Monday, May 29, 2017

Movie Tips:

Flutter ****
(2014) Lindsay Pulsipher, Johnathan Huth Jr.
Grimy, gritty, intimate tale of a mom and her boy and the love that will hopefully hold them together through the hardest period of their lives. The tension comes in artful waves as they dance ever nearer the jaws of disaster.

Take Me to the River ****
(2015) Logan Miller, Robin Weigert
More mom-son stuff and the tension here is constant but subtle with an oddly elusive creep factor and plenty of hints to see the twist coming. One of those lucky library reservation mistakes (I was actually seeking the 2014 soul music documentary of the same title).

Collapse ***
(2010) Documentary by Jared Diamond
Compelling material around imperialism and climate gets watered down through an infotainmenty approach and limited scope. Worthwhile though, to the young or otherwise uninitiated.

Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media *****
(1992) Documentary
Sometimes-meandering exploration of the core material of Noam Chomsky; one of the most intelligent, self-sacrificing, important and under-appreciated men alive. Or ever. Mandatory viewing if you wish to participate in the real world.

The Polar Express *
(2004) Animated Adventure
Awkward and unintentionally creepy (severe uncanny valley factor) attempt at a holiday redemption story, starring Tom Hanks, Tom Hanks, Tom Hanks, Tom Hanks, Tom Hanks and Tom Hanks. How he let himself get railroaded into this mess...

Infinitely Polar Bear ***
(2014) Mark Ruffalo
This production seemed like a culmination of decent efforts; the unfortunate math of which, usually amounts to a mediocre result at best. Yet here, it somehow held up and delivered decently overall in terms of engaging my interest and emotions. But I have to pass on this opportunity to praise Ruffalo as one of the more under-appreciated actors (if he still is) because this was not his best acting and a lot of his scenes seemed forced to me.

War Dogs **
(2016) Jonah Hill, Miles Teller
Dull, lifeless, uninspired telling of a dull, lifeless, uninspiring true story which surely made for a far better newspaper article than a feature film. That it admirably exposes yet more of the infinite bastardism of the American Military Empire is laudable but not a good enough excuse for a theatrical lemon, at least not in my house.

We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists ****
(2012) Documentary
An elegant choice of material allows this examination into the concept of “eco-terrorism” achieve laudable objectivity.  Very worthwhile and of great potential future relevance.

10 Cloverfield Lane ****
(2016) Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman
Tense, well-acted dystopia-flavored thriller keeps you guessing!

A.I. Artificial Intelligence ***
(2001) Haley Joel Osment
What starts as a brilliant haunting masterpiece devolves suddenly into a Disneyland experience. As bi-polar as The Deer Hunter but without the obvious intent.

Cloud Atlas **
(2012) Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant
Watching this movie requires serious effort. Two words of advice. One: Turn the subtitles on ‘cause you’re going to get some weird-ass dialect a-comin’. And two: Think about reincarnation perhaps, as your lifeline as you attempt to follow the unwieldy plot.

All In Good Taste *
(1983) Jonathan Welsh
Thoroughly goofy flick tastelessly re-packaged recently to look like a Jim Carrey movie. In fact he played a tiny non-speaking role, on screen just long enough to flash his bare butt. Don’t get fooled into watching this. Unless you really want to see Jim Carrey’s ass (rather than him acting like one).

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