with the bold text in the example below:

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Enough Said by Nicole Holofcener, 2013 (PG-13)

with Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Deconstructing Harry), James Gandolfini (Zero Dark Thirty), Catherine Keener (Captain Phillips, Out of Sight, Please Give, Peace Love and Misunderstanding, Simone), Toni Collette (Hitchcock, The Hours, Little Miss Sunshine), Ben Falcone, Tavi Gevinson, Tracey Fairaway, Eve Hewson, Anjelah Johnson
From the director of Please Give

Julia Louis-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini star in this charming comedy about a divorced woman venturing into a relationship with a sweet man. But things get tricky when she discovers the man she's dating is the hated ex-husband of her new best friend.

This is an interesting movie about people, quite an unusual one for the American movie industry. It is a romantic comedy about two people that have lived through marriage and divorce, and are now ready to settle again, but only with the right one. It is very normal, not hysterical, not too funny, not too dramatic, simply honest and the characters are beautiful and familiar. Somehow, it is refreshing, in a country that needs to make everything extraordinary to be interesting.

Watch trailer:

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Chronicles of Riddick: Pitch Black by David Twohy, 2000 (R)

with Vin Diesel (Fast & Furious 6), Radha Mitchell (Surrogates), Cole Hauser, Keith David (The Princess and the Frog, Cloud Atlas), Lewis Fitz-Gerald, Claudia Black (Farscape, Stargate SG1, Rango), Rhiana Griffith, John Moore, Simon Burke, Les Chantery

After crash-landing on a desolate planet, a pilot and her passengers, one of whom is a convicted killer, must find a way to survive in a hostile environment while fending off a race of carnivorous aliens that has begun to stalk them.

Of course, this is a scary movie, and my taste for it is quite limited. I watched this movie because of Claudia Black, period. The result was quite interesting, since I had to hold on to my fears, and just suffer through all the surprises. On the other hand, I quite enjoyed Vin Diesel's performance, which made me forget about all the horrors of the film. The way Riddick is portrayed, he actually carries the movie in an unusual way, you basically want to stick to him, Vin Diesel's Riddick is definitely the safest way to get out of this mess... Which usually is more random in horror movies, where either you don't know who is the bad guy, or you stick to the wrong guy who winds up killed and have to find a back-up safe guy. :)

watch trailer:

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Fast & Furious 6 by Justin Lin, 2013 (PG-13)

with Vin Diesel (Pitch Black), Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson (Get Smart), Jordana Brewster (Annapolis), Michelle Rodriguez (Avatar, Lost, Girlfight), Tyrese Gibson (Annapolis), Sung Kang, Gal Gadot, Ludacris, Luke Evans (Immortals), Elsa Pataky (Don't Tempt Me - Sin Noticias De Dios), Gina Carano (Haywire)
From the director of Annapolis

Hobbs has Dom and Brian reassemble their crew in order to take down a mastermind who commands an organization of mercenary drivers across 12 countries. Payment? Full pardons for them all.

I haven't seen the other FandF, but this one looked like a thrill and would be just that shot of adrenaline I needed. The cast with Michelle Rodriguez and Gina Carano sounded promising, and I like Vin Diesel. Well, I wasn't deceived, very cool car races (and other moving machines), combats, stunts of all kind, and an easy story to follow, entertaining. So why not, from time to time, buy in to these mainstream productions and enjoy the ride?

watch trailer:

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Margarita by Dominique Cardona and Laurie Colbert, 2012 (NR)

with Nicola Correia Damude, Patrick McKenna, Claire Lautier, Christine Horne, Maya Ritter, Marco Grazzini

Behind the facade of a beautiful urban home, a combination of complacency and bad investments has left power couple Ben and Gail disconnected, resentful and just about broke. When the cash-strapped yuppies fire their teen-aged daughter's lesbian Mexican nanny, Margarita, they set off a chain of events that lead to her deportation.

You know what, this is actually quite an interesting movie, despite the easy classification in the Lesbian genre. It is so normalized we can move on to other subject such as immigration, family dysfunction, and more, through the view-point of an illegal immigrant that doesn't represent the archetype (which so far to me had only been portrayed well in "The Visitor"). It is a small budget movie, but well done.

Watch trailer:

Friday, June 6, 2014

Maleficent by Robert Stromberg, 2014 (PG)

with Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning (Somewhere, We Brought a Zoo), Sharlto Copley, Lesley Manville (Another Year), Imelda Staunton (Sense and Sensibility, The Girl, Another Year, Harry Potter), Juno Temple (Mr. Nobody, Jack & Diane, The Dark Knight Rises, Kaboom), Sam Riley (On The Road, Jack & Diane), Brenton Thwaites

The untold story of Disney's most iconic villain from the 1959 classic "Sleeping Beauty." A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman with stunning black wings, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until one day when an invading army of humans threatens the harmony of the land. Maleficent rises to be the land's fiercest protector, but she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal - an act that begins to turn her pure heart to stone. Bent on revenge, Maleficent faces an epic battle with the king of the humans and, as a result, places a curse upon his newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Maleficent realizes that Aurora holds the key to peace in the kingdom - and to Maleficent's true happiness as well.

This movie is made by the guy who is behind a lot of the visual effects you've seen in late blockbusters, I can start making an endless list of all his credits, from The Hunger Games, Shutter Island, all the way back to the 90s with Star Trek... So his first movie as a director is POLISHED. It is visually beautiful from the carnation of the skin of Angelina Jolie and Sam Riley, to the amazing landscapes we are traveling through. Aside from that, the story is quite a surprising one, since it is not about evil being evil, and good good, as well as — in the latest tendency of Disney movies — understanding women, away from the need for men. The story is beautiful, the values are original, from getting to know the other, to forgiving and learning to change, and somehow giving yourself for something you believe is more important than yourself. In a world that is so selfishly driven, there is something to learn.

watch trailer:

Thursday, June 5, 2014

X-Men: Days of Future Past by Bryan Singer, 2014 (PG-13)

Sequel of X-Men: First Class
The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods in X-Men: Days of Future Past. The characters from the original X-Men film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from X-Men: First Class in an epic battle that must change the past - to save our future. The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants.

No secret anymore, I love X-Men, not so much the side stories of Wolverine, but definitely have a soft spot for the whole gang. They are usually portrayed in a normal way, we're getting to know them more and more, one by one, and I love to get to know more about their youth, about their future... This one seemed to be compiling all of it. I enjoyed it, but honest, this is not the best X-Men. This one is lets say average. It has a good suspense as the future is pending on the past to be changed, the 70s is definitely a fascinating period in terms of societal changes and political agenda, but somehow it felt too long. Once the movie finished, it is a bit hard to think of anything to take off to make the movie shorter, it's just too dense a story perhaps. Anyway, now that the Future Past is changed, what next? I am looking forward to the new Future. More X-Men hopefully... X-Men: Apocalypse for 2016?

with Hugh Jackman (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Wolverine, Scoop), James McAvoy (Trance, The Conspirator), Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave, Trance, Prometheus, Haywire, A Dangerous Method, Shame, X-Men: First Class, Fish Tank), Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games, Winter's Bone, Silver Linings Playbook, X-Men: First Class, The Beaver), Halle Berry (The Call, Cloud Atlas), Ellen Page (Juno, Inception, To Rome With Love), Shawn Ashmore (X-Men Trilogy), Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: First Class, A Single Man, About A Boy), Peter Dinklage (Game of Throne), Ian McKellen (X-Men Trilogy, The Lord of the Ring), Patrick Stewart (X-Men Trilogy, Star Trek)

watch trailer:

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Normal Heart by Ryan Murphy, 2014 (R)

This adaptation of Larry Kramer's riveting stage drama is a love story set against the dark background of the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s, centering on a gay activist who tries to raise public awareness but encounters myriad obstacles.

A powerful story that beyond the political struggle to be heard is a very human story, with impressive performances from all the cast, through frustration, despair, incomprehension, loss, and vague moments to beauty and hope. This movie is sad, the tragic following and the nowadays situation make the story even more powerful.

from the director of Eat Pray Love
with Mark Ruffalo (Marvel's Avengers, Margaret, The Kids Are All Right, Shutter Island), Matt Bomer (Magic Mike, In Time), Taylor Kitsch (X-Men Origins: Wolverine), Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory), Julia Roberts (August: Osage County, Duplicity, Mirror Mirror Snow White, Eat Pray Love, Larry Crowne, Fireflies in the Garden), Alfred Molina (Raiders of the Lost Ark, An Education, Chocolat, Rango), Joe Mantello, Jonathan Groff, Denis O'Hare (Dallas Buyers Club, True Blood, Milk, Duplicity, Michael Clayton), Stephen Spinella (Milk), Corey Stoll (Midnight in Paris, House of Cards), Finn Wittrock, B.D. Wong

watch trailer: