Watch This: Trailer for Get Out

What is this Get Out film that is setting box office records? I hadn’t even heard of it and suddenly it was everywhere. I took a look at the trailer to find out more. Continue reading “Watch This: Trailer for Get Out”

Review: Begin Again

How does Mark Ruffalo do it? Every time I see one of his movies I think, “This is Mark Ruffalo’s best performance ever.” Then I see another of his movies and I have the same feeling all over again. Welcome to Begin Again with Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley in two of their best performances ever.  Continue reading “Review: Begin Again”

Brain Dump: Short Thoughts on Movies and TV

Brain Dump_ Short Thoughts on Movies and

I’ve had many pop culture thoughts that I’ve neglected to actually write down in the last few weeks. It’s time for a brain dump.

Movies

I absolutely loved Peace, Love and Misunderstanding! This 2011 indie film was directed by Bruce Beresford. It starred Jane Fonda as an aging, free-spirited hippie and Catherine Keener as her daughter. Also featured are Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Elizabeth Olsen, Nat Wolff, Chace Crawford, Kyle MacLachlan, and Rosanna Arquette. It was filmed in the town of Woodstock, New York, where the movie is set.

It was a feel good story about family and love and acceptance. I completely recommend it. If you see it wander past in your Netflix new releases, click play.

I also loved The Immigrant, although it was not a fun romp in any way. This grim slice of reality starred Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix, and Jeremy Renner, all of whom gave outstanding performances.

The Immigrant poster

Joaquin Phoenix was particularly powerful as a man who preyed on helpless and desperate immigrant women, tricking them into prostitution for his own gain. I won’t explain the twists in the plot in this tale – there are several – except to say that it brought out some amazing acting from the 3 stars. Again, watch it if you see it in your streaming choices.

TV: The Winners

Hally Berry in Extant
Halle Berry in Extant

I haven’t given an opinion about Extant, starring Halle Berry yet. I’m enjoying this sci-fi drama about astronaut Molly Woods who returns pregnant from a 13 month mission alone in space. The sci-fi aspects of the show are a bit iffy, but the cast is giving it their all. Goran Visnjic plays her husband. Pierce Gagnon plays their son, who happens to be a robot. Grace Gummer and Camryn Manheim also have significant parts in the drama. I hope this one makes it to a second season.

Murder in the First is a a full season story arc involving one crime. It stars Teye Diggs and Kathleen Robertson as cops and Tom Felton as the billionaire murderer they struggle to convict. The characters are particularly well drawn, considering this is just the first season. Again, I hope this one makes it to a second season.

The BBC’s Lark Rise to Candleford has me hooked. I’m most of the way through the first season. There are 4 seasons. It’s a period drama with many great female characters. It’s only available on streaming services, since it’s been off the air for a while now.

Stephanie Leonidas as Irisa on Defiance
Stephanie Leonidas as Irisa on Defiance

The women of Defiance, oh my. The character Irisa on Defiance, played by Stephanie Leonidas, is becoming more and more layered. She’s taken on some kind of supernatural power – perhaps alien power would be a more accurate term. It’s given her interesting abilities and she’s attracting followers. She’s starting to remind me of the kind of strong leader that we have in Bo in Lost Girl or Buffy in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Defiance has allowed Stahma Tarr, played by Jaime Murray, to evolve into a powerful woman. Julie Benz’s character of Amanda Rosewater is turning out to be full of twists and intricacies. Julie Benz really shines in this role, in ways that are new for her.

TV: The Losers

I gave up on Under the Dome. The story makes no sense in sci-fi terms, no sense in religious terms. None of the characters really grab me. Enough.

I watched one, and only one, episode of Seed and thought it was too stupid to ever watch again. I wanted to watch it because of Amanda Brugel. Zoie Palmer likes Amanda Brugel, so I wanted to watch something with Amanda Brugel in it because – well, I like Zoie Palmer. Sorry, Zoie, this isn’t the place where I’m going to become a fan of Amanda Brugel. I’ll give her another chance some other time.

Review: Enough Said

Enough Said met all my expectations. I thought it would be funny – it was. I thought it would be charming – it was. I thought the cast would be superlative – they were. I thought it would be an outstanding example of storytelling from a female writer, a female director, and a female star – it was.

James Gandolfini and Julia Louis Dreyfus
James Gandolfini and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Enough Said

Enough Said, written and directed by Nicole Holofcener (pictured at the top), is about love and family and trusting yourself and about letting people be who they are. There are a number of storylines running through Enough Said. The basic story between Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Eva and James Gandolfini as Albert is a girl meets boy, girl loses boy, girl gets boy kind of romance. The twists in this timeless plot are provided by the insecurities in Eva and her lack of trust in her own judgment. Subplots abound from the supporting characters, including Albert and Eva’s daughters who are both heading off to college. Catherine Keener plays Albert’s ex-wife, who savors a poisonous penchant for dishing about Albert’s quirks. Toni Collette and Ben Falcone play friends of Eva’s with their own set of quirks.

Julia Louis Dreyfus
Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Enough Said

It’s a simple, quiet story about characters who feel absolutely real and who make you laugh. In this tale about a woman, there are no gun battles and no crazy sci fi plot points. It’s refreshing. Bring me dozens more of these, please.

I completely recommend Enough Said.

Enough Said Looks Good

The romantic comedy Enough Said coming to theaters on September 20 looks good. It stars the late James Gandolfini and Julia Louis-Dreyfus who get romantically involved as a couple of empty nesters. Look at some of the cast members.

Enough Said
Nicole Holofcener, James Gandolfini and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Catherine Keener, Toni Collette and Tracey Fairaway and Julia Louis-Dreyfus from “Enough Said”

The film was directed by Nicole Holofcener. It’s one of the last performances of James Gandolfini, who plays a loveable teddy bear of a guy in this film.

Enjoy the trailer for the upcoming Enough Said. Do you agree that it looks like one you want to see? I’m going!

Images and video courtesy Fox Searchlight