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Crowe and Gosling shine as The Nice Guys

The Nice Guys plot is simple: in the early 70‘s, an LA private eye reluctantly teams up with an enforcer-for-hire to find a missing girl and solve the suspicious death of a porn star. Almost everything you learned about this genre from Starsky & Hutch, Hawaii 5-0, and The Rockford Files is thrown on the screen, but with a knowing wink to the audience, (and under Shane Black’s deft direction), Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling make the scripted screw-ups sing.

By | May 20th, 2016|0 Comments

Captain America: Civil War and Sing Street are great!

Captain America: Civil War is the 13th film in the Disney/Marvel universe and it has war-machine manufacturer Tony Stark (Ironman) develop a conscience after helping decimate Africa in a battle of super-heroes. In contrast, Captain America maintains his certainty in the correctness of fighting for “truth, justice, and the American way” (even though that phrase is copyrighted by Superman). The Captain is a time-warped holdover from “the last good war” (AKA WWII), and so the nuances of hegemonic ascendence are simply absent from his mind-set. This internal juxtaposition is what sets ihis movie apart from other, similar ventures into superherodom. The filmmakers (and the venerable Stan Lee’s original storylines) go past the Ironman armor, Frisbie-style shield and spandex suits to reveal the human beings inside. What we discover, is that these guys and gals are funny—stand up comic funny. These humorous interludes provide the necessary time to breath before the next big battle scene.

By | May 6th, 2016|0 Comments

A Cute Kitten, Tone-Deaf Singer, and Patrick Stewart as a Neo-Nazi!

Keanu is a kitten. A cute little guy who appeals to the inner child of everyone in this movie—including the cousins played by comedy duo Key & Peele, and the South-Central druglords they must confront to get the kidnapped feline back (I thought of using “catnapped” in this sentence, but if I do, it has an entirely different meaning). Underneath it all is a comedy sketch stretched to 100 minutes, and two fine actors who can change their personas from “Suburban Sam” to “Downtown Brown” with a wink and smile. And then there’s that kitten. Did I already mention he’s really cute?

By | April 29th, 2016|0 Comments

Another Great 3-Pieces of Toast Week!

Making a movie about Jazz musician Miles Davis called Miles Ahead has obsessed actor Don Cheadle’s life for decades, and he serves as the film’s producer, director, co-screenwriter and star to see his vision succeed. It is a singularly original film—told from the self-obsessed perspective of a drug-fueled, musical genius sharing his story with a Rolling Stone reporter who he convinces to be his partner-in-crime as they steal back the only copy of Davis’ latest album from a crooked record producer. The interview flashbacks vary from realistic to surrealistic—a misogynistic druggie in a love/hate marriage to ballerina Frances Taylor; a wannabe businessman flim-flammed by gangstas in alleyways and board rooms; a musical genius obsessed with sharing the sounds only can create; an angry, charismatic, inspirational, yet depressed human being searching for answers he never found, yet leaving a legacy of musical oneness.

By | April 22nd, 2016|0 Comments

Everything is 3-Pieces of Toast This Week

The jarring response many in the audience experienced seeing “real” looking, sharp clawed and toothed jungle beasts interacting (and most upsetting, speaking English) with a puny almost naked boy is called “cognitive dissonance” As a result, those who treasure Disney’s 1967 animated version of the Rudyard Kipling classic The Jungle Book, may find it challenging to relax long enough to enjoy this feast for the eyes. CGI imagery has advanced so much, that the familiar black-outlined versions of Mowgli the man cub, Baghera the panther, Baloo the bear, Sher Khan the tiger, and Kaa the python we know and love have been transformed into beasts so real they could have wandered in from a National Geographic Special. But the biggest contrast between Mowgli and his beast friends is how constructing complicated tools comes easily to a big-brained kid with opposable thumbs. As Balloo sings “You don’t need to use a claw when you pick a pear from the big paw-paw.” Especially since Mowgli doesn’t really have a “claw.”

By | April 15th, 2016|0 Comments

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By | April 12th, 2016|0 Comments

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By | April 12th, 2016|0 Comments

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By | April 12th, 2016|0 Comments

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By | April 12th, 2016|0 Comments

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By | April 12th, 2016|0 Comments