HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD

Picking up shortly after the events in How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014), How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World thrusts Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his trusty dragon, Toothless into the world of adulthood. Accompanying the Chief of Berk are Astrid (America Ferrera), the soon-to-be-Chiefess of Berk; Valka (Cate Blanchett), Hiccup’s long-lost mother; Snotlout (Jonah Hill), Berk’s second in command; Fishlegs (Christopher Mintz-Plasse); and the most annoying set of twins this side of The Bachelor: Ruffnut (Kristen Wiig) and Tuffnut (Justin Rupple, replacing T.J. Miller from the previous installments). Life in Berk is going swimmingly. Dragons and Vikings … Continue reading HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD

WAR DOGS

Cinema feeds on cinema. No cinematic work is crafted in a vacuum and contemporary works refer back to previous ones. Sometimes in very inventive ways, other times for nothing more that pure derivation. They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery, and it can be. But it can also be plain laziness. That laziness is what makes Todd Phillips’s latest, War Dogs, such a disappointment. Here are a story and a style, extremely familiar and highly derivative for all the wrong reasons. Based on the Rolling Stones article, “The Stoner Arms Dealers: How Two American Kids Became Big-Time … Continue reading WAR DOGS

Movie Beat – 06.13.14

22 Jump Street – The meta-named “21 Jump Street” program was such a success that the division is loading a lot of money into the follow-up, “22 Jump Street”. The name change is due to an address change and this time, the boys are going to college. The incredible team of Phil Lord and Chris Miller look to crack the sequel code and they just might do it. Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Ice Cube, Nick Offerman are back and Peter Stormare, Dave Franco and Amber Stevens join in on the fun. Out in wide release from Sony Pictures.   All … Continue reading Movie Beat – 06.13.14

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET

In a year where directors are inseparable from the subject of their movies (To The Wonder, Pain & Gain, Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska, and many more), one rises above the rest of the pack. The Wolf of Wall Street is about Jordan Belfort’s desire to become one of Tom Wolfe’s “Masters of the Universe,” a Wall Street money mogul that can rise above and pay their way out of their discrepancies. Who better to tell this tale than Martin Scorsese, a director who has spent his career chronicling those high-minded dreamers who care very little about the legality or morality … Continue reading THE WOLF OF WALL STREET

Movie Beat – 12.25.13

47 Ronin – A ronin is a master-less samurai, a drifter, a wanderer who makes his way from village to village, performing meaningless tasks for room and board. Kai (Keanu Reeves) joins up with a bunch of other ronin, 46 to be exact, to defeat a bunch of evil spirits and demons plaguing the land. Kou Shibasaki, Rinko Kikuchi, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tadanobu Asano, and Min Tanaka co-star. Writers Hossein Amini and Chris Morgan retell the legendary tale with direction from Carl Rinsch. Out in wide release from Universal Pictures.   August: Osage County – Holidays mean family time. Some of … Continue reading Movie Beat – 12.25.13

Movie Beat – 06.14.13

20 Feet From Stardom – There isn’t that much distance from the band at the front of the stage, and the singers in the back. Only a twenty foot walk, but, as The Boss puts it, “It’s a bit of a walk.” This documentary follows Merry Clayton, Darlene Love, Claudia Lennear, Lisa Fischer, and Judith Hill, all back-up singers, all trying to break into careers with some sort of success, some sort of identification, something that isn’t so difficult, so heartbreaking, so discouraging. Not having your dreams come true is difficult, but is the difficulty easier or harder when you … Continue reading Movie Beat – 06.14.13