Monthly Archives: March 2014

Sabotage

Sabotage Movie Review

R109 m., 2014

Arnold Schwarzenegger (John ‘Breacher’ Wharton), Sam Worthington (James ‘Monster’ Murray), Joe Manganiello (Joe ‘Grinder’ Phillips), Josh Holloway (Eddie ‘Neck’ Jordan), Max Martini (Tom ‘Pyro’ Roberts), Terrence Howard (Julius ‘Sugar’ Edmonds), Mireille Enos (Lizzy Murray), Olivia Williams (Caroline). Directed by David Ayer and produced by Ayer, Bill Block, Paul Hanson, Palak Patel, Joe Roth, Albert S. Ruddy, Ethan Smith, Skip Woods. Screenplay by Woods.

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Noah

Noah Movie Review

PG_13138 m., 2014

Russell Crowe (Noah), Jennifer Connelly (Naameh), Emma Watson (Ila), Logan Lerman (Ham), Douglas Booth (Shem), Anthony Hopkins (Methuselah), Ray Winstone (Tubal-cain), Kevin Durand (Rameel). Directed by Darren Aronofsky and produced by Aronofsky, Scott Franklin, Arnon Milchan, Mary Parent. Screenplay by Aronofsky and Ari Handel.

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The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel Movie Review

R, 100 m., 2014

Ralph Fiennes (M. Gustave), F. Murray Abraham (Mr. Moustafa), Tony Revolori (Zero), Mathieu Amalric (Serge X.), Adrien Brody (Dmitri), Saoirse Ronan (Agatha), Willem Dafoe (Jopling), Edward Norton (Henckels), Léa Seydoux (Clotilde), Jeff Goldblum (Deputy Kovacs), Jason Schwartzman (M. Jean), Jude Law (Young Writer), Tilda Swinton (Madame D.), Harvey Keitel (Ludwig), Tom Wilkinson (Author), Bill Murray (M. Ivan), Owen Wilson (M. Chuck). Directed by Wes Anderson and produced by Anderson, Jeremy Dawson, Steven M. Rales, Scott Rudin. Screenplay by Anderson & Hugo Guinness.

Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel is, perhaps above all else, a film about intrusions. It is about the intrusion of war upon an otherwise peaceful world, and of its refugees upon a land to which they are strangers. It is about the intrusion of an interloper into a would-be grieving family’s lives. In the case of said interloper, it is even about the vulgar intruding into the otherwise elegant.

Take, for instance, the first scenes, in which a young girl goes to the statue of a man labeled “Author” and begins to read a book. The narration, by Tom Wilkinson, is first intruded upon by the image of the man himself seemingly reading his narration to the camera and then of a little boy shooting a BB handgun at the Author as he’s trying to explain his part in the story. This framing device is then intruded upon by another framing device involving a flashback to the 1960s in which a young “Author” (Jude Law) first visits the Grand Budapest Hotel and, with little help from the inattentive concierge (Jason Schwartzman), meets Mr. Moustafa (F. Murray Abraham), the hotel’s reputed owner. This triggers the elongated flashback that will take up the bulk of the film’s scant 100 minute running time.

In said bulk, Ralph Fiennes plays Monsieur Gustave H., an only mildly effeminate (old) ladies’ man who runs the titular mountain estate by day and seduces lonely, elderly women by night. From his carefully crafted speech patterns to his royal purple wardrobe to his cologne, the aptly named L’Air de Panache, Gustave H. has cultivated a meticulous way about himself and navigates the film’s setting, a fictional middle-Eastern European country on the precipice of fascist occupation and war, walking on eggshells with remarkable self-possession and poise.

When one of Gustave’s lady friends, credited as Madame D. (Tilda Swinton), is found strangled to death, he is sent to prison and it is up to he, some cellmates and his own young lobby boy Zero Moustafa (Tony Revolori) to bust out of the prison and find the real culprit. But then, this is an oversimplification of this film’s plot.

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Cesar Chavez

Cesar Chavez Movie Review

PG_13, 102 m., 2014

Michael Peña (Cesar Chavez), Rosario Dawson (Dolores Huerta), America Ferrera (Helen Chavez), Jacob Vargas (Richard Chavez), John Malkovich (Bogdanovich Senior), Lisa Brenner (Jackie Stringer). Directed by Diego Luna and produced by Pablo Cruz, Lianne Halfon, Luna, Larry Meli, Keir Pearson, Russell Smith. Screenplay by Pearson and Timothy J. Sexton.

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Bad Words

Bad Words Movie Review

R, 89 m., 2013

Jason Bateman (Guy Trilby), Kathryn Hahn (Jenny Widgeon), Allison Janney (Dr. Bernice Deagan), Philip Baker Hall (Dr. Bowman), Rohan Chand (Chaitanya Chopra), Ben Falcone (Pete Fowler), Patricia Belcher (Ingrid), Beth Grant (Bedazzled Judge). Directed by Jason Bateman and produced by Bateman, Jeff Culotta, Ted Hamm, Sean McKittrick, Mason Novick. Screenplay by Andrew Dodge.

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Nymphomaniac: Vol. I

Nymphomaniac: Vol. I Movie Review

UNRATED, 118 m., 2013

Charlotte Gainsbourg (Joe), Stellan Skarsgård (Seligman), Stacy Martin (Young Joe), Shia LaBeouf (Jerôme), Christian Slater (Joe’s Father), Uma Thurman (Mrs. H), Sophie Kennedy Clark (B), Connie Nielsen (Joe’s Mother). Directed by Lars von Trier and produced by Louise Vesth. Screenplay by von Trier.

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Muppets Most Wanted

Muppets Most Wanted Movie Review

PG, 107 m., 2014

Ricky Gervais (Dominic Badguy), Ty Burrell (Jean Pierre Napoleon), Tina Fey (Nadya), Steve Whitmire (Kermit the Frog / Foo Foo / Statler / Beaker / Lips / Rizzo the Rat / Link Hogthrob / The Newsman (voice)), Eric Jacobson (Miss Piggy / Fozzie Bear / Sam Eagle / Animal (voice)), Dave Goelz (The Great Gonzo / Dr. Bunsen Honeydew / Zoot / Beauregard / Waldorf (voice)), Bill Barretta (Pepe the King Prawn / Rowlf the Dog / Dr. Teeth / The Swedish Chef / Bobo the Bear / Big Mean Carl / Baby Boss / Carlo Flamingo / Leprechaun Security Guard (voice)), Matt Vogel (Constantine / Floyd Pepper / Sweetums / Pops / Robin / Lew Zealand / Crazy Harry / 80’s Robot / Camilla / Uncle Deadly (voice)), Peter Linz (Walter / Manolo Flamingo (voice)), David Rudman (Scooter / Janice / Miss Poogy / Bobby Benson / Wayne (voice)). Directed by James Bobin and produced by David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman. Screenplay by Bobin & Nicholas Stoller.

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Jodorowsky’s Dune

Jodorowsky's Dune Movie Review

PG_13, 90 m., 2013

Featuring: Alejandro Jodorowsky, Michel Seydoux, H.R. Giger, Chris Foss, Brontis Jodorowsky, Nicolas Winding Refn, Richard Stanley, Devin Faraci, Drew McWeeny, Gary Kurtz. A documentary directed by Frank Pavich. In English, French, German and Spanish, with subtitles.

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Divergent

Divergent Movie Review

PG_13, 139 m., 2014

Shailene Woodley (Tris), Theo James (Four), Kate Winslet (Jeanine), Miles Teller (Peter), Jai Courtney (Eric), Zoë Kravitz (Christina), Ansel Elgort (Caleb), Ray Stevenson (Marcus), Maggie Q (Tori). Directed by Neil Burger and produced by Lucy Fisher, Pouya Shahbazian, Douglas Wick. Screenplay by Evan Daugherty and Vanessa Taylor, based on a novel by Veronica Roth.

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Blood Ties

Blood Ties Movie Review

R, 127 m., 2013

Clive Owen (Chris), Billy Crudup (Frank), Marion Cotillard (Monica), Mila Kunis (Natalie), Zoe Saldana (Vanessa), Matthias Schoenaerts (Scarfo), James Caan (Leon), Noah Emmerich (Lieutenant Connellan), Lili Taylor (Marie), Domenick Lombardozzi (Mike), John Ventimiglia (Valenti), Griffin Dunne (McNally), Jamie Hector (Nick), Yul Vazquez (Fabio De Soto), Eve Hewson (Yvonne). Directed by Guillaume Canet and produced by Alain Attal, Canet, John Lesher, Hugo Sélignac, Christopher Woodrow. Screenplay by Canet & James Gray, based on the film Les liens du sang by Jacques Maillot and Pierre Chosson and Eric Veniard, based on the novel Deux freres, un flic, un truand by Bruno Papet and Michel Papet.

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Veronica Mars

Veronica Mars Movie Review

PG_13, 107 m., 2014

Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars), Jason Dohring (Logan Echolls), Enrico Colantoni (Keith Mars), Chris Lowell (Stosh ‘Piz’ Piznarski), Percy Daggs III (Wallace Fennel), Tina Majorino (Cindy ‘Mac’ Mackenzie), Krysten Ritter (Gia Goodman), Martin Starr (Stu ‘Cobb’ Cobbler), Gaby Hoffmann (Ruby Jetson), Andrea Estella (Bonnie DeVille), Jerry O’Connell (Sheriff Dan Lamb), Francis Capra (Eli ‘Weevil’ Navarro), Ryan Hansen (Dick Casablancas), Brandon Hillock (Deputy Jerry Sacks), Maury Sterling (Deputy Lyles). Directed by Rob Thomas and produced by Dan Etheridge, Danielle Stokdyk, and Thomas. Screenplay by Thomas & Diane Ruggiero, based on a story by Thomas and characters by Thomas.

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Need for Speed

Need for Speed Movie Review

PG_13, 132 m., 2014

Aaron Paul (Tobey Marshall), Dominic Cooper (Dino Brewster), Imogen Poots (Julia Maddon), Scott Mescudi (Benny), Rami Malek (Finn), Ramon Rodriguez (Joe Peck), Harrison Gilbertson (Little Pete), Dakota Johnson (Anita), Stevie Ray Dallimore (Bill Ingram), Michael Keaton (Monarch), Alan Pflueger (Flyin’ Hawaiian), Brian L. Keaulana (Right Seater), Logan Holladay (‘DJ’ Joseph), Carmela Zumbado (Jeny ‘B’), Jalil Jay Lynch (Jimmy MacIntosh). Directed by Scott Waugh and produced by John Gatins, Patrick O’Brien, Mark Sourian. Screenplay by George Gatins, based on a story by George Gatins & John Gatins.

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Le Week-End

Le Week-End Movie Review

R, 93 m., 2013

Lindsay Duncan (Meg), Jim Broadbent (Nick), Igor Gotesman (Montmartre Receptionist), Olivier Audibert (Taxi Driver), Sophie-Charlotte Husson (Plaza Receptionist), Etienne Dalibert (Hotel Porter), Mauricette Laurence (Old Lady in Church), Gabriel Mailhebiau (Chez Dumonet Waiter), Violaine Baccon (Girl on motorbike), D. Damien Favereau (La Dame de Pic Maitre), Jeff Goldblum (Morgan), Déborah Amsellem (Hotel Shop Assistant), Stéphane De Fraia (Waiter at Morgan’s Apartment), Brice Beaugier (Robert Ertel), Charlotte Léo (Dominique Ertel). Directed by Roger Michell and produced by Kevin Loader. Screenplay by Hanif Kureishi.

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Enemy

Enemy Movie Review

R, 90 m., 2013

Jake Gyllenhaal (Adam + Anthony), Mélanie Laurent (Mary), Sarah Gadon (Helen), Isabella Rossellini (Mother), Joshua Peace (Teacher at School), Tim Post (Anthony’s Concierge), Kedar Brown (Security Guard), Darryl Dinn (Video Store Clerk), Misha Highstead (Lady in the Dark Room), Megan Mann (Lady in the Dark Room), Alexis Uiga (Lady in the Dark Room). Directed by Denis Villeneuve. Screenplay by Javier Gullón, based on the novel by José Saramago.

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Better Living Through Chemistry

Better Living Through Chemistry Movie Review

UNRATED, 91 m., 2014

Sam Rockwell (Doug Varney), Olivia Wilde (Elizabeth Roberts), Michelle Monaghan (Kara Varney), Jane Fonda (Jane Fonda), Ray Liotta (Jack Roberts), Norbert Leo Butz (Agent Andrew Carp), Ben Schwartz (Noah), Ken Howard (Walter Bishop), Jenn Harris (Janet), Harrison Holzer (Ethan Varney), Peter Jacobson (Dr. Roth), Sonnie Brown (Principal Song-Carmichael), Ron Heneghan (Officer Willits), Ken Arnold (Ed), Tracy McMullan (Bree Bishop). Directed by Geoff Moore & David Posamentier and produced by Felipe Marino and Joe Neurauter. Screenplay by Moore & Posamentier.

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The Art of the Steal

The Art of the Steal Movie Review

R, 90 m., 2013

Kurt Russell (Crunch Calhoun), Matt Dillon (Nicky Calhoun), Jay Baruchel (Francie Tobin), Kenneth Welsh (‘Uncle’ Paddy MacCarthy), Chris Diamantopoulos (Guy de Cornet), Katheryn Winnick (Lola), Jason Jones (Interpol Agent Bick), Terence Stamp (Samuel Winter), Devon Bostick (Ponch), Elle Downs (Female Border Guard), Durward Allan (Julius Friedman), Rob deLeeuw (Van Der Beer), Karyn Dwyer (Ginger), Christopher Dyson (Ranking Officer), Jasmin Geljo (Detective Brodowski). Written and directed by Jonathan Sobol. Produced by Nicholas Tabarrok.

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300: Rise of an Empire

300: Rise of an Empire Movie Review

R, 102 m., 2014

Sullivan Stapleton (Themistocles), Eva Green (Artemisia), Lena Headey (Queen Gorgo), Hans Matheson (Aeskylos), Callan Mulvey (Scyllias), David Wenham (Dilios), Rodrigo Santoro (Xerxes), Jack O’Connell (Calisto), Andrew Tiernan (Ephialtes), Igal Naor (King Darius), Andrew Pleavin (Daxos), Peter Mensah (Persian Emissary), Ben Turner (General Artaphernes), Ashraf Barhom (General Bandari), Christopher Sciueref (General Kashani). Directed by Noam Murro and produced by Mark Canton, Bernie Goldmann, Gianni Nunnari, Deborah Snyder, Zack Snyder, and Thomas Tull. Screenplay by Zack Snyder & Kurt Johnstad, based on the graphic novel Xerxes by Frank Miller.

Zack Snyder more or less made his reputation with his sophomore effort, 300 (2006), a glossy, stylish and hyper-violent take on the historical gladiator epic. It was long, bloody and tedious. Snyder returns as co-writer/producer of Noam Murro’s 300: Rise of an Empire, a simultaneous sequel, prequel and parallel storyline which, by contrast, is kind of a blast. Continue reading

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Grand Piano

Grand Piano Movie Review

R, 90 m., 2013

Elijah Wood (Tom Selznick), John Cusack (Clem), Kerry Bishé (Emma Selznick), Tamsin Egerton (Ashley), Allen Leech (Wayne), Don McManus (Reisinger), Alex Winter (Assistant), Dee Wallace (Marjorie Green), Jim Arnold (Janitor), Jack Taylor (Patrick Godureaux), Beth Trollan (Emma’s Publicist), Ricardo Alexander (Executive (as Richard A. Newby)), Rachel Arieff, Angie Arieu (Emma’s admirer), Chris Bobrowski (Chaz – The Lords of Uifam band member). Directed by Eugenio Mira and produced by Rodrigo Cortés and Adrián Guerra. Screenplay by Damien Chazelle.

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