December 24 2014


December 24, 2014

Still Alice
A renowned linguistics professor is in the middle of a lecture when she forgets her words. She makes light of the moment and continues on. Later on, other small memory lapses are to occur in her daily life. Finally, after getting lost on a university campus which she should be very familiar with, the agitated woman decides to consult a neurosurgeon. Julianne Moore gives a devastatingly good performance, as this 50 year old woman suffering from the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease. Alec Baldwin and Kristen Stewart also give solid performances, as the husband and daughter who have to watch and endure the slow disintegration of his wife and her mother. Directors Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland make a very strong human drama.

A man, working for a top secret agency, which is involved with time travel, recruits a transgender person to help him find a terrorist before the terrorist can blow up a large amount of a big city. This fascinating movie, by Michael Spierig, plays all sorts of intriguing mind games as it moves through many different time zones. It also presents some interesting ideas about sexual identity and behavior. In addition, there is a surprise ending to the movie which you will not see coming. Ethan Hawke is excellent as the time agent, while, Sarah Snook is amazing as the woman surgically altered into a man.

The Guest
A grieving family is visited by a soldier who claims he knew their dead son before he was killed in action. The family invite him into their home, and, he stays for an extended visit. A series of accidental deaths are then to occur, which are all, in some way, beneficial to the family. Directed by Adam Wingard, this is a terrific little thriller, packed with lots of suspense and tension. Dan Stevens is great as the soldier with a very dark secret to hide.

After a few beers in a pub, an off-duty police detective is driving home when he accidentally knocks over a boy on a bicycle, sending the lad into a coma. However, when the emergency team and more police arrive on the scene, the detective gives a false statement. He claims that the accident was the result of a hit and run incident. This slow-moving, but, very interesting Australian film, by Matthew Saville, successfully exposes the seemingly very endemic and tolerated corruption to be found in the New South Wales Police Force.

While on a business trip to a big city, a man who owns a substantial tract of forest land meets and falls in love with an awfully beautiful woman. He then impulsively marries her. On their return to the man’s small lumbering town, the new bride is to unleash a torrent of repressed sexual jealousies within the primarily male community. Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence co-star again in this steamy melodrama. Their screen chemistry is still just as strong.

During WWII, an Australian airplane is shot down and the fighter pilot must parachute into the Singapore jungle. As he tries to make his way to safety, the jungle is to become just as big an enemy as the Japanese. Directed by Aaron Wilson, this is another slow-moving but well-crafted Australian film.

Ok, this re-make of a successful Broadway Show and a Hollywood musical is not bad. Then, again, it is not good either. Let’s just call it pleasant. Some of the plot has been altered to make the story more contemporary. This time the ‘adorable’ orphan girl is adopted by a well-heeled businessman who is running for mayor of New York City. Some of the original Broadway songs have made it into this re-make, but, if I ever have to listen to that awful song ‘Tomorrow’ once more, I think I might throw up all over my DVD player.

Magic in the Moonlight
Woody Allen’s new romantic-comedy is disappointing. Although, the story is interesting. A famous magician is asked to observe a clairvoyant, and, decide if she is the real thing or a charlatan. But, instead of observing her rationally, the magician quickly falls in love with her. The comedy is stilted, lacks tempo, and, has no charm or sparkle, which it desperately needs. Colin Firth, as the magician, appears out-of-his-depth in this ‘wanna-be’ soufflé.

Guardians of the Galaxy*#
So, if you have seen any of the ‘Star Wars’ movies then you have more-or-less seen this movie. Similar space types get up to similar adventures as they try to defeat an evil War Lord, who has universal domination in mind. The movie also features some ordinary 3D effects, which add nothing to the plot.

Mary, Queen of Scots
For a brief time, Mary, Queen of Scots, was also Queen of France, and, on her return to Scotland, the French court tried to use her as a vehicle to re-establish the Catholic faith in Protestant England. This French historical costume-drama retells Mary’s story from a decidedly French point-of-view.

Dracula, Untold
This movie played for weeks in Jakarta, which surprises me, as the movie is nothing more than a retelling of the Vlad the Impaler story. Vlad was the Transylvanian Prince, who became the role model for the Vampire legend.

Strange voodoo gets going late at night in a rundown Deep South plantation.

Oliver, Stoned
A silly movie which does nothing more than encourage the use of marijuana.

* Also available on Blu Ray.
# Also available in 3D.


Copyright © 2014 Mr. Robet
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