Let’s try something new. Movie reviews in less than 250 words. When people look for movie reviews, they don’t want to worn down with prose. It’s not a best selling novel on their agenda. Give the goods and do it quick. So let me run over some recent films I have watched in 200 words or less.
Digging For Fire(directed by Joe Swanberg)-On Demand/Redbox/ITunes
Drinking Buddies > Digging for Fire. Swanberg’s last(Olivia Wilde’s best performance) was so much better that this new indie barely registers.
This isn’t a bad movie but so little happens. A group of friends find buried bones and a gun, go digging and search for themselves amidst marriage and relationship issues. A film where the characters in the movie are so realistic that it’s boring to watch them do ordinary things. How do you make 80 minutes seem so long?
Jake Johnson, Rosemarie DeWitt and the rest of the cast are good actors but they can’t save a script that is bland and ultimately a lackluster attempt at hipster cool. Orlando Bloom shows up and may be the best part of the movie. That’s not a good thing.
The Intern(directed by Nancy Meyers)-Hits DVD on January 19th
This is a sweet film, a Meyers special. She makes sweetly romantic comedies that go down like a fine lager on a fall evening. Anne Hathaway and Robert DeNiro have perfect chemistry as the CEO of a fashion website and a senior intern who changes her life.
You may see what’s coming or you may not, but this comedy is so easy moving and confident that it won’t matter. Great acting tromps original scripts in the right film. You’ll appreciate the change of pace turn from DeNiro and Hathaway’s maturation as an actress comes off like a 20 foot jump shoot here.
The Intern is a perfect film to watch with the relatives gathered into your home so find it in a theater somewhere or look for it in the coming weeks.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens(directed by J.J. Abrams) In Theaters
Whatever you hated about the prequels, you will love about J.J. Abrams kickback to the Return of the Jedi days here. By bringing back old legends like Han Solo(Harrison Ford having a lot of fun) and Leia(Carrie Fisher) and introducing new heroes like Rey and Finn(Daisy Ridley and John Boyega), Abrams is spreading the appeal of the franchise to all ages. Don’t be surprised when it shatters all box office records Monday. When you pick up a popular piece of fiction and do it right with some respect, greatness can happen. The Force Awakens is a nostalgic blast.
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation(directed by Christopher McQuarrie) New release on Redbox/DVD/ITunes
The best spy film in 2015 wasn’t Spectre or Kingsman. It was Tom Cruise’s fifth stop as Ethan Hunt, the death defying super agent who won’t quit until everyone in the audience is satisfied.
Just like Ghost Protocol, Rogue Nation did what MI flicks do best. Breathtaking action sequences, versatile casts with a few new faces, and Cruise dominating the entire operation by putting his neck and soul into the role. Ask me and this is his best character. A place where he is most at home in. Action and adventure. If Furious 7 had a brain, it would be called Mission Impossible.
The Ref(directed by Ted Demme) ITunes/Amazon for 2.99
Underrated Christmas movie. When the kids go to bed this holiday week, get the grownups together and watch the marvel Denis Leary work a script like a boxer does an overmatched opponent for 12 rounds. The comedy maestro plays a thief who kidnaps a couple and runs into the night of his life when they turn out to be bickering maniacs and their family is even worse.
The late director Ted Demme had a gift with actors and could create a tone that slowly boiled over into laugh out comedy. Kevin Spacey and Judy Davis are perfect foils for Leary’s maniac type hilarity and the film doesn’t need to stop when the credits roll. In the middle of the dark comedy clouds, you get a few well timed sentimental moments that Grandma will appreciate. This is a film to watch during the holidays.
That’s it. Short to the point movie reviews that can be read in the same amount of time it takes to check an email or have half a cup of coffee. Come back next week for five more movie reviews in 200 words or less.