Movie: Dallas Buyers Club

June 4, 2014  |  movies etc.  |  No Comments

Dallas Buyers ClubAs a man-fights-the-system film, Dallas Buyers Club works wonderfully. Matthew McConauhey’s Oscar winning performance is worthy, as is supporting actor Jared Leto (who also won an Oscar). There is a lot to cheer for, and McConauhey’s performance as Ron Woodroof portraying an unlikable rodeo-riding, gambling, sex addicted homophobe turned hero, is convincing. We don’t actually start to root and care for him until he is in the fight for his life, obstructed by the FDA and other government agencies who want to prevent him from obtaining and distributing drugs that will help him in his fight against AIDS.

When first diagnosed with HIV and given 30 days to live, Woodroof is in denial and rejects his death sentence. Then, fueled by self-preservation, this loser turned hero does what it takes to live: he does his homework.

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Movie: Draft Day

May 4, 2014  |  movies etc.  |  No Comments

Draft DayDraft Day, starring Kevin Costner as a draft picker for an NFL football team, is an exciting sports drama that is sure to satisfy football lovers as well as those who know very little about the game (I fall the later category).

What makes the film work is its high stakes and time sensitive negotiations and deal making that transpire throughout the film. Each year in the NFL, teams draft new players and, somehow, some teams get to pick their favorite new players sooner than others (they are mostly players from college football, I gather). I’m sure sports fans know the details. I certainly don’t, but even a neophyte like me could follow along and know what values are at stake. CLICK HERE to read the full article…

Movie: Enough Said

March 4, 2014  |  movies etc.  |  No Comments

Enough SaidEnough Said, James Gandolfini’s final performance before his tragic death last year, is a delightful tale about two divorcees with teenage children who are seeking love and find solace in one another.

Writer/director Nicole Holofcener tells a simple and straightforward story, and it works because it is simple. Even the characters’ names are simple.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays Eva, a massage therapist who seems to have more of a connection with her teenager daughter’s best friend than her teenage daughter. Eva is the most complex character because she harbors self-doubt, which comes into full force when she discovers the man she is dating, Albert, is also the ex-husband of one of her new massage clients, Marianne. CLICK HERE to read the full article…

Movie: Jobs

March 4, 2014  |  movies etc.  |  No Comments

Jobs

The best things about the quickly made Jobs, starring Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs, is its original score by John Debney. The music is romantic, epic and inspiring — everything a movie about Steve Jobs should be. Unfortunately, the movie itself sets a low bar and strives for mere mediocrity.

Kutcher’s isn’t all that bad as Jobs, but he isn’t great.  When it comes to acting, his performance epitomizes the difference between impersonation and acting. As an impersonation of Steve Jobs, Kutcher is good. But, somehow, Jobs’ presence is missing. We don’t have a sense of greatness. CLICK HERE to read the full article…

Movie: Don Jon

March 3, 2014  |  movies etc.  |  No Comments

Don JonActor Joseph Gordon-Levitt makes his debut as a writer and director with Don Jon. On the surface, the movie appears to be a superficial comedy about sex and, perhaps, just an excuse for him to make out with Scarlett Johansson on the silver screen. But, surprisingly, there is actually substance behind it all.

Gordon-Levitt also stars as Jon, a pretty boy bachelor in New Jersey. He is the envy of his friends, scoring the hottest girls at the trendiest clubs. He also loves his porn. Pornography, he argues in narrative voiceover throughout the film, is better than sex.

Several comedic scenes illustrate this view, and as he describes sex acts he would like to engage in, they are then contrasted with the sex acts that he actually gets his conquests to participate in — which are far less glamorous than what is illustrated in his favorite pornos. Yes, Jon can always take solace in his porn. And he does. A lot. CLICK HERE to read the full article…