Movie Review: 5 Flights Up

A good movie? No, but it is the perfect movie to watch at home on a Sunday when you’ve got nothing much going on. It’s cozy, unchallenging, a little boring, a missed opportunity to explore the ambitions of older people, but also effortlessly appealing, and that’s mostly thanks to Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton as… Read More »

Movie Review: In Defense of “Aloha”

I feel sorry for this movie. Cameron Crowe tries to step outside his comfort zone and do something different not just for him but for studio films in general, then release it in the early summer period. And what happens? Do people hail it as the refreshing counter-programming charmer he was intending? It flops at… Read More »

Movie Review: San Andreas

This may sound tasteless but this is the rare film that finds a way to make Earthquakes boring. What Works: The Rock does what he can, and Carla Gugino isn’t half-bad as the female lead, and the few scenes with Paul Giamatti and Archie Panjabi are solid enough (even though he’s mostly reduced to the Richard… Read More »

Movie Review: Slow West

A very small indie Western but after weeks of big budget, blockbuster bloat it may be the exact right time for a subtle but interesting period piece. What Works: Kodi Smit McPhee plays a Scottish nobleman trying to find his lost love Rose in tough, Wild West America. He receives “help” from Michael Fassbender’s ambiguous… Read More »

Movie Review: Pitch Perfect 2

A sequel that I probably shouldn’t have liked, but did anyway. What Works: Why didn’t I hate this movie? It’s an unnecessary sequel in a summer that’s full of them, and it combines a lot of my least favorite elements like cover songs, sing-offs, and sloppy plotting, but there’s something inside this movie that’s hard not to like.… Read More »

Movie Review: Tomorrowland

An unfairly dismissed family film that explores interesting questions about “What happened to our idealism?” and “Why have we embraced post-apocalyptic stories?” It’s not a perfect movie but any kid’s film that puts climate crisis, and why we aren’t doing more to prevent dystopia is definitely doing something right. What Works: A solid cast, some interesting… Read More »

Series Finale of “Mad Men” and Ranking the Seasons

Sometimes, when you’ve been watching a TV show for 7 seasons (that were really stretched over nine years) and said TV show has always inspired conflicting emotions—like “Is Mad Men really that good or are we getting suckered by the prestigious vibe?” or “Was that last episode just straight-up depressing and unsatisfying or true art…which is often depressing and… Read More »

Movie Review: Far From the Madding Crowd

I’m conflicted about this because on the one hand this is a quiet independent film taking place in a long ago period that has the guts to open anywhere near the summer movie season, but on the other hand this is still technically a remake of a remake of an adaptation. What’s wrong with this picture when… Read More »