Category Archives: Movies

Boyhood

 

I loved it.  In fact I loved it so much that I went to see it alone, and then took my 16 year old daughter to see it the next day.  So, we loved it.

The truth is that I adore Richard Linklater’s films, his portrayal of life, his ability to capture the most seemingly insignificant daily occurrences and give them the reverence they deserve because those are the threads of life that help define who we become. This movie deals with our mortality in such a delicate manner that sneaks up on you towards the end of the film, and suddenly you’re brought to tears.  The fact that Linklater filmed this over a span of 12 years was impressive because the tone of the film doesn’t change despite the metamorphosis the actors go through as we watch them age on camera throughout the nearly three hours that you’re watching them.

Let’s go down the main actors in this film that gave heartfelt performances; unfortunately, I cannot go through the entire cast, but every actor in this film was outstanding.  Let’s start with Mr. Sunrise, Sunset and Midnight – I love Ethan Hawke; he plays the weekend/summer camp dad with a Peter Pan complex, perfectly — I’m pretty sure his character never contributed a dime to help the kids charming, complex, and driven mother with terrible taste in men, played by Patricia Arquette.  At the moment I’m still haunted by Patricia Arquette’s final words on screen as she finally understands she is alone, summarizes her life to her son, and cries in disbelief that “I just thought there would be more” — mothers, prepare to cry at this scene and kids, console your moms if you’re with them.  This brings me to the children, which includes Linklater’s daugher, Lorelei (being a Gilmore Girls fan, I was excited), playing the older sister, Samantha, to the protagonist, played by newcomer, Ellar Coltrane.  Both Lorelei and Ellar gave such incredible performances that you forget they are acting.  Lorelei plays the older sister so well; she is tough like a first child might be that’s had to live a parent’s separation, and has had to internalize the pain.  There are moments when terrible things are happening that she just smiles, jokes, or makes an obnoxious remark, but if you’ve seen the interaction between siblings, you realize she’s protecting herself and her younger brother despite taunting him and doing obnoxious older sister kind of things; she is the kid that does not allow herself to be vulnerable, she voices the injustices, and demonstrates an enormous resilience.  This brings me to the star of the film, Mason Jr. played by Coltrane: what an incredible performance.  Coltrane conveys such a vulnerability, honesty, and an incredible sense of humor.  Towards the end of the film, Mason Jr. is engaged in dialogue with a young woman who said that it’s really not about seizing the moment, but rather how the moment seizes you…watching this film was one of those moments.  This is a film that speaks to individuals at different stages of life.  Boyhood gently awakens the viewer to one’s delicate and often ignored mortality.  Boyhood keen’s you into the fact that just because a person gets older, it doesn’t mean they have things figured out.  In one scene, Mason Jr. is telling someone how even though his mother has gone through a transformation from a woman without a career or degree to one working at a college with a Master’s, she’s still just as “confused as I am”.  Hawke also admits at two points in the the film that time and the walls you hit in life are what eventually tame you, break you and practically force you into submission.

I could go on and on with this film because it is a story that will make you reflect on your life, on the dreams you realized or didn’t, and the significant crossroads life provided you with.  A good foreshadowing of how inspirational this film is was it’s opening with Coldplay’s “Yellow” as our beautiful Mason Jr., then at the sweet age of six, is staring into a powder blue sky, his entire life ahead of him, hope intact, and dreams in vivid colors.

Go see this film; see it alone, see it with your kid, just see it.

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Blue Starlite Drive-in at the Grove: Pulp Fiction & $5 Milkshakes

The 90’s: we had the end of the Cold War, Hurricane Andrew, Microsoft Windows, Anita Hill vs. Clarence Thomas & his Coke can, let’s not forget the O.J. Simpson trial, the Spice Girls, Nirvana, Harry Potter, Millennium parties and the reason I’m writing this…Pulp Fiction.

I wasn’t sure how to start this blog, considering that this is one of my favorite movies of all time.  How do you convey such a deep appreciation for a film like Pulp Fiction?  Maybe you enthusiastically show it to your kid (also a highlight from my personal account of the 90’s) along with other cult classics such as Heathers and Kids.  Or perhaps you randomly quote the movie at given moments when you’re having a milkshake or need to tell a bad joke.  Quentin Tarantino is brilliant, dark, and funny both as a writer and director.  Pulp Fiction‘s cast is comprised of an equally amazing group of superb actors, including some like Travolta that resurrected their acting careers, and others like Uma whose popularity skyrocketed following this film.  This dark comedy, which is one of the most, if not THE MOST significant film from that era, involves 4 or 5 interconnected story-lines that are presented out of sequence, and lead the viewer on an unforgettable ride.

I couldn’t imagine a better way of celebrating Pulp Fiction‘s 20th anniversary than viewing it at the Blue Starlite drive-in located in Coconut Grove on Monday, August 11th or Wednesday, August 13th at 8 p.m.  The Blue Starlite was recently named the best movie theater by The Miami New Times’ Best of Miami 2014.

So pick up a delicious shake and head over to the Blue Starlite for some Tarantino love!

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tfios

The Fault in Our Stars: Book vs. Movie

My teen daughter appears one afternoon with a blue book in her hand and says, “Mom, read this…you’ll like it.”  So what do I do? Immediately, I log onto my Amazon account, and buy my own copy because when your teen is reaching out to you, you jump…(trust me parents of babies or toddlers, exhausted, with stains from strained carrot baby food or baby vomit, you will jump).

So, two-days later, thanks to Amazon Prime, I receive my blue-colored tear-jerker of a book.  I couldn’t stop reading it, or crying.  I would intermittently stumble into my daughter’s room, my face covered in tears and snot, and I’d ask “Why are you making me read this???”

tfios cover

I have a weakness for Young Adult novels. I do. I’m sorry if I just lost some credibility in your eyes.  I read the “Twilight” series along with my kid (and mom, ahem), we were into it…we wore the “Team Jacob” or “Team Edward” shirts.  I enjoyed “Perks of a Wallflower” and the “Hunger Games” too…but there was something about this story, which seemed to have resounded with many given the cult following it’s received.

That said, after reading this novel, which I enjoyed tremendously, I taught it to my 8th graders, which extended my love of this novel.  I started a movement among middle-schoolers who all wanted to read this novel.  Yay for reading!  I’m still riding the wave of effective teaching, when June 5th comes and my kid and I went to see an early showing of the blessed movie…

and it was okay.  It wasn’t the book, but it was faithful to it.  It covered the basics.  And yes, during the last twenty minutes all that could be heard other than the film, were teenagers and women sniffing, crying and blowing their noses.  Buuuut, it wasn’t the book.

tfios movie cover

Book receives: 5 snaps!

Movie receives: 2.5 tissues 🙂

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midnightinparis

Midnight in Paris

This enjoyable film that was written and directed by Woody Allen, will inspire viewers to all say the same thing during and after the film: I love Paris.  At least those of us that have been there will feel nostalgia sweep over, leaving us with a longing to return to Paris in the rain.
The shots of Paris are beautiful, captured at their most intimate moments.  Then you add the rich fantasy life of the protagonist, Gil, played by Owen Wilson, and suddenly you travel in time to Paris in the 1920s.  There you visit a number of historical figures, some of which include, Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Picasso, Picasso’s mistress, Adriana, who becomes Gil’s desire & catharsis, and then there’s Gertrude Stein, played by the incredible Kathy Bates, who as usual, charms you, as well as Adrien Brody’s humorous portrayal of Salvador Dali.
Wilson plays Allen’s role incredibly well…that soft spoken, neurotic, compulsive, imaginative writer.  Bates is amazing as usual, as well as Brody.  Rachel McAdams plays the role decently as she is paired once again along side Wilson (last time in Wedding Crashers), and still they have no chemistry, which works well in this film.  Michael Sheen is decent as the annoying, pretentious, slef-involved, antagonist, Paul.  Kudos to Marion Cotillard, who plays Adriana, and Gil’s soul-mate, Gabrielle, played by Lea Seydoux, who thankfully plays a character that remains alive and happy at the end (she has a tendency to play tragic characters).
Overall, it was a lovely film, and it will plant the desire to visit the city of love.

I give this Midnight in Paris 3 Eiffel Towers at sunset.

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Horrible Bosses

Can you guess what the #1 Halloween costume might be this year for the ladies?  Probably Jennifer Anniston’s little doctor/man-napper outfit (if you’ve seen the movie you know the outfit I’m talking about, and if you haven’t seen it…go watch the movie).  This was Jennifer’s best role in a long time…she was her sexy, funny self, and was able to step outside the good girl roles (no pun intended since The Good Girl was her best role).  She was dirty.  Raunchy.  One of the guys.  But, in a really hot outfit!
Jason Bateman…I love him.  He may play the same role in every film, but so does Vince Vaughn and that’s worked out well for Vince…well, until The Dilemma, but that’s another review.  It’s so great to see Jason exploding in the theater…those of us that grew up in the 80s watched Jason circle around Silver Spoons, Valerie’s Family, and Teen Wolf Too. We missed him.  I missed him.  Glad he’s been resurrected like Travolta.  He does a great job as the OCD, anxious, Nick Hendricks, whose evil boss is brilliantly played by Kevin Spacey.  Speaking of evil, Colin Farrell plays an amusingly self-absorbed, self-serving ninja-wanna-be with a comb-over who inherits his father’s business.  Who’s the father?  The amazingly, sexy Donald Sutherland.
Who steals the movie?  Charlie Day.  Him and Sudeikis play supporting roles in Going the Distance, and return together to co-star with Bateman.  Who else steals it?  Jennifer. Jason. Ok, it was a great cast.  Kudos to Jamie Foxx and Julie Bowen (Claire from Modern Family).
I enjoyed the movie, although I still prefer Bridesmaids.  However, you ask my dearly beloved who went to see it with me, whose thunderous laughter filled the theater, and he will tell you the movie is amazing.

I give it 3 kinky Jen outfits.

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