To Be Takei

Bill C’s Review – 4 out of 5

To Be Takei is an entertaining and mostly lighthearted documentary about the former Star Trek star and current Facebook phenom.    Takei’s charisma shines through.   He  always has a smile on his face and is definitely enjoying this stage of his  life with his renewed time in the spotlight.

While this documentary is mostly lighthearted it does cover some serious topics starting with his days in a Japanese American internment camp during WW2, it’s effect on his family and how his parents handled it during and after the war (and the current musical on that subject he is hoping to take to Broadway).  It also covers some of his early career roles in demeaning Asian stereotyped roles, his coming out as gay later in life and his advocacy for gay rights causes.

The film also entertainingly revies his days on Star Trek with interviews with several cast members including an unflattering appearance by William Shatner,  his days with Howard Stern and his current popularity on Facebook.

This  is one of the more entertaining documentaries of the year.

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Mood Indigo

Bill C’s Review – 1 out of 5

Mood Indigo is the latest directorial effort by Michel Gondry, the director of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. This is a VERY quirky, special-effect-loaded with romance.  Usually I’m into quirky stuff, but this did not do it for me.

The quirkiness and special effects were interesting at the beginning, but as the movie wore on they became tiresome and distracted from the plot.  Towards the middle, I lost interest and was wishing I had chosen another movie.  The end should have carried an emotional wallop, but due to all the diversions, it came off flat for me.

My guess is there will be lots of folks that love this movie, but I was not one of them. This film is in French with subtitles.

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Guardians of the Galaxy

Bill C’s Review – 4.25 out of 5

Guardians of the Galaxy is joy to watch. It’s a  Marvel based super hero movie with lots of humor, great energy and music and with  good action.

A toned Chris Pratt from Parks and Recreation is the excellent lead of a good cast that includes Zoe Saldana and the voice work of Vin Deisel (‘I am Groot’) and Bradley Cooper.  This is a lesser know Marvel set of unique characters and  it includes a super hero tree and fox but the filmmakers definitely made it work.

I did not see the 3D version so  I don’t know if that adds anything.  As with seemingly all Marvel comics this had an extra scene at the end but there were a lot of credits so you need to decide for yourself whether it’s worth the wait.  After Boyhood this has been my favorite movie this summer.

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A Most Wanted Man

Bill C’s Review – 4 out of 5

A Most Wanted Man is a good spy thriller based on a John le Carre novel.

Philip Seymour Hoffman, in one of his last roles, plays Gunther, a  German spy operative in Hamburg fighting the war on terror in the post 9/11 world.  This movie is not an action movie – it’s a more subtle spy story relying on detailed and sometimes slow digging into the details to build a case.  What makes the movie interesting is not just Gunther trying to build these two cases and determining how high up the chain he can get but seeing him try to maneuver against those that should be his partners  – other German police organizations and his counterparts in the CIA.  The movie comes together with a few surprises in the end.

Hoffman is excellent in an understated way and this has a good supporting cast with Rachel  McAdams and Willem Dafoe also playing Germans and Robin Wright as a CIA operative.

If you look for a lot of action in your spy thrillers you might find parts of this a little slow  but I enjoyed it.

IMDB

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