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This post includes spoilers for the film "Ashby." It ends with a touchdown and a kiss – as most teen coming-of-age movies do. But Ashby, written and directed by Tony McNamara, has A LOT more going on—so much that the whole film is a bit convoluted with different plotlines and themes. The film’s title character, Ashby (Mickey Rourke), opens up the movie by blacking out while driving his car. Soon, he learns that he has a brain tumor and three months to live. Read More
Meet The Patels is the ultimate documentary highlighting the modern Indian American experience, replete with precious quips from Mom and Dad Patel, witty replies from their Americanized adult(ish) children, and boatloads of emotional blackmail. Filmed over two years, Meet The Patels follows Ravi Patel, a successful Indian American Hollywood actor, on his quest to find the perfect bride with excessive assistance from his parents, Champa and Vasant. Read More
Sleeping With Other People: Movie Review At Sundance, Leslye Headland, writer/director of Sleeping with Other People, called her new film, “When Harry Met Sally for assholes.” And indeed, the narrative starts with several romantic-comedy staples—there’s an adorably nutty woman, Lainey (Alison Brie), and her smart-ass guy friend, Jake (Jason Sudeikis). They don’t know they’re perfect for each other, even though their friends keep telling them so, and they try to navigate their personal lives against the backdrop of upper-middle-class Manhattan. Read More
I was never a fan of Cinderella as a child; there was something about a grown version of Pollyanna that did not appeal to me. As an adult, I've come to appreciate the original Disney cartoon and the many upgrades to the story writers have produced over the years. So after the advancements of Ever After, Into The Woods, and Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella (both the 90s Brandy-starring and current Broadways versions), I was hoping that this new Cinderella, directed by Kenneth Branagh and written by Chris Weitz, would rise to the occasion and give the story more substance. Read More
We all have those girls we're especially tight with. They're the ones we can always rely on to be there, to be honest and fair. That heartwarming motif is what I thought director Celine Sciamma ( Water Lillies, Tomboy ) would cast a fresh, new light upon in her french film Girlhood. To my disappointment that was not the case: Mareme ( actress Karidja Touré )  feels suffocated by her family setting, her lackluster grades, and the boys club that rules her inner city neighborhood. Her overprotective brother is abusive. The boy she likes is being coy. Read More
To begin, she forgets the word “lexicon.” Renowned linguistics professor, wife, and mother of three grown children, Alice Howland (Julianne Moore) grapples with losing her words to the cruel chaos of Early-Onset Alzheimer’s. Still Alice, poised to be a brutal exposition, and an Oscar vehicle for Moore, is polished but forgettable. The Howland family dynamics remain superficial whether fault lies in the acting, script, or characters themselves. Read More
Don’t see St. Vincent for its complex characters. Though the cast is promising (Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd and Bill Murray, to name a few), the movie is altogether disappointing. There are definitely no strong female characters to speak of, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the overwhelming lack of any multi-dimensional character, regardless of gender. I do recognize and applaud the fact, however, that the actors do the best with what they’re given, though it’s obvious that they are capable of much more. Read More
Given that The Skeleton Twins stars Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, and Luke Wilson, it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that the film must be a gut-busting comedy. But the first 10 minutes will prove you wrong — Wiig’s character Maggie is about to attempt suicide when she’s interrupted by a phone call from a Los Angeles hospital telling her that her twin brother Milo (Hader) has just survived his own suicide attempt. Read More

Movie Review: Lucy

BY Gwen Berumen in Movies

Luc Besson’s Lucy tells the tale of a young student (Scarlett Johansson) in Taipei who is at the wrong place at the wrong time. Lucy is forced to become a drug mule after a Taiwanese mob inserts a bag of drugs (CPH4) into her body for transportation. Soon after, however, the bag starts leaking the drug into her system and her brain begins functioning beyond the capabilities of an average human's brain. Read More
Redemption Trail is a story that unfolds slowly with a certain inevitability; set on a rural vineyard in Oakland, it doesn’t seem like the world exists outside the fences of the warm, summery fields. Whatever happens within this world is fated to happen. Written and directed by Britta Sjogren, the movie focuses on two women that force each other to face their demons while forgiving themselves in the process. Tess (Lisa Gay Hamilton) lives hermetically on her employer’s vineyard; seemingly afraid of nothing, she lives within a shell of unresolved anger. Read More