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September 20, 2017

Get to Know '818 Empire'

by Luckie
September 19, 2017

Time As Activity – David Lamelas and Bernd & Hilda Becher

by Raleigh Barrett
September 13, 2017

A Weekend in the "American Riviera"

by Jack Witt
September 12, 2017

KCON LA 2017 @ The LA Convention Center

by Caroline McElroy
September 11, 2017

What Can a Dollar Buy? Depends on Where You Live

by Lillian Appleby
September 08, 2017

How successful are you?

by Jessie Marcus
September 07, 2017

Six Simple Dating Tips to Call in The One This Fall

by Cristina Morara
September 01, 2017

Logan Lucky; The Trip to Spain Reviews

by Mike Peros
August 31, 2017

Free Monthly Horoscopes - September 2017

by Maya White
August 30, 2017

Wallpaper; is it right for me?

by Christopher Porikos
August 27, 2017

Making Independent Movies - The Women in Red

by Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros
August 24, 2017

Overcoming Dance Anxiety

by Luckie
August 23, 2017

Give to Life

by Connor Coman
August 18, 2017

Jail People Who Mistreat Animals?

by Nancy Bianconi
August 14, 2017

New Frontiers, the Many Worlds of George Takei

by Raleigh Barrett
August 07, 2017

Six days on the Camino de Santiago

by NoHo - North Hollywood
August 07, 2017

6 Financial Tips for Your Aging Parents

by Lillian Appleby
Friday, 10 February 2017 15:35

Just in Time for Oscar

Just in Time for Oscar: Neglected Founder, a Late Arrival, Serious Moonlight, Not Quite Fantastic…and Why I’m Not Completely Gaga over La La (Warning: Spoilers in La La Land) 

Published in Movie Reviews
Saturday, 28 May 2016 09:15

Reviews: The Nice Guys; Money Monster

The Nice Guys; Money Monster

Published in Movie Reviews
Published in Movie Reviews

Contagion
It could be the end of the world as we know it as Gynneth Paltrow has the misfortune to be "patient zero" in Steven Soderbergh's earnest, intense all-star thriller Contagion. Poor Paltrow spends but a few minutes onscreen, having returned from China to the U.S, (by way of a quick illicit rest stop in Chicago), and succumbing to a mysterious virus that she may well have brought over. Paltrow's grieving (and immune) husband Matt Damon tries to protect his surviving daughter from infection while health official Lawrence Fishburne uses his expertise (and extensive staff) to try to come up with a vaccine. In the meantime, scientist Kate Winslet looks for answers stateside while Marion Cotillard 's WHO investigator looks to China, and the fate of the world might just fall to two dedicated doctors, Jennifer Ehle-and Elliott Gould. Lest you think that this worldwide outbreak only inspires acts of altruism, there are disturbing passages of mankind running amok in scenes of looting, home invasions and killings. Soderbergh presents these episodes with a degree of restraint, but it's no holds barred in the graphic depiction of the effects of the virus (only beginning with Ms. Paltrow). In addition, Jude Law is on hand as an unscrupulous blogger who uses the outbreak as a chance to promote himself -and some dangerous conspiracy theories. The movie's solemn, almost clinical tone gains emotional impact as it goes on, and all the actors do convincing work; however some key players disappear from the proceedings in a not so credible manner (and I don't mean by dying), while some plot developments are dropped abruptly. In spite of this, Contagion is worth the trip-just don't forget the hand wipes.

DRIVE
If you crossed Michael Mann's 80's crime films with the French New Wave cinema, and then tossed in some Sergio Leone references and soaked them all in a Sam Pechinpah-style bloodbath, you'll have something resembling Nicholas Winding Refn's Drive, a somewhat unconventional thriller with its roots in well-known (primarily Hollywood) conventions. Ryan Gosling is a Hollywood stunt driver-- and occasional getaway driver-- with no name: steely, calm, taciturn, with a disarming smile he trots out on occasion, especially in the company of innocent neighbor Carey Mulligan and her young son. When his boss Bryan Cranston introduces Gosling to a shady ex-producer (Albert Brooks) with money to invest, the future seems momentarily bright. But as we're in the land of film noir, the inevitable complications arise in the form of Mulligan's ex-con husband, a heist gone awry, double crosses and some mighty bloody (and I do mean bloody) confrontations with some very dangerous characters. While the movie's plot outline may not hold many surprises, there are many pleasures to be had throughout: the car chase sequences work on a visceral level; Gosling and Mulligan make an appealing pair; Christina Hendricks is fine as a calculating moll while Ron Perlman is an imposing presence as a gangster with hidden interests. However, when all is said and done, Albert Brooks steals the show. He plays the role of an ex-producer turned murderous gangster as if he were waiting for this part all his life. In the movie's early sections, he displays hints of menace, along with the usual witty displays of Brooksian neurosis that is a hallmark of his own work. He makes this shady character likable, believable, and very dangerous, up until-and way past---the moment when he uses his fork for something other than to twirl spaghetti.

Published in Archived Movie Reviews

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