Based on Colm Tóibín‘s novel, Brooklyn is an old fashioned immigrant story following the wide-eyed Ellis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan) from her small Irish town to New York where her life slowly begins to change. When the pull of home beckons, however, she will be forced to make hard decisions regarding her future, the man she loves, and which side of the Atlantic Ocean she truly wants to call home.
The film quickly becomes more romance-driven than historical drama and features a ponderously-paced first half-hour. That said, once Ellis’ life in Brooklyn truly begins the film opens up a bit, is able to breathe, and Ronan is allowed to shine. The film’s star is without doubt the movie’s biggest strength smoothing over the film’s rougher edges when it drifts dangerously close to melodrama.
The supporting cast is solid throughout highlighted by Jim Broadbent as the preacher and family friend who helps Ellis in America, Fiona Glascott as Ellis’ sister Rose, and Emory Cohen as Ellis’ suitor. Arrow fans will also take note of Emily Bett Rickards as one of the women from the Brooklyn boarding house.
Nine years after Rocky Balboa allowed Philadelphia’s favorite son to step into the ring one last time comes an unexpected sequel in Creed. Written and directed by Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station), the new film hearkens back to the themes of the original Rocky while putting a fresh take on the tale of an underdog boxer overcoming the odds to earn his big chance. Creed is as close to a reboot as you could get without recasting the Italian Stallion as a young man and not only pays tribute to the original series but sets the stage or any number of possible sequels. It may not be as good as the original, but it stands up well in comparison to any of the Rocky sequels.
A lead about the group attempting to overthrow the government sends John (Jeff Hephner) to a Mexican town in search of the journal of a dead agent killed by a local thug known as El Diablo (Arturo del Puerto). With the local populace scared to death of El Diablo the only friend John makes on his trip is a local police officer (Angélica Celaya) willing to risk anything to get justice for her slain friend and bring real change to the town.
Amy Schumer, who also wrote the script, stars as a relationship-averse mess of a woman whose world view is changed after interviewing a doctor (Bill Hader) for a local magazine. Trainwreck is a pretty straightforward romcom focusing on Amy’s struggles with love and her dysfunctional relationships with her father (Colin Quinn), sister (Brie Larson), and former boyfriend (John Cena). Like many scripts written by stand-up comedians, Trainwreck is a bit uneven. At times the film is quite funny even if all of its jokes don’t quite hit home.
The first-half of The Blacklist‘s Third Season comes to a close as Reddington (James Spader) is abducted by a local gang just as his plans to clear Lizzie‘s (Megan Boone) name are reaching completion. Dropping everything, Lizzie begins searching for her missing friend even going so far as to reach out to Navabi (Mozhan Marnò) for help which is a decision which will ultimately bite both women in the ass and put the FBI on their trail and getting Navabi fired from the task force.
While on the planet Garel to meet with a droid courier Sabine (Tiya Sircar) and Ezra (Taylor Gray) run into Sabine’s old partner bounty hunter Ketsu Onyo (Gina Torres) who also has plans on taking the droid. “Blood Sisters” offers audiences a small glimpse into Sabine’s past by showing us Ketsu as a version of the Ghost‘s artistic bounty hunter who is far more ruthless than the one we know and love.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 concludes the adventures of Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), a dead-eyed girl from District 12 whose only heroic action over the course of the series took place near the beginning of the first film. I don’t know if the original books on which the movies were based are any good, but the films themselves are one (small) step above torture porn with the least-interesting love triangle ever conceived thrown in for good measure. Do we care who Katniss ends up with? Not really. And because the movies have shown her to be largely unimportant as anything more than a symbol it’s hard to invest any emotion in her journey or its outcome.
Picking up immediately following the events of the last film, Katniss licks her wounds and plans her revenge against President Snow (Donald Sutherland) for turning one of the men she kinda, sorta, loves (i.e. leads on) into a brainwashed killing machine. The fact that Snow is the head of a corrupt government with the blood of thousands on his hands isn’t much of a concern for our heroine who has decided murdering an old man with her own hands is the only form of justice she is willing to accept.
As Barry (Grant Gustin) licks his wounds and struggles to recover both physically and emotionally from his encounter with Zoom, and hide out from a concerned Patty Spivot (Shantel VanSanten), a series of incidents around the city alert S.T.A.R. Labs that Grodd has returned. Controlling the minds of scientist to steal brain drugs, Grodd kidnaps Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) with hopes that the scientist who was kindest to him as a lab animal can recreate the conditions and turn other gorillas into telepathic super-apes.