Currently browsing the "Romance" tag.

Review: The Mountain Between Us

There’s plenty to mock and ridicule and dislike about The Mountain Between Us. And yet… there’s a certain entertainment value in watching a combination meet-cute/disaster flick when it stars Idris Elba and Kate Winslet. The two play virtual strangers who get to know each other quite well as the lone human survivors of a small plane crash into a frozen mountainside in the middle of nowhere.

Mainstream Chick’s Quick Takes: Money Monster; A Bigger Splash; High-Rise

Money Monster is a satisfying crowd-pleaser that definitely benefits from the established rapport between lead actors George Clooney and Julia Roberts and the solid direction of Jodie Foster. Clooney plays an outlandish, self-centered, Jim-Cramer-Mad-Money-type financial TV host named Lee Gates who shares stock tips with what he thinks is an adoring public. Roberts plays his producer/director Patty. She’s the one who keeps Gates and the show on track from her seat in the Control Room. Their usual routine is disrupted on live television when a disgruntled investor named Kyle (British actor Jack O’Connell looking and sounding as American as apple pie) gets into the studio, straps an explosive vest on Lee, and demands to know the source of a so-called ‘glitch’ that caused a particular stock – and his investment- to implode. The result is a tense conspiracy thriller with enough light moments peppered throughout (including some funky dance moves from Clooney) to boost the overall entertainment factor. Money Monster doesn’t really need to be seen on the big screen, but it’s the best of the week’s new offerings for anyone just looking for a solid, well-paced drama with star power.

American Ultra

I’m not sure what this movie was trying to be but it’s a hot mess. Here’s how it was pitched:

American Ultra is a fast-paced action comedy about Mike [Jesse Eisenberg], a seemingly hapless and unmotivated stoner whose small-town life with his live-in girlfriend, Phoebe [Kristen Stewart], is suddenly turned upside down. Unbeknownst to him, Mike is actually a highly trained, lethal sleeper agent. In the blink of an eye, as his secret past comes back to haunt him, Mike is thrust into the middle of a deadly government operation and is forced to summon his inner action-hero in order to survive.”

When I read the synopsis, I expected to see something along the lines of the fairly entertaining action-comedy-crime-stoner movie Pineapple Express. Ha! Joke was on me.

New Year’s Eve

I just re-read my review of Garry Marshall’s easy breezy chick flick of last year, Valentine’s Day, and guess what? I could easily just change out the holiday – and some of the names from the lengthy A-list cast – and present the exact same review. In fact, just for fun, that’s what I’m gonna do! So here goes, with only slight [modifications]:

Garry Marshall is brilliant. He made a mildly entertaining movie with an A-List cast and a name that virtually guarantees it a place in holiday rerun history. [New Year’s Eve] is like Crash-light. Really, really, really light. It follows a bunch of folks whose lives intersect in various ways as they [embrace, reject, and reflect on all that is New Year’s Eve as the ball is about to drop in New York City].

Like Crazy

I wasn’t crazy for Like Crazy like a lot of people seem to be. Don’t get me wrong. I liked it. I just didn’t love it. Maybe it’s because I’m old(ish) and jaded and have always been more of a realist than a romantic, but this movie just didn’t resonate with me. Yes, the performances are excellent from both Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones, who won a best actress award at Sundance for her role. And the director, Drake Doremus, does a good job of conveying how all consuming first love can be with a lot of tight close-ups of the young couple’s adoring, besotted glances, and then of letting the relationship unfold at a languid pace as they try to figure out how to and whether they should stay together. Too bad I didn’t really care if they did or not.

Restless

I got restless watching Restless. In other words, I was bored.

Midnight in Paris

I’m not (book) smart enough to fully appreciate Midnight in Paris, but I would certainly encourage fans of the literary and art world of the 1920s to check it out. The movie presents an interesting, somewhat whimsical Woody Allen-ified twist on the time travel genre.

Bridesmaids

Bridesmaids really is like The Hangover with chicks. And like The Hangover, this smart adult comedy should appeal to both sexes because, well, it’s pretty darn funny – even when it’s gross.

Blue Valentine

Blue Valentine is hard to watch and riveting all at once. It’s real, it’s raw and it’s probably way more relatable to the masses than the equally hard to watch and riveting all at once Black Swan. That’s not to say that I personally loved the movie. It’s not exactly what you’d call entertaining. But it is a strong, honest and moving (albeit arty) flick.

Country Strong

Country Strong is at its best when the music is playin’. Unfortunately, the stuff that happens between the songs is Country Weak. So – if you don’t like country music to begin with – this movie’s not for you.