movie reviews

Hail, Caesar!

by Cap'n Carrot on February 5, 2016 · 0 comments

in Film

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With Hail, Caesar! the Coen Brothers take a few good-natured stabs at the golden age of movies while celebrating, and lampooning, the studio system of Hollywood during the early days of the Cold War. Providing a film where Channing Tatum gets to play Fred Astaire and Tilda Swinton does double-duty as twin gossip columnists, I wouldn’t go so far to call it a screwball comedy, but Hail, Caesar! certainly does have a few screws loose (in mostly the right places).

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Anomalisa

by Cap'n Carrot on January 22, 2016 · 0 comments

in Film

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Based on his play, Charlie Kaufman‘s stop-motion feature focuses on depressed self-help author (David Thewlis) in a Cincinnati hotel the night before the latest stop on his book tour. Alternatively charming and tedious, Anomalisa delivers a collection of mundane and awkward experiences and conversations highlighted by the author, who hears everyone he’s ever met speaking in Tom Noonan‘s voice, meeting an insecure young woman (Jennifer Jason Leigh) whose voice breaks the self-help guru out of his melancholy.

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Youth

by Cap'n Carrot on December 25, 2015 · 0 comments

in Film

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Writer/director Paolo Sorrentino‘s Youth is the kind of ensemble dramedy you will either buy into immediately or struggle to make any connection to throughout its two-hour running time. My experience with the film falls into the later category. Sorrentino’s script gives us an odd collection of characters at an otherworldly resort in the Swiss Alps. The main storylines revolve around retired composer Fred Ballinger (Michael Caine) and his relationships to his best friend filmmaker Mick Boyle (Harvey Keitel) and Fred’s daughter Lena (Rachel Weisz).

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Concussion

by Cap'n Carrot on December 25, 2015 · 0 comments

in Film

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Adapting Jeanne Marie Laskas’ 2009 GQ article, Concussion delivers the film the NFL doesn’t want you to see this Christmas. Beginning with Nigerian-American forensic pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu‘s (Will Smith) autopsy of former Pittsburgh Steeler Mike Webster (David Morse) which will create a new category of degenerative disease known as CTE, writer/director Peter Landesman‘s film focuses more on the effect of Omalu’s work as the work itself.

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The Danish Girl

by Cap'n Carrot on December 25, 2015 · 0 comments

in Film

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Adapted from the novel of the same name by David Ebershoff, The Danish Girl is a movie that is constantly telling the audience it is an important movie without ever showing us why. The movie gives us the story of artist husband and wife Einar Wegener (Eddie Redmayne) and Gerda Wegener (Alicia Vikander) and Einar’s struggle with his own sexual identity leading him to take on the identity of Lili Elbe.

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Joy

by Cap'n Carrot on December 25, 2015 · 0 comments

in Film

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Written and directed by David O. Russell, Joy gives us the story of a New York single mother and her miraculous invention that changed her life. Jennifer Lawrence stars as the title character Joy Mangano in a role that allows her to showcase far more of her talents than the Hunger Games franchise. The movie is completely built around Lawrence’s performance, and on her back it succeeds.

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Carol

by Cap'n Carrot on December 25, 2015 · 0 comments

in Film

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Much like Brooklyn, Carol is a beautifully rendered period piece about a young woman’s awakening highlighted by the performance of its lead actress. Sadly, much like Brooklyn, Carol also has the same deficiencies and the performances overshadow, but don’t obscure, the script’s weaknesses.

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It is a dark time for the Rebellion (even if they aren’t called the Rebellion anymore). The rise of a military force known as the First Order, built on the wreckage of the old Empire, is making the galaxy a very dangerous place for everyone’s favorite galactic heroes in a galaxy far, far away.

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Spotlight

by Cap'n Carrot on December 11, 2015 · 0 comments

in Film

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In a true ensemble Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, and Brian d’Arcy James star as The Boston Globe investigative group (bolstered by characters played by John Slattery and Liev Schreiber) that pulled on the thread of a single story involving a Catholic priest’s sexual abuse of a child to uncover a story with staggering ramifications for the entire Boston community. Based on true events, writer/director Tom McCarthy‘s film follows the investigation as it uncovers a conspiracy of silence involving dozens of priests and hundreds of victims in the Boston area alone.

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Trumbo

by Cap'n Carrot on December 7, 2015 · 0 comments

in Film

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Born out of fear, the Hollywood blacklist and the subversion of American values by the House Un-American Activities Committee during the Cold War is far from one of America’s prouder moments. Director Jay Roach‘s new film looks back at the Hollywood Ten, Hollywood screenwriters blackballed out of the studio system for their alleged involvement with the Communist Party. As the title suggests, the film primarily focuses on Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) and the struggles he and his family faced during the Red Scare.

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