Monday, October 29, 2012

Weekly Wrapup: Cloud Atlas, The Loneliest Planet, Chasing Mavericks

I'm gonna keep this one short as the wind is a howlin' and the trees are a blowin' outside my window.

I didn't see anything I loved this week, but I found "Cloud Atlas" to be, on the whole, an interesting experiment. It works more often than not and is more ambitious than your average film of this magnitude and cost.

"The Loneliest Planet" was a little bit of a letdown. I enjoyed its first half, but thought it became a bit of a slog following its turning point scene. And "Chasing Mavericks" was a perfectly average sports film.

Here are my Patch reviews.

This coming weekend, I'll catch "Flight," "This Must Be the Place," "Jack and Diane" and "The Man with the Iron Fists." Or, at least, I hope I have time for them all. And in case I haven't said it before, I can't wait for this election to be over. May Obama win. Please.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Weekend Wrapup: Bonkers 'Holy Motors,' 'The Sessions' and 'Paranormal Activity 4'

So, how about that "Holy Motors"?

Leos Carax's latest is easily one of the most bizarre films I've seen in recent years - or any year, for that matter. It's a lot to digest and, after two screenings, I feel as though I've only hit the tip of the iceberg. Regardless, it's one of the year's most unique films and it could very well be a top 10 contender.

I also enjoyed "The Sessions," which included some fine performances from John Hawkes, Helen Hunt and William H. Macy.

"Paranormal Activity 4," on the other hand, rang about as false as Mitt Romney's sudden morph into the champion of the middle class. I think I'm officially done with this series.

Here are my reviews for Patch.

This coming weekend, I'll catch "Cloud Atlas" and "The Loneliest Planet." Between the weekend's two other big releases - "Chasing Mavericks" and "Silent Hill 2," I'm leaning toward seeing the former because it's directed by Curtis Hanson. We'll see.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Affleck Steps It Up with 'Argo'

Ben Affleck takes a big step forward with "Argo," his thriller set amid the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis. It's a tense picture loaded with solid performances, cinematography, pacing and writing. I really enjoyed it and think it's Affleck's best work as a director to date.

I also caught up with "Seven Psychopaths," which is often quite original, funny and off the wall, but stumbles slightly in its final quarter. Still, a solid sophomore effort from Martin McDonagh.

And "Sinister" is a decent horror film. If I were grading on a scale, I'd say it's one of the better films of its type on several months. Then again, the horror films I've seen during that time period include "The Possession," "VHS" and " The Apparition."

Here are my reviews for Patch.

Without a doubt, I'll be catching Leos Carax's widely acclaimed "Holy Motors!" this upcoming weekend as well as several of these: "The Sessions," "Alex Cross" and "Paranormal Activity 4."

Monday, October 8, 2012

Andrea Arnold Reaches New 'Heights,' but 'VHS,' 'The Paperboy' and 'Taken 2'... Meh

Only one of this week's four cinematic selections proved to be worthwhile - Andrea Arnold's visually stunning, gritty and ethereal adaptation of Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights."

Personally, this is my favorite film by the Scottish director to date, despite that I liked "Red Road" and "Fish Tank" just fine.

The weekend's other three new movies were not so hot. "Taken 2" was absurd, but occasionally amusing, while "The Paperboy" was just plain ridiculous.

I was a little disappointed with the omnibus horror film "V/H/S," even though I enjoyed David Bruckner and Radio Silence's contributions. The other four stories in the anthology film ranged from mediocre to lousy.

Here are my Patch reviews for all four films.

This coming weekend, I'll see Ben Affleck's "Argo," "Seven Psychopaths" and "Sinister." Until then.

Monday, October 1, 2012

This Week at the Movies: 'Looper' and 'Pitch Perfect'

Both of this week's new releases owe a debt, of sorts, to films of recent years paving the way for their existence. "Looper" might not have been made had Christopher Nolan's "Inception" not been a success, while "Pitch Perfect" comes off as a mixture of "Glee" and "Bridesmaids," but with a PG-13 rating.

I enjoyed "Looper" and certainly thought it was creative. But much like "Inception," I wasn't convinced that it was a modern science fiction classic. In fact, I preferred Ridley Scott's recent "Prometheus" in that genre. Director Rian Johnson is a real talent, but "Brick" is still my favorite of his films.

"Pitch Perfect" has its moments - many of which are provided by Rebel Wilson. It's often funny, but also too familiar too often.

Here are my Patch reviews for the week.

It's a busy, busy week for movies and, unfortunately, I'm still fighting off the sickness.

So, I'm going to make sure I get to see "The Paperboy" and "VHS," but I'm also aiming to catch up with "Taken 2," "Frankenweenie" and Andrea Arnold's "Wuthering Heights."