Friday, August 20, 2010

Film Review - Following

Following (1998)

Director: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Jeremy Theobald, Alex Haw

An unemployed writer (Theobald) develops a habit of following people, either for writing material or just because the person looks interesting to him. At one point, Cobb (Haw), one of his subjects, catches him and confronts him about what he's been doing, then invites him to join him in his endeavors: breaking into houses and robbing people of their possessions. The driving thrust of these actions isn't merely to get items to fence, however. It is to psychologically mess with the home's occupant - hiding one earring, turning over personal items so they would know that they have been violated, drinking their wine. The more the writer engages in these activities, the more deeply he becomes involved with the life of one of his victims, which threatens to tear his already fragile world down.

This is actually the second time I saw Following, the first time being ten years ago immediately after seeing (and was completely enamored with) director Nolan's second film, Memento. Despite having seen the film and knowing the general conceit, I still found myself awed by the brilliant storytelling that by now has become expected from a Nolan film. Following is a psychological thriller, but the thrills are provided unconventionally; though not as unique as Memento, where the film and its action was presented backwards, Following is still non-linear, so you may watch one scene where the writer still has his longer hair, but the next he'll be dressed in a suit with short hair and sporting a shiner on his eye. The viewer has no idea what has transpired, but the future of this character is clearly not good, and then the dread sets in, knowing something bad is going to happen. Alfred Hitchcock was famous for employing the technique of letting the audience in on who the killer is long before the characters on screen find out so we would sweat the rest of the movie watching the events unfold onscreen. Nolan uses a similar tactic in many of his films (I kind of have to leave the Batman movies out of it because while well done, they are fairly straight forward films) but instead of giving us the answers from the get-go, drops hints by turning scenes into a jigsaw puzzle and after twist upon twist, everything is in its place.

Following has a complex plot, but is actually a very basic production. Obviously low budget, it is filmed in sometimes grainy, sometimes stark black and white, which gives it a special, neo-noir feel. Most of the characters don't even have specific names ("the young man", "the blonde"). While the production is good, the film's true star is Nolan, who wrote an ingenious story that was complex and cerebral without being confusing or pretentious. As I watched the film, I loved the fact that my mind was racing, trying to figure everything out, until I just let myself sit back and allow the plot to reveal itself in twist after twist that ultimately left a big dumb grin on my face. Nolan is one of the world's top directors today, and we expect great things from him, but 12 years ago when he wrote and directed Following, he was 27 years old, and that kind of genius is unfathomable to me. Whether you're a fan of Nolan's general filmography, especially the recent Inception, or just of his first two films of the rebooted Batman franchise, Following is a safe recommendation for anyone.

4 out of 5 stars

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Film Review - Brief Interviews with Hideous Men

Brief Interviews with Hideous Men (2009)

Director: John Krasinski
Starring: Julianne Nicholson, John Krasinski

Based on a series of short stories by the late author David Foster Wallace, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men features Julianne Nicholson as Sara, a doctoral candidate in Anthropology who, after her boyfriend Ryan (Krasinski) cheats on her, embarks on a research project to find out what men think of women, how they feel about relationships, and why they cheat.

Though I have never read the source material for this film, based on the limited research I did about the author before writing this, the book (of the same name) was widely thought of as not adaptable or able to be filmed. After sitting through Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, I have to agree with that assessment because the film makes no sense, and it really should be quite easy to follow since it's really nothing more than Nicholson sitting in front of or near guys who talk about women and their sexual conquests. Her character is given nothing to do but sit there with a blank expression on her face and listen, and the scenes where she does more than that, actually engages with someone, number less than five. (I would also swear that she speaks no more than 100 words in the film as well.) Nicholson is a stunning woman, with a look that is reminiscent of a really young Shirley MacLaine, but the two roles I've seen her play, the one in this film and the one she played in Law & Order: Criminal Intent are exactly the same. It works on the television show, but completely falls flat in this movie. See the expression in the photo above? Get used to it - that's pretty much all you're going to see out of her, it appears.

One of the more irritating elements of Brief Interviews with Hideous Men is director Krasinski's insistence on using the overused technique of inserting the storyteller into the scene of his story, but still addressing the listener. A really good example of this technique is Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs, when Tim Roth is telling the bathroom story. Cutting the character in and out of the actual scene of the story he was telling added to the tension and ultimately, the scene itself. In Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, this technique is used completely nonsensically and the end result is truly not as cool as Krasinski thought he was being; it wasn't avant garde or edgy, it was eye-rolling bad. Another thing Krasinski liked to do was to have characters randomly repeat dialogue, which was just confusing and strange. The dialogue itself was like something one would overhear between two poseurs at Starbucks; having a conversation with more than several words that contain two syllables and the substance of week 2 of a Philosophy 101 class does not convey depth or profundity. It's more akin to a drunken discussion one may have with a stranger at a party where you think you're really blowing each other minds, but the sober person nearby is just rolling their eyes. This film is saturated with moments like that, and the result is not, "Oh look how smart these people are", it is more bemusement than anything.

The climax of the absurdity occurs, ironically, when I think we are supposed to find the most depth in the film; when we find out why Sara set off on this quest we've been enduring for the past hour and a half. Krasinski's Ryan sits in front of Sara and explains how he cheated on her and why in a monologue that was completely boring and hackneyed until he hit the end of it when he says, "I'm standing here naked before you. Judge me you bitch!" It took me a few moments to stop laughing, but then I realized the sad truth - this was supposed to be a big moment in the film and I'm pretty sure I didn't provide the intended reaction. John Krasinski is good at what he normally does - play the affable, laid-back and sensitive guy. In fact, he's a natural at it. Unfortunately that doesn't make him a good director, and he made some fatal flaws in this film, namely, he really took himself too seriously and threw everything he had at his first film. I like Krasinski, and though I strongly disliked this film, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt that this was just a bad freshman effort and will give him a shot the next time around.

Having said that, there is no redemption for Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, and there are really not a lot of positive things I can say about the film without a codicil: The large supporting cast was really strong and full of great character actors, however, they were completely wasted on the bad material or simply underused...There was one semi-interesting vignette featuring Frankie Faison, however, it had absolutely nothing to do with the film or Sara's thesis and employed the dreaded "insert narrator into the scene" technique...I didn't look at my watch in boredom for what seemed like forever, however, it was actually a half hour into the film. You get my point. I have enough give and take in my life as it is, I'd rather not have to make concessions when looking for positives in a film I'm watching.

Brief Interviews with Hideous Men tries to be mental masturbation, but it conveys anything but depth. Instead, it is tremendously boring, and despite my desperate hope that the film would end somewhat cohesively so that I didn't feel like I had wasted my time, I was completely let down.

1.5 out of 5 Stars

Friday, August 13, 2010

I'm getting all high techie and stuff

Okay, not really. But I did spend an inordinate amount of time (considering the end result) on my Web site, and I am pretty damn proud of it if I do say so myself. Not too shabby for being completely self taught and technically inept.

Well, my arm is sore from reaching around to pat myself on the back, so I'm going to get back to doing things I probably should have been doing while updating my site, but in case anyone is interested, is now back in business.

Hoping to watch one or two good movies this weekend - I'm going to float the idea of a weekly "Friday movie night date" or something with the boyfriend. I'm hoping that the promise of pizza or something will make this a reliable tradition.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Film Review - Paper Heart

Paper Heart (2009)

Director: Nick Jasenovec
Starring: Charlyne Yi, Michael Cera

Charlyne Yi, an actress and comedienne, realizes that she's never been in love, so she decides to make a documentary about the subject in love in an attempt to understand it, and why she hasn't experienced it. With her director Nick Jasenovec, (portrayed in the film by Jake M. Johnson) she visits cities across the country to ask people what love means to them and if they've found true love. Along the way she encounters elderly married couples, scientists and even a biker gang who love each other like a family, but it isn't until she meets actor Michael Cera, who pursues her, that she begins to realize that even though she may not know what love actually is or feels like, she does want to try to find out.

Paper Heart is a faux documentary, which is a tricky genre. Fake documentaries have a tendency to be flat and unoriginal, but almost always think they are the cleverest fish in the pond. I was actually kind of fooled by this film, because the actors and their progression were completely natural. There were very few forced scenes, and those that were, were treated with complete self-realization and deprecation and ultimately, for the betterment of the film. Yi never actually learns exactly what she wanted to know, but then again, who actually does know what love is? Seeking the answer to a question with such a subjective answer is pointless, and without a heroine like Yi, the film could have spiraled into a waste of time. She is tomboyish, clever and could be conceived as immature if she weren't so charming and sweet. Paired with Cera, doing his regular soft-spoken, sheepish and adorable bit, (that still works now but is going to get pretty old in a couple of years) the couple were completely engaging and natural. Whether or not they were a real couple (apparently the jury is out on this question) is inconsequential because their individual personalities and their chemistry made the evolution of their relationship fun to watch; I felt like I was in my teens again which was the last time I can remember when relationships didn't have a laundry list of caveats attached to them.

I think it is a compliment that it doesn't matter whether Paper Heart really was or wasn't a documentary because it is such a charming little movie with extremely likable players, and it ultimately put a smile on my face; a great accomplishment, considering its audience was a surly, jaded film critic.

3.5 out of 5 Stars

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Film Review - Conversations With Other Women

Conversations With Other Women (2005)

Director: Hans Canosa
Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Helena Bonham Carter

A bridesmaid (Helena Bonham Carter) steals away for a cigarette during a wedding reception. She is soon joined by a man (Aaron Eckhart) who offers her champagne and suddenly, their flirtatious conversation begins. At first notice, the two seem to have "met cute", commiserating at a dull wedding, but through their banter, it becomes clear that they may have known each other prior to this night, and the extent of their relationship is revealed throughout the film.

Conversations With Other Women is, in itself, a simple film; most of the characters do not have names, the time elapsed during the film isn't more than a few hours and the majority of the film is spent watching a conversation between these two people. The actual complexity of the film, however, is subtle and unravels itself like the back story of our characters. The entire film is shot in a split screen; sometimes one character is on each side, sometimes they encroach on each others "space", and sometimes revealing scenes from their past and present lives, together and separate are on display, sometimes for historical or establishing purposes, but almost always acting as another piece of the puzzle to fit together. If indeed the eventual reveal of the couples' back story was supposed to be surprising, it won't be for anyone with an ounce of intuition, but we are never treated to a dumbed-down version of the events. We are able to decide how we would like their circumstances to turn out based on what we know about their individual lives, but director Hans Canosa gives us visual and thematic prompts to challenge our idea of how things should or shouldn't be. (It can't be a coincidence that the only characters who have actual names are significant others or their children.)

Eckhart and Bonham Carter are charming and full of chemistry. Eckhart does not stretch beyond the character he usually plays: the affable, attractive and self-confident guy who doesn't always have it all together. Somehow, and maybe it's the magic of casting, it always works for him, and he, along with Bonham Carter are enjoyable to watch. I don't see her in many films other than period dramas or getting crazy in a Tim Burton film, so it was refreshing to see her in a contemporary film where she could showcase her intelligence and sexiness.

Conversations With Other Women is not a perfect film, and frankly, when it ended I was kind of met with a sense of, "Huh. Interesting." The more I thought about the film, however, even over the course of the next hour, the more complex I realized it actually was and saw its various nuances that really gave this film more depth and energy than I originally attributed to it. I really appreciate films like that, and Conversations With Other Women really hit me in the two places I love to be hit while watching a film: in the heart, and in the head.

3.5 out of 5 Stars

Film Review - Inside Deep Throat

Inside Deep Throat (2005)

Directors: Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato
Featuring: Dennis Hopper, Harry Reems

In 1972, the film Deep Throat became the first porn film to hit mainstream cities across America, ultimately grossing more than 600 million dollars, and with a budget of $25,000 has actually become the most profitable film in motion picture history. Inside Deep Throat takes a look at the making of the film and all of its principal players, from its stars, Linda Lovelace and Harry Reems, to its director, producer and even location scouts and distributors. It examines the impact the initially silly blue movie written for and around a star who had amazing oral sex skills that ended up becoming a hot button issue among politicians, feminists and supporters of the first amendment.

Inside Deep Throat was produced by Brian Grazer, which I found interesting since I wouldn't exactly categorize him as "edgy", through HBO films, who normally produce quality programming. This film was no exception and it absolutely pulls no punches in terms of content or controversy. Anyone who is still alive who had any part in making Deep Throat is interviewed, along with pop culture figures, politicians, writers and psychologists who not only saw the film when it was released, but were able to discuss its impact first hand. Archival footage and photographs, intertwined with film of events showing where the world was at during this time and why Deep Throat was such a "threat" to the fragile American infrastructure is expertly edited, while Hopper's narration provides a laid back, California-cool familiar voice.

Personally, I've never seen the film Deep Throat, though its notoriety did not escape me prior to seeing this documentary, and Inside Deep Throat didn't make me want to run out and rent it. I don't think that was the objective of this documentary, however, since the lasting impression it left on me was that regardless of the subject matter, obscenity laws and censorship are steps back on the evolutionary scale of our country. It also showed me that marketing and word of mouth (pun intended) are gold in the self-promotion business. More informative than titillating, Inside Deep Throat was very interesting viewing and an excellent snapshot of America during one of its most troubling times, socially, economically and politically.

3.5 out of 5 Stars

Film Review - Salt

Salt (2010)

Director: Phillip Noyce
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber

Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) is a CIA agent whose identity and true motivations are called into question when a Russian spy walks into the CIA's office and, under interrogation, declares that she is a rogue Russian spy whose mission is to kill the Russian president. Though her boss, Ted Winter (Liev Schreiber) initially believes in her innocence, the rest of the office must follow protocol and investigate her immediately. Knowing that, according to past situations, her husband is in danger, she manages to escape the building and then the movie kicks into high gear, with car chases, truck jumping, double identities and spy games reminiscent of the Cold War.

I'm afraid I'm making the film sound a lot more interesting and well-executed than it actually was. Salt is not only a poorly made action film, it is a dull poorly made action film, which is completely unforgivable. With "twists" that could be seen by Ray Charles (post mortem) and a plot that was so obvious I was about to lean over after the first five minutes and explain to my companion what we were going to see for the next hour and a half, Salt was just plain bad. I'm pretty sure that the several bursts of involuntary laughter coming from our section of the theater were not intended, which actually makes me laugh even harder in retrospect because there is nothing worse than an non-substantive action film that takes itself too seriously.

Granted, when we walked into the movie, we weren't expecting much, but at least there would be eye candy, right? Long-time crush Schreiber for me, Jolie for my friend and well, any male or female of any sexual persuasion, really. Yeah, not so much. Jolie, looking like a (more) demented Morticia Adaams and jumping around with a too-skinny, sinewy body (sorry, but strained neck cords aren't attractive on anyone) was just terrifying, and Liev's transparent, mumbling performance was so far beneath everything he's capable of. Somehow he was able to portray more depth as Sabretooth. I was also expecting a little more out of Phillip Noyce, the film's director, since he had directed past political action films like Clear and Present Danger and Patriot Games which, while not great movies, were at least watchable. Then again, he also directed Sliver.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not a film snob who walked into Salt with a proscribed notion that I was about to see a well executed, insightful and brilliantly written film. I was expecting to see a crappy action movie, along the lines of Wanted or maybe one of the X-Men movies (you can tell I don't see a lot of action films, but I enjoyed all of those). Instead I was treated to an hour and a half of boredom and a mind-numbingly bad story that offered no fun action at all. It's such a bummer that Salt failed to meet even my lowest expectations.

1.5 out of 5 Stars

Film Review - Operation Filmmaker

Operation Filmmaker (2007)

Director: Nina Davenport
Featuring: Muthana Mohmed, Liev Schreiber

When Iraqi film student Muthana Mohmed is featured on an MTV special discussing his lost dream of becoming a film maker after his film school was bombed in Baghdad, actor Liev Schreiber, who happened to be watching the program was moved enough to get in contact with Mohmed and offer him a production assistant's job on his directorial debut, Everything is Illuminated, filming in Prague. It soon becomes clear that Mohmed's expectations are more than Schreiber and his producers were willing and able to offer, and after Illuminated wraps, director Davenport continues to follow Mohmed on a journey that includes immigration and money problems, PA work on another film starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and ultimately, a year of film school in London.

While watching Operation Filmmaker, I ran the gamut of emotions; at first I found the experience interesting, but the more Mohmed acted up, the more irritated I became, and therefore the less concerned I became for his eventual success. Schreiber and Co. gave him a chance, but instead of stepping up and trying to learn as much as he could about the film making process, he deemed that much of the gofer work was "beneath him" and even blew his opportunity to edit the gag reel that would have been shown at the film's wrap party for the cast and crew. When they finally called him on his B.S. and refused to fund him further, he went looking for another patron in Prague and received one in the form of several ex-pats who gave him free lodging while he worked as a production assistant on Doom, starring The Rock. This is where Mohmed really lost me, because at this point he had proven that he wanted the world but wanted it handed to him while someone is peeling grapes for him, yet he somehow snookered The Rock into funding him for a year at a film school in London. While there, he drops all pretense of charm, mainly because he doesn't have to be charming anymore, and is continually verbally abusive to those around him, especially the documentary's intrepid director, who has bailed him out with money and support throughout the process.

I'm not sure if Operation Filmmaker is supposed to be a thematic comparison to Iraq-US relationships, or if it's simply just a slightly scattered documentary that wildly veers off from its original premise, but Muthana Mohmed is such an entitled jackass that I found it difficult to stay on board. The film doesn't become a train wreck - that would have been easier and more entertaining to watch - it just becomes bitter, not enjoyable and ultimately somewhat pointless.

2 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Film Review - The September Issue

The September Issue (2009)

Director: R.J. Cutler
Featuring: Anna Wintour, Andre Leon Talley

The September issue of Vogue magazine has long been revered by fashionistas (and wannabees) for years as the bible for the coming year's fashion trends. The September Issue is a documentary that goes behind the scenes of the creation of Vogue's 2007 fall fashion issue and features all of the top brass at Vogue and its publisher, Conde Nast, including the notorious Anna Wintour, Editor-in-Chief.

Considering my idea of fashion is whatever matches, is clean and is comfortable, I am not the key demographic for Vogue's September issue. However, I never missed it when I was a teenager, so my long-latent interest in accessorizing combined with my adult-hewn interest in marketing and visual creativity found a perfect marriage with this interesting documentary. The September Issue shows the internal struggles that occur when strong personalities who have the best talent and eyes in the business disagree on themes and content, and how the product becomes all the better for it. Wintour and Grace Coddington, Vogue's Creative Editor started at the same time and butt heads every month, but clearly respect one another and come back to do it all over again the following month.

Though Wintour is probably the most well known of the figures at Vogue (who can forget her characterization by Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada?) it is Coddington who comes out the heroine of the film, due to her talent, hard work and dedication, and outspokenness. Wintour is not afraid to show her icy personality and ability to kill an entire spread in ten seconds flat, but again, she has the talent and chops to back up her difficult reputation.

The September Issue is comprehensive and well rounded; we not only see the creation of the issue itself, but meet designers who are inspiring the trends Vogue will feature and photographers who shoot the extensive layouts. Famed photographer Mario Testino, who shot the cover and main layout with actress Sienna Miller actually drops the ball a bit, which I found interesting and "real".

Having said that, I'm sure that there is a lot that we don't see, but I was satisfied with what did make it to camera. Though certainly not rocket science, The September Issue almost inspired me to resubscribe to Vogue after all these years - almost - until I looked down at my too baggy shorts and t-shirt with three small holes in it and realized that no latent accessorizing talent, no matter how ambitious it once was, could help me anymore. I'll stick to writing about documentaries about the subject, thank you very much.

3 out of 5 stars

Film Review - Confessions of a Porn Addict

Confessions of a Porn Addict (2008)

Director: Duncan Christie
Starring: Spencer Rice, Lindsey Connell

Mark (Spencer Rice) is a self-admitted porn addict who has lost his wife, his job and his money due to his crippling addiction. When he is arrested for masturbating at a video store, he recruits a friend to document his journey to redemption with the help of a 12-step program in order to possibly sway the judge in his favor. When he discovers a secret about his ex-wife, he embarks on a journey to find her and bring her back to Canada and the documentary becomes something completely different.

I wouldn't have given Confessions of a Porn Addict a glance if I hadn't read some overwhelmingly positive reviews about it. Plus, it kept popping up on my pesky Netflix recommendations page. This really makes me question how I rated some films, because I found this film to be completely ridiculous, boring and irredeemable. Films that are shot as "fake documentaries" have a pretty thin line to toe to begin with because they can end up being shallow and pointless. From beginning to end, Confessions of a Porn Addict was both of those and so much more.

There have been several times in my life when people told me that they didn't care about any of the characters in the film, and therefore that was a driving reason why they disliked the film itself. Some have been ridiculous, (a friend's girlfriend saying this about Citizen Kane, my own boyfriend insisting this is true about Magnolia, an argument we have revisited every couple of months for the past six years) to somewhat plausible (2001: A Space Odyssey - I can kind of see that one) but, perhaps because of my love for stories and my own failed experiments in screenplay writing, I could never jump on board that none of a film's characters had any spark of interest for me. Until this film. I realize that everyone was supposed to be quirky and depraved, but the problem lied in the fact that there was supposed to be kind of a sweet love story in there somewhere, and even if it had been there, I wouldn't have cared because I was so apathetic to these characters that I couldn't even muster up the energy to hate them.

There is nothing clever about Confessions of a Porn Addict. It's not fresh, it's not "quirky", it's just plain bad.

1.5 out of 5 stars

Film Review - Funny People

Funny People (2009)

Director: Judd Apatow
Starring: Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, Leslie Mann

George Simmons (Adam Sandler), is a successful comedian who has starred in a bunch of ridiculously stupid, but wildly popular low-brow comedies. When Simmons discovers that he has a rare blood disease that doesn't have a cure, he also realizes how empty and lonely his life is, so he goes back to the comedy club where he got his start to do random sets of stand up. There he meets Ira Wright (Seth Rogen), a struggling comedian who has flashes of genius, but whose low self-confidence and affable personality don't really equal success in this cutthroat industry. Simmons employs Wright first to write some jokes for him, then hires him as a personal assistant. Wright encourages Simmons to tell his friends about his condition, which leads to a reunion with the love of his life, Laura (Leslie Mann) who is now married with two children. When his health suddenly takes a turn for the better, he decides to try to win her back, bringing Ira with him.

Though I can be called the complete opposite of an Adam Sandler fan, I actually really loved the film Punch Drunk Love, and his performance in it, so seeing that Funny People wasn't going to only be stupid humor, I was encouraged. Indeed, the film was darker than some of Apatow's other films that I've seen (which truthfully, aren't a ton) but it still fell short of being as meaningful as I think it was trying to be. I didn't come away from the film feeling like there was a tremendous amount of character development throughout the film despite the fact that growing up and finding oneself was one of the film's purported themes. Though dark, the film was littered with juvenile humor and dick jokes - I lost count of how many times Sandler asked Rogen to take his out and show him - sometimes worked. James Taylor blurting out "Fuck Facebook!" actually made me laugh out loud, and the entire scene in the vaguely European doctor's office when Rogen and Sandler riff on the doctor's accent, "Are you mad that you died at the end of Die Hard?" was priceless. But I would say that more than half of the jokes fell totally flat, and combined with the stilted progression of the film left me pretty lukewarm.

What did work, however, was the cast. Sandler, though not as compelling or vulnerable as he was in Punch Drunk Love, was a great choice for the role of George Simmons. I've only seen Seth Rogen in a couple of films, but every time I have found him to be completely charming and easy to relate to. Though the film is primarily about Simmons and his struggle, it is Ira Wright who I found more interesting and well rounded. The supporting cast worked really well too; Jonah Hill played the same guy he always does: clever, cocky and nerdy, Jason Schwartzman's narcissistic actor role was hilarious (I'm pretty sure I haven't seen him play a character badly) and Eric Bana looked like he was having a good time playing Laura's husband, an Aussie blowhard who borders on ridiculous. Truthfully, the only role that could have really gone to anyone was Laura's and it's not that Leslie Mann did a poor job, it just wasn't that memorable of a performance.

Though I liked Funny People less than I anticipated, it still was an entertaining film to watch, but mainly it was because of Seth Rogen's character and performance. At over two and a half hours, it's definitely a time investment, only made wise if you are fan of the actors or director, or, if like me, you are open to take a chance on a film you normally wouldn't seek out.

3 out of 5 stars

Anticipation growing....

Anticipation is starting to grow for the Milwaukee Film Festival, which begins Sept. 23rd. I don't know of all of the movies that are going to be shown yet because the program book doesn't come out for another month, but they are leaking one title a day, and so far, they ALL look good. I love having the conflict of deciding between which good looking movie to see.

Other than that, now that we're settled into the new house I'm trying to get back into a regular viewing/reviewing so hopefully even starting today I'll get a review or two posted of things I've watched in the past couple of weeks. Unfortunately I haven't seen anything overly great, but there have been a couple of interesting films I've watched.