Monday, January 16, 2017


Such a smart, cerebral kind of sci-fi movie.  Not just special effects, but a real story. You can actually believe the story line. Of course, it is aliens. Clever aliens. Like in 12 countries.  But are aliens ever good? Hmmmm. Like alot of savvy people know, in general, change can be more of a bad thing than a good thing. And alien appearances are change in the biggest way possible.  The movie is treated as if it could be true any moment. No attempt to really scare the audience. No War of the Worlds here. And Amy Adams is phenomenal. Your heart is a tad broken for her.  But you must pay attention- seriously, pay attention. It isn't a straight story line. Just a good story, well acted and well cast.

Sing Street

This movie has gotten fantastic reviews because it is fun and in many ways, wise and hopeful.  I liked it so much that I found my new favorite love song in it . Seriously, the lyrics were so sweet that I got the only available sheet music for it I could find and then I put the soundtrack on my playlists. 
Fourteen year old Conor lives in Dublin, where he older brother is a sweet slacker and his parents are, well, done but still fighting to prove it to everyone. He has to change schools and winds up in a strict Catholic boys school with a strict headmaster ( if you are a game of thrones fan, you'll recognize him as Petyr Baelish). So how to break the misery? Start a band, get a crush on the pretty girl across the street, and then make it work. The sound track is great, the story is great, and frankly, it was the best movie of last year that I saw.  The lead, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, is charming and talented. Here is a link to the song I liked  To Find You Sing Street
It is on demand now. So go demand it!

Manchester by the Sea

I like Casey Affleck- I like his face much better than Ben's. I love Michelle Williams and Kyle Chandler. I like this story. I like the scenery. I like good stories. But more importantly, I like SHORT stories-not sad stories that run for over 2 hours. It is about 2 scenes or 2o minutes too long.
 There have been a few long movies I've liked- Gone With the Wind is an example. And, if you are going to tell a morose story- a brutally sad one in fact, then the lead actor needs to look and sound more like an interesting person. Casey Affleck is just plain not right for this lead. You lose a lot of empathy while you look at your watch. And what saves this movie?? I'll tell you- it is Michelle Williams. The heartbreak and yearning and love in her face steals the movie in about 2 minutes of your time. It is then that surely you realize the reason this movie feels as if something is off is because they filmed it from the wrong point of view. The true star is Michelle Williams. And then you'd have the real story.

Kubo and the Two Strings

If you love this sort of animation, think Coraline, etc, then this is for you. And I do. First, it is beautiful- lanterns, origami, scary witches, and loving advice. It is now available on several on-demand services and if you have a large screen projection screen, you will get to see it in all its glory. It is still worth seeing regardless of the size of the screen.  It is an adventure and a lesson, all rolled into one. I don't think little children would get it. But ages 10 and over can probably handle it.

American Honey

Oh sweet cheesus.  "Star" (an unknown chosen off the street or pier for this role) is a young woman who believes herself to be streetwise all the while looking after her abusive boyfriend's kids while he sort of does what he wants. She meets up with a dapper magazine saleman, played by Shia LaBoeuf (is that really his name???) who brings her into the world of traveling teens who drink, do drugs, vandalize, trespass and physically harm the occasional human being who is in their path while they tour around to sell magazines. Did I mention the sex and nudity and other things? But the worst crime of this is that it is BORING. Not a moment of cleverness, not even a moment of empathy for them. These are really boring people. And the second crime is that it is 162 minutes long.  Here is how good it is- it only made $663,000 nationwide so far.  Just don't.