Monday, September 30, 2013

Enough Said

Film: Enough Said

Starring: Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Seinfeld) and James Gandolfini (The Sopranos)

Director: Nicole Holofcener (Please Give)

U.S. Release: September 18th, 2013 (Limited Release - PG-13)

Genre: Comedy

Runtime: 93 minutes

It wouldn't be a stretch to label The Sopranos as the greatest television drama of all-time and Seinfeld the best sitcom. So what do you get when you cross the late-great James Gandolfini with the lovable Julia louis-Dreyfus? The answer is director Nicole Holofcener's affectionate "dramedy", Enough Said. Although it plays out as a heartfelt and earnest relationship tale, it becomes far too simplistic to forget that the film's underlying struggle could be undone with one forgivable admission from the central character.

Separately divorced parents Eva (played by Louis-Dreyfus) and Albert (Gandolfini) can't quite figure out how they'll cope once their children leave for college. So after meeting at a party one evening, the two middle-aged divorcees begin dating and embark on a relationship together. All is well except one tiny detail, Eva's (who's a masseuse) latest client just-so-happens to be Albert's ex-wife. But rather than confessing the revelation to her new love interest and ending the charade, Eva continues the business relationship and begins to see Albert in a different light.

If I were asked to describe Enough Said with only one word, it would be "frustrating". It pains me to sound so harsh with my description, especially because Julia Louis-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini put their acting chops on display, but numerous aspects are bothersome. Eva's character creates her own misfortunes and irritatingly expects an out-pour of sympathy following her foreseen demise. In addition, it's aggravating that the entire basis of the film revolves around Eva's unwillingness to make the most logical choice in the matter. And finally, just to add insult to injury, Enough Said lacks enough laughs to withstand such a foolish plot. 

One thing that's certain is Nicole Holofcener's latest endeavor works better as a drama than a comedy. Despite being given such a hollow-written character, James Gandolfini's onscreen brilliance transforms Enough Said into a sustainable dramatic narrative. Swindled and ruthlessly deceived, Albert's assumed discovery sets the stage for Gandolfini to shine in the moment, and he doesn't disappoint. Reminding us all of the immense talent that we lost earlier this year.

Despite fine work from a resounding supporting cast comprised of Catherine Keener, Toni Collette and Ben Falcone, Enough Said suffers from an irrational foundation. Either you desire a relationship or you don't. Devious acts of betrayal and tip-toeing around to (not-so) subconsciously ruin the perception of your significant other is flat out nonsensical. Enough Said strives to be an emotional and hearty film, but gets there in such a roundabout way. Perhaps a movie better suited for a crowd slightly older than myself, engage Enough Said at your own risk.

Stars: 2 stars out of 4

Grade: C+

Friday, September 27, 2013


Film: Prisoners

Starring: Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables) and Jake Gyllenhaal (End of Watch)

Director: Denis Villeneuve (Incendies)

U.S. Release: September 20th, 2013 (Rated R)

Genre: Drama

Runtime: 153 minutes

After hitting the festival circuit over the past month and a half, Denis Villeneuve's Prisoners has found it's way into general release. Being that the feature grossed north of $20 million in its opening weekend, there's no doubt that anticipation was high for the crime-drama which stars talents such as Hugh Jackman, Viola Davis, Terrence Howard, Melissa Leo and Jake Gyllenhaal. But rather than meeting or even exceeding expectations, Prisoners flounders around aimlessly for its entire two and a half hour duration.

Keller Dover (played by Hugh Jackman) is a devout christian and loyal patriarch to his wife and two children. After spending Thanksgiving dinner with the Birch family, Keller's young daughter and her friend go missing. But when Detective Loki's (Jake Gyllenhaal) investigation yields no results, Keller is forced to take matters into his own hands to try and find some answers to his daughter's disappearance.

Life is full of let-downs. Denis Villeneuve's Prisoners is an overly-ambitious and vastly underwhelming addition to life's long list of disappointments. This style of film is always a difficult sell and both Hugh Jackman and his onscreen wife, Maria Bello, force-feed the dramatics by over-acting on multiple levels. Alongside a sub-par showing from the film's cast, Prisoners remains far too predictable to warrant such a lofty running time. I'm no detective, nor do I try to be. However, while attempting to let the movie come to me, the screenplay failed to mask significant clues in the story. I figured out the ending about 40 minutes in and sitting through the remainder of the film became an almost unbearable feat. Those shortcomings, in conjunction with cliche characters and an inadmissible sense of surrealism, keep Prisoners from being a successful crime-thriller.

Everything that Denis Villeneuve's latest venture lacks in authenticity and ingenuity it makes up with controversial questions pertaining to morality. The brightest onscreen sequences center around deep-rooted psychological debates of right vs wrong. Prisoners goes to great lengths to illustrate that the two extremes are often divided by a very large gray area. However, two and a half hours of uneventful cinema become an unpleasant platform for such a dispute.

Drawn out and packing very little punch, Prisoners' intensity and spark fades as the minutes mount. There are plenty of more entertaining and captivating options currently in theatres. Pursue another one.

Stars: 1 and a half stars out of 4

Grade: C-

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Nebraska and Kill Your Darlings Trailers

Alexander Payne rebounds quickly from the Best Picture Nominee The Descendants and returns with his latest tale Nebraska. Bruce Dern is rumored to light-up the screen as an old befuddled alcoholic who embarks on a road trip through the Midwest with his estranged son (played by Will Forte) in order to collect a million-dollar sweepstakes prize. While it sounds like the typical story where Payne normally shines, check out the new trailer for Nebraska.

Famous writers Allen Ginsberg (played by Daniel Radcliffe), Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston) and William Burroughs (Ben Foster) collide paths in the 1940's Beat Generation as they experience first-hand the murder of David Kammerer (Michael C. Hall) by their friend Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan). Check out the trailer for John Krokidas' directorial debut, Kill Your Darlings.

Friday, September 20, 2013


Film: Rush

Starring: Daniel Brühl (Inglourious Basterds) and Chris Hemsworth (Thor)

Director: Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind)

U.S. Release: September 27th, 2013 (Rated R)

Genre: Drama

Runtime: 123 minutes

It's hard to discredit the extensive filmography of the Academy Award Winning director Ron Howard. On the other hand, it's impossible to ignore a noticeable decline in the filmmaker's work of late. That's why the release of Howard's newest feature, Rush, was initially surrounded by an enormous amount of skepticism. Yet, after a vocal outpouring of praise following its world premier in London and a screening at the Toronto International Film Festival, the doubters have all but faded.

Formula One racing took the world by storm in the 1970s. One major reason for its success was the highly publicized rivalry between speedsters Niki Lauda (played by Daniel Brühl) and James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth). Very different in their approaches, Lauda being known for his methodical commitment to the sport and Hunt living up to his reckless bad-boy reputation, these legends of racing faced off in one of the greatest Formula One seasons of all time. 

After turning up my nose at its theatrical trailer and writing off Howard's latest film as a mediocre offering in the vein of other recent works such as The Dilemma, Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code, it can be humbling to admit that you should never judge a book by its cover. It's an understatement to call Rush a gratifying resurgence for the once heralded director. Instead, I'll give the action-packed drama a more warranted description. Make no mistake about it, Rush is one of the year's finest films. The full-throttle racing sequences wisely take a back seat to an even more impressive story. Screenwriter Peter Morgan pens a brilliant script that develops such interesting characters. But in addition to Howard's stellar direction and Morgan's well-crafted screenplay, Rush benefits from a breakthrough performance from its leading man Daniel Brühl. Although Hemsworth is undoubtedly the bigger household name, Brühl completely steals the film. Thanks to a fantastic collaborative effort that even stretches as far as Hans Zimmer's immaculate score, Ron Howard's Rush is a clear-cut winner.

The blemishes found in the feature are few and far between. With an ever-so-slightly bloated running time that barely surges past the two hour mark, there are a couple of lulls to be expected. However, as soon as you recognize a low-point in the film, Howard shifts gears and takes the movie in another direction. Furthermore, it's undeniable that Niki Lauda's character is far more intriguing and impressionable than James Hunt's. Partially due to the fact that Brühl's performance is superior and also because the writing and real-life story dictates as much. Consequently, it creates a small mismatch and imbalance to the film. But after really searching for criticisms and being overly picky, there's no question that Rush's highs obviously outweigh its lows.

I'm man enough to admit when I'm wrong, and boy was I wrong! Rush has just about everything you can ask for in a great film. The racing scenes feel a bit lengthy, but they definitely get the adrenaline pumping. And Howard's feature delivers a knockout story with plenty of effective dramatic moments. This is an excellent sports movie that stacks up well against the competition. Rush is one picture you won't want to miss.

Stars: 3 and a half stars out of 4

Grade: A-

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Don Jon

Film: Don Jon

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Looper) and Scarlett Johansson (We Bought a Zoo)

Director: Joseph Gordon-Levitt

U.S. Release: September 27th, 2013 (Rated R)

Genre: Comedy

Runtime: 90 minutes

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is far from a new face in Hollywood. His time in the industry dates back to the early 1990s, most prominently with his first real breakthrough role in the family film Angels in the Outfield. Almost two decades later and the gifted actor has decided to expand his artistic ability. Gordon-Levitt tackles his first attempt behind the camera with his directorial debut, Don Jon.

Jon (played by Gordon-Levitt) is a smooth-talking, physically fit bartender whose weekend streak of pulling "randoms" has landed him the nickname "Don Jon". But despite the confident young man's success with the ladies, Jon has a secret obsession with porn. Therefore, when he falls head-over-heels for a demanding woman named Barbara (Scarlett Johansson), Jon's secret becomes too difficult to hide.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Don Jon is a big-hearted comedy that ultimately falls victim to a cyclic and monotonous approach. Underneath all of the recurring trips to the gym, Sunday confessionals and family dinners, resides a deeply dramatic story that's worthy of acknowledgment. However, Gordon-Levitt bogs down the most notable aspect of his film with redundant scenes that we're forced to sit through over and over (and over ...) again. Throughout all of this repetition very little is actually gained or lost, making Don Jon's mere 90 minute running time feel more like an eternity. In fact, the feature's most interesting character, Esther (who is brilliantly portrayed by Julianne Moore), fails to play a significant role in the film until it's already too late. While Joseph Gordon-Levitt's directorial debut offers a meaningful story that culminates quite well, Don Jon gets lost in a tiresome cycle of ineffective moments.

Although the movie suffers from its shortcomings, there are plenty of hilarious scenes and a strong uplifting moral to the story. Don Jon's side characters develop a winning sense of charm and charisma. The star's onscreen friends are full of silly one-liners and outlandish behavior that help keep the jokes coming. They prove to be a breath of fresh air as you wade through the slower-paced moments of the film. But despite the fine work from Don Jon's entire supporting cast, an over-embellished vibe and an unchanging delivery are too much to overcome.

I've been a longtime fan of Joseph Gordon-Levitt for many years now. He can be found all over my home collection of DVDs. And although Don Jon is a missed attempt, there's still a commendable heart and soul to the feature that the budding filmmaker can clearly build on for the future. I wouldn't count him out just yet. But in the meantime, you won't miss much by avoiding the new comedy, Don Jon.

Stars: 2 stars out of 4

Grace: C+

Monday, September 16, 2013

Diana and Mr. Nobody Trailers

Fresh off her Oscar-Nominated turn in last year's phenomenal real life story, The Impossible, Naomi Watts returns in the biopic Diana. The film follows the untold story of Princess Diana's quest for love with a surgeon prior to her untimely death. Reaching theatres in October, check out the trailer for the Oscar-bait film by clicking below.

Jared Leto has always found himself front and center of many interesting films. The actor/musician keeps with the trend by starring in the not-so-new sci-fi mind-bender Mr. Nobody. Strangely enough Mr. Nobody first premiered all the way back in 2009 to rave reviews, and now the fantasy-drama will find a wider release in the the United States. Centering around a young boy who's forced to make a difficult decision, Mr. Nobody examines the effects of choices and their consequences through a sci-fi backdrop. Check out the intriguing trailer by clicking below.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Best Movies Directed By and Featuring the Same Star

Joseph Gordon-Levitt had a huge breakout year in 2012. While anyone who pays close attention to the industry recognizes that Gordon-Levitt demonstrated some serious talent way before then, having major roles in hits such as Lincoln, Looper and The Dark Knight Rises made him a household name. And speaking of that serious talent I just mentioned, now he's stepped behind the camera and into the directors chair for the upcoming indie comedy Don Jon. Yet, Gordon-Levitt is far from the only ambitious actor in Hollywood. In fact, it's been a longtime trend for major stars to take a shot at directing. September's Movie List of the Month focuses on the greatest films where the director was also a prominent actor. And seeing that this has been going on for a very long time, I'm just going to focus on the last 20 years.

*** View August's Movie List of the Month HERE

Honorable Mention: Braveheart (Mel Gibson - 1995), That Thing You Do! (Tom Hanks - 1996) and Sling Blade (Billy Bob Thornton - 1996)

#5. Zoolander (Ben Stiller - 2001)

I decided to throw a little bit of a curve-ball right off the bat. Although I may be ostracized for placing Ben Stiller's Zoolander above highly regarded films such as Braveheart and Sling Blade, but the absurd comedy has its place in my heart. The jokes are endless and the the outlandish portrayal of the model industry is hilarious. Stiller made magic as not only the film's title character, but as the man behind the camera as well.

#4. The Ides of March (George Clooney - 2011)

One of my favorite political thrillers was directed by and co-starring the great George Clooney. The Ides of March is a suspenseful ride built firmly on an intriguing story and superb dialogue. While the flaws become difficult to point out, Clooney himself proves to be the visionary master behind the film. But in the end, the megastar's brilliant turn ultimately plays second fiddle to his top-notch direction.

#3. A Bronx Tale (Robert De Niro - 1993)

Just to be clear, there's a reason I decided to make this list cover the last 20 years. Robert De Niro's A Bronx Tale had to be on it. Despite making a career out of amazing performances in films such as The Godfather: Part II, Raging Bull and The Deer Hunter, De Niro proved his artistic versatility with his directorial debut, A Bronx Tale. The feature remains one of the most quotable movies in history and an absolute slam dunk for this list.

#2. Argo (Ben Affleck - 2012)

Last year's Academy Award Winner for Best Picture was Ben Affleck's Argo. Ironically, Affleck himself was left out and snubbed in the Best Director category, marking only the fourth time in 85 years that's ever happened. As the film's leading star as well, Affleck showed he may be a phenomenal director, but he's still quite a performer. Argo has all the elements you want in a movie and we should be thankful that Affleck could put it all together so well. 

#1. Gran Torino (Clint Eastwood - 2008)

2008 was such an awesome year for movies. Crowd-pleasing hits like Slumdog Millionaire and The Dark Knight headlined a long list of solid films. However, Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino wasn't only near the top of its year, it was one of the best of its decade ... even if the Academy Awards doesn't agree. Eastwood was beyond spectacular as the hard-nosed but big-hearted Walk Kowalski, and his directing job wasn't too shabby either. Gran Torino is a fantastic film that Clint Eastwood helped bring to life.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Film: Gravity

Starring: Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side) and George Clooney (The Descendants)

Director: Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men)

U.S. Release: October 4th, 2013 (Rated PG-13)

Genre: Drama

Runtime: 90 minutes

I've always heard the rumblings. But after finally getting a chance to screen the upcoming sci-fi drama, Gravity, it goes without question that director Alfonso Cuarón is one of the most ambitious filmmakers on the planet ... and perhaps beyond. It's been 7 years since the Mexican-born director captivated audiences with his previous groundbreaking work, Children of Men. And if one thing's for certain, it's the fact that Cuarón constantly struggles to out-perform himself. Just takes the soon-to-be instant classic, Gravity, for example. Even renowned director James Cameron is calling it "the best space film ever done". That's high praises from someone who always strives to raise the bar himself. Enough said.

Dr. Ryan Stone (played by Sandra Bullock) is on her first space mission along with a team led by the aging astronaut, Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney), who is overseeing his final voyage. However, during a routine spacewalk, debris from a satellite comes crashing into their space shuttle killing the rest of Stone and Kowalsky's team. Stranded in space with no contact from earth and a nearly depleted air supply, the pair of astronauts must work together to survive the ordeal.

There are countless aspects of Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity that deserve to be commended. With an uncut 13 minute opening scene that's completely mind-blowing and inarguably impressive, the director's latest work begins without a hitch. Then, once Gravity has hooked the audience with a tension-filled first act, Cuarón's film whisks along effortlessly like an astronaut in zero-gravity all the way to an astounding conclusion. And if this newest sci-fi drama doesn't sound pleasing enough, its triumphant visual effects are so mesmerizing that they can probably start handing over the Oscar statues for most of the technological categories already. Aesthetically brilliant and wonderfully paced, Gravity feels like the sure-fire Best Picture contender that many predicted.

While I thoroughly enjoyed Alfonso Cuarón's long-awaited return, there are certain elements of the feature that irked me. First, there's no question about it, George Clooney steals the show. So much, in fact, that it almost detracts from Sandra Bullock's widely-lauded role. Although I'm a long-time fan of the Academy Award Winning actress, I didn't "love" this performance. Once I recognized my complaint, I tried to break down the cause of the issue and I discovered that it stems from the movie's dialogue. When it comes to comic relief, the verbal exchanges are spectacular. However, during the more dramatic moments, I found the screenplay's dialogue to be elementary and trite. As a result, those pivotal onscreen scenes in which the audience is supposed to empathize with Bullock ultimately lack a "punch". Therefore, Gravity never reaches the cosmic heights we'd all expect.

One thing is for sure, Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity offers filming techniques and space photography that is far beyond anything we've ever seen before. Thus, an unbridled appreciation is certainly in order. On the other hand, I freely acknowledge flaws in Cuarón's latest work. After viewing Gravity in the light of other epic survival stories such as Danny Boyle's 127 Hours, it's clear that it doesn't offer the same level of impact. But either way, Gravity is definitely a well-paced and gripping feature that deserves to be savored with a big-screen experience. 

Stars: 3 stars out of 4.

Grade: B

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

RoboCop and The Family (Red Band) Trailers

Hollywood's ambush of remakes continues in 2014 with the reboot of the cult classic, RoboCop. Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman and Michael Keaton star in this re-imagining of a police officer who's critically injured in the line of duty and used as a prototype for a revolutionary part-man/part-robot law enforcer. Due out in 2014, check the latest trailer for RoboCop by clicking below.

Arriving in theatres this weekend (September 13th) is the action-comedy The Family starring Robert DeNiro, Tommy Lee Jones and Michelle Pfeiffer. A new Red Band trailer has been released for the film, which follows a former mob boss and his immediate family who are relocated to a town in France to serve out their stint in witness protection. If you're interested in seeing this R-rated feature, check out the Red Band trailer below and see what you can expect.

Monday, September 9, 2013

DVD Outlook: September 2013

What’s up with the price of movie tickets these days? They’re a bank-buster, am I right? One way to circumvent draining your life savings is to hold off until the movies you want to see make their way to DVD. Here’s a look at the best films coming to Redbox and Video-On-Demand in September. (Click here for August)

The Kings of Summer - 3 stars out of 4 (Read my review here)

One of the year’s best comedies also happens to be one of the most overlooked indie films of 2013. The Sundance Film Festival entry The Kings of Summer (formerly titled Toy’s House) delivers all of the nostalgic and carefree goodness you could possibly want. When two best friends decide that their overbearing parents are too much to handle, they decide to run away and build their own house deep in the woods. With an odd-ball wildcard named Biaggio tagging along for the ride, these three teenagers learn about life, love and responsibility. One of the greatest aspects of The Kings of Summer is its refusal to cater to the sentimental and sappy storylines that always manage to plague a stellar comedy. The laughs are non-stop and the journey is beyond enjoyable … it’s epic. This is one indie gem you won’t want to miss. (SEPTEMBER 24TH)

World War Z - 3 stars out of 4 (Read my review here)

Brad Pitt’s coddled and long-awaited baby, World War Z, proved to be one of the summer’s biggest hits. But not only was it a box-office smash, the zombie action film was a massively energetic and engaging thrill ride. When fast-moving and flesh-eating undead spread like wildfire, government officials take shelter on aircraft carriers in the middle of the ocean. Pitt stars as Gerry Lane, a former U.N. investigator who is literally “forced” to seek out a cure to this apocalyptic disease. World War Zis a high-octane adventure that’s sure to appeal to action enthusiasts, zombie lovers and fans of a strong story. If you missed out on this big-budget summer blockbuster, be sure to catch it later this month. (SEPTEMBER 17TH)

The East - 3 stars out of 4 (Read my review here)

One often criticized facet of modern Hollywood is the lack of originality and clever ideas. Well one of 2013′s most unique and intriguing screenplays came in the form of Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij’s The East. As another Sundance Film Festival selection, The East centers around a private intelligence firm operative (played by Brit Marling) who infiltrates an anarchist group wreaking havoc on major corporations. A rare diamond in the rough that’s highly psychological and makes you question your own personal morals, The East satisfies on a multitude of levels. Thanks in large part to a collection of supporting roles from big names like Ellen Page, Patricia Clarkson and Alex Skarsgard, this feels a lot less like an independent film and more so a modestly-budgeted game-changer. (SEPTEMBER 17TH)

Honorable Mention: It’s also worth taking a flier on the illusionist thriller Now You See Me (SEPTEMBER 3RD) starring Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo and Woody Harrelson. And although I can’t vouch for either film since I haven't seen them, I’ve heard solid feedback on both Disconnect (SEPTEMBER 17th) and The Iceman (SEPTEMBER 3RD).

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Spectacular Now

Film: The Spectacular Now

Starring: Miles Teller (21 & Over) and Shailene Woodley (The Descendants)

Director: James Ponsoldt (Smashed)

U.S. Release: August 2nd, 2013 (Limited Release - Rated R)

Genre: Drama

Runtime: 95 minutes

It's official, you should probably get used to hearing the name "James Ponsoldt". The young director has swarmed onto the scene with impressionable debut and sophomore works such as Off the Black and Smashed (both are worth checking out if you haven't already). But in 2013, just one year after his previous release, Ponsoldt returns with what many are calling his best picture to date, The Spectacular Now.

Sutter Keely (played by Miles Teller) is a fun and energetic senior in high school who fails to take anything seriously. But after a misunderstanding leads to a breakup with his current girlfriend, the budding alcoholic responds the only way he knows how to ... with a rowdy night of binge drinking. The following morning a bright and shy senior named Aimee Finecky (Shailene Woodley) stumbles across Sutter's passed out body on a random front lawn. The two teenagers end up spending the day together and that begins their unlikely and presumably doomed relationship.

The Spectacular Now shines by riding a wave of emotions on the shoulders of its endearing lead characters. Proving to be the role of a lifetime for Miles Teller, the convincing young actor embraces the opportunity by delivering a multidimensional character with legitimate struggles that lure the audience in with ease. Perhaps the greatest achievement regarding The Spectacular Now is the authenticity of its characters. Each and every individual you encounter in the film has their own set of flaws. No one is all knowing or perfectly content with their situation, and that feels like a rarity in movies these days. Along with screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber who collaborated to adapt the screenplay from a Tim Tharp novel of the same name, director James Ponsoldt utilizes his leads in a unique way. Sutter and Aimee are very different people who complement one another quite well. As their relationship blossoms, the teenagers are able to break from their shells and face the world in front of them. Therefore, The Spectacular Now is a gratifying film that examines the transition from youth to adulthood in a bold and honest light.

The third feature from Ponsoldt rarely moves along without a hitch. The initial roadblock comes in the form of Sutter's obvious drinking problem. The ease at which he can obtain alcohol and weasel his way into bars seems all too unbelievable. The film could have simply avoided such a contrived subplot by offering a more plausible personal struggle. There's rarely a scene without Sutter sipping from a flask or mixing a cocktail, and it becomes a bit too overbearing. But despite flaws with a few secondary and minor aspects of the feature, The Spectacular Now hurdles these obstacles and wins over its audience.

As yet another winning effort from this year's crop of Sundance Film Festival selections, James Ponsoldt's The Spectacular Now is both compelling and forthright. While it lacks credibility in certain areas and the ending was about one scene too long in my opinion, The Spectacular Now is another strong film from a very promising up-and-coming director. Check it out in select theatres now.

Stars: 3 stars out of 4

Grade: B

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Neighbors (Red Band) and Her Trailers

Nicholas Stoller, the director of the comedy hit Forgetting Sarah Marshall, returns in 2014 with Neighbors. Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne star as a couple who have the distinct displeasure of welcoming a fraternity as their new next door neighbors. Zac Ephron and Dave Franco lead a wild bunch of college students who get caught up in an escalating feud with the couple. Check out the hilarious red band trailer for the 2014 comedy, Neighbors, by clicking below.

Fresh off an Oscar Nomination for Best Lead Actor, Joaquin Phoenix returns in Spike Jonze's late-year release, Her. In a near-future setting, Phoenix stars as a lonely writer who develops an unconventional relationship with his recently-purchased state-of-the-art operating system. Intriguing to say the least, Her is an eye-opening look at the intensity of artificial intelligence. Check out the trailer below.