Jun 28 2017

Baby Driver

Prodigal and precocious getaway driver, “Baby” (Ansel Elgort) is working off a long standing debt to crime lord, Doc (Kevin Spacey), by using his talents behind the wheel to evade authorities and make some of the most amazing robberies in town possible. Now in for one last job Baby finds himself torn between his obligations to the crime world and new possible love interest, Debora (Lily James), where will his loyalties fall? Written and Directed by Edgar Wright, a hybrid love letter to the noir, heist, teen romance, pulp, action genres, this cinematic romp launches with some of Wright’s signature moves locked and loaded; the impossibly long and choreographed movie geek shot (opening credits), pithy dialogue, a soundtrack that crushes to the edit no doubt featuring some of Wright’s childhood favorites, and a solid first two acts that build to a “pull the pin and throw the grenade finish with all stops pulled.” Built around a solid cast that includes memorable performances from John Hamm, Jamie Foxx, the elusive well rounded female character does continue to slip Wright’s grasp as does a concrete ending point; regardless, a hoot and a half abounds none the less, and, for those willing to take the plunge, the price of admission is quickly paid off. Baby Driver is rated R.

Jun 23 2017

The Hero

Facing the potential of his twilight years often typecast actor Lee Hayden (Sam Elliot) is honored with a lifetime achievement award, an accolade that could re-ignite his career but also brings his entire life into question. Repairing the damage of his failed marriage to ex-wife Valarie (Katherine Ross) and daughter Lucy (Krysten Ritter), yet also exploring new potential with girlfriend Charlotte (Laura Prepon), Lee has a lot of sorting to do. What will it take for Lee heal and become whole again? Directed by Brett Haley and co-written Marc Basch and Brett Haley, the parallels between art imitating life are apparent yet distinguishing what is creative license, Elliot had this to say about the crossover For Writer/Director Haley getting to show Elliot’s strength and true diversity was also important . Still, through the writing process, leaving a lot of open ended questions and dramatic open holes in lieu of exposition to develop character becomes a crutch for Haley and Basch, a tactic some may question, Haley defends this perspective Regardless, the film’s simple but impacting message is a poignant take for anyone questioning their life’s trajectory, the importance of hope, and a closer look to what it means to be human and flawed. In reflection of his own life and career Elliot had this to say Worthy of a matinee and a kind heart, The Hero is rated R.

Jun 21 2017

Transformers: The Last Knight

The battle for earth between Transformers and Humans continues, meanwhile Optimus Prime returns home to Cybertron only to discover the planet is dead at his own hand. Given a chance to bring Cybertron back to life Optimus is faced with the decision to destroy earth in order to save his own planet, this however will require the discovery of an ancient artifact on earth. It’s now up to Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg), Sir Edmund Burton (Anthony Hopkins), Colonel Lennox (Josh Duhamel) and Vivian Wembley (Laura Haddock) to work along side the Transformers in order to save the day, or is it already too late? Directed by Michael Bay this franchise that just won’t quit spews out another impossibly mindless romp through time and space to create massive explosions, set pieces that never seem to quit, ironically hypersexualized female characters, racially charged robots, and ridiculously poorly crafted dialogue. Stooping lower than Saturday morning cartoons, the exposition and explanation from all of our leads continues to bring a new low to what once seemed to be a good idea. And sure, Bay’s panache for making things blow up continues to be impressive, but, at the end of this two hour and thirty minute barrage audiences are much more likely to feel numb from the experience than charged, there’s only so much shock and awe one can take before desensitization sets in. There’s an audience for this film somewhere, just not an audience that really gives a rip about quality in the larger sense of cinema. Pass, Transformers: The Last Knight is rated PG-13.