Currently browsing the "Alec Baldwin" tag.

Quickie Review: Motherless Brooklyn

Motherless Brooklyn is the type of film that evokes a general sense of post-viewing contentment, and a lingering feeling that it could have been more. Perhaps with a bit more drama, or a bit more emotional pull, it could have escaped the somewhat bland “yeah, it was good” category, i.e. perfectly fine for streaming or watching on an airplane or killing time if Terminator films are not your speed. Motherless Brooklyn operates at a slow, stylized pace. The story is interesting and relevant. The actors are all very good, and the noir production design and cinematography casually and convincingly immerses the viewer in 1950s New York. Motherless Brooklyn is a crime drama with a gumshoe aesthetic and a unique twist. The main character Lionel Essrog (Edward Norton, Birdman) is a private investigator with Tourette’s Syndrome, a disorder involving the nervous system that causes involuntary tics, sounds and movements. His condition results in some awkward situations as Lionel attempts to solve the murder of his boss, mentor and only friend Frank Minna (Bruce Willis).

Review: BlackkKlansman

Spike Lee’s latest joint is about as far fetched as you could imagine. Set in the early 70s, Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) becomes Colorado Springs, Colorado’s first African-American cop. While still a rookie, he infiltrates the KKK and fools Grand Wizard David Duke (Topher Grace) into welcoming him into the fold. But it’s a true story and one that resonates all the more loudly in our current political world with David Duke and his minions then as now proclaiming “America First.” It’s a deadly serious, yet at times hilarious story, and it’s scary how much has not changed in the intervening years.

Review: Mission: Impossible – Fallout

Your mission – should you choose to accept it – is to check your plausibility meter at the door and enjoy watching Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise, 56) run, jump, fly, shoot and crawl his way across the globe in this sixth installment of the popular spy-movie franchise. Berlin! Paris! London! New Zealand! It’s a veritable action-adventure-travelogue. There is a plot – something to do with missing plutonium, bombs, a manifesto, double-crosses galore, and millions of people at risk. But it’s the stunts, breathtaking locales and core character interactions that make for a fast-paced and engaging flick.

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is a thoroughly engaging and entertaining ride, providing just the right mix of drama, special effects, and story to satisfy the ‘summer movie’ crowd… even if you’re not a big Tom Cruise fan. Love him or hate him, or somewhere in between, there’s no denying the guy is aging extremely well and can still carry an action movie (bring on the Top Gun sequel!). In fact, I still think his action-adventure flick Edge of Tomorrow was one of the most under-appreciated movies of 2014. So consider that one for the Netflix queue. But back to MI and the fifth installment of the franchise about a covert ops team tasked with missions deemed impossible for anyone else in the intelligence community…

Still Alice

The reason to see Still Alice, and you really should, is Julianne Moore. She just won an Academy Award for her beautiful and heartbreaking performance as Alice Howland, a successful linguistics professor with a loving husband and several grown children who is stunned to find that she is suffering from early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease. It is the story of her trying to keep it together even though she knows what is coming, and her family trying its best to take care of her as she disappears before their eyes. Alec Baldwin plays the husband who is as helpless as Alice against the disease, but tries to make her diminishing world as livable has he can. And Kristen Stewart is remarkably competent as her youngest daughter, a would-be actress who turns out to be the one who can help her Mom when she needs it most.

Blue Jasmine

What if Bernie Madoff was a younger, better looking man who left behind a beautiful yet clueless wife to fend for herself? That’s the basic premise of Woody Allen’s latest, Blue Jasmine. In this case the wife, Jasmine French, late of Park Avenue, is brilliantly played by Cate Blanchett who brings an amazing range of emotional states to the role as Jasmine throws herself on the mercy of her working class sister in San Francisco. She’s lost everything, but can’t seem to grasp the situation she is in or give up the lifestyle and pretense she’s grown so accustomed to, because it is who she is. A modern day Blanche DuBois (a role Blanchett played to stellar reviews off-Broadway not so long ago), Jasmine is ill-equipped for the life she’s been suddenly thrust into and has already begun to lose her grip on reality.

Rock of Ages

If you are a child of the 80s and a fan of musicals, you will most likely love Rock of Ages. (Take note Mainstream Chick.) If, like me, you are a child of the 80s and not a big fan of musicals, you will still really like this movie. It’s over-the-top campy fun with a soundtrack that will have you singing along. And honestly your singing will be almost as good as most of the actors’ singing. That’s my major quibble with the movie; I wish the voices had been stronger.

It’s Complicated

It’s Complicated is a good, solid chick flick – a romantic comedy with two endearing leads in Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin. It’s also the tamest ‘R’ rated movie I think I’ve ever seen. I’m told the rating had something to do with the inclusion of a pot-smoking scene, which is ironic since unlike The Hangover or Pineapple Express, I highly doubt anyone younger than 40 will attempt to sneak into this one! It’s purely an adult movie with adult themes and humor. Streep plays Jane Adler, a successful, attractive middle-aged divorcee who hooks up with her married ex-husband Jake (Baldwin) while celebrating their son’s graduation from college. Jane and Jake embark on a clandestine affair known only to their soon-to-be son-in-law Harley (played with scene-stealing appeal by The Office’s John Krasinski).