Currently browsing the "Ray Liotta" tag.

Mini review: Marriage Story

Both of us Chicks saw this one at the Middleburg Film Festival earlier this year where it was the opening night film. From director Noah Baumbach (Margot at the Wedding, Frances Ha) it stars Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver as a New York couple whose marriage is coming apart. Nicole is a former TV actress married to Charlie who’s a theater director. And they have a cute little boy Henry (Azhy Robertson), whose custody becomes an issue when Mom moves home to the west coast to star in a TV show leaving Dad to commute if he wants to be a part of his son’s life. But once a couple of high powered LA divorce lawyers (Laura Dern and Ray Liotta) enter the story, what started out as an amicable split turns contentious. The film has some great performances, but sadly the story itself feels entirely too familiar.

Arty Chick’s Middleburg Film Festival Download 2019

Another super tiring weekend in the bucolic Virginia hamlet of Middleburg watching more films than I should! I predicted early on that this festival would outgrow itself and I think it has come to that point. Too many people know about it and the growing pains have become chronic overcrowding at venues without room for expansion. I’m already searching for another festival for next year. (All suggestions are appreciated.) I saw fewer films this year, too, just nine — Marriage Story, The Capote Tapes, The Aeronauts, Frankie, Waves, The Report, The Two Popes, Atlantics, and Knives Out. I only gave one of them four stars and several were surprising disappointments. For too many it was great cast and great performances in an otherwise just okay movie. Here’s my list with trailers and my preliminary impressions. Full reviews of select films will come later, so check back.

The Iceman

The Iceman is based on the true story of a psychopath who led a double life. On the one hand, he killed people for a living for the mob. On the other hand, he had a wife and two daughters that he doted on who knew absolutely nothing about what Daddy did for a living. And he pulled it off perfectly for a couple of decades, killing well over 100 people. Michael Shannon plays Richard Kuklinski the man who came to be known as The Iceman. The nickname was based on two things: he froze many of his victims to disguise the time of death, and he was usually totally emotionless.

The Place Beyond the Pines

I really like Ryan Gosling. And I really like Bradley Cooper. But I just did not like this movie, which actually felt more like three movies. I kept waiting to see how all the pieces would fit into place. But by the time they did (140 minutes later), I really didn’t care anymore – about the plot or the characters. The ‘first’ movie features Ryan Gosling as Luke, a heavily-tattooed, chain smokin’ motorcycle stunt rider who has a brief fling with a waitress (a bra-less Eva Mendes) while passing through Schenectady, in upstate New York. A year later, Luke discovers that she’s had his son. He decides to give up the road to try his hand at fatherhood, and ends up becoming a professional bank robber in order to support his kid. It doesn’t end well.

The Details

The Details is opening under the radar, and I think for good reason. It tries really hard to be a dark comedy, but doesn’t really get either part of that equation right. It is not funny enough or dark enough, and for me the biggest problem was the casting of the lead – Spiderman, er, Tobey Maguire. The movie is about Jeff whose nice little life suddenly seems to spin out of control. He is an obstetrician with a beautiful wife (Elizabeth Banks) and a cute kid, and they live in Seattle in a lovely house. But when raccoons take over his newly sodded back yard, everything else starts to unravel, and somehow that leads to poisoning, porn, infidelity, organ donation, blackmail and murder!

Charlie St. Cloud

I see dead people. Or, at least, I see Zac Efron seeing dead people in the fantasy romantic drama Charlie St. Cloud. The movie is part Ghost, part Ghost Whisperer and part Sixth Sense, so it’s fairly easy to stay one step ahead of the dialogue and plot, with just a few exceptions.