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39 reviews in total 
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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Noa Koler is a star..., 29 May 2017
8/10

The movie is very well done, but without a talent like Ms. Koler's, it would not be nearly as compelling, and compelling it is! It holds your interest from the opening scene to the last, and while some might consider it a chick flick, it certainly appealed to me.

What is love? What is marriage? Do faith and God fit in? Great questions, and while this movie may not answer them definitively, it certainly provides an entertaining way to ponder them.

The relationships she has with her women relatives and friends are uplifting...it's all good.

The Lovers (2017/I)
8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Love and Marriage, 21 May 2017
7/10

The only other review so far (by Bastille above) is on the money. He does a good job of describing the acting, script, etc. I would like to add another point, however: it also cleverly examines the issues of love, marriage, lust, and sex and how they are intertwined...or not.

Very creative.

3 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Julianne Moore should get a nomination here..., 29 May 2016
7/10

Without Ms. Moore, the movie would still have been good, but not a 7. Every scene she's in glistens, and all you can do is watch her. Credit must also go to the writer/director, Rebecca Miller (Arthur Miller's daughter) for a tight screenplay and terrific direction re Ms. Moore's performance, but the life the actor breathes into the role is awesome.

Moore plays an academic, and although early on you think she is a stereotype, that does not develop: she turns out to be the most human of them all.

Now for Greta Gerwig: she plays, essentially, the same character she played in "Greenberg" and the disappointing "Francis Ha." That is, the somewhat neurotic, ineffectual woman confused about relationships. She should def broaden her repertoire before she ends up committing career suicide; perhaps change agents. Oh--she is a talented actress to be sure--but she's got to get out more.

Ethan Hawke is good and believable, but is not asked for much here. This is a movie written and directed by a woman and about two women; the men are written well, but the character development focuses on the Gerwig and Moore characters.

The movie kept my interest throughout and moved along. But do not expect a comedy that will have you laughing out loud, because all you will get are a few chuckles. Also, this is a very New York City- centric work, so if that is not your cup 'o tea, do not bother. But no matter: although I have never seen Ms. Miller's previous works, I will certainly look forward to her next. Congratulations to you, Rebecca Miller, on a thoughtful and enjoyable movie. And nice casting with Julianne Moore.

13 out of 29 people found the following review useful:
Not the usual Tina Fey flick..., 4 March 2016
8/10

Well, there are glimmers of the funny, irreverent Tina in her character; but, this is a driven woman with courage and a strong moral compass. Another thing she shares with the funny Tina is that she's never boring.

The movie/book that this movie kept reminding me of was "Catch-22." It captures the insane mood of an environment that is pulled apart by war: whether it is Saigon in 1969, Italy in 1944, or Kabul in 2005 the usual rules and morality of society do not count: no one knows if they will survive another day. This is transmitted beautifully.

The United States Marines are also represented in a terrific manner...surprisingly, no condescension by the film makers.

And enough genuine smiles and laughs. Tina Fey's breakout movie.

Sisters (2015/III)
11 out of 31 people found the following review useful:
Funniest movie I have seen since Animal House, 26 December 2015
9/10

I read a few of the negative reviews and can only imagine that they were written by reincarnated Puritans from Salem, MA. This was Tina Fey and Amy Poehler at their out-and-out best! Written by a woman who was the former head writer at SNL, it avoids the female gross out humor of Bridemaids as it hits a click or two above that.

Yes, there are sight gags and the physical humor that both of these women excel at, but the idea of having two sisters of different sensibilities played by these two works very very well. Poehler is the one who is the do-gooder who worries more about baby seals than she does her own life (e.g., she was the prom date for a boy with spina bifida back in high school). Fey is the partier who has even lost touch with her daughter and can never quite get it together; so, you see, they are both irresponsible but in very different ways. An interesting, more nuanced take on the duality thingy of humans (good and evil) that movies often portray, but this is one way to show that it's not black or white. Life is, after all, not quite that simple.

But look, this is not a Bergman movie and I apologize for sounding like a freshman in a Cinema 101 course; however, it does have this theme that joke after joke is piled onto. And, they are delivered-- mostly by Fey--in a rapid fire and perfect manner. The supporting cast features several current and classic SNL people (Bobby Moynihan, Kate McKinnon, Maya Rudolph and more) and the parents are played perfectly by James Brolin and Dianne Wiest.

I laughed in spots 'til I cried; and one of those spots was in the outtakes during the credit roll. This was one funny movie. Disclaimer: I have no social, financial or any other relationship or interest in this movie or with the actors, writer or director. I just laughed my butt off.

3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Brilliant. Period., 9 August 2015
9/10

Not a lagging moment...should win statues for adapted screenplay and best actor for Jason Segel. The movie consists of eavesdropping on conversations between two very smart guys--one of whom is probably a genius; yet, David Foster Wallace is a regular guy who loves his dogs and has a love/hate relationship with fame. He is complex, yet simple.

Lipsky, the Rolling Stone interviewer who manages to get DFW to speak about things he likely has not before this interview,is very intuitive and plays David well; he gets what he wants for the article. The portrayal by Eisenberg as directed by Posoldt was the only disappointment for me. There is essentially NO difference between Eisenberg's Zuckerberg and his Lipsky here; the director should have guarded against this but did not. Ah well...someone should tell both of them that there is more than one way to play an intense, very smart New Yorker.

Ignore this failing and see this movie before all your friends tell you to see it. You can tell them.

3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
A well-crafted, creative and beautifully acted movie, 24 April 2015
7/10

We have been busy lately, and I have been watching a fair amount of sports, so my wife and I have not been to as many flicks as we usually go to: so, I wanted to take her to one that she would enjoy tonight, with me as a secondary factor.

I read a few reviews this morning and it sounded like my wife would love it; well, she did, and while I didn't necessarily *love* it, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

One way I judge a movie is how each scene stands alone, i.e., if any scene was extracted and shown with no context, is it worth watching? Well, the scenes in this flick pass this test. The art direction, cinematography, costumes, and most of all, the directing and acting made it all work beautifully.

A word about Blake Lively: she is in every scene, and because of the plot and structure of this movie, she must carry it. And she does-- she is completely believable in this fantasy story. Harrison Ford-- though he makes a late appearance--takes over all of his scenes. The man is a presence.

70 out of 85 people found the following review useful:
Brilliantly done dramedy with Hader stealing it, 12 September 2014
8/10

Upstate NY is the setting for this funny and poignant film about a set of twins that split apart but are brought together by near-death experiences.

It is difficult to make a movie that can go from laughter to the depths of anguish and remain entertaining or even believable, but "The Skeleton Twins" manages it well; but without Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig the degree of difficulty would have increased significantly.

Hader plays a gay wannabe actor who is not doing well out in LA and paying his rent by waiting tables; Wiig is his twin who has stayed in the small town where they grew up and she is a dental hygienist. Although the flamboyantly gay "Stephone" was a Hader favorite on Saturday Night Live, do not expect a stereotype with Milo: this is a human and not a joke.

Wiig's Maggie is a flawed character, and both sibs are scarred by their dreadful childhood. How they eventually come to depend on each other is a thing of beauty.

Finally, cheers to Craig Johnson for the way he wrote Luke Wilson's Lance: the straight guy who just wants Maggie to be happy and have his children. Johnson makes him a noble character unlike the buffoon so many in Hollywood would have made of this type.

The chemistry between Wiig and Hader is incredible, and Wilson is a joy to behold. This is a must-see.

The Giver (2014)
6 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
Another dystopian depressing snoozefest, 16 August 2014
4/10

My two big takeaways: 1) Boy--has Meryl Streep gotten old and 2) why does Jeff Bridges talk so funny? Very little tension, a lot of talking, asexual in every way, no violence, not much of anything, actually.

A bloodless society and a bloodless movie.OK...so is it an allegory for the possible direction of modern society? Perhaps, but neither the right nor the left appears to be moving in this silly direction. But it seems to me that more of the message was: if we give up our bad passions, we must also lose the good ones. Is it worth it? This movie doesn't seem to think so, and neither do I, but the way the story unfolds is too tedious to take. A movie that runs for 94 minutes seems to be 2.5 hours long.

Really...don't bother.

Lucy (2014/I)
6 out of 27 people found the following review useful:
Silly, but quite entertaining nonetheless, 27 July 2014
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

...and then, of course, there's Scarlett Johansson, without whom the movie would have been less fun. She is a talented actress, but also has that intangible screen presence that fills every frame and makes it impossible to look away. Even with all the CGI, it is still her movie.

She gets to play a broad range here, from vulnerable, none-too-bright young woman living in Taiwan with a roommate (Taiwan? Why there? We're never told...) to a super brainy, other-worldly creature. At any rate, in this very creative version of a 'drug deal gone bad' she winds up exposed to a new illicit agent that is being set up as the new 'it' drug to take over hipster-world; however, she is exposed to a mega dose and that has her mental capacities increased ten-fold. In her new, enlarging brain capacity state (it shows her capacities at various stages of increased percentages of neural function) she is capable of feats any super hero would envy. It's just fun to watch.

But please do not expect a biology lesson from Morgan Freeman, who is again brought back in his recurring Hollywood role as The Smartest, Wisest Man on Planet Earth (only his names change) who is a major neuroscientist here with theories that are pure dreck . At any rate, he is given so much bad biology to recite that I winced several times ('we only use 10% of our brain capacity; dolphins use more than humans; cells have two choices: become immortal or divide'). Yuk.

And late in the movie, he is meeting with five other world-class neuroscientists in Paris, anot one is a woman. I have a daughter who is a neuroscientist and there are many women in the field-- what kind of BS is this in 2014? (And I'm a guy--but it just seemed so 1957 it irked me).


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