How Do You Know

While I usually go out to the theater on Friday night, last night I decided to stay in. No offense to the fine films that are playing at the theater currently, but I am just not interested in seeing any of them. The ones that I wanted to see, I’ve seen. So I watched How Do You Know instead. This comedy from last year surprised me by how grown-up it was. I was expecting a silly movie about a love triangle, but in fact, How Do You Know was much more than that.

Reese Witherspoon plays Lisa, a star softball player who gets cut from the USA softball team. Reese has the uncanny ability to simultaneously pull off adorable and gorgeous. After she is cut she is left wondering what to do with her life. She is dating Matty (Wilson) who is a star pitcher for the Washington Nationals and notorious playboy who is half-heartedly looking for the one. Unbeknownst to Lisa, a friend has passed along her number to George (Rudd). George is a business man working for his father’s company until he receives a bit of bad news: he is being indicted. The pieces start to fall into place. George is the obvious commitment man, Matty is the carefree player, and Reese is the confused and vulnerable damsel in distress. Read More »

Sun, Surf, and Cinema: Summer Movies to See

Summer marks the beginning of a fantastic cinematic season. Here are the movies that I am most looking forward to this Summer.

The Beaver

Laugh if you like, but this movie looks more promising than many of the movies coming out this summer. Starring the King of Miami himself, Mel Gibson, this ambitious directorial attempt from Jodie Foster looks pretty good! Gibson plays a family man who is down on his luck and begins communicating through a beaver puppet. Sounds absurd. I think we’ll all be very surprised. Limited release: May 6th. Wide release: May 20th.

Bridesmaids

What looks like the female version of The Hangover is sure to be better than The Hangover. A hilarious cast of women including Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Melissa McCarthy, and the adorable Ellie Kemper, this movie is sure to throw the stereotypical “chick flick” right out the window. See it May 13th.Read More »

Shark Films: The good, the bad, and the ugly

As a shark enthusiast and a cinephile, I love when these two things come together. Shark films have been a great love of my life since my dad showed me Jaws when I was age 8. I wouldn’t even stand by the drain in the shower for a very long time in fear that a giant great white would leap from the depths of my plumbing and finish me off.

Even so, I still wanted to watch it all the time. Have you ever been swimming in a lake even the pool in your backyard and heard that famous Jaws theme in your head. Dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun… and then exited the water as though you suddenly had the ability to walk on it? Yeah, that’s what I like to call PTJD (Post-Traumatic Jaws Disorder). Let’s take a look at some of the finest shark films in all of their glory.

The best:

Jaws

Jaws spearheaded a movement in cinema that would change the art forever. Shark films were springing up everywhere after this one came out and I gotta say, they only went downhill. Next clip, please…Read More »

Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants is The Notebook goes to the circus. It is visually stunning and well acted. The cast is full of actors who I love. So what was off about it? I’m afraid I’m taking a bit of an ambivalent approach to how I feel about this one. The story is a good one, and the elements of the film worked well together, but there was just something that I can’t put my finger on keeping me from saying that I loved it.

Reese Witherspoon is charming and lovely always. Cristoph Waltz is our very own uber bingo bad guy who plays nasty better than anyone I’ve seen. Robert Pattinson – though I have never seen him act in anything before (no, I haven’t seen Twilight) – was marvelous. He acts with his whole heart.Read More »

Win Win

In the spirit of supporting women in the film industry I went to see Win Win. This film was produced by seven people. Five of those people were women. Co-producer Jacqueline Brogan, executive producer Lori Keith Douglas, producer Lisa Maria Falcone, producer Mary Jane Skalski, and associate producer Erica Tuchman. The film definitely has a woman’s touch. The story follows a lawyer named Mike Flaherty (Paul Giamatti). Typically, men are put into power positions in films. Policemen, fire fighters, politicians, lawyers, etc…

Mike is not a very successful lawyer. In fact, he’s not a very successful man period. The strongest role in the film, in my humble opinion, is that of Mike’s wife Jackie Flaherty (Amy Ryan). She keeps her family grounded and doesn’t take any guff from anyone. She’s not afraid to speak her mind and let the world know how she feels. Mike feels as though he is drowning with nothing to grab onto in terms of supporting his family. Enter Leo Poplar (Burt Young). Leo is a man who is entering the beginning stages of dementia and is deemed incapacitated by the court. He must either be cared for by the state or New Jersey, or find a guardian. By way of fate, Mike finds out this his client Leo – who has been searching for his daughter for nearly twenty years – is offering $1500 monthly commission to his caregiver and whomever becomes his guardian will take on that handsome sum as well.Read More »

Never Let Me Go

I feel like I went into Never Let Me Go in a good place. I knew nothing of the film other than that it had Keira Knightly, Carey Mulligan, and a new favorite of mine, Andrew Garfield. I went off of the knowledge that I already have about movies and what their titles generally insinuate. I used common sense theories and had it in my head that this movie was going to be a delightful romp that followed the stories of three young people who just wanted to have fun and get into mischief with a little romance thrown in here and there. I have never been more mistaken in all of my life. Unless you count the time that I went to see Transformers 2 and thought it was going to be good.

This story of this film is incredibly frightening and almost nightmarish. The film begins with Kathy (Mulligan) who is recounting the experiences she had at a posh English boarding school. Garfield plays Tommy. He is teased and bullied by everyone but Kathy.

Read More »

An Education

The aptly named film An Education was not at all what I expected it to be. It exceeded my expectations by far and even surprised me. A coming-of-age tale of a 16-year-old girl in London. Jenny (Carey Mulligan) is doing well in school and on track to attend Oxford after high school. She is bright with a sharp wit and knows what she wants. Dad Jack (Alfred Molina) keeps on her to make sure that she is behaving and doing just exactly what she is supposed to be doing: spending every moment of her life buried in her books.

Everything changes one dreary, rain-soaked afternoon. Jenny stands on the corner alongside her cello when David (Peter Sarsgaard) pulls up beside her. He offers shelter in his car to her cello and she walks with his car, eventually letting her guard down and getting in. Read More »

Your Highness

If I weren’t the open-minded, light-hearted individual that I am, Your Highness would have left me offended, unamused, and bored. Thankfully, I find vulgarity hilarious. This movie was jam-packed with it, too. Foul language, blood and guts, and naked women. Lots of them. If this doesn’t sound like your idea of a good time then you should probably stop reading here because it is only going to get worse.

James Franco plays Fabious, brother of Thadeous played by Danny McBride. Thadeous is the Goofus to Fabious’s Gallant. Charles Dance plays their father King Tallious. Tallious wants his slacker son Thadeous to get on the ball and start setting out on quests like his brother. However, Thadeous is perfectly happy to lounge around and hang out with his servant Courtney (Rasmus Hardiker). Read More »