Category Archives: Movies


Netflix DVD – they rated it at 4.7 stars for me, and 3.9 stars for the general audience. This is another movie where Netflix finds something for me that I might not normally be interested in from reading the description. A jazz drummer determined to succeed and driven by a demanding music teacher? Not interested, normally … but wow, did they ever do a good job of making this movie engaging and suspenseful, and they even got a twist or two in there.

Whiplash movie poster

I really liked the acting in this movie, and it was a lot of fun to watch. It’s not only about music, though people interested in music would probably like it, but more about personality and achievement. It makes you wonder if the “demanding” music teacher was right in some way. I thought my high school band teacher was a real jerk, but this guy (played wonderfully by J.K. Simmons) was WAY worse! I’m going to give it 5 stars.

Avengers Age Of Ultron

Just saw this in the theatre with the family, for Mother’s Day, and we loved it! Close to being as good as the first one, and just as much fun. I liked the new characters of the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. While you don’t want to think too much about his creation, the new character The Vision also shows up. Like the first one, it was a ton of fun to watch and I’d like to see it again. We’ll probably buy them both at some point.

Avengers Age of Ultron movie posterThe dialog between the characters was as great as ever, and quite a few funny lines are delivered along the way – “the elevator is not worthy” being a favorite. You’ll know it when you hear it …

The graphics are spectacular and I’m glad to see that they’re making money on it – these things cost so much to make, we don’t need any failures jeopardizing our chances of getting more superhero movies in the future. Speaking of which, where’s the Legion of Super-Heroes movie, and how badly are they going to do it? I fear that it’s going to suck … I hope I’m wrong.

Edge Of Tomorrow

Netflix DVD – they predicted it at 4.9 stars for me, and 3.8 for the general audience. Netflix knows what I like! I’m going to give it 5 stars, this is one of my favorite movies of all time. This was the second time I’ve seen it, having seen it in the movie theater a year or so ago. On this second viewing, on our home tv, it was still really good, though of course there were no surprise twists to enjoy this time. The large theater screen was no doubt better than the tv screen, as well. This movie is just a fun, exciting time, with absolutely fantastic graphics, particularly of the alien creatures and the military equipment. It just looks real.

Edge of Tomorrow movie poster

Both Emily Blunt and Tom Cruise were really good in this movie. In addition to spectacular action, there was a nice, emotional component underneath, and the ending, which I won’t mention here, was the perfect way to handle it. Highly recommended.

The One I Love

Netflix streaming. They predicted it at 4.3 stars for me, and 3.7 for the general audience. I’m going to give it four stars. This movie could fit inside my “Quirky Movies” post from a few months ago, and one of the main actors, Mark Duplass, was in one of the ones I mentioned in that list: “Safety Not Guaranteed”. Along with him is Elisabeth Moss, Peggy Olson from Mad Men. It’s hard to discuss without giving away the surprise twist, which comes very early in the movie, but it is an interesting exploration of a relationship and how people can affect others differently by slight variations in their attitude.

The One I Love movie poster

24-hour Party People

Netflix DVD. They predicted it at 3.3 stars for me, and 3.4 for the general audience. I’m going to give it a weak 4 stars, because it was interesting. I have heard the music of the band New Order, and I do like it. I haven’t heard much of Joy Division, though, and was surprised to learn that they were basically the same band, but with different lead singers. The movie is filmed in what Netflix described as a “guerilla” manner, and it’s quite interesting, with the main actor talking to the viewer at times, explaining things from a current perspective. After one scene, they have the real person saying that it never happened, and they integrate that person into the scene as a character. There are some cool, edgy graphics, a very funny pigeon animation scene, and a fantastic job of acting by Sean Harris, who plays Joy Division lead singer Ian Curtis. Steve Coogan is also very good in the lead role of Tony Wilson. I was kind of shocked at the amount of smoking in this movie, it felt like every person in the movie was smoking in every scene. Was it really like that? I was disappointed at the music in the movie, none of the songs even sounded like good songs, and I know that in real life the New Order songs that I’ve heard are good. I’m not going to bother finding out which ones they used in the movie, and listening to the versions I own (or can hear sample of on emusic).

24-hour party people movie poster

K2: Siren of the Himalayas

Netflix streaming. They predicted it at 4.8 stars for me, and 4.0 for the general audience. I’m going to give it a strong 4 stars. It was interesting to learn that K2 is much more dangerous than Mt. Everest, and that one person has died on it for every four that have reached the summit. It is the second-highest mountain in the world, behind Mt. Everest.

K2: Siren of the Himalayas movie poster




Netflix DVD – they rated it at 4.9 stars for me, and 4.0 for the general audience. It might not have been perfect, but it was definitely a masterpiece, and I’m giving it 5 stars. I didn’t know it was such a long movie, and at 2:49 it covers a lot of ground. I didn’t find it to be slow at any point, and the only real letdowns that I had are not surprising at all. I mean, how could it have been done any better? I didn’t know Matthew McConaughey was in this movie, I wouldn’t have picked him as an actor in this type of movie, but he did alright. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have chosen Anne Hathaway for her role, I would have thought somebody more serious-looking would have been better-suited, say, Jennifer Connelly?

Interstellar movie poster

Anyway, it was a great movie, but as usual, people could certainly find things to nitpick. Reviews compared it to 2001, A Space Odyssey, which I haven’t seen, and now I’d like to watch it to see what they are talking about.

You’re Not You

Netflix streaming – they rated it at 4.8 stars for me and 4.4 stars for the general audience. This doesn’t align with what I see on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics have slammed it (36%, but a small sample size). Reading the reviews on Netflix, almost all of them give glowing reviews. Hilary Swank does a great job as usual, but I was surprised by a newcomer, Emmy Rossum, who also does a great job. She’s definitely going to be a big star soon. This is both a sad and uplifting movie at the same time, and the true strength of this movie is how it deals with the character of both of these women at the same time, two very different women that share wonderful moments. I’m going to give it 4 stars, but I came pretty close to giving it 5.

You're Not You movie poster


Netflix DVD – they rated it at 4.5 stars for me, and 3.7 for the general audience. I really liked this movie, which contrasted the personalities of two race car drivers: the Austrian Niki Lauda and the British James Hunt, through the events of their rivalry for the Formula 1 World Championship title back in the 1970’s. Lauda was serious, dour, and not particularly social, while Hunt was a flashy, outgoing party boy, perfectly played by Chris (Thor) Hemsworth. As the movie plays on, you see their grudging relationship grow, to the point where you can say that they were almost friends, in a sort of sibling rivalry sense.

Rush movie poster

They grew to have a grudging respect for each other. Ron Howard is the director, and he did a good job of including scenes that advanced the story at the same time as being entertaining – both serious and comedic. I’m going to give it 5 stars, and categorize it as a documentary, for telling a true story, though no doubt it is far more dramatized than a typical documentary.

127 Hours

Netflix DVD – they rated it as 4.4 stars for me and 3.7 for the general audience. I’m going to give it 5 stars. I had seen it before, and this second viewing was just as good as the first – it didn’t lose any of its power by knowing what was going to happen. This time, it was easier to see what theme filmmaker Danny Boyle was going for – that of somebody who lived his life in an adventurous, but self-centered manner. We all know what happened to this guy, and the story of his survival is amazing. Could we do such a thing? Maybe not, but look at how he has moved on to live a good, perhaps better than good, life because of that choice.

127 Hours movie poster

Danny Boyle does such a great job of making this story engaging. It’s fun to watch his use of extreme close-ups and extreme pull-backs, and every film-making trick he pulls helps out with telling the story. I would like to know if meeting the two girls and dropping through the crack with them into the water really happened. Maybe I should read the book, “Between a Rock and a Hard Place”, by Aron Ralston? The story itself is engaging and captivating, and it’s no surprise this movie was nominated for Best Picture and Best Actor (James Franco).