Sunday, June 30, 2013


Portions in German with English subtitles

Johanna “Hannah”Arendt (October 1906 – December 1975) was a German-American political theorist and philosopher. Born in Germany she fled her native country for France after being interrogated by the Gestapo and was then stripped of her German citizenship. With the occupation of France in 1940 she escaped to the United States becoming a naturalized citizen in 1950. For years she taught at several different American universities and became a well known author in addition to writing articles for various magazines.

Barbara Sukowa: Professor Hannah Arendt
Axel Milberg: her husband Heinrich Blücher
Janet McTeer: her friend novelist Mary McCarthy
Michael Degen: her long time friend and colleague Kurt Blumenfeld
Klaus Pohl: her first lover and mentor Martin Heidegger
Nicolas Woodeson: William Shawn, the New Yorker magazine Editor in chief

Given the assignment by the New Yorker to cover the 1961 war crimes trial of Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi Gestapo chief in charge of Jewish Affairs, her assessment of the man and the involvement of Jewish leaders soon became controversial.


for war related thematic material.


 Dramatic comedy

Greta Gerwig: 27-year-old aspiring dancer Frances Handley
Mickey Sumner: Sophie, her best friend and roomie
Patrick Heusinger: Sophie’s Wall St. boyfriend Patch
Adam Driver: Sophie’s friend Lev
Michael Zegen: Lev’s roommate Benji

Two things set this low-budget film apart from the usual run-of-the-mill: there’s hardly any story and it’s shot in black-and-white. Snippets of Frances’ life play out in quick-cut fashion as she bumbles from one situation to another. Amusing a lot of the time even though there is a ring of truth about it which is probably not hilarious at all.

The acting is nothing exceptional except for Frances who steals every scene she’s in.

 for sexual references and language.

One of her friends tells Frances their flight from Paris to New York City took six and half hours. The fastest non-stop commercial flight actually takes more than an hour longer than that.


Ethan Hawke: sucessful author Jesse Wallace
Seamus Fitzpatrick: his 13-year-old son Hank
Julie Delpy: Jesse’s wife Celine
Walter Lassally: their Greek friend Patrick

Basically this is a film about people talking about relationships, love, marriage, child upbringing, long-term commitment, that kind of thing. With the principal actors as co writers what they say often rings true and comes across as a natural conversation between two intelligent people who have known each other for years.

However the conversation during dinner sounds like something you might hear at a frat house with frequent vulgar references to what a man thinks is the most important thing in life. It is unsettling and out of place since most adults do not discuss private matters like this openly with others execpt with their marriage counselor perhaps.

The lengthy 10-minute long tracking shots with the camera plunked in front of the couple as they drive or walk is boring which is probably why no other director employs this technique to the extent this one does.

Some movie-goers are going to be offended by the brashness of the sexual nature of their short stay in the hotel room. During the viewing I attended, no less than five people walked out, offended and put off by what was shown on the screen.

 for sexual content, nudity and language.

While Jesse and Stefanos are talking each has a tall drink beside them but Stefanos’ changes locations from one shot to another although he never once touches it. 

This is the third film in the series with these two actors. The others were better.

Thursday, June 27, 2013


comic book action/adventure

Russel Crowe: Scientist Jor-El
Ayelet Zurer: his wife Lara
Michael Shannon: rebel leader General Zod
Cooper Timberline: 9-year old Clark Kent
Kevin Costner: Clark’s earth-father Jonathan
Diane Lane: Clark’s earth-mother Martha
Henry Cavill: the adult Clark
Amy Adams: Lois Lane, reporter for the Daily Planet newspaper
Laurence Fishburne: Perry White, the Daily Planet Editor in Chief

Loud movies loaded with copious CGI will certainly appeal to those whose literary choice is a comic book. For the rest of us it is an assault: not just to our ears but to our intelligence as though we expect nothing more of a movie than a series of hand-to-hand combat scenes that quickly become tedious all to the strains of an overbearing thumping score.

Without a  good story line and solid character development, a movie is just a bore and a waste of time. Instead of having us look up in the sky to see if it’s a bird or a plane and then discover it’s Superman we get to look at one scene of destruction, devastation and mayhem after another. At 2 hours and 23 minutes it is too long except for the die-hard fan who can’t get enough of this stuff.

Not being one of them, I should have walked out earlier.

 for some language, intense sequences of sci-fi violence, action and destruction.

  • General Zod says Krypton is on the verge of implosion; in fact, just the opposite happens shortly thereafter.
  • The Coast Guard helicopter pilot identifies the aircraft as number 6502 whereas the tail number is actually 6011.
  • Two Canadian soldiers in uniform are in the bar. No member of the Canadian forces is allowed to be in a public drinking establishment while in uniform.
  • The captain of the C-17 Globemaster tells the co-pilot to take over the controls which he does and says “co-pilot in charge”. The correct handoff is “I have control”.
  • The aircraft is some distance from the city when permission is requested to drop the bomb; some ten minutes later permission is granted and they are no closer than before.
  • The news network is seen by viewers all over the world and they are all watching it at night; somewhere it has to be daylight.

Monday, June 10, 2013


 Coming of age

Nick Robinson: 15-year-old Joe Toy
Nick Offerman: Joe’s  father Frank
Allison Brie: Joe’s older sister Heather
Moises Arias: Joe’s pal Biaggio
Gabriel Basso: Joe’s best buddy Patrick Keenan
Megan Mullally: Patrick’s mother
Marc Jackson: Patrick’s father
Erin Moriarty: Joe’s would-be girlfriend Kelly

For many of us male viewers, the story of three teenagers rebelling against their parents and taking measures to put things right brings back nostalgic memories and thus makes this a very appealing movie. Those who have not experienced something similar will no doubt still find this quirky, somewhat unconventional tale amusing and a pleasant outing.

The acting by the boys comes across as genuine and with a series of rapid-fire montages we get to see the kinds of antics they get up to along with more protracted moments of drama. Definitely a feel-good movie and it has to be said that Baggie is hilarious and steals every scene he’s in. Just to witness his antics is worth the price of admission alone.

 for languge and some teen drinking. I have no idea why such a harsh rating was assigned as there is nothing that warrants placing it in the same category as hard-core sex; it should be rated PG, no more.

Sunday, June 9, 2013



Vince Vaughn: mid-40’s watch salesman Billy McMahon
Owen Wilson: his partner Nick Campbell
Josh Brener: 23 year-old Google team manager Lyle
Assif Mandvi: Mr. Chetty, head of Google’s internship program
Tobit Raphael: overachiever Yo-Yo
Dylan O’Brien: brainy Stuart
Tiya Sircar: Neha, the token girl on the team
Rose Byrne: Google executive Dana

After a very long protracted start, the plot soon becomes utterly predictable with only the setting at the Google complex providing anything new that has not already been seen/used hundreds of times. Essentially a rehash of the underdogs (Billy and Nick) confronting overwhelming odds (getting a job at Google) and somehow doing better than expected.

Instead of clever writing the humour relies upon recycling worn-out overused juvenile sex jokes and a couple of new ones that need not be repeated as they are an affront to the elderly or to those with a weight problem.

Speaking of repeating: that technique is employed more than once just in case we don’t get the joke the first time resulting in an overlong two hours running time.

 for sexuality, some crude humour, partying and language.


  • During a business dinner meeting, Billy’s glass of red wine moves further away from him although he never once touches it.
  • Poorly done ADR results in  the movement of the lips being out of sync with what is being said by Nick’s sister.
  • While Mr. Chetty is addressing the candidates Billy’s beanie disappears from time to time.
  • When play resumes after the half-time break, the scoreboard incorrectly shows it to still be period 1.
  • One of the interns has his headphones around his neck with the large pads showing but in the final shot even though he didn’t touch they have flipped over with the red exterior now showing.

Thursday, June 6, 2013


 Romantic comedy
Portions in Danish with English subtitles
Original title: Den skaldede frisør

Trine Dyrholm: Ida, a hairdresser
Kim Bodnia: her husband Leif
Molly Egelind: their daughter Astrid
Sebastian Jessen: Astrid’s fiancé Patrick
Pierce Bosnan: Patrick’s father wealthy business tycoon Philip
Paprika Steen: Philip’s sister-in-law Benedikte

Unlike most movies of this genre, this one is about young love and grown-up romance. The differences make for an interesting study in human psychology. That is but one of the unusual aspects of this movie: it shuns most of the clichés associated with romantic comedies and so it comes across as more real and closer to the truth than the usual run-of-the-mill sort. How refreshing. 

Apart from a few questionable plot devices and a subplot involving one of the daughters that goes nowhere, the story evolves at a nice pace. Dyrholm’s performance is letter perfect and Brosnan has never been better.

As an added bonus we are treated to the lushness of the Southern Italian countryside. Almost makes you want to pack you bag and go. But before doing so, go see this movie: your effort will be well rewarded.

 for sexually suggestive scene, nudity and coarse language.

  • Ida tells her doctor she does not want to have any reconstructive surgery but when she comes to shore after a brief dip it is clearly evident she had the work done.
  • Philip explains that they pruned the orange trees so they would bear lemons; to accomplish this you have to graft the trees not prune them.



James Cromwell: 87-year-old farmer Craig Morrison
Geneviève Bujold: his wife Irene
Rick Roberts: their son John
Julie Stewart: their daughter Ruth
Campbell Scott: Craig’s lawyer Gary
George R. Robertson: Craig’s pal Chester
Jonathan Potts: Municipal bureaucrat

A simple story of love and devotion on one hand, determination and pluck on the other. Based on actual events with outstanding performances by the two leads, it highlights some of the problems associated with aging while at the same time having to deal with the “red-tape” of bureaucracy.

A “feel-good” movie (a bit of a rarity nowadays) the humour is of the quite sort amidst the more serious issues they have to face.


 for some thematic elements, brief sensuality and partial nudity.

Monday, June 3, 2013


 Crime caper

Jesse Eisenberg: slight of hand magician Daniel Atlas
Dave Franco: con man Jack Wilder
Isla Fisher: escape artist Henley Reeves
Woody Harrelson: mentalist Merritt Osbourne
Michael Caine: insurance magnate Arthur Tessler
Mark Ruffalo: FBI agent Dylan Rhodes
Mélanie Laurent: French Interpol agent Alma Vargas
Morgan Freeman: magic debunker Thaddeus Bradley

What a mess. Such a waste of talent (and loads of money no doubt). The best that can be said about this movie is the fact there are some good performances and the one car chase scene is well done.

Apart from that it is one big let down because at the end we are provided a confusing, totally inadequate explanation of what transpired. Like all movies of this sort, the twist should not come from out of the blue with no forewarning and various plot points need to be resolved. Instead we are left with unanswered questions so you walk out wondering “what the heck was that all about?”


for language, some action and sexual content.