last N...

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REVIEW: Struggling With Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease, Linguist & Butterfly Still Alice Lives in the Moment & Masters the Art of Losing

Posted by James Brown on Monday, January 26, 2015, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Still Alice





Directed By: Richard Glatzer

Starring: Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart, Kate Bosworth, and Hunter Parrish

I'm baaack!  I am slowly but surely resuming my normal activities and getting back to my beloved big screen.  As I've returned, one obvious reality finally smacked me in the face about this awards season.  It's a very dark one in which films like Birdman and Whiplash have been integral players.  Yes, there is the coming-of-age awards mammoth Boyhood, which is on the...

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REVIEW: To Fuel His American Dream, Abel Morales Endures A Most Violent Year On the Most Right Path

Posted by James Brown on Tuesday, January 20, 2015, In : 0.00% Water 
A Most Violent Year





Directed By: J. C. Chandor


Starring: Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo, Alessandro Nivola, and Albert Brooks

Margin Call, All Is Lost, and A Most Violent Year all have something in common, and it's not just that they're the first three feature films by prolific director J. C. Chandor.  These terrific movies have not gotten the recognition they deserve at the culmination of awards season.  The corporate thriller Margin Call about the 2008 financial crisis notched ju...

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REVIEW: Despite All His Grunts, Marine Painter Mr. Turner Is a Bit Too Still

Posted by James Brown on Tuesday, December 30, 2014, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
Mr. Turner





Directed By: Mike Leigh

Starring: Timothy Spall, Dorothy Atkinson, Marion Bailey, Paul Jesson, Lesley Manville, and Martin Savage

Mr. Turner is my last stop on the Christmas box office train, and I am actually thankful that I'm at the end of this long ride.  This holiday season, art and painting have been a noticeable theme at the forefront of the independent marketplace.  In addition to Mr. Turner, we also have Tim Burton's Big Eyes on painter Margaret Keane.  While I'm sure there ar...

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REVIEW: In The Imitation Game of Christopher Vs. Enigma at Bletchley, Alan Turing Solves the Biggest Crossword Puzzle of Them All

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, December 14, 2014, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
The Imitation Game





Directed By: Morten Tyldum


Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Mark Strong, Charles Dance, Allen Leech, Matthew Beard, and Rory Kinnear

"Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine."
-Joan Clarke (Keira Knightley)

Some of the best movies are the ones  in which moviegoers learn something new about how someone did something amazing that changed the world.  I know that sounds like a cliché, but that's...

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REVIEW: When the Last Shall Be the First On a Midsummer's Night, Miss Julie Obeys Jean Like a Dog & Kisses His Shoes

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, December 7, 2014, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
Miss Julie





Directed By: Liv Ullmann


Starring: Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell, and Samantha Morton


I mentioned this earlier this year in my review of Under the Skin, but we haven't had a lot of weird ones at the indie box office this year.  Few filmmakers are taking risks with the strange and bizarre, particularly in this later half of the year (with the obvious exception of Birdman).  I understand their reasons, but I don't agree with them.  Risks are the reasons for which many duds crash and b...

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REVIEW: Hiking A Thousand Miles Through the Pacific Crest Trail, Wild Queen of the PCTs Cheryl Strayed Chooses One Tough Form of Therapy

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, December 6, 2014, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Wild





Directed By: Jean-Marc Vallée

Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Thomas Sadoski, and Gaby Hoffmann

This may sound completely random, but I do my best thinking in the shower.  My best ideas have come when the hot water is flowing, and there are no distractions chipping away at me.  For me, the only thing that comes close to this is taking a leisurely stroll.  When I'm out in nature getting some fresh air, great thoughts just come to me.  That's why I get Cheryl Strayed’s need to get...

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REVIEW: In The Homesman, George Briggs & Mary Bee Cuddy Take Three Crazy Women East to Iowa

Posted by James Brown on Wednesday, November 26, 2014, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
The Homesman





Directed By: Tommy Lee Jones

Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Hilary Swank, William Fichtner, Grace Gummer, John Lithgow, Tim Blake Nelson, Miranda Otto, Sonja Richter, James Spader, Hailee Steinfeld, and Meryl Streep

On paper, Tommy Lee Jones and westerns go together like peas and carrots.  He's exactly the kind of rugged, no nonsense actor who would thrive in the Wild West.  With an elite cast featuring beloved thespians Hilary Swank, James Spader, and the great Meryl Streep, Jones's we...

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REVIEW: An Ornithologist, Philatelist, & Philanthropist, Golden Eagle John du Pont Leads Wrestler Mark Schultz to Olympic Gold at the Foxcatcher Estate

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, November 23, 2014, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Foxcatcher





Directed By: Bennett Miller


Starring: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, and Vanessa Redgrave


I don't know the story of John du Pont.  I was just a kid when the multimillionaire wrestling enthusiast committed the heinous acts that made his name infamous.  Not an Olympics enthusiast, I'm not terribly familiar with Mark or Dave Schultz either.  Alas, the only gold medalist in the wrestling space with whom I'm familiar is Mr. Kurt Angle.  I know.  I should know more, but it mak...

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REVIEW: Despite Motor Neuron Disease, Intelligent Atheist Stephen Hawking Masters Time to Give Us The Physicist's Theory of Everything

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, November 15, 2014, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
The Theory of Everything





Directed By: James Marsh

Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Charlie Cox, Emily Watson, Simon McBurney, and David Thewlis

Performances marked by darkness and conflict are the ones typically rewarded during awards season.  Just look at last year's Oscar winners for Best Actor and Best Actress in leading roles.  On one hand, we have a self-destructive homophobic AIDS patient with Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club.  On the other, we have a crazy widow who has ...

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REVIEW: Laggies Is All About Relationships Shifting Over Boxed Wine

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, November 2, 2014, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Laggies





Directed By: Lynn Shelton

Starring: Keira Knightley, Chloë Grace Moretz, Sam Rockwell, Kaitlyn Dever, Jeff Garlin, Ellie Kemper, Mark Webber, and Daniel Zovatto

It's Halloween weekend, and there doesn't seem to be a film out that's I would venture to call a fright fest.  Halloween only falls on a Friday every five or six years.  With this in mind, we should have more than a 10th anniversary re-release of Saw.  There should be some new sicko or psycho terrorizing theaters.  As it stands,...

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REVIEW: Dear White People, the Race Wars at Winchester University Showcase the Trouble with Pastiche's Blackface in a White Place

Posted by James Brown on Wednesday, October 29, 2014, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Dear White People





Directed By: Justin Simien

Starring: Tyler James Williams, Tessa Thompson, Teyonah Parris, Brandon P. Bell, Kyle Gallner, Brittany Curran, Dennis Haysbert, and Marque Richardson


This has been a very interesting couple of weeks in cinema.  Last week, we had the jazz drama Whiplash, a film very personal to me that reminds me of my foray into the world of percussion years ago.  As it stands, I have another film very personal to me in a very different way in this weekend's Dear Whi...

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REVIEW: Confusing Admiration for Love, Birdman's Super Realism Is the Unexpected Virtue of Our Cinematic Ignorance

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, October 25, 2014, In : 0.00% Water 
Birdman





Directed By: Alejandro González Iñárritu


Starring: Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone, Lindsay Duncan, and Naomi Watts

"Popularity is the slutty little cousin of prestige."
-Mike Shiner (Edward Norton)

Twenty five years later, it's hard to deny the influence of Tim Burton's Batman and its star Michael Keaton.  Just look at the state of mainstream cinema today.  As we eagerly await the latest news bytes on Doctor Strange, X-Men: Apo...

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REVIEW: As the Grumpy St. Vincent McKenna of Sheepshead Bay Says, It Is What It Is, A Good Old Fashioned Comedy-Drama

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, October 25, 2014, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
St. Vincent





Directed By: Theodore Melfi


Starring: Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy, Chris O'Dowd, Scott Adsit, Naomi Watts, and Terrence Howard

Many folks of older generations with whom I've interacted have frequently claimed that the world has gotten worse since their heyday.  Maybe I'm cold-hearted.  Maybe I'm callous.  In my humble opinion, the world has not gotten any better or worse.  We just know more about what's happening in it.  In this digital age, every violent crime, every scandalous af...

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REVIEW: For His Double-Time Swing Tempo for Caravan, Whiplash's Jo Jones Throws a Cymbal at Neyman to Turn Him Into the Next Charlie Parker

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, October 18, 2014, In : 0.00% Water 
Whiplash





Directed By: Damien Chazelle


Starring: Miles Teller and J. K. Simmons


On this weekend, I come face to face with my 27th birthday.  Though that may sound a bit overdramatic, it is nonetheless true.  With this, I've been reflecting on life, what I've done and where I've been in this first quarter of it.  Coupling this with the fact that I was just at a dear friend's wedding a few weeks ago at which I opened up a figurative time capsule and saw some familiar faces from high school, the arr...

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REVIEW: In Men, Women & Children, the Voyager Satellite Shows the Unimportant Yet Important Connections We Make On Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot

Posted by James Brown on Monday, October 13, 2014, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Men, Women & Children





Directed By: Jason Reitman

Starring: Rosemarie DeWitt, Jennifer Garner, Judy Greer, Dean Norris, Adam Sandler, Ansel Elgort, Kaitlyn Dever, J.K. Simmons, and Emma Thompson

"Look again at that dot.  That's here.  That's home.  That's us.  On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives.  The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, ev...

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REVIEW: With Comedic Pride, Lesbians & Gays Support the Miners (L.G.S.M.)

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, October 12, 2014, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Pride





Directed By: Matthew Warchus

Starring: Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West, Paddy Considine, Ben Schnetzer, and George MacKay


I don't normally talk about LGBT rights, but it's been an eventful week on the gay marriage front.  I am not a proponent of homosexuality.  However, I am a proponent of people having the free will to do whatever they believe as long as it does no harm to others.  The Supreme Court I typically love to hate surprised me and, for all intents and purposes, legaliz...

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REVIEW: Watching the Media Kill the Messenger Gary Webb Over the CIA's Dark Alliance With Nicaraguan Druglords Is One Good History Lesson

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, October 12, 2014, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Kill the Messenger





Directed By: Michael Cuesta


Starring: Jeremy Renner, Ray Liotta, Barry Pepper, Michael Sheen, Andy Garcia, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rosemarie DeWitt, Paz Vega, Oliver Platt, Richard Schiff, Robert Patrick, and Michael K. Williams

History is often the best way to validate an opinion.  We could all debate our friends and loved ones in perpetuity based on opinions alone, but facts are facts.  Regardless of who’s writing history, there are always certain irrefutable facts.  When...

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REVIEW: In the New Jimi Hendrix Experience, All Is Not By My Side Because André 3000 Doesn't Play the Hits

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, September 27, 2014, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
Jimi: All Is By My Side





Directed By: John Ridley

Starring: André Benjamin, Hayley Atwell, Burn Gorman, Imogen Poots, Andrew Buckley, and Ruth Negga

Jimi Hendrix is before my time, but I would be a fool not to recognize the profound impact his music has had on generations of musicians to follow him.  With the influence his music and his creativity have had on rock and roll and the music landscape as a whole, it should come as no surprise that filmmakers are trying to bring his tragically short l...

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REVIEW: Few Rich Patterns Are in Hector Journaling His Search for Happiness Except His Lack of a Pen & His Old Flame in a Sock Drawer Agnes

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, September 27, 2014, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
Hector and the Search for Happiness





Directed By: Peter Chelsom

Starring: Simon Pegg, Toni Collette, Rosamund Pike, Stellan Skarsgård, Jean Reno, and Christopher Plummer

When I reflect on what happiness means to me, I think of the moments when I'm most serene.  For a guy who used to live out of a suitcase like me, the answer surprisingly lies in the skyways and wherever they take me.  It's about getting unplugged from the world around me and seeing the new beautiful places this world has to offe...

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REVIEW: Despite Her Viager, My Old Lady Mathilde Teaches Her Alcoholic Buyer Mathias That There Is No Greater Wealth Than Life

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, September 21, 2014, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
My Old Lady





Directed By: Israel Horovitz

Starring: Maggie Smith, Kevin Kline, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Dominique Pinon

"If you do not love me, I shall not be loved."
-Samuel Beckett

This is going to sound completely nerdy, but I'm going to put these words out on the web anyway.  I love to learn at the movies.  Some of my most treasured cinematic memories are those where filmmakers have expanded my boundaries, exposed me to different cultures and ways of life, and enlightened me with new perspecti...

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REVIEW: If Tragedy Is A Foreign Country, Then The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby Walks Away From Learning Its Native Tongue

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, September 21, 2014, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them





Directed By: Ned Benson

Starring: Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Viola Davis, William Hurt, Isabelle Huppert, Jess Weixler, Bill Hader, Ciarán Hinds, Archie Panjabi, Katherine Waterston, and Nina Arianda

Companion films are in this year, at least for indie cinema.  Veteran filmmaker Lars von Trier was bent on releasing his steamy Nymphomaniac: Parts 1 and 2 to the world this spring.  Similarly, first-time director Ned Benson was bent on releasing twin f...

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REVIEW: According to Starship, Nothing's Gonna Stop Depressed, Suicidal Skeleton Twins Milo & Maggie Now, Even Saying See You Later

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, September 14, 2014, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
The Skeleton Twins





Directed By: Craig Johnson

Starring: Kristen Wiig, Luke Wilson, Bill Hader, and Ty Burrell


Suicide can have long-lasting consequences that reach far beyond the individual taking his or her own life.  If that person has family, friends, or other loved ones left behind in this world, there's a good chance that those persons will be scarred for life.  The emotional toll of someone doing something this unnatural is extremely heavy and can last a lifetime.  Just ask all those unnam...

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REVIEW: Despite Dealing With Cousin Marv, Eric Deeds, & Rocco the Pit Bull, Bartender Bob Handles The Drop For the Chechens

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, September 14, 2014, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
The Drop





Directed By: Michaël R. Roskam

Starring: Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, James Gandolfini, Matthias Schoenaerts, John Ortiz, Elizabeth Rodriguez, and Ann Dowd

We've lost a lot of cherished figures in the world of entertainment in the last couple of years.  For those actors who were still in the game at the time of their passing, I'm always impressed by how many completed projects they have in the pipeline.  Take Philip Seymour Hoffman for instance.  We've already seen him in God's Pocket and ...

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REVIEW: In The Last of Robin Hood, Alcoholic Errol Flynn Is Too Old For Lover Beverly "Woodsy" Aadland, But She's Just Young Enough For Him

Posted by James Brown on Monday, September 8, 2014, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
The Last of Robin Hood





Directed By: Richard Glatzer

Starring: Kevin Kline, Dakota Fanning, Susan Sarandon, Matthew Kane, Max Casella, and Patrick St. Esprit

Biographical dramas are sometimes tricky beasts.  If the individual is particularly well known, directors must convince moviegoers that their vision is historically accurate.  The key is to have an actor who looks, walks, and talks like the main character.  Some of this is dependent upon the costume and make-up crew members on deck, but the ...

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REVIEW: From SXSW to Bluff City, Kansas, Frank & His Band SORONPRFBS Push Chinchilla Guy Jon to His Furthest Corners

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, August 23, 2014, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Frank





Directed By: Lenny Abrahamson

Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Scoot McNairy, and Michael Fassbender

This isn't the first time I've said this, but 2014 has been a tame year at the movies.  It's not just the fact that we've had fewer high quality movies, but we just haven't had the same level of weird inventiveness.  We don't have filmmakers this year going for it all regardless of how strangely their final product may appear to moviegoers.  We haven't had the next Seven Psych...

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REVIEW: With Wine, Weed, & Sex, This Movie Isn't Quite All About Alex or the Dog Named Timmy

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, August 16, 2014, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
About Alex





Directed By: Jesse Zwick

Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Max Greenfield, Maggie Grace, Jason Ritter, Jane Levy, Nate Parker, and Max Minghella

My fellow Millennials have been making quite a few movies about what it's like to make that full adjustment into adulthood.  To some extent, the wild party movie Neighbors serves up some satirical commentary on the transition from a carefree twentysomething to married life with children.  The recent romantic comedy What If humorously explores the chall...

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REVIEW: Since It's Shocking to Kill a Good Priest, Calvary Is All About Brendan Gleeson's Father James Lavelle Dodging Death

Posted by James Brown on Monday, August 11, 2014, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Calvary





Directed By: John Michael McDonagh


Starring: Brendan Gleeson, Chris O'Dowd, Kelly Reilly, Aidan Gillen, and Dylan Moran


"Do not despair; one of the thieves was saved.
Do not presume; one of the thieves was damned.

-St. Augustine

The Catholic Church has had a serious scandal on its hands for more than a decade now.  The atrocities done to innocent children over the years will haunt the victims for the remainder of their lives and the church until the end of its days.  That being said, the...

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REVIEW: What If Friends Wallace & Chantry Share Elvis's Fool's Gold Sandwich?

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, August 10, 2014, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
What If (The F Word)





Directed By: Michael Dowse

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, Megan Park, Adam Driver, Mackenzie Davis, and Rafe Spall


I'm not a perfect model of health, but sometimes we invite health issues with the things we consume.  Take famed balladeer Luther Vandross.  During his lifetime, the R&B singer concocted a devilish delight known as the Luther Burger (also known as the doughnut burger).  This hamburger / cheeseburger is slapped right between two Krispy Kreme doughnuts rat...

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REVIEW: A Most Wanted Man Stumbles About Hamburg for Two Hours In Search of Terrorist Charity Seven Friends Navigation Company

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, July 27, 2014, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
A Most Wanted Man





Directed By: Anton Corbijn

Starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, Daniel Brühl, Nina Hoss, and Robin Wright

The world is still reeling over the loss of the great Philip Seymour Hoffman earlier this year.  He was truly one terrific actor who could elevate the caliber of a film with his mere presence on screen.  With the passing of any celebrated artist who was still in the game at the time of his or her death, fans typically flock to theaters to see tha...

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REVIEW: In I Origins, White Peacocks, Strawberry Mentos, & Blind Eisenia Fetida Worms Open the Doors to the Reincarnated Soul Behind the Iris

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, July 27, 2014, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
I Origins





Directed By: Mike Cahill


Starring: Michael Pitt, Brit Marling, Astrid Berges-Frisbey, Steven Yeun, Archie Panjabi, William Mapother, and Cara Seymour

Faith seems to be on the minds of indie filmmakers this weekend.  We've got two movies where the central characters find themselves questioning their beliefs, or a lack thereof.  In Woody Allen's Magic in the Moonlight, Colin Firth's Wei Ling Soo finds himself questioning whether there's something more than just the physical human experie...

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REVIEW: With Séances, Mental Impressions, & Floating Candles, Magic in the Moonlight Pits Illusionist Wei Ling Soo Against Spiritualist Sophie Baker

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, July 26, 2014, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Magic in the Moonlight





Directed By: Woody Allen

Starring: Emma Stone, Colin Firth, Hamish Linklater, Marcia Gay Harden, Jacki Weaver, Erica Leerhsen, Eileen Atkins, and Simon McBurney

I was probably one of the few movie bloggers who was on the West Coast this week but not in San Diego.  As I was departing Seattle on Friday morning, I pondered all the fun movie buffs are having in Hall H right about now.  Alas, I'm back on the East Coast, and I've got movies to review.  Given that I'm slated to c...

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REVIEW: Even With a Well-Funded Swear Jar, Milk & Honey Isn't the Drink I Had in Mind for Jewish Comedy-Drama Wish I Was Here

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, July 19, 2014, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
Wish I Was Here





Directed By: Zach Braff

Starring: Zach Braff, Donald Faison, Josh Gad, Pierce Gagnon, Ashley Greene, Kate Hudson, Joey King, Jim Parsons, and Mandy Patinkin

This is one of those weekends when I need a little inspiration.  With the exception of Richard Linklater's outstanding Boyhood, I'm less than impressed with what's arriving at both the mainstream and independent box offices.  Like its predecessor, The Purge: Anarchy fails to deliver the thrilling punch it has the power to pac...

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REVIEW: Like Mason in Richard Linklater's Boyhood, We're All Just Winging It Through Life Without Bumpers As the Moment Seizes Us

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, July 19, 2014, In : 0.00% Water 
Boyhood





Directed By: Richard Linklater

Starring: Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater, and Ethan Hawke

I'm always in search of bold, refreshing filmmaking that pushes the bounds of what cinema can be.  Rarely, do I actually find it.   On this otherwise ordinary weekend at the movies, I think we've found something special, something extraordinary.  The vast majority of films go into production for several months.  Well, on this weekend, we have a movie that went into production fo...

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REVIEW: Giving Kronoles for No More Protein Bars, the Snowpiercer Train's Tail Bucks Balance & Preordained Position to Take Wilford's Sacred Engine

Posted by James Brown on Friday, July 4, 2014, In : 0.00% Water 
Snowpiercer





Directed By: Bong Joon-ho

Starring: Chris Evans, Kang-ho Song, Go Ah-sung, Jamie Bell, Alison Pill, John Hurt, Tilda Swinton, Octavia Spencer, and Ed Harris

For a guy who supposedly would like to retire from acting in a few years, Chris Evans of Captain America fame seems to be a consistent presence at the box office.  He reprised his role as the elder Avenger in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  He's got two other comedies on the horizon later in the year in A Many Splintered Th...

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REVIEW: In Begin Again, Two Lost Stars Wade Through the Strings of the Music Industry to Record a Pearl, An Outdoor Album in NYC

Posted by James Brown on Thursday, July 3, 2014, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Begin Again





Directed By: John Carney

Starring: Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Hailee Steinfeld, Adam Levine, James Corden, Cee Lo Green, Catherine Keener, and Mos Def

This year has yielded some solid films, but it undoubtedly pales in comparison to 2013, and even more so to 2012.  We just haven't had a consistent wave of quality films hitting the box office.  As we approach the Fourth of July holiday weekend, I hope we have a few solid summer flicks in the works.  The first film I've opted to ta...

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REVIEW: Watch Me Tell You How Third Person's White is Indeed the Color of Trust, Belief, & the Lies Michael Tells Himself

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, June 28, 2014, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
Third Person





Directed By: Paul Haggis

Starring: Liam Neeson, Milan Kunis, Adrien Brody, Olivia Wilde, James Franco, Moran Atias, Maria Bello, and Kim Basinger


It's not too often that we get Paul Haggis sitting in the director's chair.  After all, it's been four years since The Next Three Days and seven since In the Valley of Elah.  He spends far more time writing movies like Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, though he hasn't been particularly active on this front in the last several years eit...

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REVIEW: In Australian Western The Rover, Three Robbers Get a Bloody Lesson in Why Not to Steal Another Man's Car

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, June 22, 2014, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
The Rover





Directed By: David Michôd


Starring: Guy Pearce, Robert Pattinson, and Scoot McNairy

I've been begging for something fresh and original over the last several weeks. In my reviews of The Signal, The Grand Seduction, and Think Like a Man Too, I've been critical of filmmakers for not taking the road less traveled and offering up the same old predictable, formulaic stuff.  Well, my wish is apparently director David Michôd's command.  His latest film, The Rover is unlike anything I've seen...

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REVIEW: For a Doctor to Launch a Petrochemical Repurposing Facility, Tickle Head Harbor Organizes the Grand Seduction of Cricket & Fishing

Posted by James Brown on Thursday, June 19, 2014, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
The Grand Seduction





Directed By: Don McKellar

Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Brendan Gleeson, Liane Balaban, and Gordon Pinsent

My movie reviews are the product of my passion for or against a film.  I know this sounds like a rather mundane, obvious statement, but it's something I see in every piece I pen on a movie.  If I really love or hate a movie, I'll go to bat for it or tear it to shreds.  If, however, I feel nothing for a movie one way or the other, my ensuing review accordingly lacks inspiratio...

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REVIEW: 2.3.5.41...The Signal at Area 51 is What MIT Student Nick Eastman Finds When He Goes Looking for the Hacker Nomad

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, June 14, 2014, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
The Signal





Directed By: William Eubank


Starring: Laurence Fishburne, Brenton Thwaites, Olivia Cooke, Beau Knapp, and Lin Shaye

Alien movies are a dime a dozen.  Just think about it.  In the last couple of months, we've had the likes of Under the Skin and Edge of Tomorrow.  We have the likes of Earth to Echo, Transformers: Age of Extinction, and Guardians of the Galaxy in the coming weeks.  This makes it especially difficult to craft an exceptional alien flick.  After all, what can top E.T. phoni...

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REVIEW: Thanks to the Pee Farter, Pregnant Standup Comic & Obvious Child Donna Stern Has an Abortion on the Worst/Best Valentine's Day Ever

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, June 14, 2014, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Obvious Child





Directed By: Gillian Robespierre


Starring: Jenny Slate, Jake Lacy, Gaby Hoffman, David Cross, Polly Draper, and Richard Kind


In the midst of Obvious Child, Gaby Hoffman has a scene-stealing moment during which she takes it to the judicial branch of government for legislating from the bench, particularly as it relates to the matters of a woman's body and abortion.  While I concur with Hoffman's character, there's a larger systemic issue at play here.  Judicial activism is a product ...

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REVIEW: In the War of Words and Pictures, the Love Between Honors English Teacher Jack Marcus & Honors Art Instructor Dina Delsanto Wins

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, June 7, 2014, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Words and Pictures





Directed By: Fred Schepisi

Starring: Clive Owen, Juliette Binoche, Amy Brenneman, and Keegan Connor Tracy

Movie critics can be so snarky and judgmental.  I know I'm saying this in the strangest of places — a movie review — but sometimes my fellow critics just hate a film to hate it.  As I was wrapping up my review of this weekend's Words and Pictures, I took a look at Rotten Tomatoes and saw that a film that I actually quite enjoyed sits at a lowly 40%.  I saw comments ess...

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REVIEW: Facing Deportation & Losing Her Sister Magda on Ellis Island to Tuberculosis, The Immigrant Ewa Turns to Bruno & the Bandits' Roost Theater

Posted by James Brown on Monday, May 26, 2014, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
The Immigrant





Directed By: James Gray

Starring: Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix, and Jeremy Renner

Because I get the pleasure of reviewing both mainstream and independent flicks, some movies are just ill-timed.  Take The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for instance.  Though a fun, wonderful film, it wasn't exactly the movie to see the same day as The AvengersLincoln wasn't exactly the most riveting film to follow up Skyfall either.  On the weekend of X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Immigrant is ...

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REVIEW: Palo Alto — I'm Not Bob

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, May 18, 2014, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
Palo Alto





Directed By: Gia Coppola


Starring: Emma Roberts, James Franco, Val Kilmer, Nat Wolff, Christian Madsen, Keegan Allen, Chris Messina, Jack Kilmer, and Colleen Camp


2013 was such a great year for coming-of-age movies.  We had the likes of Mud, The Kings of Summer, The Way, Way Back, The Spectacular Now, and even arguably Spring Breakers.  2014 doesn't seem to be an equally great year so far.  There simply don't seem to be that many worthwhile coming-of-age movies this year.  The first on...

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REVIEW: Unlike the Working Men of God's Pocket, Racist Day Laborer Leon Hubbard Doesn't Leave His Family, Life, or Legend With Dignity

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, May 18, 2014, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
God's Pocket





Directed By: John Slattery

Starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Richard Jenkins, Christina Hendricks, John Turturro, Caleb Landry Jones, and Eddie Marsan

"The working men of God's Pocket are simple men.  Everyone here has stolen something from somebody else, or when they were kids, they set someone's house on fire, or they ran away when they should have stayed and fought."
-Richard Shellburn (Richard Jenkins)

The right movie quote can say everything about the film in which it is uttered ...

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REVIEW: El Jefe Chef Big Dog Carl Casper Has a Twitter War With a Food Critic & Launches a Cubano Food Truck to Our Cinematic & Culinary Delight

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, May 18, 2014, In : 0.00% Water 
Chef





Directed By: Jon Favreau

Starring: Jon Favreau, Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo, Scarlett Johansson, Oliver Platt, Bobby Cannavale, Dustin Hoffman, and Robert Downey, Jr.

Hollywood has really taken the all-or-nothing approach to heart in the last several years.  Studios will drop billions on a handful of tentpoles annually and hope to reap enormous profits.  Their strategy of going for special effects bonanzas that will admittedly appeal to the inner fanboy in all of us has left plenty of pot...

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REVIEW: Pumping Concrete for His Building & Driving to See His Newborn Baby Out of Wedlock, Locke Rocks...Just a Little

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, May 11, 2014, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Locke





Directed By: Steven Knight

Starring: Tom Hardy


I'm a huge proponent of bold, innovative filmmaking.  I'm all for writers and directors tapping into their creative juices to bring us unique cinematic visions that blow moviegoers away. That's why I've been so intrigued with Steven Knight's indie drama Locke.  The concept of a movie taking place solely from the front wheel of a car is undoubtedly challenging, but I believed it could be far more rewarding when I first learned of the film.  It ...

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REVIEW: Evaluating the Racial & Gender Constructs of Colonial England, Belle Does Anything But Take a Diminished Position with the Mansfield Clan

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, May 10, 2014, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Belle





Directed By: Amma Asante

Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Wilkinson, Miranda Richardson, Penelope Wilton, Matthew Goode, Emily Watson, Sarah Gadon, and Tom Felton

2013 was a year full of movies about the plight of the black man.  We saw Solomon Northrup endure hell until freedom was opportunity in 12 Years a Slave.  We saw Cecil Gaines quietly smile as history marched onward for better or worse right in front of him at the White House in Lee Daniels' The Butler.  We even saw Oscar Grant have...

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REVIEW: The Alan Partridge & Pat Farrell Radio Show & Siege Is Predicated Upon the Words "Just Sack Pat"

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, April 20, 2014, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Alan Partridge: The Movie (Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa)





Directed By: Declan Lowney

Starring: Steve Coogan and Colm Meaney


It's been a rather sparse year for the comedy genre as a whole.  The only good one to have arrived at the box office this year is Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel.  Considering about a third of the year is now in our collective rearview mirror, having just one notable comedy is not saying much at all.  With the summer movie season looming, there's always hope that some ...

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REVIEW: Given the Contaminated O Negative Zombie Blood in Detroit & Tangier, Only Vampire Lovers Adam & Eve Are Left Alive

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, April 20, 2014, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Only Lovers Left Alive





Directed By: Jim Jarmusch

Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton, Mia Wasikowska, Anton Yelchin, John Hurt, and Jeffrey Wright

When it comes to movies, I love to be proven wrong.  I'm happy when a movie exceeds my expectations (provided that it's good).  I'm happy when a movie is not what I envisioned and is something different (better) altogether.  One thing I've noticed is that this happens far more often in independent cinema than mainstream.  I guess that shouldn't be...

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REVIEW: Unlucky S.O.B. Dom Hemingway, a Man With No Options, Suddenly Has All the Options in the World When the Pendulum of Luck Swings His Way

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, April 13, 2014, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Dom Hemingway





Directed By: Richard Shepard

Starring: Jude Law, Richard E. Grant, Demián Bichir, Emilia Clarke, Kerry Condon, Jumayn Hunter, and Mãdãlina Diana Ghenea

"Oh.  I'll tell you who I am.  I'm the f*cker who'll tear your nose off with my teeth.  I'm the f*cker who will gut you with a dull cheese knife and sing Gilbert and Sullivan while I do it.  I'm the f*cker who'll dump your dead body in a freezing cold lake and watch you sink to the bottom like so much shit.  I am that f*cker.  Th...

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REVIEW: In Under the Skin, Hot Alien Scarlett Johansson Seduces the Men of Scotland Into Her Pool of Black Tar-Like Liquid

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, April 13, 2014, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
Under the Skin





Directed By: Jonathan Glazer


Starring: Scarlett Johansson

It's been quite a while since we've had a weird one at the indie box office.  There was no movie like Holy Motors or The Paperboy in 2013 to leave me utterly baffled by what transpired on the big screen.  Thus far, I can mostly say the same thing about 2014.  No filmmaker has tested the limits of moviegoers' tolerance for the bizarre or disgusting this year.  One movie this spring comes close to doing so, however.  That's J...

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REVIEW: Despite Baseball Bats, Hammers, & Uco's Fiery Ambition, It's Rama's Time to Rage in The Raid 2: Berandal

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, April 5, 2014, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
The Raid: Berandal





Directed By: Gareth Evans

Starring: Iko Uwais, Arifin Putra, Oka Antara, Tio Pakusadewo, Alex Abbad, Julie Estelle, Ryuhei Matsuda, Kenichi Endo, and Kazuki Kitamura

Applause is a memorable thing in a movie theater.  In a place where silence is golden, it's the rarest of signs of utter amazement and respect for what an audience has just witnessed on the big screen.  I reflect on films like The Dark Knight, The Avengers, and Moonrise Kingdom and remember the applause that came ...

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REVIEW: During Le Week-End, Nick & Meg Do the Madison Dance From Jean-Luc Godard’s Bande à part All Throughout Paris

Posted by James Brown on Wednesday, April 2, 2014, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Le Week-End





Directed By: Roger Michell

Starring: Jim Broadbent, Lindsay Duncan, and Jeff Goldblum

A rainy weekend means one thing for most people — staying at home and getting some R&R.  Whether burying ourselves in movies, video games, or nice fluffy pillows, I'm sure we all are finding some way to enjoy the rainy weather.  For me, the rain drops falling means the same old stuff.  I'm headed to the movies to check out the latest and greatest in theaters.  The latest, but not exactly the great...

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REVIEW: To Win the Golden Quill National Spelling Bee, 40 Year-Old Guy Trilby Uses Quite a Few Bad Words

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, March 22, 2014, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Bad Words





Directed By: Jason Bateman


Starring: Jason Bateman, Kathryn Hahn, Allison Janney, Phillip Baker Hall, Ben Falcone, Rachael Harris, and Rohan Chand


Spelling bees aren't the riveting stuff that make movies great.  It takes a strong director and an equally strong cast to pull off a movie about a bee.  After all, every film can't be Akeelah and the Bee and make the orthography of the word "xanthosis" thrilling cinematic material.  That's why there have been so few movies about the world of...

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REVIEW: Whether a Hungry Tiger or a Deformed Tree on a Hill Named Fido, Nymphomaniac Joe Tells Us 3 + 5 = 8 All Over Again in Volume II

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, March 22, 2014, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Nymphomaniac: Volume II





Directed By: Lars von Trier


Starring: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgård, Willem Dafoe, Jamie Bell, Stacy Martin, Mia Goth, Michael Pas, and Shia LaBeouf

Lars von Trier's Trilogy of Depression is no longer really a trilogy.  With the unedited cut of Nymphomaniac topping five hours, this movie was destined from the beginning to require two parts.  This means that the Danish sex addiction drama has had twice as many chances to ruffle the feathers of more socially cons...

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REVIEW: For the Painting Boy With Apple, Grand Budapest Hotel Concierge M. Gustave & Lobby Boy Zero Find Glimmers of Humanity at Checkpoint 19

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, March 15, 2014, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
The Grand Budapest Hotel





Directed By: Wes Anderson

Starring: Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Jude Law, Harvey Keitel, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Léa Seydoux, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Owen Wilson, and Tony Revolori

Wes Anderson is back!  Indie film lovers everywhere will have some good laughs this weekend.  In his follow-up to his mega hit Moonrise Kingdom, the acclaimed director has assembled o...

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REVIEW: With the Empty Lunchbox, the Wrong Train Gets Saajan & Ila to the Right Station — Bhutan

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, March 9, 2014, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
The Lunchbox (Dabba)





Directed By: Ritesh Batra

Starring: Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur, and Nawazuddin Siddiqui


"Sometimes the wrong train will get you to the right station."
-Shaikh (Nawazuddin Siddiqui)

2014 marks another year in which the Academy got it wrong, particularly for Best Foreign Language Film.  Sure, The Great Beauty rightfully was nominated and won the award.  The problem is that it didn't face off with the other great foreign language films of the year like The Past and Blue Is the Warm...

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REVIEW: With Fly Fishing, Ash Trees, Fibonacci Numbers, & Polyphony, Nymphomaniac: Volume 1 Makes Love the Metaphorical Cantus Firmus of Sex

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, March 9, 2014, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Nymphomaniac: Volume I





Directed By: Lars von Trier

Starring: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgård, Stacy Martin, Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slater, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Uma Thurman, and Connie Nielsen

"When the ash tree was created, it made all the other trees in the forest jealous.  It was the most beautiful tree.  You couldn't say anything bad about it.  Then, in the winter, when the ash tree lost all of its leaves, all the trees noticed the black buds and started laughing.  'Oh look!  The a...

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REVIEW: The Broken Circle Breakdown – A Heart-Wrenching Tale of Love, Loss, Religion and Bluegrass

Posted by SoberFilmChick on Saturday, March 1, 2014, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
The Broken Circle Breakdown
SoberFilmChick




Directed by: Felix Van Groeningen


Starring:  Veerle Baetens, Johan Heldenbergh, Nell Cattrysse, Geert Van Rampelberg


President Barack Obama once said that having a child is like having your heart walking around outside of your body.  That comment always struck me.  When you have a son or a daughter, you become vulnerable and exposed because of your overwhelming love for that child.  As a parent, your worst fear is that some type of harm will come to your...

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REVIEW: Thérèse and Laurent Don't Make a Sound & Keep Quiet In Their Secret Affair

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, February 23, 2014, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
In Secret





Directed By: Charlie Stratton


Starring: Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Felton, Oscar Isaac, and Jessica Lange

I've shied away from indie cinema for the last several weeks or so.  Things typically remain quiet on this front during the awards season.  Sure, I've missed a couple of foreign flicks such as Gloria and Like Father, Like Son, but indie theaters have primarily been screening awards darlings like Her, Dallas Buyers Club, and 12 Years a Slave.  Given that the awards season is coming to an ...

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REVIEW: The Hunt A.K.A. Jagten – A Modern Day Scarlet Letter

Posted by SoberFilmChick on Saturday, February 8, 2014, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 

The Hunt
SoberFilmChick




Directed by: Thomas Vinterberg

Starring: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Alexandra Rapaport, Annika Wedderkopp, and Lasse Fogelstrom

Within the last week, Hollywood has been rocked as the molestation allegations against Woody Allen resurfaced.  Allen’s stepdaughter Dylan Farrow wrote an open letter chastising Hollywood for honoring the man who allegedly molested her as a child.  Battles have been waged on daytime talk shows disputing the issue, and articles have be...


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REVIEW: Best Man Down – Lumpy’s Secret Life Is Uncovered In This Comedy Drama

Posted by SoberFilmChick on Sunday, January 26, 2014, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
Best Man Down
SoberFilmChick




Directed by: Ted Koland


Starring: Justin Long, Jess Weixler, Tyler Labine, Addison Timlin, Shelley Long, and Frances O’Connor

Happy belated New Year movie lovers!  I am delighted to return to the movie review scene after a brief holiday hiatus.  My first review of 2014 is Justin Long’s indie flick Best Man Down.  Although billed as a dark comedy, this uneven film is at times touching, but never humorous.

Scott (Long) and Kristin (Jess Weixler) are having the time o...

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REVIEW: In the Shadows of the Frozen Deep, Charles Dickens Dryly Oscillates Between His Public Love & Secret Invisible Woman Nelly "Lawless" Ternan

Posted by James Brown on Monday, January 20, 2014, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
The Invisible Woman





Directed By: Ralph Fiennes


Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Felicity Jones, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Tom Hollander

"A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other."
-Charles Dickens

Ralph Fiennes is one of the few big screen talents who can seamlessly navigate between the worlds of big budget blockbusters and indie cinema.  He's a very versatile talent and has proven it time and time again.  After all, h...

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REVIEW: With a Blood-Stained Dress, Love Letter Emails & Suicide by Detergent, The Past Is Steeped in One Rich Mystery

Posted by James Brown on Monday, January 13, 2014, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
The Past (Le Passé)





Directed By: Asghar Farhadi


Starring: Bérénice Bejo, Tahar Rahim, and Ali Mosaffa

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has gotten it wrong on many, many occasions.  With this year's Oscar nominations to be announced later this week, let's talk about a film the Academy won't even consider nominating.  When the Academy announced its short list of foreign language film contenders — an all-inclusive list of potential nominees — several films were noticeably abse...

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REVIEW: In Her, Operating System 1 Samantha Learns to Love Letter Writer Theodore Twombly

Posted by James Brown on Thursday, December 26, 2013, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Her





Directed By: Spike Jonze


Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde, Scarlett Johannson, Chris Pratt, and Kristen Wiig

Man falls in love with his personal assistant.  Stranger things have happened in human history.  When that personal assistant is digital and can take no physical form whatsoever, things get a little more interesting.  This is exactly the situation with which we're presented in Spike Jonze's Her.  With the advent of Siri and other technologies in recent y...

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REVIEW: If We Had Wings, The Coens & Their Cat Ulysses Would Take Us Soaring From the Gaslight Cafe With Some Soulful Folk Songs in Inside Llewyn Davis

Posted by James Brown on Friday, December 20, 2013, In : 0.00% Water 
Inside Llewyn Davis





Directed By: Joel & Ethan Coen

Starring: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, and Justin Timberlake

As I conclude another year of running STMR, I've begun reflecting on all the movies I've seen and the hundreds of reviews I've written during the 2+ years since the site was founded.  After doing so, I can say one thing with the utmost confidence.  I have absolutely no idea what movies I'll end up loving.  With the holiday mass of films starting to crowd ...

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REVIEW: Seeing The Great Beauty of Roma as a Vanishing Trick, Jep Gambardello, King of the High Life, Does Know Why He Never Wrote Another Novel

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, December 8, 2013, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza)





Directed By: Paolo Sorrentino

Starring: Toni Servillo, Carlo Verdone, Sabrina Ferilli, Carlo Buccirosso, Iaia Forte, and Pamela Villoresi


It's been a week to remember.  On Wednesday, President Obama gave a potent speech advocating for the poor that might just indicate the direction for the rest of his second term.  On Thursday, we lost a giant of the twentieth century in former South African President Nelson Mandela, a fierce opponent of not just against apa...

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REVIEW: For a New Truck & Compressor, Woody Grant Endures the Circling Vultures in Hawthorne on His Way to Lincoln, Nebraska for His Million Dollars

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, December 1, 2013, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Nebraska





Directed By: Alexander Payne

Starring: Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb, Stacy Keach, and Bob Odenkirk

Bruce Dern was not a lock for the role of Woody Grant in Nebraska.  Director Alexander Payne sought out several other talents prior to casting Dern in the role.  He reportedly went after his About Schmidt star Jack Nicholson.  Rumor has it that the notoriously picky screen legend turned him down.  Payne also sought out actor Gene Hackman.  The retired star called it a wrap after Wel...

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REVIEW: In Philomena, the Evil Nuns at Roscrea Abbey Ease Martin Sixsmith's Choice Between Russian History & Human Interest Stories

Posted by James Brown on Wednesday, November 27, 2013, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Philomena





Directed By: Stephen Frears


Starring: Judi Dench and Steve Coogan


At the start of the Thanksgiving weekend, the last thing I thought I needed was a movie about some old lady trying to find her long-lost son.  Even with Dame Judi Dench, Philomena sounded like a made-for-television movie you'd find on Lifetime or the Hallmark channel in the wee hours of the night.  Nonetheless, I've now seen it, and I must admit that I was quite wrong.  Stephen Frears's Philomena packs a surprising punch...

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REVIEW: Battling Against the FDA & AZT, AIDS-Stricken Bull Rider Ron Woodroof Launches the Dallas Buyers Club

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, November 9, 2013, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Dallas Buyers Club





Directed By: Jean-Marc Vailée

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, and Jared Leto

I recently discovered Breaking Bad.  For the last three weeks, I've been inhaling the saga of Walter White day and night.  I've been so addicted to the series that I actually completed it in its entirety as of two nights ago.  The circumstances under which this high school chemistry teacher stricken with lung cancer becomes a drug kingpin are unbelievable.  Walter "Heisenberg" White d...

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REVIEW: In How I Live Now, Daisy's Will Power Is Not Quite Enough, Especially When It Comes to Cow Cheese

Posted by James Brown on Wednesday, November 6, 2013, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
How I Live Now





Directed By: Kevin Macdonald

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Tom Holland, Anna Chancellor, George MacKay, and Harley Bird

"If the world doesn't end, that's how I want to be, here with you.  And that's how I live now."
-Daisy (Saoirse Ronan)

Romances can kill movies sometimes.  The undying need to have repeatedly schmaltzy moments can sap away all the energy on screen.  I'm sure there are a million movies that fit this description.  The worst ones usually involve teens.  When this happens, ...

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REVIEW: For Adèle, Emma's Blue is the Warmest, Sexiest Color

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, November 3, 2013, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Blue is the Warmest Color





Directed By: Abdellatif Kechiche

Starring: Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux

Since founding STMR, I've been to more movies than I care to count.  Because of this, I've seen and interacted with all kinds of audiences.  Until last night, I thought I had seen it all.  When I attended a screening of Blue is the Warmest Color, however, I checked off one more thing I never could have anticipated, especially at an independent theater.  As you may know, Palme d'Or winner Bl...

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REVIEW: Dr. Judith's Adult Children of Divorce Is Not Quite a Bestseller Even With Rick

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, October 12, 2013, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
A.C.O.D.





Directed By: Stu Zicherman


Starring: Adam Scott, Richard Jenkins, Catherine O'Hara, Amy Poehler, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clark Duke, Ken Howard, Jessica Alba, and Jane Lynch

There's not a whole lot that's funny right now.  We're witnessing the devastating implications of the government shutdown orchestrated by childish House Republicans who do not like green eggs and ham.  We may be getting a front row seat to the beginnings of a government-induced recession.  On a lighter note, we can...

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REVIEW: For Spunky Little Girl Wadjda, Memorizing and Reciting the Koran is the Key to Riding Her Own Bike

Posted by James Brown on Monday, September 30, 2013, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Wadjda





Directed By: Haifaa al-Monsour

Starring: Waad Mohammed, Reem Abdullah, and Abdullrahman Al Gohani


Cinema is at its absolute best when it exposes us to different ways of thinking, different belief systems, and different ways of life.  A movie is a way of transporting one's culture all across the globe to viewers of all backgrounds.  With the homogeneity of blockbuster filmmaking in Hollywood, you're often not going to find this in mainstream cinema.  You have to set your sights on independ...

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REVIEW: During Estate Manager François's Last Harvest, the Land Chooses Philippe to Be Paul's Son & Heir Instead of Martin

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, September 29, 2013, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
You Will Be My Son





Directed By: Gilles Legrand


Starring: Niels Arestrup, Lorànt Deutsch, Nicolas Bridet, Anne Marivin, and Patrick Chesnais

As I've matured, I've made an interesting transition as a drinker.  I used to be all about the spirits.  I had a love for cocktails and martinis of all kinds.  Specifically, I was a gin man.  Things have changed as time has marched on.  Nowadays, I prefer wine to spirits, especially white wines.  I guess the transition to wine happens for a good chunk of us...

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REVIEW: Masseuse Eva Hears More Than Enough Said about Her Flabby Boyfriend Albert from Human TripAdvisor and Poet Marianne

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, September 28, 2013, In : 0.00% Water 
Enough Said





Directed By: Nicole Holofcener

Starring: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Gandolfini, Catherine Keener, Toni Collette, Ben Falcone, and Toby Huss


We've lost many iconic figures in Hollywood this year.  We've said goodbye to the likes of Roger Ebert, Jean Stapleton, and even Cory Monteith.  Though celebrity deaths generally don't take an emotional toll on me.  I do have to say that I was troubled by James Gandolfini's passing earlier this year.  The beloved actor made his mark on the world ...

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REVIEW: Sex Addiction Comedy Thanks for Sharing Lets Its Inhibitions Run a Little Too Wild

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, September 21, 2013, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Thanks for Sharing





Directed By: Stuart Blumberg

Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins, Gwyneth Paltrow, Josh Gad, Joely Richardson, Alecia Moore, and Patrick Fugit

Addiction is a rarely funny subject that's often dramatized on the big screen.  More often than not, you're going to see films like Flight, Smashed, and Shame hitting theaters when it comes to depicting folks looking to get their latest fix.  This weekend, things are a little different.  Director Stuart Blumberg and his cast are adding ...

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REVIEW: In Afternoon Delight, Rachel Throws Sex Worker Bomb McKenna on Her Life With Husband Jeff Boyardee

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, September 7, 2013, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Afternoon Delight





Directed By: Jill Soloway

Starring: Kathryn Hahn, Juno Temple, Josh Radnor, Jane Lynch, and Jessica St. Clair

I will never know what it's really like to be a bored homemaker.  Beyond the simple fact that I get up and go to work every day, I just can't relate.  It certainly doesn't help that I'm a single guy in my twenties.  At this point in my life, the closest I'll ever get to understanding the boredom that plagues them is watching a few episodes of Desperate Housewives.  With...

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REVIEW: Thérèse Has the Wrong Ideas About Smoking Cigarettes, Arsenic Drops, and Especially the Pines

Posted by James Brown on Monday, September 2, 2013, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
Thérèse (Thérèse Desqueyroux)





Directed By: Claude Miller


Starring: Audrey Tautou and Gilles Lellouche


The French had a really good run for a few years with cinema.  Think of films like The Artist, The Intouchables, and Amour.  With the notably consistent quality films that had been coming from across the Atlantic over the last several years, I've come to expect more of them.  Sadly, however, the French have been letting me down this year.  Augustine was a really dry period piece earlier this...

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REVIEW: Given Her Unwanted Pregnancy, Her Abusive Dad's Parole, and Her New Mini-Me Jayden at Short Term 12, Grace May Just Be Going Crazy

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, September 1, 2013, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Short Term 12





Directed By: Destin Daniel Cretton

Starring: Brie Larson, John Gallagher, Jr., Kaitlyn Dever, Rami Malek, and Keith Stanfield

There aren't that many films that tackle the issues of troubled youths, so I must always commend those filmmakers who opt to address these often unaddressed issues on the big screen.  The latest film to do so is Destin Daniel Cretton's Short Term 12.  It's a potent little indie centered by the talented young actress Brie Larson, who you may have just seen se...

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REVIEW: When Ip Man's Wing Chun Meets Gong Er's 64 Hands in The Grandmaster, Everybody Wins the Chess Match

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, September 1, 2013, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
The Grandmaster





Directed By: Wong Kar-wai


Starring: Tony Leung, Zhang Ziyi, Chang Chen, Zhao Benshan, Song Hye-kyo, and Wang Qingxiang


I've been in need of a good martial arts flick for some time now.  2012 gave us such good films as The Raid: Redemption and The Man With the Iron Fists.  So far in 2013, we've had nothing to match these movies.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who's taken notice of this void throughout the year.  Well, things are finally looking up for those moviegoers who love the...

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REVIEW: After the Bombing of Borough Market in London-Based Thriller Closed Circuit, MI5's Powers are at Play But Beyond John Crowley's Control

Posted by James Brown on Thursday, August 29, 2013, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
Closed Circuit





Directed By: John Crowley


Starring: Eric Bana, Rebecca Hall, Ciarán Hinds, Jim Broadbent, Riz Ahmed, and Julia Stiles


The all-encompassing reach of covert government organizations has been a hot topic for discussion this year.  That's largely thanks to whistleblower Edward Snowden and his disclosures about the NSA several months ago.  The American government is getting all the data in the world on us, and I use the term "us" fairly loosely.  If you use the Internet, you're one of...

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REVIEW: It's Getting Hot in Here at Austenland With Aficionados Jane Erstwhile, Elizabeth Charming, and Henry Nobley

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, August 24, 2013, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Austenland





Directed By: Jerusha Hess


Starring: Keri Russell, JJ Feild, Jennifer Coolidge, Bret McKenzie, Georgia King, James Callis, Jane Seymour, and Ricky Whittle

I'm not a casual fan or a devoted aficionado of beloved novelist Jane Austen, nor do I aspire to be.  With this in mind, I wasn't overly enthused with the prospect of checking out indie romantic comedy Austenland, a film entrenched in Austen fandom.  It should come as no shock that I have no love lost for Elizabeth Bennet or her roma...

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REVIEW: In a World Without the Legendary Don LaFontaine...Let the Amazon Games Begin Because a Voice is a Choice

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, August 18, 2013, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
In a World...





Directed By: Lake Bell

Starring: Lake Bell, Fred Melamed, Demetri Martin, Michaela Watkins, Ken Marino, Rob Corddry, Nick Offerman, and Tig Notaro

As one who frequents the movies on a regular basis, I'm one who's seen one too many trailers.  For each movie I go see, there are fifteen to twenty minutes worth of leading advertisements for other films.  If they're good trailers, I'm typically fine.  If they're bad, however, they're just an annoying pit stop on the way to my movie.  As...

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REVIEW: The Girl Next Door Linda Lovelace Obeys Her Husband Chuck Traynor and Becomes an Iconic Porn Star in Deep Throat

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, August 10, 2013, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
Lovelace





Directed By: Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman

Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Peter Sarsgaard, Sharon Stone, Adam Brody, Juno Temple, James Franco, Hank Azaria, and Bobby Cannavale

I'm no expert on the history of the pornographic industry, and I have no intentions of ever professing to be that.  In all honesty, I've never seen Deep Throat, and I've never gone to an adult movie theater to see a sexploitation film.  All of this old school stuff predates me.  It's simply before my time.  That b...

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REVIEW: In The Spectacular Now, Paper Girl Aimee Finecky Gets Alcoholic Sutter Keely to Write One Hell of a Personal Statement On Hardship

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, August 10, 2013, In : 0.00% Water 
The Spectacular Now





Directed By: James Ponsoldt

Starring: Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Brie Larson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Kyle Chandler

The summer of coming-of-age movies is coming to a close.  Before we say adios, I'd just like to say that it's been a fun ride.  With films like Mud, The Kings of Summer, and The Way, Way Back, we simply haven't gone wrong.  The closer for this summer is James Ponsoldt's The Spectacular Now, a daring comedy-drama that puts a new me...

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REVIEW: In I Give It a Year, I Never Knew Love Like This Before

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, August 4, 2013, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
I Give It a Year





Directed By: Dan Mazer

Starring: Rose Byrne, Rafe Spall, Anna Faris, Simon Baker, Stephen Merchant, Minnie Driver, Jason Flemyng, and Olivia Colman

In my review of Drinking Buddies recently, I wrote about the fact that romance films are an endangered species.  Naturally, a romantic comedy hits theaters as soon as I say that.  The British rom com I Give It a Year has made its way across the pond, and I just have to say that I never knew love like this before.  It's a quirky film ...

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REVIEW: Popping Xanax Pills and Talking to Herself, Blue Jasmine Can't Get Past Her Past With Hal and That Fateful Song Blue Moon

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, August 3, 2013, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Blue Jasmine





Directed By: Woody Allen

Starring: Alec Baldwin, Cate Blanchett, Bobby Cannavale, Louis C.K., Andrew Dice Clay, Sally Hawkins, Peter Sarsgaard, and Michael Stuhlbarg

"Anxiety, nightmares, and a nervous breakdown.  There's only so many traumas a person can take ‘til they take to the streets and start screaming."
-Jasmine (Cate Blanchett)

It's that time of the year again.  Woody Allen has another film out.  However, that shouldn't come as a shock since the beloved director has been pu...

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REVIEW: Drinking Buddies Kate & Luke Act Like Fanatics By Ignoring the Love in the Atmosphere

Posted by James Brown on Tuesday, July 30, 2013, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Drinking Buddies





Directed By: Joe Swanberg

Starring: Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, Ron Livingston, and Jason Sudeikis

If this year has proven anything, it's that romance films are all but dead.  Just take a good look at the movies of 2013, and see if you can find some grand film with a sweeping romance.  You won't find it.  At best, you'll find Safe Haven, a watered-down, formulaic imitation of what romance movies once were.  Perhaps this is because our rather cynical generation of...

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REVIEW: Back in Exolife in Ocean City, Playwright Imogene Duncan is the Girl Most Likely to Kill George Bousche But Not Backstreet Boys Fan Lee

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, July 20, 2013, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
Girl Most Likely





Directed By: Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini

Starring: Kristen Wiig, Annette Bening, Matt Dillon, Christopher Fitzgerald, and Darren Criss

It's been a little more than two years since Bridesmaids took the box office by storm.  By now, I would've imagined that Kristen Wiig would have had a long, long list of comedies to which she were attached as the lead.  As fate would have it, Wiig is finding greater success in animated films and television programming.  She's Lucy in...

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REVIEW: With the Angel of Vengeance Running the Show, Only God Forgives Is Drive on Crack in Thailand

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, July 20, 2013, In : 0.12% Hard Liquor 
Only God Forgives





Directed By: Nicolas Winding Refn

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Vithaya Pansringarm

Ryan Gosling has been all about re-teaming with his past directors this year.  He did just that in The Place Beyond the Pines with his Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance.  He's doing it again this weekend by getting back together with his Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn in Only God Forgives.  Despite repeat collaborations with directors who each took Gosling's caree...

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REVIEW: In Fruitvale Station, Oscar Grant Tragically Doesn't Get the 30 Days Oprah Recommends to Form His New Habits

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, July 20, 2013, In : 0.00% Water 
Fruitvale Station





Directed By: Ryan Coogler

Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer, Melonie Diaz, Ahna O'Reilly, Kevin Durand, and Chad Michael Murray

Race and equality have been at the forefront of the American psyche for the last week or so.  With George Zimmerman being acquitted after killing 17 year-old Trayvon Martin, a long overdue conversation about what it means to be a black man in America may finally be getting started.  That conversation looks to be focused on a variety of topic...

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REVIEW: Hairy Crystal Fairy & Pollo & the Magical San Pedro Cactus & the World's End in 2012 on the Mayan Calendar & One Crazy Movie

Posted by James Brown on Thursday, July 18, 2013, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus and 2012





Directed By: Sebastián Silva

Starring: Michael Cera, Gaby Hoffmann, Juan Andrés Silva, José Miguel Silva, and Agustín Silva

With all that's going on in America these days, it might be time for a little vacation.  Regardless of your perspective on the array of events and issues of the day, I'm sure you can agree that it might be time to get some distance, perhaps in the form of international travel.  While we all can't just hop on a plane and leave ...

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REVIEW: With a Psychic, an Actor, a Dominatrix, and Three Gay Male Flight Attendants, I'm Not So Excited for Peninsula Flight 2549

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, July 6, 2013, In : 0.12% Hard Liquor 
I'm So Excited





Directed By: Pedro Almodóvar

Starring: Javier Cámara, Cecilia Roth, Lola Dueñas, Raúl Arévalo, Carlos Areces, Antonio de la Torre, Hugo Silva, and Guillermo Toledo

After Pedro Almodóvar's The Skin I Live In a couple of years ago, I swore I'd never watch one of his movies again.  It was too much for me.  It was just too much.  Two years later, here I am again with I'm So Excited, Almodóvar's latest comedy.  Unfortunately for me, his twisted, often perverted sense of humor is...

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REVIEW: In The Way, Way Back, Pop-N-Lock Duncan Leaves the Riptide Beach House and Hits the Slides at Water Wizz

Posted by James Brown on Friday, July 5, 2013, In : 0.00% Water 
The Way, Way Back





Directed By: Nat Faxon and Jim Rash


Starring: Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, AnnaSophia Bobb, Sam Rockwell, Maya Rudolph, Rob Corddry, Amanda Peet, and Liam James

2013 marks the summer of coming-of-age comedies at the indie box office.  The proof is in the pudding.  This past June, Joe, Patrick, and Biaggio jammed on some logs in the woods in The Kings of Summer.  This month, Duncan is breaking it down on a cardboard dance floor at Water Wizz in The Way, Way Back....

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REVIEW: In Unfinished Song, Rusty Old Banger Arthur Shows His True Colors When His Wife Marion Says Let's Talk About Sex

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, June 29, 2013, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Unfinished Song (Song for Marion)





Directed By: Paul Andrew Williams

Starring: Terence Stamp, Gemma Arterton, Christopher Eccleston, and Vanessa Redgrave

Is it just me or do elder British actors have a lock on movies about old people?  In the last year or so, we've had The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Quartet, and now Unfinished Song.  With the exception of Amour, there haven't been too many non-British films about the elderly hitting theaters as of late.  I will say that each of these British fli...

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REVIEW: With Ovarian Hysteria & Sexually Stimulating Attacks, the Desensitized Augustine is the Most Sensual Patient of All

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, June 23, 2013, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
Augustine





Directed By: Alice Winocour

Starring: Vincent Lindon, Soko, and Chiara Mastroianni

There haven't been quite as many weird movies at indie theaters this year thankfully.  I'm happy to say we haven't gotten another Holy Motors or The Paperboy.  This week, however, I think we're getting our first dose of weirdness with the French drama Augustine, a film that explores the relationship between neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot and his most interesting patient.

Augustine (Soko) is a housemaid a...

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REVIEW: Female Suicide Bomber Siham Leaves a Big Mess for Her Doctor Husband Amin in The Attack

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, June 23, 2013, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
The Attack





Directed By: Ziad Doueiri

Starring: Ali Suliman, Evgenia Dodena, Reymond Amsalem, Dvir Benedek, Uri Gavriel, Ruba Salameh, Karim Saleh, and Ramzi Makdessi

Because it's the summer season, we haven't been reviewing too many serious films, and I wouldn't have it any other way at this time of year.  That being said, I do recognize that some moviegoers would prefer some more serious material at the box office.  Well, those moviegoers are getting exactly what they've been craving this weeke...

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REVIEW: The Bling Ring Hits Up Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, & Orlando Bloom for Cash & Clothes But Completely Misses the Mark

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, June 22, 2013, In : 0.12% Hard Liquor 
The Bling Ring





Directed By: Sofia Coppola

Starring: Israel Broussard, Katie Chang, Taissa Farmiga, Claire Julien, Georgia Rock, Emma Watson, and Leslie Mann

Earlier this year, Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers rocked the box office.  It was an oversexed movie with a purpose about four teen princesses turning to a life of crime for the chance of having a legendary spring break.  Showing a life of crime and partying in all its decadent glory, Korine dished out some potent commentary on what the myt...

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REVIEW: In The East, Preventing Eco-Terrorist Jams Proves to Be a Challenge for Hiller Brood Operative Sarah Moss

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, June 8, 2013, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
The East





Directed By: Zal Batmanglij

Starring: Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgård, Ellen Page, Toby Kebbell, Shiloh Fernandez, Julia Ormond, Patricia Clarkson, and Jason Ritter

"We are the East.  We don’t care how rich you are.  We want all those who are guilty to experience the terror of their crime.  It’s easy when it’s not your life.  Easy when it’s not your home.  But when it’s your fault, it shouldn’t be so easy to sleep at night — especially when we know where you live.  Lie ...

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REVIEW: The Kings Of Summer – Joe, Patrick And Biaggio Brave The Forest And Boston Market In This Endearing Coming Of Age Story

Posted by SoberFilmChick on Saturday, June 8, 2013, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 

The Kings Of Summer
SoberFilmChick




Directed by: Jordan Vogt-Roberts

Starring:  Nick Offerman, Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, Moises Arias, Megan Mullally, and Alison Brie

When I saw the trailer for The Kings of Summer, I was sold.  Not because I was excited about another suburban coming of age story, but because Nick Offerman is in the film.  I love Offerman as Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation and I even enjoy when he reads tweets from young female celebrities on Conan.  With his dry delive...


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REVIEW: Before Midnight, Take a Time Machine Back to Six Lovely Weeks in the Peloponnesian Islands

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, June 2, 2013, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Before Midnight





Directed By: Richard Linklater

Starring: Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy


Unlike Hollywood movies, it's very rare that an indie film gets a sequel.  With the exception of some sick horror films, this just doesn't happen too often.  You won't see Midnight in Paris Deux, 1000 Days of Summer, or Moonrise Kingdom 2.  Even when they generate big profits, they're not coming back to theaters again.  The exception to this rule is the Before series from Richard Linklater.  First, there was Bef...

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REVIEW: Ahoy Sexy! Frances Ha is Definitely Undateable With All Her Wild Antics That Aren't Really Antics

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, May 25, 2013, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Frances Ha





Directed By: Noah Baumbach

Starring: Greta Gerwig, Mickey Sumner, Adam Driver, and Grace Gummer

Greta Gerwig has had a long, hard road to success on the big screen.  Frances Ha doesn't mark her first leading role.  We've seen her lead the pack for somewhat underwhelming films like Damsels in Distress and Lola Versus.  She hasn't had that breakout role yet, that performance that leaves an indelible mark on movie-goers.  Frances Ha might just be that role.  We'll just have to wait and s...

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REVIEW: From a Porn Lab to the Mob, The Iceman is One Cold-Blooded Contract Killer

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, May 19, 2013, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
The Iceman





Directed By: Ariel Vromen

Starring: Michael Shannon, Winona Ryder, Chris Evans, Ray Liotta, James Franco, David Schwimmer, Stephen Dorff, and Erin Cummings

Michael Shannon might just be the most underrated actor of his generation.  Despite a very impressive filmography and a long list of memorable characters on screen, Shannon has never attained mainstream popularity and is still relatively unknown to the movie-going public at large.  It's unfortunate because he's a really prolific ac...

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REVIEW: In the House Is All About Math Tutor Claude Peeping Through the Keyhole at Middle Class Woman Esther and Her Watercolors

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, May 12, 2013, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
In the House





Directed By: François Ozon

Starring: Fabrice Luchini, Ernst Umhauer, Kristin Scott Thomas, Emmanuelle Seigner, Yolande Moreau, and Denis Ménochet

I write so many reviews that I find myself struggling sometimes to get a review started.  Writing my fifth review this weekend, I've once again found myself in this very familiar place, stuck on the introduction.  I don't have a damn clue what to write to get this review on In the House going.  Fittingly, this indie is a film that's all ...

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REVIEW: My Brother the Devil is a Terrorist, Not a Homo???

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, May 11, 2013, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
My Brother the Devil





Directed By: Sally El Hosaini

Starring: James Floyd, Fady Elsayed, and Saïd Taghmaoui


I was just having a conversation yesterday about homosexuality in Islamic culture.  Though I wasn't particularly interested in the conversation at the time, another individual and I were discussing how being gay is more than just taboo to Muslims.  It's comparable to a mortal sin and can often have fatal consequences.  It's so fitting that I ended up seeing Sally El Hosaini's My Brother th...

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REVIEW: Kiss of the Damned Is One Steamy Erotic Mess of a Vampire Movie

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, May 11, 2013, In : 0.12% Hard Liquor 
Kiss of the Damned





Directed By: Xan Cassavetes

Starring: Josephine de La Baume, Roxane Mesquida, Milo Ventimiglia, and Anna Mouglalis

As the owner of Sobriety Test and its webmaster, I try to regularly stay abreast of comments by readers checking out reviews all over the site.  I would like to say thank you to all those who take the time to contribute to the discourse here on this small website.  Whether encouraging, enthused, or critical of my reviews, I do appreciate all of your comments and l...

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REVIEW: Kon-Tiki is a Slow Ride Through an Interesting Theory

Posted by Zach Davis on Monday, May 6, 2013, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Kon-Tiki
Zach Davis




Directed By: Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg


Starring: Pål Sverre Valheim Hagan, Anders Bassmo Christiansen, Tobias Santelmann, Gustaf Skarsgård, Odd-Magnus Williamson, Jacob Oftebro, and Agnes Kittelsen

Kon-Tiki is a harrowing tale of survival propelled by an interesting theory from Thor Heyerdahl.  According to Heyerdahl, the Peruvians were the first to colonize Polynesia from the east contrary to the traditional notion that Asians migrating from the west settled on th...

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REVIEW: Number One in Seven Counties, Henry Whipple Will Expand or Die At Any Price, Including Reselling Liberty Seeds

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, May 5, 2013, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
At Any Price





Directed By: Ramin Bahrani

Starring: Zac Efron, Dennis Quaid, Heather Graham, Clancy Brown, Ben Marten, Kim Dickens, Chelcie Ross, Red West, Maika Monroe, and Sophie Curtis


Running a business is a tough endeavor, especially in a saturated market.  I sure as hell know it.  The competition is stiff.  The customers are demanding. The regulations within the industry are nothing more than a setback.  All in all, running a business is like survival of the fittest.  You'll either expand or...

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REVIEW: Love Is Not Quite All You Need When There Are Lemons from Italy

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, May 4, 2013, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Love Is All You Need





Directed By: Susanne Bier

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Trine Dyrholm, Kim Bodnia, Paprika Steen, Sebastian Jessen, Molly Blixt Egelind, Christiane Schaumburg-Müller, Micky Skeel Hansen, Bodil Jørgensen, and Line Kruse

Is it me or is it déjà vu this weekend?  Last year on this very weekend, Marvel jumpstarted the summer movie season with The Avengers starring Robert Downey, Jr.  This weekend, Marvel is again kicking off the summer with Iron Man 3, once again starring the per...

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REVIEW: Mud, Ellis, & Neckbone Make One Good Deal for a Boat, a Pistol, and Love

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, April 28, 2013, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Mud





Directed By: Jeff Nichols

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland, Reese Witherspoon, Michael Shannon, Sarah Paulson, Sam Shepard, and Stuart Greer

Matthew McConaughey has been pigeonholing himself recently.  He's been in a slew of Southern-themed indie flicks.  Think Bernie.  Think Killer Joe.  Think The Paperboy.  While these are all distinct films, they share some geographic similarities, which isn't necessarily a plus for McConaughey's filmography.  I'd very much like ...

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REVIEW: A Malt Mill is the Whisky of Choice in The Angels' Share

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, April 28, 2013, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
The Angels' Share





Directed By: Ken Loach

Starring: Paul Brannigan, John Henshaw, William Ruane, Gary Maitland, Jasmin Riggins, and Siobhan Reilly


Every year, two percent of alcohol evaporates from a barrel of whisky.  It's what's called the angels' share.  It's a damn shame.  Nature steals two percent of one of God's greatest gifts every year.  It's the good stuff too!  The whisky lost has aged and has only gotten better with time.  On the other hand, this is what makes older whisky much more va...

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REVIEW: Blancanieves - A Silent Film Turns Snow White Into A Bullfighter And Brings New Tragedy To The Fairytale

Posted by SoberFilmChick on Sunday, April 28, 2013, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 

Blancanieves
SoberFilmChick



Directed by: Pablo Berger

Starring:  Maribel Verdú, Daniel Giménez Cacho, Ángela Molina, Pere Ponce, Macarena García, and Sofía Oria
 

As of late we have been inundated with reinvented fairytales.  Snow White’s story has been of particular interest to filmmakers, and two movies tackled the legendary tale last year: Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the HuntsmanMirror Mirror was colorful, but ultimately unimaginative and a little too sweet.  The Huntsman was ...


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REVIEW: For the Love of the Mets and Graffiti, Gimme the Loot is All About Malcolm and Sophia Bombing the Apple at Shea Stadium

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, April 27, 2013, In : 0.00% Water 
Gimme the Loot





Directed By: Adam Leon

Starring: Ty Hickson, Tashiana Washington, Zoë Lescaze, Meeko, Sam Soghor, and Joshua Rivera


The New York Mets have an interesting tradition for celebrating home runs.  Whenever a player knocks the ball straight out of the park during a home game, a giant apple rises out of Shea Stadium with the Mets' logo front and center.  The apple rising is a pivotal moment in any Mets game and presents an interesting opportunity to claim some fame for those who are bol...

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REVIEW: If You're a Member of the Weather Underground Organization Like Nick Sloan, Secrets are the Only Company You Keep

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, April 14, 2013, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
The Company You Keep





Directed By: Robert Redford

Starring: Robert Redford, Shia LaBeouf, Julie Christie, Susan Sarandon, Jackie Evancho, Brendan Gleeson, Brit Marling, Anna Kendrick, Terrence Howard, Richard Jenkins, Nick Nolte, Sam Elliott, Stephen Root, Keegan Connor Tracy, Stanley Tucci, and Chris Cooper

Robert Redford has been a busy man as of late.  He's joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Nick Fury's boss in Captain America: Winter Soldier.  He'll be appearing in survival thriller All...

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REVIEW: To the Wonder Does Nothing to Awaken the Love, That Divine Presence Within Us

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, April 14, 2013, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
To the Wonder





Directed By: Terrence Malick


Starring: Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Rachel McAdams, and Javier Bardem


Two years ago, I went to bat for Terrence Malick's Tree of Life.  It was an artsy movie without a lot of dialogue.  At the same time, however, it was a beautiful, impactful statement about life, the universe, and parenthood.  In Malick's latest movie To the Wonder, he's moved onto smaller themes, namely love and faith.  Once again, he creates a film with sparse dialogue that tries ...

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REVIEW: In the Bloody Hypnosis Thriller Trance, Strawberry is the Word You Can't Forget

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, April 13, 2013, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Trance





Directed By: Danny Boyle


Starring: James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson, and Vincent Cassel


I rarely find myself in a guessing game while at the movies.  You've got to be a really great director to keep me on my toes wondering what's real and who's got what agenda.  There's no film in recent cinema history that does this better than Inception, but this doesn't mean that I shouldn't welcome worthy imitators.  Once again, I find myself in a guessing game of sorts while watching Danny Boyle's latest...

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REVIEW: Luciano Holds onto His Big Brother Dreams Too Long, Which is a Sad Reality for Moviegoers

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, April 7, 2013, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
Reality





Directed By: Matteo Garrone


Starring: Aniello Arena, Loredana Simioli, Claudia Gerini, Paola Minaccioni, Ciro Petrone, Nunzia Schiano, Nando Paone, Arturo Gambardella, and Angelica Borghese

I was never big on reality TV.  Sure, I watched the first few seasons of American Idol and the first season of Survivor back in the day.  After that brief foray into it, I went right on back to scripted programs.  That's what I knew and that's what I loved.  I've never watched any of the popular serie...

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REVIEW: With Bank Robbers, Corrupt Cops, and Bitter Sons, The Place Beyond the Pines is the Place Where Luke and Avery Show Their True Colors

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, April 6, 2013, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
The Place Beyond the Pines






Directed By: Derek Cianfrance


Starring: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Ray Liotta, Ben Mendelsohn, Rose Byrne, Mahershala Ali, Bruce Greenwood, Harris Yulin, Dane DeHaan, Emory Cohen and Olga Merediz

"If you ride like lightning, you're gonna crash like thunder."

-Robin (Ben Mendelsohn)

I am a big advocate of filmmakers who take creative risks.  Many are so afraid of crashing and burning that they don't think or do anything outside the box, particularly in main...

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REVIEW: The 533 Children Father-To-Be David Wozniak Had Under the Alias Starbuck Apparently Weren't Enough

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, March 30, 2013, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Starbuck





Directed By: Ken Scott

Starring: Patrick Huard, Antoine Bertrand, and Julie LeBreton


At the ripe old age of 25, I can tell you with 100% certainty that I am not ready to have kids.  They sap all your energy.  They eat up all your time.  They spend all your money.  I do know this.  Whenever I do decide to become a father, I'll have one and then I'll be done.  Multiple kids are not in the cards for me.  I can't fathom having more than one kid terrorizing my home on a 24/7 basis, much less...

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REVIEW: In The Sapphires, Bridesmaids' Chris O'Dowd and the Songbirds Take Some Aboriginal Soul on the Road to Vietnam

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, March 30, 2013, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
The Sapphires





Directed By: Wayne Blair

Starring: Chris O'Dowd, Deborah Mailman, Jessica Mauboy, Shari Sebbens, and Miranda Tapsell

The music of today is some real crap.  We all know it.  We all hear it.  Some of us even do something about it.  Personally, I've found that I spend very little time listening to Top 40 radio anymore.  It genuinely sucks.  What passes for music today is truly a sin and a shame.  Consequently, I stay in the past and tend to go for the oldies.  I listen to the likes of...

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REVIEW: On the Road, Dean and Sal Have More Sex, Drugs, and Liquor Than I Thought Humanly Possible

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, March 24, 2013, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
On the Road





Directed By: Walter Salles

Starring: Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Amy Adams, Tom Sturridge, Danny Morgan, Alice Braga, Elisabeth Moss, Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortensen, Terrence Howard, and Steve Buscemi


Despite its impressive cast, I was never really looking forward to On the Road.  This adaptation of Jack Kerouac's 1957 novel may have Mary Jane, Lois Lane, and Aragorn, but it also has Bella.  I always have my doubts with a Kristen Stewart movie, or any film starring a...

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REVIEW: In Like Someone in Love, Millipedes Akiko and Noriaki Quarrel All the Time

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, March 24, 2013, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Like Someone in Love





Directed By: Abbas Kiarostami

Starring: Rin Takanashi, Tadashi Okuno, and Ryo Kase


Love might just be the most dangerous force on Earth.  Some people really can't handle it when they're rejected by the one they love.  It devastates them to the point that they just snap.  They become a danger to any and every person around them.  That being said, this is something we've seen depicted on the big screen many times before with countless angry husbands, wives, boyfriends, and gir...

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REVIEW: In Ginger & Rosa, the Young War Protester and Dad's Side Chick Can't Be Best Friends Forever

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, March 24, 2013, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Ginger & Rosa





Directed By: Sally Potter

Starring: Elle Fanning, Alice Englert, Alessandro Nivola, Annette Bening, Timothy Spall, Oliver Platt, and Christina Hendricks

There have been a lot of period pieces this month.  We've been taken back to post-WWII Germany and Japan in Lore and Emperor.  We've been taken to Chile back in the 1980s in No.  This weekend, we're being taken back to 1960s London during the height of the Cold War with the United States and the Soviet Union embroiled in a tense fe...

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REVIEW: In Stoker, Both India and Charlie Put Dad's Belt to Bloody Good Use

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, March 17, 2013, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Stoker





Directed By: Park Chan-wook


Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode, Nicole Kidman, Dermot Mulroney, Jacki Weaver, and Phyllis Somerville


"He used to say, sometimes you need to do something bad to stop you from doing something worse."
-India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska)

With the indie box office back in full swing post awards season, all I've heard about is Oldboy director Park Chan-wook's latest thriller Stoker.  With good will for Chan-wook and his strong cast, the film has had lots of buzz.  ...

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REVIEW: In Upside Down, Pink Bees and TransWorld's Inverse Matter Are the Cure to All Adam and Eden's Double Gravity Woes

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, March 17, 2013, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Upside Down





Directed By: Juan Diego Solanas


Starring: Jim Sturgess, Kirsten Dunst, and Timothy Spall

Originality is something that's desperately missing from movies these days.  Everything is a sequel, a remake, an adaptation, or a true story.  This is a sad state of affairs for cinema today, but the blame cannot be totally hoisted upon the shoulders of studio execs in Hollywood.  We as moviegoers share a good chunk of that blame as well.  We buy into it.  Of the highest-grossing movies of 2012,...

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REVIEW: In Beyond the Hills, No Confession or Exorcism Can Cure Alina's Evil Spirit or the Movie

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, March 16, 2013, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
Beyond the Hills





Directed By: Cristian Mungiu


Starring: Cristina Flutur, Cosmina Stratan, Valeriu Andriutâ, Dana Tapalagâ, Catalina Harabagiu, Gina Tandura, Vica Agache, Nora Covali, Dionisie Vitcu, Ionut Ghinea, Liliana Mocanu, Doru Ana, and Costache Babii


Exorcism movies are frequent, but intelligent ones are a rare gem.  Like the horror genre as a whole, teen-oriented mindless exorcism movies are the norm.  We're plagued with films like The Devil Inside and The Last Exorcism Part II as oppo...

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REVIEW: Heaven or Hell, Lore Will Do What She Must to Get to Her Omi in Hamburg

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, March 10, 2013, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Lore





Directed By: Cate Shortland

Starring: Saskia Rosendahl, Kai-Peter Malina, Nele Trebs, and Ursina Lardi


In my review of Emperor, I wrote that I was tired of movies about World War II. I said that filmmakers had covered every aspect of the second Great War and that there was nothing more that could be done.  Honestly, I'm going to have to retract the second part of that statement.  There was one thing I had never fathomed I would see in a World War II movie, but it's here with Australian war ...

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REVIEW: Emperor — The Fate of This Living God Is Not the Spark That Keeps This Movie Alive

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, March 9, 2013, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
Emperor





Directed By: Peter Webber

Starring: Matthew Fox, Tommy Lee Jones, Eriko Hatsune, Toshiyuki Nishida, Kaori Momoi, and Colin Moy


World War II has been done to death on the big screen.  If there's some aspect of WWII that's not been brought back to life on film, I would be genuinely stunned.  Over the last 20 years alone, we've had films like Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, Pearl Harbor, and many more.  That's why another WWII movie is the last thing we need right now, but that's exa...

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REVIEW: The ABC’s Of Death – 26 Tales Of Horror By 26 Different Directors

Posted by SoberFilmChick on Tuesday, February 19, 2013, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 

The ABC’s Of Death
SoberFilmChick



Directed by: Nacho Vigalondo, Marcel Sarmiento, Adam Wingard, Simon Barrett, Adam Wingard, Simon Barrett, Angela Bettis, Xavier Gens, etc.

Starring:  Fraser Corbett, Dallas Malloy, Darenzia, Lee Hardcastle, and Hiroko Yashiki

The ABC’s of Death is a compilation of 26 different horror stories directed by 26 different directors.  Inspired by children’s storybooks, producers Ant Timpson and Tim League assigned a different letter of the alphabet to different ...


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REVIEW: Knife Fight – The Master Of Disaster Shows The End Justifies The Means In This Political Drama

Posted by SoberFilmChick on Sunday, February 10, 2013, In : 0.09% Cocktails 

Knife Fight
SoberFilmChick




Directed by: Bill Guttentag

Starring:  Rob Lowe, Jamie Chung, Carrie-Anne Moss, Julie Bowen, and Eric McCormack

To win in politics, you have got to be the person who is willing to bring a gun to a knife fight.” – Paul Turner (Rob Lowe)

My early year movie slump continues.  I have yet to see a stellar film this year and I was hoping against hope that the Rob Lowe driven political indie Knife Fight would jump start 2013 for me.  Unfortunately, it did not.

Pau...


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REVIEW: Crawlspace – An Evil Eve, Aliens and Telepathy Could Not Save This Australian Sci-Fi Horror Flick

Posted by SoberFilmChick on Saturday, February 2, 2013, In : 0.12% Hard Liquor 

Crawlspace
SoberFilmChick




Directed by: Justin Dix

Starring: Amber Clayton, Eddie Baroo, Ditch Davey, and Nicholas Bell

The January/February movie slump continues, even in the indie world. The latest entry is Crawlspace. Crawlspace is an Australian film set in the middle of the desert.  The Australian and U.S. governments established a secret underground research facility in a remote location. A disaster has taken place at the facility and the government has lost contact with the underground i...


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REVIEW: At the Beecham House Annual Gala, the Quartet Brings Down the House with Verdi's Rigoletto

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, January 26, 2013, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 

Quartet





Directed By: Dustin Hoffman

Starring: Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Pauline Collins, Billy Connolly, Michael Gambon, and Sheridan Smith

"Old age is for sissies."
-Cecily "Cissy" Robson (Pauline Collins)

It's no secret that we have an aging population in the US.  The baby boomers are dragging our population into old age.  Consequently, we're starting to see more and more movies about the elderly at the box office.  In the last year, we've had films such as The Best Exotic Marigold Hote...


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REVIEW: Amour Is a Superior Distraction About the Tragic Beauty of Long Life and One Bold Pigeon

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, January 13, 2013, In : 0.00% Water 

Amour (Love)





Directed By: Michael Haneke

Starring: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva, and Isabelle Huppert

Getting old sucks, or so I've heard.  If we live long enough, it's a journey we all must take.  It's a subject that's often glossed over at the movies, but the floodgates have opened as of late on this topic.  While we've had lighter fare like The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in recent months, director Michael Haneke, a septuagenarian himself, has decided to tackle the darker side o...


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REVIEW: Please Stand By...Bad Movie Alert for Not Fade Away

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, January 5, 2013, In : 0.09% Cocktails 

Not Fade Away





Directed By: David Chase

Starring: John Magaro, Will Brill, Jack Huston, Bella Heathcoate, Brad Garrett, James Gandolfini, and Christopher McDonald

It's January.  What that means is that good new movies are hard to find at the box office.  Whether you're an action junkie or an indie lover, you're in for a drought for the next couple of months.  The holdovers from November and December are here to stay through the awards season.  At this point, studios are gearing up to release ...


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REVIEW: Rust and Bone is OPé (Operational)

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, December 22, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 

Rust and Bone (De rouille et d'os)





Directed By: Jacques Audiard

Starring: Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts

At the indie box office, it seems to be the weekend for depressing movies.  After revisiting one of the worst natural disasters in human history, I now get the distinct pleasure of watching Rust and Bone, a movie about a killer whale trainer who loses her legs in a tragic accident with the very orcas she trained.  What happened to putting out happy movies around the holiday sea...


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REVIEW: Fasten Your Seatbelt Because The Impossible Shoots for the Stars

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, December 22, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 

The Impossible (Lo Imposible)





Directed By: J.A. Bayona

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts, Tom Holland, Samuel Joslin, Oaklee Pendergast, Geraldine Chaplin, Marta Etura, and Simon Blyberg

There's always some tragedy on the news related to a natural disaster.  Earthquakes, tsunamis, and hurricanes leave paths of devastation marked by unthinkable death tolls and billions of dollars in damages.  When we see it on the news, we often get the big picture.  It's completely understandable because ...


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REVIEW: The Details is a Disastrous Series of Bad Dreams About Raccoons

Posted by James Brown on Thursday, December 20, 2012, In : 0.12% Hard Liquor 
The Details





Directed By: Jacob Aaron Estes

Starring: Tobey Maguire, Elizabeth Banks, Kerry Washington, Ray Liotta, Laura Linney, and Dennis Haysbert

I'm rarely at a loss for words when it comes to churning out a movie review.  For Jacob Aaron Estes's The Details, I find myself in this fairly unfamiliar position.  This movie is just so strange and uninteresting that I don't quite know where to begin writing.  However, I do know that this indie comedy-drama is not something you should find yoursel...

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REVIEW: Save the Date is an Authentic Romance with Plenty of Drawings

Posted by James Brown on Tuesday, December 18, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 

Save the Date





Directed By: Michael Mohan

Starring: Lizzy Caplan, Alison Brie, Martin Starr, Geoffrey Arend, and Mark Webber

With the awards season well under way, we at Sobriety Test have not been paying too much attention to the indie VOD marketplace over the last several months.  We've had bigger fish to fry.  We've dropped the ball on this and plan on getting back on our A-game with these often surprising indies over the next several months.  A great starting point is a little romantic co...


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REVIEW: With Hot Dogs, Mistresses, and 1812 Cartoons, Hyde Park on Hudson Takes a Swing at History and Misses

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, December 15, 2012, In : 0.09% Cocktails 

Hyde Park on Hudson





Directed By: Roger Michell

Starring: Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Samuel West, Olivia Colman, Elizabeth Marvel, Olivia Williams, Elizabeth Wilson, Martin McDougall, and Andrew Havill

Hollywood has made one too many movies with the Great Depression and World War II as the historical backdrop.  Just look to movies like The Way Back, The Debt, and Red Tails for examples over the last couple of years alone.  It's time to make movies about some other era.  More specifically, we ...


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REVIEW: Despite the Comedy, Home Looks Like a Much Better Option Than Deadfall

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, December 8, 2012, In : 0.09% Cocktails 

Deadfall





Directed By: Stefan Ruzowitzky

Starring: Eric Bana, Olivia Wilde, Charlie Hunnam, Kate Mara, Treat Williams, Kris Kristofferson, and Sissy Spacek

We're in this annual post-Thanksgiving slump at the box office.  All studios want to capitalize on the holidays, so releases are clustered around Turkey Day and Christmas.  Between the holidays, we're stuck with several weekends of nothingness.  Last year, it was something we just witnessed at mainstream theaters.  This year, however, the ...


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REVIEW: Hitchcock is a Fiendishly Entertaining Look at the Man Hiding in the Corner with a Camera Watching

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, November 24, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 

Hitchcock





Directed By: Sacha Gervasi

Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson, Toni Collette, Danny Huston, Jessica Biel, and James D'Arcy

Last year, the awards season was dominated by movies about making movies. All the buzz was about films like The Artist, Hugo, and My Week with Marilyn.  Hollywood apparently missed one because they've decided to do a biopic on the legendary Master of Suspense Alfred Hitchcock and the making of Psycho, one of the defining films of his ca...


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REVIEW: As a Hobo, Motion Capture Actor, & Leprechaun, Monsieur Oscar Likes to Punish Others in Holy Motors, Including Us

Posted by James Brown on Thursday, November 22, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 

Holy Motors





Directed By: Leos Carax

Starring: Denis Lavant, Édith Scob, Eva Mendes, Kylie Minogue, Élise L'Homeau, Michel Piccoli, and Jeanne Disson

I have seen some weird movies this year.  Up until this point, Lee Daniels's The Paperboy held the crown for the strangest film of the year.  After all, watching Nicole Kidman give John Cusack an imaginary blow job and urinating all over Zac Efron is some pretty crazy stuff.  After seeing Holy Motors though, my opinion changed.  The Paperboy i...


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REVIEW: Despite Bingo, the Cemetery, and Paris, Starlet Is All About the Benjamins

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, November 18, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 

Starlet





Directed By: Sean S. Baker

Starring: Dree Hemingway, Besedka Johnson, Stella Maeve, James Ransone, and Karren Karagulian

Have you ever wondered what you would do if you found some large sum of money by chance?  Would you head straight to the bank?  Would you hit the mall?  If you knew the person to whom it belongs, would you return it?  You’re probably thinking all the politically correct things right now.  While it all seems clear when you talk about this in the hypothetical, it m...


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REVIEW: Anna Karenina's Impure Love Doesn't Get the Job Done. What a Sin!

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, November 17, 2012, In : 0.09% Cocktails 

Anna Karenina





Directed By: Joe Wright

Starring: Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Kelly Macdonald, Matthew Macfayden, Emily Watson, Domhnall Gleeson, and Alicia Vikander

"Romantic love will be the last delusion of the old order."
-Nikolai Levin (David Wilmot)

With the possible exception of Moonrise Kingdom, Anna Karenina has been the most heavily marketed indie flick this year.  Over the course of 2012, I have seen more advertisements for this tale of love than I care to remem...


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REVIEW: What Sex is This Carrot Cheyenne? This Must Be the Place Doesn't Even Know

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, November 11, 2012, In : 0.09% Cocktails 

This Must Be the Place





Directed By: Paolo Sorrentino

Starring: Sean Penn, Frances McDormand, Judd Hirsch, Eve Hewson, Kerry Condon, and Harry Dean Stanton

"Something's not quite right here.  I don't know what, but something."
-Cheyenne (Sean Penn)

That quote perfectly captures my mindset after seeing the trailer for Paolo Sorrentino's This Must Be the Place.  I doubt anyone is genuinely interested in watching a road trip movie on some middle-aged rocker in retirement.  Who really wants to se...


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REVIEW: The Fugue Unleashes Their Passion in A Late Quartet

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, November 4, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 

A Late Quartet





Directed By: Yaron Zilberman

Starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christopher Walken, Catherine Keener, Mark Ivanir, Imogen Poots, and Wallace Shawn

Harmony is a difficult thing to achieve.  In musical groups, it's all about having one's instrument in tune and being in sync with other group members.  In life, it's about navigating multiple views, competing agendas, and human imperfection.  In Yaron Zilberman's A Late Quartet, harmony is even harder to achieve amongst the musician...


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REVIEW: The Loneliest Planet May Just Be the Most Boring Too

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, November 3, 2012, In : 0.12% Hard Liquor 

The Loneliest Planet





Directed By: Julia Loktev

Starring: Gael Garcia Bernal, Hani Furstenberg, and Bidzina Gujabidze

The Loneliest Planet has been a film I've been curious about for some time now.  Having garnered quite a bit of love on the festival circuit and even getting nominated for a Best Feature Gotham Independent Film Award, I was of the mindset that this was going to be a great film.  However, I'm going to have to go against the grain here and say that The Loneliest Planet is a thor...


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REVIEW: Abraham's Sons Isaac & Ishmael Find a Common Bond in The Other Son

Posted by James Brown on Tuesday, October 30, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 

The Other Son





Directed By: Lorraine Lévy

Starring: Emmanuelle Devos, Pascal Elbé, Jules Sitruk, Mehdi Dehbi, Areen Omari, Khalifa Natour, and Mahmud Shalaby

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a touchy subject to say the least, and there have probably been a thousand movies bringing this controversial subject to light.  Most probably think of Steven Spielberg's Munich as the most prominent film on the topic.  Others probably think of the documentary Waltz With Bashir.  None are more creati...


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REVIEW: With Violins, Shipyards, and Secret Letters, Simon and the Oaks is Really the War of the Dads

Posted by James Brown on Monday, October 29, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 

Simon and the Oaks (Simon och ekarna)





Directed By: Lisa Ohlin

Starring: Bill Skarsgård, Helen Sjöholm, Jonatan Wächter, Stefan Gödicke, and Jan Josef Liefers

Violins seem to be back in style at indie theaters this fall.  We had Chicken with Plums last month, Simon and the Oaks this month, and A Late Quartet next month.  All these films are about violinists.  While I definitely love the strings, I would happily welcome a flick about some other instrument.  For now, I'm going to tell you a...


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REVIEW: Full of Flashbacks & Flash-Forwards, the Cloud Atlas Sextet is an Ambitious, Brilliant, & Beautiful Composition

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, October 27, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 

Cloud Atlas





Directed By: Tom Tykwer, Lana Wachowski, and Andy Wachowski

Starring: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Doona Bae, Ben Whishaw, James D'Arcy, Zhou Xun, Keith David, David Gyasi, Susan Sarandon, and Hugh Grant

"Our lives are not our own.  From womb to tomb, we are bound to others, past and present.  And by each crime, and every kindness, we birth our future."
-Sonmi-451 (Doona Bae) / Abbess (Susan Sarandon)

Ambition is the word of the day thanks to...


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REVIEW: Kate May Have a Boring New Life in Smashed, But There's Always Some Moist Cake Around

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, October 20, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 

Smashed





Directed By: James Ponsoldt

Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Aaron Paul, Octavia Spencer, Nick Offerman, and Megan Mullally

Each and every member of the STMR team can hold his or her liquor, so we have no problem whatsoever knocking back some drinks when a film calls for it.  Alcohol can help overcome any bad movie.  However, I do realize that everyone who frequents the site may not be so responsible in their drinking, and I've discovered just the right flick for them.  James Ponso...


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REVIEW: A Sex Surrogate. A Wild Priest. An Iron Lung. The Sessions Will Touch You with Its Kinky Words

Posted by James Brown on Thursday, October 18, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 

The Sessions





Directed By: Ben Lewin

Starring: John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, and William H. Macy

Sometimes, I wonder what makes a screenwriter tick.  I wonder how they come up with some of the crazy stuff they put in screenplays.  With all I've seen in recent months (e.g., For a Good Time, Call..., Cosmopolis, The Paperboy, etc.), I've really been pondering this lately.  Every once in a while, it's sheer creativity.  More often than not though, they simply got the idea from somebody else.  In the ...


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REVIEW: In The Oranges, the Old Cow Eating the Young Grass Does Not Lead to a Happy Movie

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, October 6, 2012, In : 0.09% Cocktails 

The Oranges





Directed By: Julian Farino

Starring: Hugh Laurie, Leighton Meester, Catherine Keener, Adam Brody, Alia Shawkat, Oliver Platt, and Allison Janney

New Jersey.  The Garden State.  The state where you can't pump your own gas.  It's not exactly the hottest travel destination (for good reason).  It's suburbia.  It's where urbanites go to die.  With this in mind, it's the perfect location for a film like the dramedy The Oranges.  Nothing quite says quintessential suburban life like the ...


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REVIEW: I'm Not Getting Good Vibrations About The Paperboy. This is a Weird One!

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, October 6, 2012, In : 0.09% Cocktails 

The Paperboy





Directed By: Lee Daniels

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron, Nicole Kidman, John Cusack, David Oyelowo, Macy Gray, and Scott Glenn

Every once in a while, I catch a flick that leaves me feeling weird afterward.  I don't know quite how to describe it.  A film of this nature leaves me with seven words streaming through my mind: "What the hell did I just watch?".  These flicks typically come out of left field, and it takes a while for me to process everything I've witnessed.  ...


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REVIEW: Dear Friend, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is Infinitely Entertaining

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, September 29, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 

The Perks of Being a Wallflower





Directed By: Stephen Chbosky

Starring: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Paul Rudd, Kate Walsh, and Dylan McDermott

It's been a long time since we've had a good teen movie.  These days, Hollywood spews crap at us like Prom and I Love You, Beth Cooper.  It's rare that we actually get a worthwhile flick that deals with growing up, surviving high school, and finding the right group of friends.  It's been a long time since the heyday of John Hughes when we w...


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REVIEW: In The Master, Paul Thomas Anderson Finds His Inherent State of Perfect

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, September 23, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 

The Master





Directed By: Paul Thomas Anderson

Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Laura Dern, Jesse Plemons, and Ambyr Childers

It's been awhile since we've seen Paul Thomas Anderson at work.  It's been five years since Daniel Day-Lewis struck oil in Anderson's There Will Be Blood.  Now, Anderson has returned to the big screen with The Master, an ambitious, challenging masterpiece.  Featuring Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams, the film delves int...


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REVIEW: For the Love of Ludo, Little White Lies Reveals His Real Friends and the Weasels

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, September 16, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Little White Lies





Directed By: Guillaume Canet

Starring: François Cluzet, Marion Cotillard, Benoît Magimel, Gilles Lellouche, Jean Dujardin, Laurent Lafitte, Valérie Bonetton, and Pascale Arbillot


Lies almost always catch up with you, especially the small ones. The worst lies are those that you tell yourself. You can't evade the truth forever. Sometimes it just comes crashing down on you, and you're absolutely helpless when it does. This is definitely the case for a group of longtime friends ...

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REVIEW: When the Angel of Death Faces the Power of Prayer, We Get Chicken with Plums

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, September 16, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 
Chicken with Plums





Directed By: Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud

Starring: Mathieu Amalric, Edouard Baer, Maria de Medeiros, Golshifteh Farahani, Eric Caravaca, and Chiara Mastroianni

A title can sometimes tell you everything about a movie long before you see it or absolutely nothing at all.  Of all the movie titles I've encountered over the years, I have to say Chicken with Plums might just be the most enigmatic I've ever heard.  When I first learned of this movie, my initial thought was "...
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REVIEW: With Fraud & Involuntary Manslaughter on His Résumé, Robert Miller Has No Problem Playing the Devilish Role of the Patriarch in Arbitrage

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, September 15, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Arbitrage





Directed By: Nicholas Jarecki

Starring: Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Tim Roth, Brit Marling, Nate Parker, and Laetitia Casta

Well, I'm back.  While I've been gallivanting around Spain and Portugal, I didn't miss much based on what I've been reading.  The Words and The Cold Light of Day tanked from the start, and the box office suffered its worst weekend in nearly four years.  It sounds like I picked the right time to go on vacation.  Now that I'm back on the movie scene, the first ite...
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REVIEW: With Jackals, DustBuster Olympics, and Pizza Pillows, Sleepwalk with Me is All About the Dreams

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, September 1, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Sleepwalk with Me





Directed By: Mike Birbiglia

Starring: Mike Birbiglia, Lauren Ambrose, Carol Kane, James Rebhorn, and Cristin Millioti

I used to sleepwalk.  When I was a kid, I would get up in the middle of the night and just do stuff.  Regardless of whatever the hell I was doing at that time of night, somebody usually would wake up and take notice.  Often times, my mom would hear me rumbling through the house and just tell me to go back to bed.  As an obedient sleepwalker, I would just do it. ...
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REVIEW: For a Good Time, Call...1-900-MMM-HMMM, a Phone Sex Hotline That'll Keep You Busting Out Laughing

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, September 1, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
For a Good Time, Call...





Directed By: Jamie Travis

Starring: Lauren Miller, Ari Graynor, Justin Long, Seth Rogen, Mimi Rogers, and Kevin Smith

For moviegoers everywhere, there's nothing worse than a studio spoiling a film with a trailer that reveals too much.  We've all been there.  It's when a movie is nothing more than an extended version of a trailer.  It's a damn shame.  It's really bad for comedies because then the film's best jokes aren't even funny.  You've laughed at them already.  There...
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REVIEW: With Spankings, Jumping Jacks, & Rape, Compliance Shows That Prank Phone Calls Aren't So Harmless

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, August 26, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 
Compliance





Directed By: Craig Zobel


Starring: Ann Dowd, Dreama Walker, and Pat Healy

With Killer Joe earlier this month, I thought I had seen the sickest stuff I would see this summer.  It's an NC-17 film, so there shouldn't really be anything else that can leave me in a cold, dejected state quite like that.  What could top what Matthew McConaughey's Joe did with a chicken leg from KFC?  Well, I found it in Craig Zobel's Compliance.  Apparently, sick, twisted prank phone calls are more unnerving...
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REVIEW: When the Rat Becomes the Unit of Currency, a Specter by the Name of Robert Pattinson Haunts Cosmopolis

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, August 26, 2012, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
Cosmopolis





Directed By: David Cronenberg

Starring: Robert Pattinson, Paul Giamatti, Samantha Morton, Sarah Gadon, Mathieu Amalric, Juliette Binoche, and Kevin Durand

As I mentioned in my review of Robot & Frank, the other futuristic movie this weekend is David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis.  Before I began writing this review, I did something I rarely do.  I went to Rotten Tomatoes to check out the Tomatometer, and I was thoroughly disappointed.  Apparently, Cosmopolis has a rating of 64% on RT.  That...
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REVIEW: With Memory Problems, Gardening, and Theft, Robot & Frank Showcases How Old People are Sharper Than You Think

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, August 25, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Robot & Frank





Directed By: Jake Schreier

Starring: Frank Langella, Peter Sarsgaard, James Marsden, Liv Tyler, and Susan Sarandon

Indie cinema is all about the future this weekend.  With David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis and Jake Schreier's Robot & Frank, we've got two different movies at the indie box office that look ahead to what’s next for mankind.  While I'll talk about Cosmopolis later this weekend, I'd like to take a little time to talk about the futuristic comedy-drama Robot & Frank and how...
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REVIEW: Celeste and Jesse Keep Fighting for Love Forever, But It Becomes More About Being Right Than Happy

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, August 11, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Celeste and Jesse Forever





Directed By: Lee Toland Krieger

Starring: Andy Samberg, Rashida Jones, Elijah Wood, Emma Roberts, Eric Christian Olsen, Ari Graynor, and Chris Messina

Romantic comedies typically have this nice smooth formula that generally leads to a happy ending.  It's rare that we get a break-up movie hitting theaters.  It goes against everything rom coms are about.  It's even rarer that we get a divorce movie.  Celeste and Jesse Forever is just that though.  It's refreshing to get s...
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REVIEW: Killer Joe Actually Made KFC Disgusting. No More Chicken for Me.

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, August 5, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Killer Joe





Directed By: William Friedkin

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple, Gina Gershon, and Thomas Haden Church

The feared NC-17 rating is a label few studios and filmmakers willingly embrace.  These bold few often take sex and violence to new heights.  They defy the MPAA and do what they need to do to get their message across in an artistic way.  It's been nine months since an NC-17 film has graced even a handful of theaters around the country.  While Steve McQueen's Sh...
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REVIEW: Farewell, My Queen is the Wrong Title for This Movie. 'Goodbye' is Not in Sidonie's Vocabulary

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, July 29, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Farewell, My Queen





Directed By: Benoít Jacquot

Starring: Diane Kruger, Léa Seydoux, and Virginie Ledoyen

I can't lie.  When I first heard of Farewell, My Queen, I thought it would be a rather steamy film that highlighted an alleged lesbian romance between Marie-Antoinette and the Duchess of Polignac with the French Revolution as the backdrop for the film.  As it turns out, it's just the opposite.  This lesbian romance is emphasized in the film but takes a backseat to the French Revolution and ...
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REVIEW: In Trishna, Freida Pinto Blossoms Like a Jasmine Flower & Then Shows Us the Sad Truth Love Has Taught Her

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, July 29, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Trishna





Directed By: Michael Winterbottom

Starring: Freida Pinto and Riz Ahmed

I love movies about Indians.  There's something special about getting exposure to Indian culture on the big screen—their music, their dance, their arts.  These movies are often uniquely enjoyable experiences.  To some extent, it's like traveling without actually going anywhere.  With the British drama Trishna, we get just that, a healthy dose of Indian culture.

Jay (Riz Ahmed) and his friends are traveling in India. ...
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REVIEW: When Calvin Makes Ruby Sparks Real, She Becomes a Dream Come True for Moviegoers

Posted by James Brown on Thursday, July 26, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Ruby Sparks





Directed By: Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris

Starring: Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, Antonio Banderas, Annette Bening, Steve Coogan, Elliott Gould, and Chris Messina

With The Dark Knight Rises rocking the mainstream box office right now, I've been waiting to see what indie cinema would provide as counter-programming to the year's most anticipated summer blockbuster.  It seems they've decided upon Ruby Sparks this week.  As opposed to a dark superhero tale full of pain and struggles, we hav...
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REVIEW: Take This Waltz — Playful Flirtation, Lust, Marriage and The “A” Word

Posted by SoberFilmChick on Sunday, July 8, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Take This Waltz
SoberFilmChick




Directed By: Sarah Polley

Starring: Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, Sarah Silverman, and Luke Kirby

It is incredibly difficult to tell an original story about love and marriage.  Let’s face it, romance has been stirred, beaten and cooked to death by books, television and movies.  But with Take This Waltz, Director Sarah Polley offers a fresh and real perspective on marriage and relationships between men and women.

Margot (Michelle Williams) is a young married writer...
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REVIEW: As the Fabric of Her Universe Unravels, Hushpuppy Learns How to Survive in the Bathtub in Beasts of the Southern Wild

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, July 7, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Beasts of the Southern Wild





Directed By: Benh Zeitlin

Starring: Quvenzhané Wallis and Dwight Henry

"The whole universe depends on everything fitting together just right. If one piece busts, even the smallest piece... the whole universe will get busted."
-Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis)


The SoberFilmCritic has the inside scoop for you today.  I just checked out Beasts of the Southern Wild, an indie based on Lucy Alibar's play Juicy and Delicious.  The moviegoers in my screening got a special treat....
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REVIEW: In To Rome With Love, Woody Allen Gives Us Inexplicable Fame, Passionate Romance, and Impeccable Singing in the Shower

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, June 30, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
To Rome With Love





Directed By: Woody Allen

Starring: Woody Allen, Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Penélope Cruz, Judy Davis, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig, and Ellen Page

I need to get on Woody Allen's travel tip.  This man is getting everywhere.  I am so jealous.  I look at his "work" locations and feel like a bum.  I need to step my travel game up a few notches.  This guy has taken us to the count city in Vicky Cristina Barcelona.  He's taken us to the city of light in Midnight in Paris.  Now,...
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REVIEW: God Bless America — A Vicious Indictment of American Culture

Posted by SoberFilmChick on Monday, June 25, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
God Bless America
SoberFilmChick




Directed By: Bobcat Goldthwait

Starring: Joel Murray, Tara Lynne Barr, Mackenzie Brooke Smith, and Melinda Page Hamilton

In the opening scene of God Bless America, the antihero dreams of going next door and shooting his incredibly obnoxious neighbors.  He shoots the father and then shoots the baby as blood splatters all over the mother.  As a viewer, at that point, I had to decide whether to follow my instinct and recoil from the sight or momentarily suspend my ho...
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REVIEW: In the Matter of Lola Versus Love, Saturn Is Telling Lola to Be Selfish and Do Her

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, June 17, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Lola Versus





Directed By: Daryl Wein

Starring: Greta Gerwig, Zoe Lister Jones, Bill Pullman, Hamish Linklater, Debra Winger, Joel Kinnaman, and Cheyenne Jackson

Greta Gerwig has been a very busy woman this year.  She's been all over indie cinema in 2012.  We saw her in Damsels in Distress a couple of months ago.  We've got her in Lola Versus this week.  We'll even be seeing her in Woody Allen's To Rome With Love later this month.  In her current film Lola Versus, Gerwig stars as a young woman str...
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REVIEW: The Indian & the Lesbian Get Some Good Work Experience By Stalking Folks & Traveling Back in Time in Safety Not Guaranteed

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, June 16, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Safety Not Guaranteed





Directed By: Colin Trevorrow

Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Jake Johnson, Karan Soni, and Mark Duplass

"Wanted: Somebody to go back in time with me.  This is not a joke.  You'll get paid after we get back.  Must bring your own weapons.  I have only done this once before.  Safety not guaranteed."
-Classified Ad

There's a thin line between genius and insanity.  More often than not, we label somebody as cuckoo when they're trying to think outside the box and do something others would d...
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REVIEW: Getting Drunk, Going Down, & Getting Weird. Jack and Hannah Clearly Have a Good Time in Your Sister's Sister

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, June 16, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Your Sister's Sister





Directed By: Lynn Shelton

Starring: Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Mark Duplass

If a guy and a girl are best friends for a long period of time, chances are that they're going to fall in love some time down the road if they haven't done so already.  It's been proven time and time again in life.  It's even been proven on the big screen.  From When Harry Met Sally... to Zack and Miri Make a Porno, there are tons of examples on film.  The latest movie about best friends fall...
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REVIEW: Bel Ami May Not Be a King, But Being a Manwhore Pays Well Enough

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, June 9, 2012, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
Bel Ami





Directed By: Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod

Starring: Robert Pattinson, Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Christina Ricci, and Colm Meaney

I'm not going to sugarcoat it.  Robert Pattinson is not my favorite actor.  His Twilight flicks are everything movies shouldn't be — utter crap.  Team Edward has corrupted a generation of female moviegoers.  If his career in the acting world must continue, a film like Bel Ami is a good fit for him.  After all, playing a manwhore is a step up fro...
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REVIEW: Chickens, Sparrows, and Peacocks. Peace, Love & Misunderstanding Has a Serious Obsession with Birds...and Weed

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, June 9, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Peace, Love & Misunderstanding





Directed By: Bruce Beresford

Starring: Jane Fonda, Catherine Keener, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Elizabeth Olsen, Chace Crawford, Nat Wolff, Marissa O'Donnell, Kyle MacLachlan, and Rosanna Arquette

If you were a hippie back in the day, you're now officially old.  The 60s were a long, long time ago, and the world has changed quite a bit.  There's one thing that hasn't changed.  People still love weed.  That's why we need hippie grandmothers like Jane Fonda's Grace in Peace...
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REVIEW: With References Like Kool & the Gang and Earth, Wind & Fire, Driss Gives Us One Wild Ride in The Intouchables

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, June 9, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 
The Intouchables





Directed By: Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano

Starring: François Cluzet and Omar Sy

It was voted the cultural event of the year in France last year.  It's won countless awards.  It has enamored millions of international moviegoers and conquered the box office overseas, raking in hundreds of millions of dollars in the process.  The celebrated film The Intouchables has finally made it to the US.  With the rather tepid reception here though, it's been a bit anticlimactic.  A fil...
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REVIEW: Whether With a Feather Duster or the Jolly Molly, Hysteria Always Satisfies With Some Old School Sex Toys

Posted by James Brown on Friday, June 8, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Hysteria





Directed By: Tanya Wexler

Starring: Felicity Jones, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Hugh Dancy, Jonathan Pryce, and Rupert Everett

Before we arrived at the medical and scientific knowledge we have today, many doctors were educated fools.  You wouldn't believe what some of them thought back in the day.  Many completely disregarded science and ignored life-changing discoveries from the research of a few.  They didn't believe germs existed and fostered situations in which they hurt their patients far m...
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REVIEW: Sam, Suzy, & the Orchestra Bring the Thunder During the Black Beacon Storm in Moonrise Kingdom

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, June 2, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 
Moonrise Kingdom





Directed By: Wes Anderson

Starring: Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Bob Balaban, Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, and Harvey Keitel

It's been a few years since we've seen Wes Anderson at the box office, and we've definitely missed his signature filmmaking style.  His eccentric visuals, his dry humor, and his caricatured characters are the things that make his films so special.  They're why we love his movies so much.  We ...
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REVIEW: Polisse. That's How the Good Lord Works

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, May 26, 2012, In : 0.00% Water 
Polisse





Directed By: Maïwenn

Starring: Karin Viard, Joeystarr, Marina Foïs, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Karole Rocher, Emmanuelle Bercot, Frédéric Pierrot, Arnaud Henriet, Naidra Ayadi, Jérémie Elkaïm, and Maïwenn

Our society has a way of turning some of our more serious problems or struggles in life into entertainment.  Reality TV is a prime example of this.  It's turned love and relationships into a joke with shows like The Bachelor and Flavor of Love.  It's turned family life into a gag with...
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REVIEW: What You're Fixin' to Get in Bernie is Some Good Old Texas Charm and a Damn Good Comedy

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, May 19, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Bernie





Directed By: Richard Linklater

Starring: Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey, and Shirley MacLaine

There's nothing quite like a small town, especially in the South.  Everybody is in everyone else's business like it's their job.  The townspeople think they know everything about everyone else.  Because of that, a man's reputation is everything.  Rumors and perception rule these cul de sacs.  Back in the 90s in a little town in East Texas named Carthage, a man named Bernie Tiede enamored the tow...
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REVIEW: The Perfect Family Plays Like a Lifetime Movie

Posted by SoberFilmChick on Wednesday, May 16, 2012, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
The Perfect Family
SoberFilmChick




Directed By: Anne Renton

Starring: Kathleen Turner, Emily Deschanel, and Jason Ritter

I am a huge Kathleen Turner fan. I grew up on films like Romancing the Stone and The War of the Roses.  So I was delighted when I was tasked to review The Perfect Family, Turner’s new indie flick.  While the film definitely has some bright moments, it unfortunately feels more like a made for television movie.

The Perfect Family follows Eileen Cleary (Turner), a dutiful Catholic...
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REVIEW: With Super Secret Handshakes, Earthworms, & Time Travel, Sound of My Voice Puts Its Own Spin on Cult Movies

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, May 13, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Sound of My Voice





Directed By: Zal Batmanglij

Starring: Christopher Denham, Nicole Vicius, and Brit Marling

Let's be real.  Cults are for suckers.  The weak-minded fools of the world believe any crap that their leaders spew, no matter how far-fetched it may be.  They just go along believing in their "wise" leaders and taking their marching orders.  That's what makes cult movies so interesting.  We get to watch these fools in action or what we imagine them to be.  Zal Batmanglij's Sound of My Voi...
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REVIEW: Sink or Swim, The Old Folks Do It Up in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, May 5, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel





Directed By: John Madden

Starring: Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, Celia Imrie, Ronald Pickup, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, and Penelope Wilton

"Everything will be alright in the end.  So if it's not alright, it is not yet the end."
-Sonny Kapoor (Dev Patel)

It's the summer blockbuster season once again, and we're at a time when all we get from Hollywood at the end of a hard week is a happy ending.  The world can be destroyed, but filmmakers have to make moviegoer...
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REVIEW: Monsieur Lazhar is the King of the Hill with a Classroom Full of Trees and Chrysalises

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, April 29, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Monsieur Lazhar
E7UBG7XVG7N8




Directed By: Philippe Falardeau

Starring: Mohamed Fellag, Sophie Nélisse, Émilien Néron, Danielle Proulx, Brigitte Poupart, and Jules Philip

A child's innocence is a one-time deal.  Once it's gone, it's gone for good.  That's why we as a society value it so much.  When a child is robbed of this innocence, it's a true tragedy.  That's why it's so incomprehensible that a suicidal teacher would hang herself in a classroom for all the school to see.  That's the proble...
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REVIEW: The Moth Diaries – 82 Minutes Too Long

Posted by SoberFilmChick on Sunday, April 29, 2012, In : 0.12% Hard Liquor 
The Moth Diaries
SoberFilmChick




Directed By: Mary Harron

Starring: Sarah Bolger, Lily Cole, Sarah Gadon, and Scott Speedman

The Moth Diaries is only 82 minutes in duration.  However, those 82 minutes felt like an eternity when I watched this uninteresting tale.  If only I had a time machine, I would go back and tell the SoberFilmCritic that I was not available to waste my time on this crap.  But we don’t have time for should have, could have, would have on STMR and every movie can’t be a gem....
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REVIEW: Leading Is Dangerous Business, and We Have a Pope Who Knows It

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, April 29, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
We Have a Pope (Habemus Papam)





Directed By: Nanni Moretti

Starring: Michel Piccoli and Nanni Moretti

Being a leader is hard work.  How many people have shied away from opportunities to lead a student organization, a neighborhood association, or some committee at work?  Stepping up to the plate can be tough stuff, and often none of us want to do it in the midst of our already stressful lives.  You know you've avoided something like this at some point in your life.  Hell, I certainly have...on mor...
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REVIEW: The Algebra of Love. With Too Many Doufi and Not Enough Playboy Operators, Damsels in Distress Doesn't Quite Get the Math Right

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, April 15, 2012, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
Damsels in Distress





Directed By: Whit Stillman

Starring: Greta Gerwig, Adam Brody, Analeigh Tipton, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Carrie MacLemore, Hugo Becker, and Ryan Metcalf

While I typically go to the movies to be swept away in some story or adventure, I occasionally learn something when at the theaters.  When I recently watched Whit Stillman's Damsels in Distress, I got an interesting lesson in ethics.  According to the girls in the film, one's morality and the size of his or her posterior are conn...
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REVIEW: ATM - Getting A Few Bucks Has Never Been So Deadly

Posted by SoberFilmChick on Saturday, April 7, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
ATM
SoberFilmChick




Directed By: David Brooks

Starring: Alice Eve, Josh Peck, and Brian Geraghty

I am always paranoid if I use an ATM at night.  I have a fear that someone is going to sneak up behind me and rob me just as I’m keying in my code.  The ATMs that require you to swipe your card to enter into a windowed room at the front of a building are even worse because then you’re trapped in a room.   So ATM the movie is really my paranoia come to life, but on crack.

ATM is the story of David (B...
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REVIEW: If the American Educational System is Dead, Detachment is the Eulogy

Posted by James Brown on Friday, April 6, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Detachment





Directed By: Tony Kaye

Starring: Adrien Brody, James Caan, Christina Hendricks, Lucy Liu, Marcia Gay Harden, Tim Blake Nelson, Bryan Cranston, Sami Gayle, and William Petersen

Teaching is a tough vocation, particularly in public schools.  Aside from being underpaid and overstressed in a thankless job, teachers have to deal with the most dangerous force on Earth, ignorance.  They have to deal with ignorant parents who don't equip their kids with the tools or the mindset to thrive in th...
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REVIEW: The Kid with a Bike Is a Scrappy Little Pitbull

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, April 1, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
The Kid with a Bike





Directed By: Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne

Starring: Cécile de France and Thomas Doret

If you recall from my review of Delicacy last week, I was hoping that the saccharine romantic comedy was a hidden gem among a slate of great films from or involving France.  I was wrong then, and have some leftover Merlot to prove it.  I'm happy to say that I've found a gem in Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne's French (and Belgian) film The Kid with a Bike.

Cyril (Thomas Doret) is a 12 ...
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REVIEW: The Deep Blue Sea Is Lethally Romantic

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, March 31, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
The Deep Blue Sea





Directed By: Terence Davies

Starring: Rachel Weisz, Tom Hiddleston, and Simon Russell Beale


"Sometimes, it's tough to judge when you're caught between the devil and the deep blue sea."
-Hester Collyer (Rachel Weisz)

Love is the most powerful force on Earth.  It can be the best and worst part of life.  It can give you a euphoria you've never known, or it can just as easily put you through a hell that clouds your judgment.  This is the case for Hester Collyer when she tries to comm...
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REVIEW: The Raid: Redemption Is a Bloodbath That Just Fits

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, March 24, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
The Raid: Redemption





Directed By: Gareth Evans

Starring: Iko Uwais, Joe Taslim, Donny Alamsyah, Yayan Ruhian, Pierre Gruno, Tegar Setrya, and Ray Sahetapy

The world of movies has turned on its head this weekend.  For once, the big blockbuster of the weekend is one for the ladies, while the indie is more so for the guys.  As I mentioned in my review of The Hunger Games, the film is a rich story with limited action.  Though it's a great movie, The Hunger Games has inherently more appeal to women. ...
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REVIEW: The Snowtown Murders- A Painfully Brutal Australian Drama

Posted by SoberFilmChick on Tuesday, March 20, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
The Snowtown Murders
SoberFilmChick




Directed By: Justin Kurzel

Starring: Daniel Henshall, Lucas Pittaway, and Louise Harris


I am traumatized.  I viewed The Snowtown Murders yesterday and it took me a full day to collect my thoughts and write about what I witnessed.  I usually do not read other critical reviews of a film until after I have seen the movie.  I like to watch a film unbiased so that I can give a fresh perspective for Sobriety Test readers.  So going into Snowtown, all I knew was that ...
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REVIEW: Jeff Should've Stayed at Home

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, March 17, 2012, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
Jeff, Who Lives at Home





Directed By: Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass

Starring: Jason Segel, Ed Helms, Judy Greer, Rae Dawn Chong, and Susan Sarandon


If there is one universal thing that can drive anyone and everyone crazy, it's family.  They know what makes you tick and how to exploit it.  They know how to push your buttons more so than anyone.  That's why you have to move out when you come of a certain age.  Apparently, Jeff, Who Lives At Home, didn't get the memo.

Thirty something Jeff (Jason Sege...
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REVIEW: Friends with Kids- The Bridesmaids Cast Grows Up In This Sexy Rom Com

Posted by Mary Dieng on Sunday, March 11, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Friends with Kids
SoberFilmChick




Directed By: Jennifer Westfeldt

Starring: Adam Scott, Jennifer Westfeldt, Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Chris O'Dowd, Megan Fox, and Edward Burns

I cannot write this review without a nod to Bridesmaids.  After all, a good portion of the cast of Friends with Kids consists of Bridesmaids alumni: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Jon Hamm and Chris O’Dowd.  But aside from the fact that both films are funny as hell, that is pretty much where the similarities end. ...
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REVIEW: Being Flynn Is All About Being Homeless on the Cold, Hard Streets

Posted by James Brown on Sunday, March 11, 2012, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Being Flynn





Directed By: Paul Weitz

Starring: Robert De Niro, Paul Dano, Olivia Thirlby, and Julianne Moore

Every single one of us has some homeless person we encounter on a regular basis.  He may be that guy you see on the subway or bus on your way to school.  He could be someone you regularly pass on the streets while walking to work.  He could even be the guy you see in the mirror when you wake up in the morning.  My point is that homelessness is an all too common phenomenon, and you never kn...
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REVIEW: Kill List - A Brutal, Disturbing Thriller

Posted by Mary Dieng on Sunday, February 12, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Kill List
Mary Dieng




Directed By: Ben Wheatley

Starring: Neil Maskell, Michael Smiley, MyAnna Buring, and Emma Fryer


Confused and Disturbed.  That would describe my feelings at the end of viewing Kill List.  WTH would also be appropriate.  Kill List is the story of Jay (Neil Maskell), an ex-British soldier who has hit hard financial times.  He has not worked in over eight months and his wife Shel (Myanna Buring), also a former soldier, is irate.  The film begins with them bickering at a dinner pa...
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REVIEW: Perfect Sense – A Sexy Love Story In The Midst Of the Apocalypse

Posted by Mary Dieng on Saturday, February 4, 2012, In : 0.06% Beer or Wine 
Perfect Sense
Mary Dieng




Directed By: David Mackenzie

Starring: Eva Green and Ewan McGregor


The mark of a solid independent film is whether it leaves you thinking long after you have seen it.  You know what I’m talking about—the films where you’re not sure what you just saw after the lights go up and you walk out of the theater; the films that leave you conversing with a friend, questioning what the purpose was and what it all means; the films that make you want to go back to a college comp...
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REVIEW: Albatross – A Lightweight, Less Provocative American Beauty

Posted by Mary Dieng on Saturday, January 28, 2012, In : 0.09% Cocktails 
Albatross
Mary Dieng




Directed By: Niall MacCormick

Starring: Jessica Brown-Findlay, Sebastian Koch, Julia Ormond, and Felicity Jones

I guess it is unfair to compare this British coming of age dramedy to American Beauty.  But it’s not a big leap.  Bored middle-aged dad?  Check.  “Shrew-like” mom? Check.  Relatively nondescript teenage daughter?  Check.  Sexy free-spirited best friend of said teenage daughter? Check.  Dysfunctional family? Check, Check, Check, Check.

Jonathan Fischer (Sebastia...
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REVIEW: Melancholia Delves Into Depression in Grand Style

Posted by James Brown on Saturday, November 26, 2011, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Melancholia





Directed By: Lars von Trier

Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland, Alexander Skarsgard, Cameron Spurr, Charlotte Rampling, John Hurt, Jesper Christensen, Stellan Skarsgard, Brady Corbet, and Udo Kuer

A good title can go a long way in filmmaking.  With an informative name, viewers know exactly what to expect and are ready to go when the theater goes dark and the movie begins.  For example, Midnight in Paris tells you that there's something special taking pla...
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REVIEW: Midnight in Paris is the Vacation You Never Want to End

Posted by James Brown on Tuesday, August 23, 2011, In : 0.03% Wine Coolers 
Midnight in Paris





Directed By: Woody Allen

Starring: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Kathy Bates, Adrien Brody, Carla Bruni, and Michael Sheen

Once in a while, a film comes along that makes you lose all sense of reality.  You lose track of time and how long you've been in the theater.  You forget what else is going on in your life. You become fully immersed in an engaging fictional tale that takes you to another world.  That's the magic of a truly great film.  Woody Allen's Midnig...
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REVIEW: The Tree of Life Is a Motion Picture That Says a Thousand Words

Posted by James Brown on Tuesday, August 16, 2011, In : 0.00% Water 
The Tree of Life






Directed By: Terrence Malick

Starring: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, and Jessica Chastain


Never before have I seen a film that captures life.  That's a huge concept with a range of implications.  It's a nearly impossible endeavor for any filmmaker.  However, Terrence Malick has proven me wrong.  Malick's The Tree of Life does the impossible in a grand way.  From grappling with the meaning and scope of life to questioning the purpose of faith, Malick covers a broad array of topics.  The ...
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