MOLLY’S GAME

Hemingway had a phrase: “The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.” If Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain) ever needed a mantra, I’d offer her that. Diagnosed with early onset scoliosis, Bloom blew out her back at the age of thirteen. Less than a year later, she was competing in downhill skiing. A decade later, a one-in-a-million frozen tree branch dislodged her ski during an Olympic qualifying event, spraying Bloom all over the slope and ending her competitive career. A year later, Bloom landed in Los Angeles penniless but quickly found work as a cocktail waitress. … Continue reading MOLLY’S GAME

Movie Beat – 8.01.14

The Almost Man – Some people are late bloomers and others will just never bloom. It’s still up in the air which one Henrik (Henrik Rafaelsen) will end up. 35 years old and still living with his mother (who treats him like the child he wants to be) when his girlfriend informs him that he is about to be a father. Henrik needs to make some drastic changes: a new job, a pre-fab duplex and responsibility are the name of the game. Sadly, these clothes don’t fit Henrik very well. Co-starring Janne Heltberg Haarseth, Tov Sletta, Per Kjærstad and Tore Sagen. … Continue reading Movie Beat – 8.01.14

THE DOUBLE

The Double, an adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s 1866 novella, is brought to the screen via writer/director Richard Ayoade and co-screenwriter Avi Korine. What Ayoade and Korine get right is Dostoyevsky’s impending sense of doom. No one is going to walk out of this situation unscathed, and they know it. The only thing left to do is play out the script, go through the motions and bring down the house. As Hunter S. Thompson used to say, “Buy the ticket, take the ride.” The scenario is as such: Simon James (Jesse Eisenberg) is a meek and timid data processor for a … Continue reading THE DOUBLE

Movie Beat – 04.11.14

Cuban Fury – Once a rising star in the world-renowned and lucrative profession of salsa dancer, Bruce (Nick Frost) tossed in the towel and opted for a lifetime of take-out, pastries and self-pity. That was, until the beautiful Julia (Rashida Jones) walked into his life and lit a fire in his loins that would return Bruce to form. Of course, he has a whole lot of obstacles to hurdle, none of which is more damaging than his own lack of confidence. Co-starring Chris O’Dowd, Olivia Colman, Alexandra Roach and the always-incredible Ian McShane. Directed by James Griffiths and in limited … Continue reading Movie Beat – 04.11.14

Movie Beat – 03.22.13

Admission – Mid-level movies can be the worst. We want them to be just a little bit more so we can love them, or if only they were a little worse, then we could write them off. Admission is a mid-level movie about single parents, broken people trying to piece things back together, and life lessons. I have no problem with life lessons, but this one looks spoon-fed. The lesson here: There is more than one-way to raise a child. Tina Fey plays an admissions counselor from Princeton University and Paul Rudd is a folksy single parent who finds the kid that … Continue reading Movie Beat – 03.22.13

Movie Beat – 10.12.12

3,2,1… Frankie Go Boom – We kick this week’s list of releases with writer/director Jordan Roberts’ second feature.  Frankie (Charlie Hunnam) has a problem, and that problem is his brother (Chris O’Dowd), a recovering addict who loves to film Frankie’s every embarrassing and personal moment, including, Frankie and a girl (Lizzie Caplan) having sex. Now Frankie has to track the video down and keep it out of the hands of a notorious pornography producer (Chris Noth) who happens to be the girl’s father. This is one of those movies where nothing is easy.  You can’t even go and hire an old prison cellmate without some dramatic twist. … Continue reading Movie Beat – 10.12.12