Friday, February 27, 2015

In Theaters Now - 2/27/15



(new releases in green)


Whiplash        Grade: A+

The Imitation Game        Grade: A

Birdman        Grade: A-

Still Alice        Grade: B+

The Wedding Ringer        Grade: B+

Focus       Grade: B+

Kingsman: The Secret Service        Grade: B+


Selma        Grade: B+

American Sniper        Grade: B

What We Do in the Shadows        Grade: B

Leviathan        Grade B-

Black or White        Grade: B-

Red Army       Grade: C+

Jupiter Ascending        Grade: C

Fifty Shades of Grey        Grade: C

The Theory of Everything        Grade: D




Additional Films Not Reviewed:
The Boy Next Door
The DUFF
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Hot Tub Time Machine 2
The Lazarus Effect
Oscar Nominated Short Films
McFarland USA
Paddington
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water
Timbuktu
Zero Motivation 

Focus



Who loves a good con artist film?  I know I do.  Whether it be a classic like The Sting, a slick drama like David Mamet's House of Games, or a fun comedy like Dirty Rotten Scoundrels or Heartbreakers, I'm in.  And just like pizza and sex, even when they're not great, they're still pretty good.

This one stars the always affable Will Smith and the extraordinarily stunning Margot Robbie (you know, the one who caught Leo's eye in The Wolf of Wall Street).  And while both of them fit their roles quite well, my feelings about the film itself changed frequently throughout.  It begins well enough, being entertaining though predictable.  It really hits its stride in the second third of the film, turning into a really smooth, fun watch.  But then, sadly, it loses most everything that makes it fun in the last third, as the tone shifts to more serious.  It's actually ironic that its main problem is it tends to lose its focus.

Grade: B+

Who is this movie for?  Anyone who might enjoy an entertaining, though uneven and fairly predictable film about con artists.

Friday, February 20, 2015

What We Do in the Shadows


The comedy horror genre is one of the more underdone genres, possibly because it's hard to get the tone just right.  And many of the lower budget entries just turn out as B-movies I'd rather not waste my time on.  But this New Zealand vampire mockumentary balances the satire just about right.  Personally I prefer the humor of TV classics The Addams Family and The Munsters, Simon Pegg's Shaun of the Dead, or Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein, but this one has a charm that didn't escape me. 

Grade: B

Who is this movie for?  Fans of horror comedy should be satisfied and the dry mockumentary humor would work well for fans of This Is Spinal Tap.

In Theaters Now - 2/20/15



(new releases in green)


Whiplash        Grade: A

A Most Violent Year        Grade: A

The Imitation Game        Grade: A

Birdman        Grade: A-

The Wedding Ringer        Grade: B+

Digging Up the Marrow        Grade: B+  (available on Video on Demand)

Foxcatcher        Grade: B+

Still Alice        Grade: B+

Kingsman: The Secret Service        Grade: B+


Into the Woods        Grade: B+

Selma        Grade: B+

American Sniper        Grade: B

What We Do in the Shadows        Grade: B

Inherent Vice        Grade: B

Leviathan       Grade B-

Black or White        Grade: B-

Jupiter Ascending        Grade: C

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies        Grade: C

Fifty Shades of Grey       Grade: C

Mr. Turner       Grade: D+

The Theory of Everything        Grade: D




Additional Films Not Reviewed:
The Boy Next Door
The DUFF
Hot Tub Time Machine 2
Oscar Nominated Short Films
McFarland USA
Paddington
Project Almanac
Seventh Son
Song of the Sea
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water
Taken 3
Timbuktu