Don’t see this movie. It’s laughably, textbook bad but not in a good way. The characters are completely disposable and it’s impossible to feel a connection to them since the audience is never invited to get to know them. Elizabeth Banks is Laura, a wife and mother accused of murder. Who is Laura? That’s a good question. She only has a few scenes on screen and at no point do we get a clue about what this woman stands for or whether she’s guilty or innocent. Russell Crowe is Laura’s faithful and loyal husband, who decides to break his wife out of prison after she is convicted and sentenced to life without parole. It all sounds very dramatic. The problem is it’s not. This movie is boring, drawn out, and ridiculous. I’m bored writing about it. Nothing about this film is believable. The crime seems tacked on and irrelevant; simply a way to get the nonsensical plot in motion. The Pittsburgh Police, who appear during the middle of the movie, are impossibly efficient. They take one look at a piece of evidence and within seconds figure out what it means and are on the go. On the go is exactly where I wanted to be—right out of the theater. The Next Three Days feels like three long years. Save your time and money and stay away. Forgot, there is one good thing about this movie–the soundtrack.

The story of Aron Ralston, the lone hiker who had to cut off his arm in order to free himself from a boulder that trapped him in a Utah canyon, was all over the news the minute his grueling plight came to light. It was unbelievable, yet it was true and that’s why we were endlessly fascinated by this ultimate act of survival.

127 Hours, starring James Franco as Aron is the depiction of Ralston’s five painstaking days in that canyon. We know going in what is going to happen and so, I wondered how the director, Danny Boyle was going to make those seemingly endless hours not seem like an eternity for the audience while still conveying the progression of Ralston’s ordeal. He succeeds in keeping the story riveting and tense by using the landscape to mark the passage of time visually while juxtaposing the successive levels of Aron’s mental and physical struggle to stay alive. Continue reading »

The Baader Meinhof Complex is the docudrama style story of the birth and evolution of the Red Army Faction (RAF) terrorist group during the tumultuous frenzy of the late 60s and 70s. Having missed out on this time in history, which was glossed over when I went to school, I was fascinated by this slice of the past that is equally relevant to the world we live in today.

It’s an eye-opening look at the mindset of the terrorist, the conditions that lead to and foster terrorism, and the fine line of how an act of protest or resistance can lead a people or person to cross over to the very tactics that they claim to be against. What the film depicts with a clear, unflinching eye is that while those who use terror may have started with a justifiable cause, the tactics of the terrorist are in the end futile. Their violent means obscure the wrongs originally inflicted upon them and instead doom their cause. Continue reading »

Hereafter weaves together the story of three strangers who are each profoundly affected by death.

Matt Damon plays George Lonegan, a lonely man who can communicate with the dead, an ability that he doesn’t view as a gift but a curse that has isolated him from those around him and prevented love from coming into his life. Cécile De France is Marie LeLay, a famous, French television journalist whose entire existence is turned upside down after she briefly experiences death during a tsunami she miraculously survives. Frankie McLaren is Marcus, a young, English boy gripped by sorrow after suffering the loss of a family member. Continue reading »

I used to love Desperate Housewives but I tuned into an early episode of season seven to find that the show itself is now desperate. There were signs of fatigue last season with the ridiculous Katherine pseudo lesbian storyline that appeared out of nowhere and just as quickly and awkwardly disappeared. Where is Katherine? Somewhere off in the Wisteria Lane dimension called “characters we didn’t know what to do with.” The show, which once had a great mix of drama, intrigue, and sharp, edgy humor with moments of real emotion, has become a bad soap opera cliché. Continue reading »

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