At first we wonder if we're in the right movie. Magician Jamy Ian Swiss puts on his signature red shirt, suit and tie for a performance at the Magic Castle. "My occupation is deception," he says. "I make an honest living."
Danny Collins isn't just about showbiz. It's about family, regret, second chances, friendship, inspiration, perseverance, and artistic integrity in a film where all of the actors give some of their best performances I've seen in years.
There is nothing remotely second best about the highly anticipated sequel to the charming The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel which was released in 2011. The cast of that movie included Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Penelope Wilton, Dev Patel and Maggie Smith.
There was a time in the past when Will Smith was the most charming of actors. Any movie he made was enhanced by the pleasure of his personality. Then came "After Earth" and his career has never recovered.
Some years were quieter celebrations, but just as ceremonial. Even watching them on my own, I bowed to the sense of occasion. I lined up my time-honored snacks, burrowed under my favorite quilt and glued myself to the proceedings, shouting at the screen the entire time.
The Loft is a surprisingly entertaining film that keeps the audience in the dark as to its villain(s) until the very end. The fact the ending is logical and difficult to anticipate makes this movie an above average feature.
At the recruiting office, they give him a brochure for the Seals... and we soon see Chris in basic training. "We're looking for warriors, not quitters." Training is brutal but Chris makes it to sniper school, where his "hell of a gift" sets him apart.
Amy Adams as Margaret is excellent. Christoph Waltz's over-the-top portrayal of Walter -- who, by many accounts was truly over-the-top -- can be a bit distracting. At any rate, it's an interesting exploration of how the "little hobo kids" became a household must-have.
As the film's title implies, there's a fair amount of violence in this movie, but it's not the kind of bloodbath we're used to seeing in modern movies. Instead, there's a feeling of danger that hangs over every scene right from the beginning.
There is a lot to like in Into the Woods but there is also a lot more that should have been better. If the playfulness and emotions inherent in Sondheim's songs had been delivered, the movie would not have been just good -- it would have been great.
There is an eerie vibe about the movie "Foxcatcher" from its first moments to its last. It is hard to pinpoint what it is but the sterile bleakness of the opening scenes sets a tone that stays with the movie and the main three characters who inhabit this story.
Annie is not as bad as you feared it would be but not as good as you hoped it would be. As long as the camera is on Wallis it is a delight but when she is not the focus the proceedings come to a halt. So keep your eyes and your interest on her and you will have a good time.
Top Five does provide an in-depth look at a comedian trying for something new. It strives to make it real and believable, and it succeeds for the most part. The problem is the entertainment factor gets left by the wayside.
Reese Witherspoon bares her heart, soul and body in the new film "Wild." She tackles the role of Cheryl Strayed with gusto and determination and lets herself become totally absorbed. This is not the "sweet little Reese" we have known and loved in other movies.
The science is laid on with a mallet, beating you into acceptance with every gibberish-sounding theory possible. I am not saying it is not all true. I don't know. I just know I didn't understand anything past the first worm hole reference.
The Imitation Game traces the real-life tale of Alan Turing, the brilliant and highly idiosyncratic British scientist and philosopher whose secret contributions during World War II saved the lives of an estimated 14 million individuals.
So if Nightcrawler is not, at its core, a condemnation of the current condition of news media, what is that larger message? Gilroy's movie is about a society that has become unmoored, a society in which traditional economic and moral structures no longer function.
I guess I'm saying that now I understand those list-making lovers of obscure films, and to prove it, I'd like to express my affection for Young Ones, a film written and directed by Jake Paltrow that you almost certainly haven't heard of but definitely shouldn't miss.