Oct. 1, 2014

This Week's SFR Picks

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Yay Ok Meh barf

War Is Hell, and Worse

'The Notebook (Le Grand Cahier)' is a world of shit

Meh The Notebook (Le Grand Cahier) is based on a highly regarded novel by Agota Kristof, and I imagine the story in book form is more palatable. ... More

Sept. 30, 2014 by David Riedel

Irritated By Love

'Love Is Strange' smartly catalogues the ways family can drive us nuts

Yay Love Is Strange has the distinction of being a quiet movie that’s less interested in making grand statements than it is being a quiet portrayal of a difficult time in an extended family’s life. ... More

Sept. 24, 2014 by David Riedel

Yes Yes!

'No No: A Dockumentary' is all over the place in a good way

Yay No No: A Dockumentary is all over the place, and it seems like a haphazard narrative structure until it becomes clear the storyline is mirroring Major League Baseball pitching great Dock Ellis’ life. ... More

Sept. 30, 2014 by David Riedel

Inside For All Day

'Starred Up' is tough, gritty and surprisingly good

Yay Another year, another prison drama. If Starred Up were formulaic and stupid it would be a travesty. ... More

Sept. 24, 2014 by David Riedel

Burning Down the House!

'Happy Christmas': I’m an asshole!

Ok There isn’t much point to summarizing the plot of Happy Christmas; it doesn’t really have one. ... More

Sept. 16, 2014 by David Riedel

Fiddly Digits, Itchy Britches

'Frank' is weird, beautiful and funny

Yay Co-screenwriter Jon Ronson came up with the story after spending time as a keyboardist for Frank Sidebottom, the alter ego of Chris Sievey, an English musician and comedian. ... More

Sept. 09, 2014 by David Riedel

Another Day, Another Equation

'The Zero Theorem' is pretty dull

Meh The Zero Theorem even has the same feel as most Gilliam movies, which is to say it’s a tragedy masquerading as a comedy. ... More

Sept. 16, 2014 by David Riedel

Wait, They Remade Vanilla Sky?

'The Congress' is kinda like the 113th—it does nothing

Meh The Congress starts with a great premise: An aging, rumored-to-be-difficult actor named Robin Wright (and played by Robin Wright) is presented with a deal. ... More

Sept. 03, 2014 by David Riedel

Run For the Border

'Frontera' is pretty drab

Meh If you’ve ever wondered what a standard police procedural would look like with the added element of immigration, look no further. ... More

Sept. 09, 2014 by David Riedel

On the Road Again

Old dogs, old tricks, in the delightful Land Ho!

Yay Land Ho! is the template for movies about older people at pivotal points in their lives. ... More

Aug. 26, 2014 by David Riedel

A Swiftly Warming Planet

Exploring rarely accessible fjords in 'Expedition to the End of the World'

Ok There’s a sort of single mindedness that the truly intelligent possess in
Expedition to the End of the World. ... More

Sept. 03, 2014 by David Riedel

Calamari With a Side of Pacino

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon return in 'The Trip to Italy'

Yay A few years after The Trip, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon return in The Trip to Italy. ... More

Aug. 26, 2014 by David Riedel

Oh, Just Make the Goddamn Choice

'If I Stay' is curiously flat

Meh I didn’t want to be so cynical about If I Stay because despite its heavy breathing and hand wringing, it does get a few things right ... More

Aug. 20, 2014 by David Riedel

Sleights of Witticism

'Magic in the Moonlight' is offensive, but mostly because it’s bland

Meh Woody Allen has made a movie so bland, derivative of his earlier work and lazy, that it’s possible to wonder just what the man believes. ... More

Aug. 13, 2014 by David Riedel

A Good Priest, a Bad Town

'Calvary' is good but not quite great

Ok Father James sits in a confessional. An unseen man enters the box and says, “The first time I tasted semen I was 7 years old.” Thus begins Calvary, writer-director John Michael McDonagh’s pitch-black comedy and murder mystery. ... More

Aug. 20, 2014 by David Riedel

Life, In a Nutshell

Everything happens in the wonderful 'Boyhood'

Yay Boyhood is magnificent, and the banality is charming. ... More

Aug. 05, 2014 by David Riedel

This Must Be the Place

'Drunktown’s Finest' has flaws but succeeds

Ok The three characters have disparate narratives that come together in ways that are overly contrived, but that doesn’t blunt Drunktown’s Finest's overall effectiveness. ... More

Aug. 13, 2014 by David Riedel
 
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