“The Purge”

June 9th, 2013 at 9:15 am by under A Look at the Movies

2 Stars








Rated R
1 hour 25 minutes

Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey

Now we know how to make crime obsolete, and make lawlessness go away completely in the near future.
Devote one night a year to an anything goes bloodbath, targeting anyone you choose with the police looking the other way.

That’s “The Purge”, an ugly, obnoxious thriller Impersonating a message movie. Our hero, Ethan Hawke bolts all the doors to his suburban fortress as he rationalizes the coming bloodshed.

The murderous, marauding mob wouldn’t dream of Ignoring the smug upper middle class Hawke and family. Remember, the less fortunate are obligated to vent their smoldering resentment.

How can this overblown thriller running a scant 85 minutes feeling like a much longer waste of time?

By the time Hawke and family conclude “The Purge” Isn’t such a good idea after all, the audience is busy texting their friends urging them to stay home.

The artificial social message doesn’t fool anyone. “The Purge” was made strictly for the blood and guts crowd. And for such a limited outlook, Let’s Purge “The Purge” with a measly two stars.

And one more complaint. Ethan Hawke is much too good anĀ  actor to go slumming in such a trashy neighborhood.


May 11th, 2013 at 10:25 am by under A Look at the Movies

3 Stars

Rated R
1 hour 55 minutes

In a season usually made up exclusively of bubble headed blockbusters, comes a sobering chiller about the evils of the internet. “Disconnect” is designed to make your furious about what’s happening to us in Cyberspace.

This lean and mean commentary tells how supplicated technology, such as Cyber Bullying and Identity Theft can easily victimize the innocent and uninformed.

Art Imitates the terrible life experience of losing everything you own to the ruthless among us, who know how to manipulate a computer better than we do. This happens every day, but It’s no less powerful watching the suffering unfold on the big screen.

Then there are the vulnerable victims of Cyber Bullying and what they do to themselves when the pain becomes unbearable. When Technology is misplaced into the hands of the cruel and Immature.

If “Disconnect” tells us everything that we already know about, then how come the experience of seeing “Disconnect” is so unnerving?

You’ve got to give the writers credit for having the guts to depict anonymous texting as a weapon against the weak. “Disconnect” is the kind of provocative, controversial drama that I’m inclined to reward with three stars.

Considering how much this film has to say, “Disconnect” is well worth seeing more than once.


“The Company You Keep”

April 28th, 2013 at 10:19 am by under A Look at the Movies

4 Stars

Rated R
2 hours 5 minutes

Robert Redford, Julie Christie, Susan Sarandon

Robert Redford never makes a movie unless he’s got something important to say. Redford directed and stars in “The Company You Keep”.

It’s a sentimental political thriller about aging anti-war radicals still on the FBI’s most wanted list. Redford’s avoided the law for so long why should he worry about crusading reporter Shia LaBeouf? Who according to Redford is such a smart young man, he probably would have been involved with the movement thirty years ago.

When fellow radical Susan Sarandon surrenders to the FBI, Redford goes on a journey of self-discovery. What motivated him to distance himself from his fellow political extremists of long ago?

The hot shot reporter is also trying to uncover the truth about these unrepentant radicals from a bygone era.

Since “The Company You Keep” is more thoughtful than fast moving, this deeply involving film falls into the category sure to alienate the action crowd.

But how can you go wrong with a memorable cast that includes the legendary Julie Christie as the long ago love of Redford’s life?

You owe it to yourself to see “The Company You Keep” just to be in Robert Redford’s company. This masterful filmĀ  is worth nothing short of four stars.

And trust me, you won’t find a better movie out there right now.


April 21st, 2013 at 10:45 am by under A Look at the Movies

2 StarsRated PG-13
2 hours 5 minutes

Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Melissa Leo

We should all know by now that when the studio releases a Tom Cruise movie in April, instead of during the peak Summer blockbuster season, the movie probably isn’t very good.

And “Oblivion” is just where this lame Science Fiction adventure will wind up.

Tom Cruise spends the picture bemoaning his memory problems from a past life. He just might want to forget this futuristic end of the world epic.

While he ponders the condition of the earthly remnants in the year 2077, Cruise and his playmate enjoy life in their posh intergalactic penthouse which looks strangely out of place amid all the desolation.

Morgan Freeman has little more than a bit role as an unexpected survivor.

However, even Freeman can’t inject any excitement into this slow moving futuristic adventure.

While Cruise copes with his memory problems, you’ll have no trouble recalling how many times we’ve seen all of this before.

The writers even sneak a romantic triangle into the drab plotline but nothing separates this film from its stupor. “Oblivion” is an exercise in artificial uplift that goes no higher than 2 stars.

I’m sure the Tom Cruise charisma will keep the picture in orbit for at least two weeks, but after that, word of mouth will send the film crashing into “Oblivion”.

“The Call”

March 23rd, 2013 at 10:41 am by under A Look at the Movies

Three-StarRated: R
1 hour 35 minutes

Hallie Berry
Abigail Breslin
Morris Chestnut

In the world of action thrillers, the 911 operators don’t just take the calls, but also solve the crimes.
Hallie Berry really gets into the spirit of the nerve wracking suspense. Berry’s about to find out that former child star Abigail Breslin is all grown up now, and she’s being targeted by a serial killer predator.
“The Call” comes through loud and clear as a high tension thriller part of the way, as Berry bonds with the terrified, kidnapped teenager. No one can accuse Breslin of under acting.
It’s only when Berry hangs up the phone and gets the urge to play detective, that the plot starts getting creaky around the edges. There’s nothing in her job description that requires her to track down the creep and give him a taste of his own medicine in the bargain.
Why do we get the Impression the writers may have seen “Silence of the Lambs” once too often?
“The Call” is a fairly decent thriller that generates enough excitement for an over the top 3 stars.
Some movies just aren’t expected to make any sense, but to simply entertain you.