Movie: Blue Jasmine

Blue JasmineWood Allen has been a roll these past few summers. Midnight in Paris was one of the best movies of 2011 (listen to my review here), and last year’s To Rome With Love, while uneven, had several laugh out loud moments. On this basis alone I wanted to see Blue Jasmine, expecting some more quirky Woody Allen comedic charm.

Unfortunately, when it comes to threes, the third time is not a charm, instead illustrating that three’s a crowd. The problem is more than just that Cate Blanchett as Jasmine is unlikable — she is also irredeemable. You don’t want to root for her, for good or bad, and you will find yourself wishing that all the other characters in the movie just kick her out of their lives so it will all be over with and we can all leave the theater. Continue reading

Movie: Now You See Me

Now You See MeThe first rule of magic, according to Now You See Me, is to always be the smartest person in the room. However, the first rule of making a movie about the art of magic should be: make sure all your tricks are actually real magic tricks.

Many tricks depicted in the picture are pulled off courtesy of  special effects — and obviously so — and they could never be pulled off in real life. The reason such realism is so important in a story about deception and the art of magic is simple: credibility. Without credibility you cannot have believability and without believability, you have a really boring movie. Continue reading

Movie: Mud

MudWriter/director Jeff Nichols brings us Mud, about a young teenager, Ellis (Tye Sheridan), who lives on a river in Arkansas with his soon-to-be divorced parents. He is trying to make sense of the world in general — and love in particular.

Ellis has many of the qualities you might expect in a kid his age and in his situation. His parents are trashy and often neglectful, and he occasionally gets into fights and is a rough around the edges. But he is tough and astute. His lack of fear and self-doubt make him a diamond in the rough who we root for to win, even in the face of a universe that seems to have given up on idealistic things like love. Continue reading

Movie: Burzynski: Cancer is Serious Business Part II

Burzynski The Movie Part 2If you haven’t listened to my review of Burzynski: The Movie on The Movie Film Show, stop reading this right now and go listen to it now by clicking here (I am “Mr. Movie”). It is an excellent documentary about one visionary physician who is successfully treating cancer with what he calls antineoplastons–and often with greater success than tradition methods, such as chemotherapy. Unfortunately, Dr. Burzynski has had to overcome many obstacles in the development of his treatment–the worst being our own US government in the form of the FDA. Continue reading

Movie: The Great Gatsby

The Great GatsbySet at the height of the roaring 20’s, Baz Lurhmann’s version of The Great Gatsby is slick, entertaining, dramatic at times, and accessible to modern audiences.

That last point is not necessarily a good thing. Some of the driving scenes play out like a Grand Theft Auto video game, much of the extravagant parties are set to hip-hop music from decades into the future, and the 3D adds little to the experience. Some will love it, some will not. But consuming an adult beverage just prior to viewing the film is recommended, regardless. Continue reading