Philomena – film review (A-)

There are many “wrongs” in Philomena.  You can debate them politically or rank them in degrees of more or less “wrong,” but only two thing matter.  First, none of the wrongs can be undone.  Second, when one learns of a “wrong” that has been done, what do you do next?  Do you learn?  Do you…

Nebraska – film review (B-)

I can’t hear the word “Nebraska” without thinking of the Bruce Springsteen album of the same name.  While it was not a commercial success, it was critically acclaimed for its stark, stripped-down look at the underside of life.  It featured a black-and-white cover and included songs about murder, desperation, and hope.  Nebraska the film, written…

The Way Way Back – film review (B)

We sometimes have experiences as children that we don’t realize are not experiences that all children have.  Sometimes, we think either every child, or maybe no other child, will go through the same positive and/or negative events.  Some of my most treasured childhood memories were gathering with family, aunts, uncles, and cousins, at a summer…

“Kalifornia” – film review – B+

Shakespeare, and others, believed that every good story must have an unusual coincidence that the reader must accept, no matter how improbable.  I don’t know enough to agree or disagree with Shakespeare, so I’m going to give both him and Kalifornia the benefit of the doubt. A writer, Brian Kessler (David Duchovny) and his girlfriend…

“Prisoners” – film review (B)

When the credits began to roll at the end of Prisoners, a teenage girl behind me said, “I’m writing a letter to someone because there are too many unanswered questions.”  My first reaction was, “Shut up.”  By the time I got to my car, I thought, “Maybe she’s right.” Prisoners is a fairly solid suspense film, provided you…

“Insomnia” – film review

Reasons You Can’t Sleep “There are two kinds of people in Alaska,” said the bartender.  “Those who are born here and those who come here to escape something.  I wasn’t born here.”  I wouldn’t know if it is true, but it’s a fabulous movie line.  She, the bartender, says this after realizing that detective who…

The Kids Are All Right – film review

Laser (no, really) and Joni are the children of Nic and Jules. “Nic” without the “k” is because Nic and Jules are both female. The mothers visited a sperm bank a bunch of years ago, carefully selected Paul as their donor, and each used artificial insemination to give birth to a boy, now 15, and…

River’s Edge – film review

Fade in to a grainy, overexposed, black and white shot of a glistening sunrise reflecting off a river and into the camera.  Slowly, both focus and color are added, enough that we see the river is rather muddy.  On a bridge over the river is Tim (Joshua Miller), a 10-year old boy with disheveled hair…

The Road – on film and in print

There are certain movies and books that present very different experiences to their audiences depending on where those viewers and readers are in their lives. Older audiences probably don’t appreciate the superhero genre in the same way as those 30 and under, and you can reverse that for most anything starring Meryl Streep or written…

Déjà Vu – film review

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I love time travel stories.  Déjà Vu is a very different time travel story, and I’m annoyed that I never saw it until seven years after its release.  I definitely have to get out more often. Sailors returning from duty take a ferry headed for…