The Grand Budapest Hotel is fantastic!

It’s amazing how Wes Anderson can create a good story out of any material! The way he films is so different from the way anyone else is making movies, it’s refreshing. I loved everything: his use of color, the offbeat humor, the acting… I was also impressed by the number of famous actor he managed to rope into the movie: Ralph Fiennes, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Ed Norton, Owen Wilson… Go see it!… Read More

Cloud Atlas is a beautiful ode to everlasting love!

Clearview’s Mt Kisco cinema has a tradition of having one of their staff thank us for being there before the movie begins. This one felt compelled to tell us: “let me warn you this foreign film is over 3 hours long and incomprehensible!” Nothing could have been further from the truth. Never mind that this movie is American and made by the Wachowskis, it was moving and amazing! The movie is an adaptation of the amazing 2004 novel by David Mitchell. It relates to six stories taking place between the years 1849 and 2346. The same actors appear in different… Read More

Ruby Sparks is thought provoking, beautiful, poignant and confronting

While the movie indulges in a bit of magic realism, it takes flight once you stop questioning its premise and indulge in the fantasy that Calvin, the struggling former young writing phenom, breaks out of his rut by writing a character, Ruby, “who is perfect for him”, only to find her in the flesh in his apartment a week later as his live-in girlfriend. The movie could easily have been one-note given its premise, but becomes so much more than that with an interesting take on “be careful what you wish for”, playing out what happens when you fully indulge… Read More

The Avengers is a great ensemble movie

The movie does not quite rise as high as the Rotten Tomatoes 93% critic and 96% spectator scores imply, but is very well done and extremely entertaining. I would reserve scores like those for The Incredibles, Shrek or Batman Begins when it comes to movies in this genre. That said the movie crushed my expectations. Spiderman 3 and Shrek 3 largely failed because they introduced too many disparate characters that were not developed enough within a muddled story line. When The Avengers was announced, I really feared it would succumb to the same flaws. However, The Avengers works as an… Read More

Prometheus is visually impressive, but underwhelming

Watching the movie in IMAX 3D was glorious. Many of the settings and effects were amazing. Unfortunately, despite a few good scenes, the story does not live up to expectations. It’s completely predictable despite being illogical at times. The pre-credit final scene is also risibly and laughingly bad. What’s disappointing is that it feels like there was the potential for a much better movie. The movie asks a few interesting questions, but ends up going in too many different directions to really answer any of them. Likewise, Michael Fassender’s “David” character feels like it had so much more potential. This… Read More

Mission Impossible 4 is one of the best movies of the year

This is one title I never expected to write. I rarely expect 4s of anything to be any good. Moreover, the series has been a bit hit or miss. The first one was ok, the second movie was disappointing (especially since The Matrix came out just before), the third movie was very good (thanks J.J. Abrams!) and this fourth installment is fantastic. I have not been as thrilled by an action movie since the Bourne trilogy. The plot is interesting, the pace relentless, the support cast is fascinating and the action sequences are extraordinary. We’ve become so used to supposedly… Read More

Drive was disappointing

Despite the 93% on rottentomatoes, I should have seen the telltale sign. Whenever an audience likes a movie less than the critics do it’s typically the sign that a movie is stylistically interesting but not necessarily entertaining. I did not like the silent Steve McQueen-type character played by Ryan Gosling. His silence just made the movie unbearably slow and boring. Moreover, for a hyper violent thriller, it was lacking in thrills. I also felt the movie was trying to do too much and lacked courage, best illustrated by its underwhelming ending. I should have watched Moneyball instead!… Read More

Contagion is gripping yet unfulfilling

Contagion makes great points about how civil order would fall apart in supposedly “civilized” societies like our own should a virulent deadly disease spread. The movie makes a compelling case that its depiction of both the public and government reactions is realistic. However, as this is a Hollywood movie with a stellar cast, I was expecting much more. There are so many undeveloped characters that you don’t really care about any of them when they die. Moreover, the movie lacks entertainment value. In other words, it’s interesting but that’s about it…… Read More

Crazy, Stupid, Love is Genuine, Funny, Heartfelt!

Crazy, Stupid, Love is a fun, romantic comedy for adults. It’s unabashedly sweet, yet effectively deals with matters of the heart: from lost passion and romance for a married couple (Steve Carell & Julianne Moore), to unrequited love by Steve’s son, and to the games and antics of modern day dating, personified by a womanizer played by Ryan Gosling. Interestingly enough, the whole movie is really about honesty and integrity. I loved the dedication of both Steve Carell and his son to getting their soul-mates and the patience both are willing to have if it is not what the women… Read More

Midnight in Paris is tons of fun!

I recently had the opportunity to see Woody Allen’s latest movie, Midnight in Paris, and very much enjoyed it. The underlying concept of longing for the better days of a foregone era was very well portrayed. I really looked forward to seeing which new amazing characters Gil (Owen Wilson) was going to meet every night. I particularly loved the representations of Zelda Fitzgerald (Alison Pill), Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stoll), Salvador Dali (Adrien Brody) and Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates) who were exactly as I imagined they would be! My only criticism concerns the casting of Owen Wilson as Gil. I just… Read More