Yeah I thought that Die Hard 5 looked like it would be over the top ridiculous. Well they all are, but this one looks like it would be so far fetched that it almost annoying. Well more annoying then the other sequels.
Mud is the latest film from writer/director Jeff Nichols, who previously made Shotgun Stories and Take Shelter. It is a nice change of pace, as Mud is the Nichols' film with the most humor so far. With Mud, Nichols continues to make wildly different films, despite setting them in the same type of locations with the same types of people. He has a knack for this sort of representation of Americana on film, with these stories set in rural and swampy areas, mainly because he gets great work from the people cast in his films. Matthew McConaughey is indeed fantastic in Mud, just as the rest of the cast is, given that no one feels out of place. The title may literally sound dirty, but it is a film that is a big success, given it feels both familiar and unique in the way it presents its story.
Christopher Pike: Do you know what a pain you are? You think the rules don't apply to you. There's greatness in you, but there's not an ounce of humility. You think that you can't make mistakes, but there's going to come a moment when you realize you're wrong about that, and you're going to get yourself and everyone under your command killed.
I have honestly not tried to make a big deal out of this more publicly, but my interest in Star Trek as a franchise is almost non-existent. Do I respect what it has brought to the world? Sure. Do I enjoy the work of many involved in the making of this newest entry? Of course. Do I begrudge anyone for liking this series? Of course not. My relationship to Star Trek is similar to food I don't like, because of the taste. It may not be bad for me and others may enjoy it, but it just isn't my thing. Do I need to be as clichéd as possible to state that I'm a Star Wars guy? I would not think so, but it is true, and even my father informed me that ever since I was very young that was the case, after I rejected a Starship Enterprise toy, because it wasn't something Star Wars. So with this ridiculous disclaimer out of the way, my assessment of Star Trek Into Darkness is pretty simple - it's fine. If you like what J.J. Abrams did with the 2009 reboot, than I would say that 'Into Darkness' offers a lot more of the same, except bigger.
Frances Ha is the latest feature from Noah Baumbach, who is a filmmaker that I sometimes really enjoy and other times find to be hard to not be frustrated by. His films always tend to have very strong and natural performances, but as strong as the writing may be, the tone always tends to be more on the sorrowful side, with a lot of meanness seeped in for good measure. Frances Ha is a nice change in pace. Along with his co-writer and star Greta Gerwig, Baumbach has made a film that has a lot of old-fashioned screwball energy, with a healthy dose of sensibilities akin to the films of a 70s Woody Allen (shooting in black & white is the most obvious nod in that regard). As a result, while the characters can still be frustrating to watch, the film has a bouncy energy that seems to effectively reflect the lives of bewildered twentysomethings living in New York.
A Baz Luhrmann-directed adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's acclaimed novel "The Great Gatsby" is either the summer blockbuster for everyone else or the obscure one that joins the fold of all the others. Everyone that has gotten their fill of superheroes, disaster films, alien invasions, and other high concept ideas, now has the option of seeing the big budget drama that is filled with lavish production values and emotions that sit right on the surface of the characters. Instead of actions sequences, there are extravagant party scenes, with an aggressively modern soundtrack. Instead of tough one-liners, there are flippant asides. Instead of the destruction of city blocks, there are explosions of champagne bottles amidst the CG rendered New York of the 1920s. All of this can be exciting to the right viewer. Luhrmann has attempted to make the ultimate film version of 'Gatsby', but for all the style and excess, it still has the core romantic drama that takes hold in the second half and ends the more frenzied excitement that propels the first half. It is fortunate, however, that this is perhaps the most entertaining adaptation of the story overall, given the less successful attempts from the past.