Monday, August 22, 2011



Anne Hathaway: Emma Morley
Jim Sturgess: Dexter Mayhew
Patricia Clarkson: Dexter’s mother Alison
Ken Stott: Dexter’s father
Rafe Spall: Emma’s boyfriend Ian
Romola Garai: Dex’s girlfriend Sylvie

By showing snippets of two people’s lives on the same day each year over two decades, the basic premise virtually guarantees failure because there is no real story. Instead we get to see what Emma and Dex were doing that day, sometimes together, often apart. It soon becomes very predictable and frankly a bit boring because as one movie goer put it “the whole thing goes nowhere.”

Furthermore it stretches the imagination that a randy young man like Dex would act in the manner he did the first night together with a stunning sexy woman like Emma and then again on several other occasions later such as in the swimming pool. In a word, I don’t believe it for a moment. It does not ring true!

In fact, that could be said for the entire movie.

for sexual content, partial nudity, language, some violence and substance abuse.

Monday, August 15, 2011


Comic book superhero

Chris Evans: Steve Rogers
Sebastian Stan: Steve’s best friend Bucky Barnes
Tommy Lee Jones: Captain America’s commanding officer Col. Chester Phillips
Hayley Atwell: British Agent Peggy Carter
Stanley Tucci: former German scientist Dr. Abraham Erskine
Hugo Weaving: renegade evil Nazi Johann Schmidt
Toby Jones: his assistant Dr. Arnim Zola

“The best movie I’ve ever seen, ever”.

This comment by a 11-year-old boy attests to the fact that this edition of a comic book superhero hits the mark with the target demographic profile. For the rest of us this tedious World War II action drama overstays its welcome by at least 30 minutes, is too repetitive (the fight scenes go on forever) and has no redeeming values apart from great CGI work.

At the risk of giving away the ending the only thing I’ll say is it’s the wimpiest grand finale of any action movie I’ve ever seen. Totally out of context to the rest of the story and a real cop out given that there are several better endings if they had only given it some thought instead of calling it a day and leaving things hanging like that.

intense sequences of violence and action.

During World War II the 4-F classification was assigned to registrants having severe physical problems, mental deficiency and/or syphilis. Steve had none of these: his medical conditions were limiting but not disabling so he would have been classified as 1-Y and therefore available for military service when he first applied.


84th Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role


The Civil Rights Movement which started in 1955 and continued until 1968 refers to the efforts in the United States aimed at outlawing racial discrimination against African Americans and restoring their voting rights in the Southern states.

According to its mission statement the Association of Junior Leagues International Inc. is “an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable."

Emma Stone: aspiring writer Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan
Allison Janney: Skeeter’s mother Charlotte
Viola Davis: Aibileen Clark, a middle-aged African-American maid
Ahna O'Reilly: Skeeter’s friend Elizabeth Leefolt
Bryce Dallas Howard: Hilly Holbrook, president of the local Junior League
Octavia Spencer: Aibileen’s best friend and fellow domestic Minny Jackson
Aunjanue Ellis: Minny's replacement Yule Mae Davis
Jessica Chastain: Celia Foote, Johnny’s wife and Minny’s new employer
Mike Vogel: Celia’s husband Johnny
Sissy Spacek: Hilly’s mother Missus Walters
Mary Steenburgen: New York publisher Elain Stein
Chris Lowell: Skeeter's boyfriend Stuart Whitworth

Set in Mississippi in 1962 right in the middle of the Civil Rights Movement, this story of how white people viewed their black domestic help is insightful. At times it is touching, frequently funny, often inspirational.

With great attention to detail the costumes, hair, makeup and sets are all bang on. The acting is uniformly good but Viola Davis excels with her performance: she steals every scene she’s in. Her role is pivotal to the storyline and she pulls it off beautifully.

It’s a tad too long for my liking, coming in at just under two-and-a-half hours, but there’s a lot to be said and little that could be edited out.

for thematic material.

Monday, August 8, 2011



David Carr: Media columnist
Bruce Headlam: Media editor
Richard Perez-Pena: Media reporter
Tim Arango: Media reporter
Brian Stelter: Media reporter
Andrew Ross Sorkin: Financial columnist
Bill Keller: Executive editor

Given that the Internet is surpassing print as our main news source and newspapers everywhere are going bankrupt this film is very timely particularly with its promise to tell it like it is. Certainly this is a worthwhile project to show how The New York Times is trying to survive in this day of changing readership habits. But it is too ambitious: there are a dozen stories that are touched upon, about half only briefly.

However the viewer of necessity must have the background knowledge to fill in the blanks that are sadly missing in these snippets. It’s very frustrating when you’re left wondering “Now what was that all about?” or thinking “What has Watergate got to do with today’s’ situation?”.

By trying to cover too much ground and hopping around from one subject to another we are left to sort out this puzzlingly jumble of story lines. That shouldn’t be: someone needs to edit out the tangential bits and come up with a movie that stays on track. That’s what the editors of The New York Times would have done.

for language.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Science fiction

James Franco: research scientist Will Rodman
David Oyelowo: his boss Steven Jacobs
Tyler Labine: animal handler Robert Franklin
John Lithgow: Will’s father Charles
Freida Pinto: primatologist Caroline Aranha
Brian Cox: primate rescue center owner John Landon
Tom Felton: his son Dodge

The thing that sets this apart is the realistic CGI effects that results in convincingly lifelike ape and chimps who take on human-like characteristics. In short order they become unhappy with their state in life and do something about it. That sets up lots of fast-paced action scenes culminating in one climatic battle that for some is a bit too long.

Since the principal actors never get around to talking there won’t be any acting awards for them (nor for the rest of the crew either).

A brief scene midway through the end-credits is probably a preview of the next instalment. You heard it here first.

for violence, terror, some sexuality and brief strong language.

Monday, August 1, 2011


Romantic Comedy

Steve Carell: Cal Weaver
Julianne Moore: Emily, Cal’s wife of 25 years
Jonah Bobo: their 13-year-old son Robbie
Analeigh Tipton: his 17-year-old babysitter Jessica
Ryan Gosling: Jacob Palmer a womanizing stud
John Carroll Lynch: Cal's neighborhood buddy Bernie
Emma Stone: Hannah, a law student
Josh Groban: her boyfriend Robert
Marisa Tomei: Kate, a teacher
Kevin Bacon: Emily's coworker David Lindhagen

and others no doubt.

It’s not often the title serves as a self-evaluation: this is one stupid, crazy movie. In a word it’s a total mess, a series of contrived unbelievable romantic encounters that begs the question “what has this got to do with me?”

If you have a lot of time on your hands and are willing to keep track of at least a half dozen love connections intermingled with some pretty lame jokes, then this one is for you. Otherwise, you’ll do as I did and walk out.

for sexual situations and coarse language.