Gil Mansergh’s Cinema Toast

Films Opening 1/31/14

That Awkward Moment (R)

Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Miles Teller, Zac Efron, Imogeen Poots, Mackenzie Davis, Jessica Lucas

Directed by: Tom Gormican

The key piece of advice for dating males to take away from this rom-com, is to never begin a sentence with the word “so.” This is the conversational gambit signifying that the randy caveman has held his libido in check long enough, and is  now ready to move onto the “next step.” For males, it’s a “smooth move.” For females, it’s “that awkward moment,” when she needs to make a choice. If this all sounds too simplistic, you’ve got the vibe of writer/director Tom Gormican’s  movie. There’s a story of a physician dumped by his wife being tutored by his unmarried pals on how to get back in the “dating scene,” but it’s just an excuse for too much talking, gratuitous nudity, and a few scattered jokes.

2 pieces of is this how far males have evolved? toast 


Labor Day (R)

Starring: Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, Tobey Maguire, Gatlin Griffith

Directed By: Jason Reitman

“Frankly, this needs to happen,” is the line an escaped convict uses when he corners a teen-aged boy in a rural market. It is the same line the bloodied man uses when he meets the boy’s single mother at her secluded house. Apparently neighbors were either stupider or blinder circa 1987, because nobody notices that the handyman who appears out of nowhere, without any truck or tools, looks remarkably like the escaped convict plastered all over the TV news. Or maybe folks used to let sleeping dogs lie, and let the poor fellow and the lonely woman and her desperate for-a-father-figure son just enjoy a Labor Day barbecue together?

2 pieces of unrealistic romance toast 


Oscar Nominated Shorts (PG-13)

NOTE: Opens January 31 at Summerfield Cinemas, and February 7th at Rialto Cinemas

Starring: A Robotic Man, A Japanese Man, A British Witch, A Finnish Mother, a French Wife, A Spanish aid Worker, an African Child-Soldier, A British Psychiatrist, A Brit who thinks he’s God

Directed by: various

The press notes say: This year’s Oscar® Nominated Short Films originate from all parts of the globe, representing the pinnacle of filmmaking from Japan, UK, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, Spain, Finland, UAE, Yemen, Canada and the United States.

1/2 pieces of they’ve got to be kidding! toast 




Rush (R)

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Bruhl, Olivia Wilde, Alexandra Maria Lara

Directed by: Ron Howard

The “based-on-a-true-story” rivalry between a British and Austrian formula one race car drivers is superbly told as a tale of two opposites. The Brit is a partying, swelled-headed, macho type. The Austrian is a cool, mathematically inclined tactician. The pair often compete for the checkered flag—most notably in the 1976 World Championship race which includes a firey crash which burns off the Austrian’s face. But it is what happens after the crash which helps make this film exceptional

3 and 1/2 pieces of gasoline-powered toast


The Fifth Estate (PG-13)

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Daniel Bruhl, David Thewlis, Alicia Viklander, Laura Linney

Directed by: Bill Condon

It is challenging to make a movie about larger-than-life characters whose fates are still on the front pages. This is doubly so about the enigmatic WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange. Is he an altruistic whistle-blower, megalomaniac anarchist, paranoid scofflaw, predatory rapist—or all of the above? Unfortunately, the filmmakers try to present Assange as a chameleon who changes depending upon the eye of the beholder. It would have been better if they just picked a particular point-of-view.

2 and 1/2 pieces of just a peak at the man behind the curtain toast 


Last Vegas  (R)

Starring: Robert DeNiro, Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas, Kevin Kline

Directed by: John Turtletaub

Billed as a “Grumpy Old Men with a Hangover,” this film assembles a cast of familiar actors of a certain age, sends them to Vegas for a wedding/reunion, and lets the former “Flatbush Four” do what people do in Vegas—only a little more slowly. The script could use some Geritol, but the actors know how deliver even the weakest of material.

3 pieces of could have been cranked up a notch but still fun toast


Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 (PG)

Starring the voices of: Bill Hader, Anna Farris, Neil Patrick Harris, Will Forte, James Caan, Andy Samberg

Directed by: Cody Cameron, Kris Pearn

The crazy edginess of the original, favorite kid’s book based movie is sadly absent from this colorful but uninspired sequel. The machine that made food-weather, has started making food-animals and the characters from the original film are drafted to battle the “eco-system of living food.” Imagine a Jurassic Park filled with hungry Tacodiles and Shrimpanzees and you’ve got the idea.

2 pieces of lacks a reason for being other than to make money toast