Movie Review – Interstellar

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Jun 062015
 

InterstellarIn the near future, Earth has been devastated by drought and famine, causing a scarcity in food and extreme changes in climate. When humanity is facing extinction, a mysterious rip in the space-time continuum is discovered, giving mankind the opportunity to widen its lifespan. A group of explorers must travel beyond our solar system in search of a planet that can sustain life. The crew of the Endurance are required to think bigger and go further than any human in history as they embark on an interstellar voyage into the unknown. Coop, the pilot of the Endurance, must decide between seeing his children again and the future of the human race.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Writer: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan
Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Matthew McConaughey, Mackenzie Foy, John Lithgow, Matt Daymon, Anne Hathaway, Topher Grace
Runtime: 169 min; Rated: PG-13; Genre: Adventure, Sci-Fi; Released: 07 Nov 2014

I watched this one afternoon a few weeks ago on Amazon Streaming. (Yes, I am way behind on my reviews.) I would like to have seen it in iMax. It was a very good movie, and I enjoyed it, but thought the story could have been told just a little more concisely. Continue reading »

Wolf of Wall Street-A Movie Review

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Feb 122014
 

wolfofwallstreetThis is the true story of the outlandish rise and non-stop pleasure-hunting descent of Jordan Belfort, the New York stockbroker who, along with his merry band of brokers, makes a gargantuan fortune by defrauding investors out of millions. Belfort transforms from a righteous young Wall Street newcomer to a thoroughly corrupted stock-pumper and IPO cowboy. Having quickly amassed an absurd fortune, Jordan pumps it back into an endless array of aphrodisiacs: women, Quaaludes, coke, cars, his supermodel wife and a legendary life of aspiration and acquisition without limits. But even as Belfort’s company, Stratton Oakmont, soars sky-high into extremes of hedonistic gratification, the SEC and the FBI are zeroing in on his empire of excess.

In Theaters: December 25, 2013; MPAA Rating: R (for sequences of strong sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use and language throughout, and for some violence); Genres: Drama, Crime, Biopic, Adaptation; Run Time: 2 hours and 59 minutes

Director: Martin Scorsese
Writing Credits: Terence Winter (screenplay), Jordan Belfort (book)

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Jean Dujardin, Rob Reiner, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Jon Favreau, Margot Robbie, Jon Bernthal, Cristin Milioti, P.J. Byrne, Ethan Suplee, Kenneth Choi, Jake Hoffman, Christine Ebersole, Shea Whigham, Barry Rothbart, Danny Abeckaser

Me and Lay watched this movie at the AMC Regency 20 in Brandon. The theater was less than half full, yet amazingly a couple had to sit in our row, and talk through the entire movie, and the woman had to fire up her cell phone screen from time to time. (And these were adults.) Continue reading »

Mud-A Movie Review

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Jul 312013
 

mud-poster-jpg_222918Two boys, Ellis and his friend Neckbone, who find a man named Mud hiding out on an island in the Mississippi. Mud describes fantastic scenarios — he killed a man in Texas and vengeful bounty hunters are coming to get him. He says he is planning to meet and escape with the love of his life, Juniper, who is waiting for him in town. Skeptical but intrigued, Ellis and Neckbone agree to help him. It isn’t long until Mud’s visions come true and their small town is besieged by a beautiful girl with a line of bounty hunters in tow.

In Theaters: April 26, 2013; MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for some violence, sexual references, language, thematic elements and smoking); Genres: Drama; Run Time: 2 hours 10 minutes;

Distributors: Roadside Attractions

Directed by: Jeff Nichols

Actors: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Tye Sheridan, Sam Shepard, Ray McKinnon, Sarah Paulson

The Mississippi River dominates this film as it dominates the lives of the main characters in this film. There is a small town, where everyone knows everyone, but most of the action takes place out of town, out on the river. The two fourteen year old boys and their families, are river people, making a precarious living from the river. Life is hard, and the poverty is pretty crushing. The people are hard-working and resourceful, but can let their circumstances get the best of them, and the film does an outstanding job of capturing it. The film does pay homage to Mark Twain; Huckleberry Finn was based on a childhood friend of Mark Twain’s called Tom Blankenship, the name of a character in this film. This film then, essentially, is a modern up-date of that genre. Continue reading »

Bernie – A Movie Review

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Jul 272012
 

In the tiny, rural town of Carthage, TX, assistant funeral director Bernie Tiede was one of the town’s most beloved residents. He taught Sunday school, sang in the church choir and was always willing to lend a helping hand. Everyone loved and appreciated Bernie, so it came as no surprise when he befriended Marjorie Nugent, an affluent widow who was as well-known for her sour attitude as her fortune. Bernie frequently traveled with Marjorie and even managed her banking affairs. Marjorie quickly became fully dependant on Bernie and his generosity and Bernie struggled to meet her increasing demands. Bernie continued to handle her affairs, and the townspeople went months without seeing Marjorie. The people of Carthage were shocked when it was reported that Marjorie Nugent had been dead for some time, and Bernie Tiede was being charged with the murder.

Genres:  Comedy, Crime, True Story

Starring:  Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, Matthew McConaughey, Brady Coleman, Richard Robichaux, Rick Dial

Director:  Richard Linklater

Me and Lay saw this movie a while back. I liked it a lot. He thought it was OK.

I grew up in a small southern town, and grew up in the funeral business (In fact, I was a funeral director myself for a while), so this was a must see movie. It feels like I knew these locals and have heard their sayings all my life. Story is told uniquely with humor, often subtly. Jack Black stole the show. He had the part down perfectly. I’ve met several of those type of funeral directors. Matthew McConaughey is Texas all the way. Bernie has received excellent reviews from the critics, and I think it has that special edge to it.

The story never dragged, and Matthew McConaughey was exactly like every DA in a small town and that wasn’t a stretch for him because he grew up in a not so small Texas town. Shirley McLain was also great. The real stars of this movie were the towns people. Go see this movie.

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