Concussion

Bill I’s Review – 3.5 out of 5

Yes, there’s ostensibly a concussion early on to the main character, Abby (wonderfully portrayed by Robin Weigert, who was Calamity Jane in Deadwood), or what actually seems to be just a cut on her head (I never heard the diagnosis), and then she starts doing something new – high end escorting, just for women. She’s a lesbian, and has fairly stringent screening criteria, which her joans (female equivalent of johns?) must pass including the tea test (meet for a cup of tea). Oh, and she wants to work only on Wednesday mornings, when she can plausibly leave her picturesque suburb (Montclair, in fact an area within 3 miles of the theatre I viewed it at) and hang out in the loft she’s rehabbing in Manhattan. Initial very awkward encounters lead to a more profesional approach, and eventually she’s working every day of the week and getting “A” ratings. Her high end lawyer wife (remember, she’s a lesbian) notices nothing since Abby never fails to pick up her kids from school. Well, (spoiler alert), she does forget once and then her wife gets suspicious. But there’s no sex life at home, so Abby gets her rocks off with the paying clients, even becoming sort of friends to some her own age and mentor to a younger one. The story plays out slowly, and somewhat repetitively, and the sex is barely soft-core, but it held my interest. I was wondering how it would end: will she write a book and appear on Oprah and The View? Will her wife show up as a surprise client? Will she get turned off women and find a “cure” for lesbianism? Well, the actual ending is none of those and somewhat anti-climactic (final spoiler alert) – they decide to build a wrap-around porch, not shocking in Montclair which is filled with them. The so-typical surburan housewife life of spin classes, truckiing kids around, homework, boring chats in coffee shops, leads me to think how many women I know are hooking in their spare time? Hmmm, I’ll ask around.

Gravity

Bill C’s Review – 4 out of 5

Gravity is a visually stunning movie with great special effects.  The movie very effectively used 3D and I’d definitely recommend to see it this way.

Anyone who has seen the trailer knows the basic plot: George Clooney and Sandra Bullock are involved in an accident during a space walk and are struggling to survive.  The director effectively switches the viewpoint of the action – sometimes being third person and sometimes being Clooney or Bullock including the view from inside their masks.  Bullock has the bigger role and gives a very effective performance.

I won’t give away what happens.  The plot isn’t as strong (or complicated) as the special effects  but the tension is strong throughout and this is definitely worth seeing.

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Don Jon

Bill I’s Review – 3 out of 5

Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been in a string of very fun movies, and this continues, as he portrays a young lothario, who is known for picking up a different girl (nothing less than an 8 he claims) every night at the club, until he meets his love match, played by Scarlett Johansson with an exaggerated New Jersey accent. One problem: Don is addicted to self-pleasure and Scarlett is insistent he must stop. In steps the wise, older lady, Julianne Moore, who shows Don the path to self-actualization by losing himself in loving a mature woman like herself. Cool solution, but will he lose the young hottie in the process? You need to see for yourself, I won’t tell. Oh by the way, it’s a comedy, just not super funny. And props to Tony Danza as Tony’s goomba dad. And parents, don’t worry about your teenagers seeing this film, they won’t be learning anything they don’t already know!

Bill C’s Review – 3.5 out of 5

I also like this movie (probably a little more than Bill).  Not only does Gordon-Leavitt do a good job portraying Jon,  this is also his feature film writing and directorial debut.  He does a good job of showing the rut (body, pad, family, boys, girls, church, porn) he is in and eventually tried to get out of.  While not hilarious I thought there were some funny parts (including his weekly confessions and dinners with his family).     Tony Danza was cast perfectly as Jon’s father.  Jon is clearly a lot like his father while not wanting to be him 25 years from now.  Brie Larson probably has only 3 lines as his sister but makes the most of it with her sullenness during the family dinners while texting away in oblivion.

If you don’t mind rude/crude this is worth seeing although there’s a lot of other good stuff out there right now)

IMDB

Rotten Tomatoes

Captain Phillips

Bill I’s Review – 4 out of 5

A gripping tale that builds to a high suspense after only about 10-15 minutes, and sustains it till the climactic end. A true story of Somali pirates capturing a cargo ship, it shows the intricate and thorough planning that is done by the well-trained pirates (NOT!) and how both prepared, and ill-equpped the merchant seaman are. They have no arms beyond water hoses, and the pirates have not much more than basic radar, radios, a long ladder, and of course, machine guns. Tom Hanks gives an incredible performance, as do a couple of the pirates. How could these dirt poor Somalies hold the US Navy at bay? You will see with this great movie.

Bill C’s Review – 4 out of 5

This has been out a while but I finally got to see it.  This reminded me a bit of last year’s  Argo – a tension filled films as the government tries to free captive American(s) in another part of the world (although that was a more clandestine, less violent operation).  Just like Ago the tension is maintained despite knowing the outcome.

Tom Hanks is excellent (more on him in my next post) as are the Somali actors.  The Somali performances are more amazing as I believe they had no acting experience.

The film sticks to the boarding and rescue and doesn’t delve into the more controversial aspects of the incident (the ship should have been 600 miles off shore instead of 250.  It also provides a view from the pirates perspective and let’s them be viewed in a somewhat  sympathetic light

This is definitely work seeing.

IMDB

Rotten Tomatoes