Saturday, March 31, 2012

Beauty Is Embarrassing

What I liked:

  • It's an entertaining and fascinating look at the life of artist, Wayne White.
  • Fantastic footage, interviews, and images.
  • It brings up a good point: Why do people have a hard time thinking that something that is funny can't be considered art?
  • "Is There a Ghost" by Band of Horses

Missed Connections

What I liked:

  • It's a hilarious take on the modern dating world.
  • The dialogue was smart, funny, and real.
  • The acting was well played.
  • I like all of the serendipitous moments.
  • It was written by and stars Kenny Stevenson.
  • It also stars Dorien Davies, Shane Elliott, Alex Enriquez, Abraham Smith, Julie Mitchell, Avi Rothman, Samantha Klein, Scott Beehner, and Mitch Sipla.
  • It has a great soundtrack.
  • There's a running joke about Three Men and a Baby.

What I didn't like:

To see a clip from the film, click here
Winner of the American Independent Award at the Cleveland International Film Festival.
Check out Dorien Davies' blog about her experience at CIFF here.

Grade: A

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mirror Mirror

What I liked:

  • The opening animation sequence was delightful.
  • Lily Collins is lovely.
  • Armie Hammer was wonderful when under the Queen's spell.
  • A nice supporting cast of Mare Winningham, Jordan Prentice, Mark Povinelli, Joe Gnoffo, Danny Woodburn, Sebastian Saraceno, Martin Klebba, Ronald Lee Clark and Sean Bean!
  • Creative costumes.
  • There's a modern twist to the movie.

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

What I liked:
  • Great acting from Amr Waked, Emily Blunt, and Ewan McGregor.
  • Kristen Scott Thomas steals every scene that she is in.
  • It's an interesting story based on the book Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday.
  • Lovely writing full of witty and sarcastic humor.

Being Flynn

What I liked:

  • Wonderful acting by Paul Dano, Julianne Moore, and Robert De Niro.
  • Great supporting cast of Olivia Thirlby, Lili Taylor, Victor Rasuk, Liam Broggy, and Wes Studi.
  • Interesting story based up the book Another Bullshit Night in Suck City: A Memoir by Nick Flynn.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


What I liked:
  • It's an entertaining story about how to connect the person that you use to be with the person you are now.
  • Written and directed by Cleveland native, John Chuldenko.
  • Great acting by Todd Grinnell, Ali Hillis, Kevin Linehan, and Alexi Wasser.
  • Erin Gray!
  • Realistic, smart, and funny dialogue.
  • Fantastic soundtrack.

Be Carried Away - The 36th Cleveland International Film Festival

Thursday, March 22, 2012

American Reunion

What I liked:

  • The old gang was back together!  Jim, Michelle, Oz, Kevin, Vicky, Stifler, Heather, Finch, the MILF guys, Stifler's mom, Jim's Dad, Jessica, Nadia, and even Sherman!
  • They paid a lot of respect to the first movie.
  • Props to Jason Biggs for going there.
  • Great '90's soundtrack including "Sway" from Bic Runga.
  • It was gross and funny and gross again.
  • 30 Rock's Katrina Bowden
  • Rebecca De Mornay?!
  • NPH!

The Movie Rating System

I have never understood the movie rating system.  I don’t understand the criteria that the board uses to rate a film.  It doesn’t appear to be consistent or in the best interest of those that it is meant to protect. 

I bring up this topic because it’s in the media a lot right now because of two movies: Bully and The Hunger Games.   Bully, a movie about kids being bullied, has been given an R rating by the board due to language.  Full disclosure: I haven’t seen Bully yet so I can’t talk specifics.  I have, however, seen the Academy Award Winning film, The King’s Speech, which was also rated R for language.  The King dropped one too many F words for the board’s liking.

The Hunger Games, a movie about kids forced to fight each other to the death, has been given a PG-13 rating.  This doesn’t make sense to me.  How can language be worse than violence?   

The Hunger Games

What I liked:

  • Great job on casting.  Jennifer Lawrence is terrific.  Watch Winter's Bone to she her breakout role.  
  • Wonderful supporting cast of Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Lenny Kravitz, Wes Bentley, Donald Sutherland, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Toby Jones, and the almost unrecognizable, Elizabeth Banks.
  • It's an interesting story.
  • Fantastic costumes.  Loved Katniss' red dress and everything that Effie wore.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


New to DVD:

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Grade A-
Read full review here

The Muppets - Grade A-
Read full review here

The Sitter - Grade B
Read full review here

Carnage - Grade B+
Read full review here

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - Grade B
Read full review here

Friday, March 16, 2012

Jeff Who Lives at Home

I have a soft spot for films that have to do with fate and destiny and this was no exception.

What I liked:
  • It was nice to see Jason Segel and Ed Helms play more dramatic roles without losing their comedic flare.
  • Susan Sarandon was great as an unhappy single mother of two grown men.
  • Judy Greer!
  • I thought that the story was interesting.  I liked the twists and turns that it took.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Friends With Kids

What I liked:

  • Fabulous cast: Jennifer Westfeldt, Adam Scott, Maya Rudolph, Chris O'Dowd, Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Edward Burns, and Megan Fox.
  • Kelly Bishop!
  • Westfeldt not only starred in it but also wrote and directed it.
  • The writing was fantastic.  The characters felt real.  They talked, thought, and acted like people that I know.
  • The story was very current and fresh.  A modern day, funny, RomCom.
  • Great soundtrack.

A Separation

What I liked:

  • It's a fascinating story with an interesting look at life in Iran.  
  • Wonderful acting by everyone involved: Peyman Moadi, Leila Hatami, Sareh Bayat, Shahab Hosseini, Sarina Farhadi, Merila Zare'i, and Ali-Asghar Shahbazi.
  • Won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Project X

What I liked:

  • I think what helps sell this movie is that the actors are relatively unknowns: Thomas Mann, Oliver Cooper, Jonathan Daniel Brown, Kirby Bliss Blanton, Brady Hender, and Nick Nervies.
  • Miles Teller!
  • Martin Klebba!
  • Fantastic party soundtrack.
  • Full of "college humor".
  • It's a great example of why parents should never leave their teenage kids home alone.

21 Jump Street

What I liked:

  • Oscar Nominee, Jonah Hill, was great and heavily involved as he co-wrote it.
  • Channing Tatum is good at playing the dumb pretty one.
  • The supporting cast is filled with stars from the small screen:
    • Nick from New Girl (Jake M. Johnson)
    • Erin from The Office (Ellie Kemper)
    • Ron from Parks and Recreation (Nick Offerman)
    • Rob Riggle from The Daily Show
    • Cole from Scrubs (Dave Franco)
    • Ice Cube from Barbershop
    • Kate from United States of Tara (Brie Larson)

Movies + Basketball = Love