Grudge Match Movie Review

Grudge Match  Grudge Match

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Robert De Niro, Kevin Hart, Kim Basinger, Alan Arkin

Directed by: Peter Segal

Rated: PG-13

Run Time: 113 mins

Genre: Comedy/ Sport


Opens December 25th


By Lisa Minzey of The Reel

Hey Phoenix Film Fans!  Opening Christmas Day is a matchup of two Hollywood heavyweights in a physical type of role they made famous early in their respective careers. “Grudge Match” stars Robert De Niro, Sylvester Stallone and Kim Basinger. It has been over thirty years since their more famous boxing roles, but do the men have what it takes to pull off such a demanding role?


The first fight between Henry “Razor” Sharp and Billy “The Kid” McDonnen was March 27, 1982, the win going to McDonnen. The second fight was two years later which two things happened. The fight ruled the win to Razor and him walking away from the sport for good. To this day no one could figure out why there was never a rematch between The Kid and Razor to determine who was the better boxer. The Kid would taunt Razor in the media, but there was some sort of bad blood between them that Razor would never discuss.


Fast-forward thirty years; McDonnen is now the proud owner of several businesses that include a car dealership and sports bar, playing up his sports-god like image from his glory days. Sharp, on the other hand, when the money ran out, returned to his factory job and has been there ever since. When Sharp is approached by promoter Dante Slate Jr. (Kevin Hart), (his father was Sharp’s original promoter) to work on a video game featuring himself and McDonnen, Sharp vehemently declines. It’s not until he realizes that the mounting bills and support he’s been giving to his old coach Louis “Lightning” Conlon that he needs to do this job. Sharp accepts under one condition, he must not have contact with McDonnen at any cost. Slate agrees and upholds the terms, but McDonnen so desperate for a rematch, shows up to the job early, starting a fist fight, destroying the video game set.


Thanks to the power of the internet, Sharp and McDonnen are viral sensation, and whenever they are together in public some sort of scuffle happens. This brings the opportunity that McDonnen has been wanting for years, Slate managed to get enough sponsors interested to get a Grudge match going. At first Sharp refuses but then after the amount Slate is offering, the money is too good to refuse. Both men will need to get back into shape quickly but due to their age, if the fight even happens, will one walk away more damaged from before? Or will this fight is just what brings much needed to closure to both boxers?


At first glance, this may appear like “Rocky: The Senior Years”, but is much more clever than that. Approaching the role with humility and cheeky humor, Stallone and De Niro have great chemistry together as the aging boxing rivals and display how great of shape they are in for their age (despite the wrinkles and loose skin). This is an entertaining story that shows age is just a number and that goals can be reached no matter how long it takes. It was also refreshing to see Kim Basinger back on the silver screen, looking just as good as she did in “L.A. Confidential”. Here’s a fun fact; keep an eye out in the opening scenes as Basinger’s daughter Ireland plays a younger version of her character Sally. Alan Arkin, as always, is a scene stealer, even schooling Kevin Hart in the scenes they have together. Be sure to check out “Grudge Match” when it opens in theaters nationwide starting Wednesday December 25, 2013



Saving Mr. Banks Movie Review

Saving Mr. Banks  SMB_GENERIC_TEASER (1)

Starring: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell, Ruth Wilson, Annie Rose Buckley, Paul Giamatti, Bradley Whitford, B.J. Novak, Jason Schwartzman

Directed by: John Lee Hancock

Rated: PG-13

Run Time: 125 mins

Genre: Biography/ Comedy/ Drama

Opens December 20th

By Lisa Minzey of The Reel

Also opening this week is a film about another film’s journey to the silver screen. “Saving Mr. Banks” stars Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson and Paul Giamatti. This is a different type of live action Disney film where it turns the camera on its own history of how movie magic is done in the Mouse House. Will audiences be just as receptive to this film as it’s predecessor, “Mary Poppins”?  Read on to find out.

Author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson)  like most authors is very protective of her work. Her beloved character Mary Poppins is like family to her. Spanning the course of 4 books (at that time), Travers had a brand and intellectual property to protect. So when Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) first learned about the books, he immediately wanted to make a film about the enigmatic Marry Poppins. Over twenty years,  Disney pursued Travers with no avail. It wasn’t until 1961 when books sales started to dry up, and money was getting tight for Travers that she reluctantly agreed to visit Los Angeles for two weeks to explore the options of turning her books into a live action film. Travers had no intention of signing over the rights of Poppins to Disney, but after she arrived the strong walls she had built around her and Poppins started to slowly crumble. Using flashbacks of Travers’ childhood to intercut with the development process, the true nature and story behind the world's greatest nanny are unveiled, thanks to the goading and cajoling of Disney and his team.

It’s always interesting to see how a film gets made because most people don’t quite understand the creative and development process. It is even more interesting to see the amount of hoop jumping a powerful man such as Walt Disney had to go through just to get the rights from a curmudgeonly old author such as P.L. Travers, whose own story is just as tragic. Hanks and Thompson pull off these real life characters with grace, humility and genuine care, delivering a memorable on screen duo. What was fascinating to hear at the end credits, actual audio tapes of the creative sessions between Travers and the Disney creative team. Thompson nailed Travers persona and temperament from those tapes. This is a wonderful story featuring some of the most beloved characters in the last century; Mary Poppins and Walt Disney. Be sure to catch “Saving Mr. Banks” when it opens in theaters nationwide starting Friday December 20, 2013.

Walking With Dinosaurs 3D Movie Review

Walking With Dinosaurs 3D  Walking with Dinosaurs

Starring: Charlie Rowe, Karl Urban, Angourie Rice, John Leguizamo, Justin Long, Skyler Stone, Tiya Sircar

Directed by: Barry Cook, Neil Nightingale

Rated: PG

Run Time: 87 mins

Genre: Adventure/ Animation/ 3D


Opens December 20th



By Lisa Minzey of The Reel

Hey Phoenix Film Fans! Opening this week is another animated film to throw its hat in the ring before the end of the year. “Walking with Dinosaurs 3D” starring the voices of John Leguizamo, Justin Long, Skyler Stone and Tiya Sircar. Since this film has animation including live action how does it fare? Read on to find out.


Having to spend time with far away relative can sometimes be a damper on one’s social life (As a teenager) so when Ricky (Charlie Rowe) and Jade (Angourie Rice) are shipped off to Alaska to visit their Uncle Zack (Karl Urban), \Ricky is less than thrilled. Ricky’s uncle is a paleontologist and decides to stay behind when a bird names Alex (John Leguizamo - voice) comes down to him and starts speaking to him about the history of the area.


Millions of years ago, what we now know to be as Alaska what inhabited by many species of dinosaurs. Following the journey of the Pachyrhinosaurus named Patchi (Justin Long - voice) and his heard’s migration south for the winter, his development and growth and meeting his first love Juniper (Tiya Sircar - voice).

Life as a herbivorous dinosaur runt is not that easy as Patchi faces challenges from his brother Scowler (Skyler Stone - voice) and omnivore predators such as Gorgosaurus, Troodon and Quetzalcoatlus. When the leadership position of the pack comes open, it comes down to Scowler and Patchi. Who would make the better leader? Patchi whose small size is made up for in logical, strategic thinking or Scowler who is made up of sheer brawn? This is a winner takes all situation, including the right to be Juniper’s mate. Loser of the match will become exiled from the pack. Will Patchi win or lose? Or will he meet a worse fate by the bigger, meat-eating dinosaurs get to him first?


Technology is an amazing tool, especially with the advances in filmmaking. In “Walking With Dinosaurs 3D” the viewers is transported back in time 70 million years where the dinosaurs look so realistic that the veil between fantasy and reality is thinly veiled. Using an educational approach to storytelling the viewers will experience almost a season in the life of Patchi the lovable protagonist and his adventures through the wilderness. Visually this film is amazing; the graphics, attention to detail, lighting and effects are top notch, but because so much attention was spent making this film look good, the story lacks in quality. While keeping the kids engaged by the effects, keeping the adults entertained is a little more challenging as the story is just so-so. The viewer will definitely get an education on the different dinosaur species mentioned in the film. You be the judge when “Walking With Dinosaurs 3D” opens in theaters nationwide starting Friday December 20, 2013.


Movie Review for Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues  Anchorman_2-_The_Legend_Continues83984

Starring: Will Farrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, Christina Applegate, Kristen Wiig, Meagan Good, June Diane Raphael , James Marsden

Directed by: Adam McKay

Rated: PG-13

Run Time: 119 mins

Genre: Comedy

Opens December 18th


By Lisa Minzey of The Reel


Hey Phoenix Film Fans!  Ron Burgundy and the top news team from  Channel 4 San Diego are back after almost a decade. Sequels can be tricky, so how does the continuing legend compare to the original? Read on to find out.

To those who thought, what happened to Ron Burgandy in the 1980’s, this film starts to answer those burning questions. Ron (Will Ferrell) and his now wife Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) are the news team on a network New York Station. When Ron is passed over for a big promotion and Veronica is chosen, he forces her to choose between him or the job.  The job wins. Ron goes on a downward spiral of self destruction, landing back in San Diego hosting the dolphin show at Sea World. His luck changes when he is approached to anchor on a brand new network, GNN, a 24 hour news channel. This opportunity would bring him back to New York with the opportunity to restore his reputation and his relationship with Veronica. All Ron needs to do is assemble the finest news team known to San Diego comprised of Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), Champ Kind (David Koechner) and Brick Tamland (Steve Carell). Can Ron convince them all to come back to the world of news or will they be too settled in their new lives to care? Can Ron regain his status as the top news anchor or will he continue to live in Veronica’s shadow  Will Ron’s hubris get the best of him or will it be his un-pc behavior that finally ends him

Keeping the absurdity rolling through the sequel must have been such an easy feat as it ups the ante of stupidity and idiotic entertainment. What's great about this sequel is that more screen time is given to stand out character, Brick Tamland, who has some of the funniest lines in the film. Is this film ridiculous? Absolutely. Is this film better than the original? That depends on the viewer. If you loved Anchorman, you’ll be happy what McKay and gang deliver as it still has all the gags and stupidity of the first film, but it notches it up a level of 1980’s exuberance. Another bonus to this film that there is an abundance of celebrity cameos and surprise guests. From a story standpoint, some of the storylines fall a little flat and then pick up at the very end as Ron’s journey goes way off course then swings back around. With Ron Burgundy, would you expect anything else but it to be all about him? Overall, this film is absurdly entertaining with enjoyable new character additions, new quotable lines and a great soundtrack. Be sure to catch “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” when it opens in theaters starting Wednesday December 18, 2013.

Movie Review for Go For Sisters

Go For Sisters  Go-For-Sisters-poster

Starring: Edward James Olmos, LisaGay Hamilton, Yolonda Ross

Directed by: John Sayles

Rated: UR

Run Time: 123 mins

Genre: Crime/ Drama/ Thriller


Opens December 13th


By Lisa Minzey of The Reel


Another film opening this week in limited release is the gritty crime thriller “Go For Sisters” starring Edward James Olmos, LisaGay Hamilton and Yolonda Ross. the latest film from acclaimed two-time Academy Award nominated screenwriter and filmmaker John Sayles (Lone Star, Passion Fish). So how does this stack up to his previous work in terms of storytelling?  Read on to find out.


Parole Officer Bernice (LisaGay Hamilton) has seen and heard it all in her line of work.  Normally a by-the-book type of gal, Bernice’s no nonsense approach is what sets her apart from the others as a great officer. That is until her newest assignee, the newly release-from-prison Fontayne Campbell (Yolanda) comes back into her life. Friends in high school, Bernice and Fontayne were thick as thieves until Bernice’s boyfriend went after Fontayne, thus destroying the friendship.


Bernice was going to be requesting a reassignment for Fontayne since there is a personal conflict, but when Bernice’s son goes missing, and a possible murder suspect, she enlists Fontanes help to find him.  With Fontayne's previous connections to the drug world, they hire the help of a man whom in his law enforcement days was known as “The Terminator”,  Freddy Suarez (Edward James Olmos). Together they must figure out who took Bernice’s son or else he will continue to come back in pieces from the men who took him. Can Bernice set aside her ethical standards to find her son? Or will the past be too much of an issue for Bernice to handle?


For what could be considered a modern day version of “Thelma & Louise” meets “Jackie Brown” with more comical quips, “Go For Sisters” takes a while to get going in terms of story pacing. Much of the character set up takes a good third of the movie, which in retrospect, isn’t all that relevant to the whole story. The performances were decent but felt forced and awkward in some scenes, but the context and themes in the story make it compelling enough to watch as it takes the viewer on a ride to the underbelly of the shadowy side of Mexico, Los Angeles and the Sonoran desert. You be the judge when “Go For Sisters” opens at Harkins Superstition Springs 25 starting Friday December 13, 2013.


The Punk Singer Movie Review

The Punk Singer The Punk Singer

Starring: Kathleen Hanna, Carrie Brownstein, Kim Gordon

Directed by:Sini Anderson

Rated: NR

Run Time: 80 mins


Opens December 13th



By Lisa Minzey of The Reel


Hey Phoenix Film Fans!  Opening this week at Film Bar in Downtown Phoenix is a documentary about on of the movers and shakers of the Riot grrrl movement during the 1990’s. “The Punk Singer”  chronicles the life and career of the lead singer of Bikini Kill and LeTigre, Kathleen Hanna.

With a career that spans over the course of twenty some odd years, the name Kathleen Hanna can strike quite the chord with many a person. While some see her as a controversial figure, one of the leaders in the 3rd wave of feminism and Riot grrl punk rock, Hanna is a complex woman that gets very real in this documentary.

While Hanna is usually a private person, she has always been one to bring awareness to projects or issues close to her heart. Whether that be crying out the injustice of gender inequality, rape, incest or abuse victims or the struggles with a rare illness, Hanna lets Director Sini Anderson take an in-depth look into a complex woman. Interviews included are former bandmates, Kathi Wilcox, JD Sampson and Johanna Fateman; musicians such as Joan Jett,  journalists, friends and husband Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys.

If you're not familiar with this movement during the 1990’s or maybe had a biased opinion about the movement, this film gets down to the heart of the matter, taking a stripped down look at such a charismatic yet multifarious public figure. Kathleen Hanna was a many thing to different people whether that be a voice for injustice, an entertainer, a polarizing feminist or a musical genius for a generation of women, needless to say, she is fascinating. In this documentary, even if you’re not a fan of this genre of music, Director Sini Anderson slowly peels away the layers of anger, angst and feminist persona to reveal a normal real person that has deep emotions and although has gone through a lot of heartache, can get through dark moments with grace and hidden strength. Be sure to check out “The Punk Singer” when it plays at Film Bar in Downtown Phoenix starting Friday December 13, 2013.

Out of the Furnace Movie Review

Out of the Furnace  Out of the Furnace

Starring: Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson, Casey Affleck, Forest Whitaker, Willem Dafoe, Sam Shepard, Zoe Saldana

Directed by: Scott Cooper

Rated: R

Run Time: 116 mins

Genre: Drama/ Crime/ Thriller


Opens December 6th



By Lisa Minzey of The Reel

Also opening this week is a film that assembles some of the most dynamic actors today. Winner of the Best Debut and Second Film Award at this years Rome Film Festival, “Out of the Furnace” director Scott Cooper; will he be receiving more accolades this upcoming awards season?  Read on to find out.


Russell Baze (Christian Bale) has always been the protective big brother over younger brother Rodney (Casey Affleck); covering his debts, making sure he keeps his head on straight and trying to keep him away from the fighting arena. After covering Rodney’s latest round of debts, Russell drives home drunk one night, resulting in a car crash with two fatalities. Rodney ended up spending some time in the clink, and when he gets out, his life is topsy-turvy. He lost his long time girlfriend Lena (Zoe Saldana) to local police officer Chief Wesley Barnes (Forest Whitaker); his brother is in deep debt with bar owner/ fight promoter John Petty (Willem Dafoe) and his father passed away during his incarceration.


Rodney begs John for fights that will bring in more money. After warning him about fighting with the rednecks of New Jersey, John makes a call to a man whom he owes a lot of money to, Harlan DeGroat (Woody Harrelson). Harlan is one not to be messed with as he has a couple of screws loose himself and is usually under the influence of his narcotics products he cooks. When John and Rodney don’t return from a fight that was held up in Harlan’s neck of the woods, Russell takes matters into his own hands trying to figure out what happened to his brother. Will he be able to get to his brother in time or will the unwritten rules of the backwoods usurp any legal jurisdiction of the local authorities?


What this film lacks in term of pacing in the storyline is made up for by the assembly of dynamic actors and strong characters. Each actor delivers a great performance, but the story moves at such a slow pace that it starts to overshadow the other fantastic qualities of the film. The cinematography is amazing as is the set design and locations selected, but it’s not enough to carry the entire film. You be the judge when “Out of the Furnace” opens in theaters nationwide starting Friday December 6, 2013.



Movie Review for Narco Cultura


Directed by: Shaul Schwarz

Rated: R

Run Time: 103

Genre: Documentary


Opens December 6th


By Lisa Minzey of The Reel

Hey Phoenix Film Fans! Opening in Phoenix and Tucson this week is the documentary that premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and was featured in the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival, as well as Hot Docs and Fantastic Fest. Taking an unfiltered look into the Narco Cultura wave that is sweeping across Mexico and the US, the issues that the Mexican citizens and their first responders are facing, as well the exponential rise in crime and murder over the past 6 years.


A word to the wise, this documentary shows raw, uncensored footage of murder scenes, autopsy and is unapologetic about the way that it is presented. Showing the issues faces from several viewpoints; a CSI Investigator, music artists dubbed “narcocorridas” and even low level cartel members, the facts presented are astounding. For example, Juarez, Mexico sits across the border from El Paso, Texas. In 2010, Juarez had 3622 murders  while that same year El Paso was named one of the safest cities in the US with only 5 murders.


If anything, this is a must see documentary as the facts are a plenty and need to be seen to be believed. It appears to be balanced in its approach to representing all sides of the story fairly, but it’s up to the viewer to search out the information to confirm its validity. The information delivered is chilling, creates a new found compassion for the citizens of Mexico and awareness of what is going on in the Latino community within our own country. It also raises the argument of violence in art and entertainment - where does the line need to be drawn? Be sure to check out “Narco Cultura” when it opens in Phoenix and Tucson theaters starting Friday December 6, 2013.



Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy? Movie Review

Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?  istheman_poster-296x478

Starring: Michel Gondry, Noam Chomsky

Directed by: Michel Gondry

Rated: NR

Run Time: 88 mins

Genre: Documentary/ Animation

Opens December 6th



By Lisa Minzey of The Reel


Hey Phoenix Film Fans!  Opening this week at Harkins Valley Art is a documentary by the filmmaker that brought you such films such as “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”, “BE Kind Rewind” and “The Green Hornet”. Director Michel Gondry has been a ϋber fan of Noam Chomsky’s work for years, so how well does the philosophical, linguistic and political activism translate into animation? Read on to find out.

If you’re not up on the latest in the world of philosophy (who isn’t?) you may have vaguely heard of a name floating around the social vernacular of political activism or in the study of linguistics. Noam Chomsky is a brilliant mind, diverse in his areas of passion and study so when director Michel Gondry had the chance to sit down with the renowned figure in 2010 he felt that it was best to take this conversation and present it on the silver screen and digital download in animation form.

What is presented as an ambitious project with Gondry drawing all the animation himself, if you’re one that enjoys an intellectually stimulating conversation, the message is only weakly supported by the visual aids of drawings.  If bright flashing or if the viewer has sensitive eyes, you may want to close your eyes to focus on the conversation as the animation flows much like an acid trip induced visionary experience. If you sit and focus on the words spoken, the message of the film is much stronger than seeing the animation and listening to the words. It was a wise choice to focus on the linguistic and philosophical nature of Chomsky’s work as his political activism has ruffled a few feathers in the past which would have been distracting to the other important and interesting information being discussed. Check out “Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?” when it opens at Harkins Valley Art starting Friday December 6, 2013.

Movie Review for Frozen

119028h1 (1)Frozen  

Starring: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff, Alan Tudyk, Santino Fontana, Ciarán Hinds


Directed by: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee


Rated: PG

Run Time: 108 minutes

Genre: Animation


Opens November 27th

by Eric Forthun of Cinematic Shadows


Frozen is an intelligent, briskly-paced family film that remains an animated joy from start to finish. It feels like a newly minted Disney classic, standing alongside 2010's Tangled as a reinvention of traditional princess films, using musical numbers to distinguish itself amidst modern animated fare; "Let It Go" is not only a bonafide showstopper, it's also a guaranteed win for Best Original Song at 2014's Oscars. The film centers on Anna (Kristen Bell), an optimistic young girl that lives in a castle with her younger sister, Elsa (Idina Menzel). Elsa has magical powers that enable her to turn things into ice, leading to a freak accident one day when the girls are playing at a young age. To heal Anna, her parents sacrifice all of Anna's memories relating to Elsa, forgetting that she has powers and forcing her to distance herself from her sister so that another incident does not occur. Where they used to be close, loving siblings, they are now cold, isolated individuals. It's a fairly dark compromise for a Disney film, but one that excels once the plot escalates.

Elsa is destined to be queen, the Snow Queen in fact, but a mishap on her expected day causes her to run away, leading to a witch hunt of sorts to stop Elsa from any more damage. Anna feels that her sister is a misunderstood soul and hopes to find a way to save her. Put in charge during Elsa's absence is Hans (Santino Fontana), a chivalrous prince charming that Anna starts to fall in love with, although Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) also ends up being an admirable man that stands by their side through this fight. As Anna and Kristoff journey off to find Elsa, they also come across Olaf (Josh Gad), a snowman that the girls built when they were kids that is brought to life by the magic of the land that Elsa unleashes. Add in some trolls and a few other fairy tale elements and Frozen becomes a busy, if seemingly conventional, princess tale.


But it's not. That's the magic of Frozen, the way in which it navigates this familiar world with a strong understanding of the groundings of this sub-genre. This is an intelligently drawn tale of feminism above all else; where these princesses feel like they need a man to have happiness in their life, the tale becomes one of the way that they can find peace without the aid of a man's hand in marriage. There's something oddly groundbreaking about the manner in which Disney, a company that has prided itself on that message to females, presents this idea, surrounding it with zippy musical numbers and sweet humor. The voice cast all-around is excellent, with Menzel standing out in her numbers and Gad providing more than sufficient comedic excitement to a role that is inherently silly. And I cannot help but feel swept up in how magical Frozen is, a delightfully pleasant, visually stunning adventure that not only stands as the year's best animated feature (in the weakest year that genre has seen), but one of the year's brightest, happiest films.

Movie Review for Philomena


Starring: Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Mare Winningham, Barbara Jefford


Directed by: Stephen Frears


Rated: PG-13


Run Time: 98 minutes


Genre: Drama


Opens November 27th

by Eric Forthun of Cinematic Shadows


Every so often a film comes along that delights in such a subtle manner that we only realize days after watching just how wonderful it is. Philomena, through terrific performances from Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, falls perfectly into that category as a quiet charmer that I realize now is one of the most tenderly orchestrated features of the year. Based on the 2009 true story, the movie centers on Philomena Lee’s (Judi Dench) journey to America with investigative journalist Martin Sixsmith’s (Steve Coogan) to find her son she gave up for adoption 50 years ago under her stay in a nunnery. As a teenage mother carrying a child out of wedlock, she was shunned by her family and treated irrationally by the nuns who took care of her; when her son is taken away from her when he’s only three years old and sent off to America with a rich family, she is devastated. The young Philomena, played by Sophie Kennedy Clark, met a young man at a carnival and young love swept her up in those moments; Clark allows for an intimacy that only becomes further explored through Dench.


Sixsmith is a frowned-upon journalist who is hoping to rebound, constantly telling people that his next book will be about Russian history. People do not seem that interested in that endeavor because, frankly, Sixsmith does not have a particular investment in the material. That’s where the film begins to explore his character, and Coogan lends himself terrifically to the role. Co-writing the script with Jeff Pope, Coogan navigates what could have genuinely been an uninteresting figure, one wallowing in boredom; Sixsmith is not a particularly funny man in the film, which is off-putting considering how talented Coogan is as a comedian. I see his journalist as a man who begins to battle with his own perception of life as he notices how religious Philomena remains throughout all of her struggles. Even upon uncovering everything that has happened to her son and what the nuns have done over the years, she continues to trust God. Director Stephen Frears recognizes this strong belief system behind her character and never shoots her in an unflattering way; the movie may seem a bit singular in its viewpoint, but he keeps the film focused.


There’s a beauty to Philomena and her way of living. Here’s one of the most delightfully kind and intelligent characters I’ve seen all year, played with grace and heart by Dench in one of the year’s finest performances. Some of the film’s most compelling moments emerge from conversations between Philomena and Sixsmith discussing religion and the impact it has on their lives. Philomena believes in God, even after the injustices committed by the nuns (however extreme they were), and Sixsmith is an atheist who cannot seem to grasp her commitment to the church. Yet in one of the film’s closing scenes, as the true spirit of the nuns finally comes forth, the hate that spews from Sixsmith is not marked only by his disapproval of the church, but by their maltreatment of a woman as remarkable as Philomena. And even through these moments, Philomena recognizes the strength that can be found in religion, along with the hate that it can create. The friendship at the center of Philomena, as it becomes the film’s strongest element, helps it shine as bright as Philomena’s smile. This is a modestly beautiful, heartwarming film.

Nebraska Movie Review

Nebraska one sheet Nebraska

Starring: Bruce Dern, Will Forte, Stacy Keach, June Squibb, Bob Odenkirk

Directed by: Alexander Payne

Rated: R Run Time: 115 mins Genre: Drama/ Adventure

Opens November 22nd

By Lisa Minzey of The Reel

Hey Phoenix Film Fans! Also, new in theaters this weekend is the new Alexander Payne film “Nebraska”. This film has racked up a few awards and nominees this year at festivals such as Cannes, the Hamburg Film Festival, New York Film Festival and the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival but will it be on everyone’s radar come Oscar ballots due? Read on to find out.

Admit it. If you received a letter stating you won a million dollars, for a nano second you would be excited and want to rush out to collect your prize, right? Well for aging mechanic Woody Grant (Bruce Dern), he’s certain that he’s won a million dollars and needs to go to Lincoln, Nebraska to collect his prize. His son, David (Will Forte), tries to convince him that the letter is just a marketing piece to get him to buy magazine subscriptions without luck.

To keep his father from running away from home again, he humors his father, taking him on a road trip to Nebraska. David himself has hit a rough patch in his life’; his girlfriend moved out of their place, he’s in a dead-end job selling stereo equipment and spend his free time glued to the couch. A road trip with his aging father may just be the trick to snap him back into gear. Stopping off at their relative’s house in their hometown, the word spreads fast of Woody’s new-found wealth, bringing out the vultures to get a piece of this new found “fortune”. David keeps telling everyone that Woody is confused, but it falls on deaf ears. Will David be able to convince Woody and the other fortune seekers that this is all a misunderstanding? Or did Woody really win a million dollars?

This film is storytelling at its best. Why? It's done in the simplest form to create a brilliant narrative. All the elements from the credits, the performances, the locations, the wardrobe to the story and even the credits are so simple, it's brilliant. Bruce Dern's performance, along with his chemistry with Will Forte is such a subtle yet powerhouse of a role. Forte in a dramatic role shows a new level of depth in his career and works really well using his comedic chops in a subdued way. The added element of shooting the film in black and white really ties this film together, capturing the essence of the American Mid West, and it's residents. Definitely check out "Nebraska" when it opens in Phoenix starting Friday November 22, 2013.

Movie Review for Delivery Man

Delivery ManTheDeliveryMan1sht web

Starring: Vince Vaughn, Cobie Smulders, Chris Pratt, Britt Robertson

Directed by: Ken Scott

Rated: PG-13 Run Time: 103 mins Genre: Comedy

Opens November 22nd

By Lisa Minzey of The Reel

Hey Phoenix Film Fans! Opening this week is the remake of the comedy “Starbuck” directed by Ken Scott, which was in limited release earlier this year. Didn't get a chance to see it or curious to see how this version with Vince Vaughn as the lead stacks up to the original? Read on to find out.

Everyone makes dumb mistakes in his or her twenties. Noone knows this better than David Wozniak (Vince Vaughn). For extra scratch, he would go to the local sperm bank to make “deposits”. Out of all those visits, it had resulted in fathering 533 children. Unbeknownst to him, 143 of those children have filed a lawsuit for the identity of their father to be revealed. David seeks counsel from his friend Brett (Chris Pratt), who vehemently advises him to stay away from the kids. David can’t help himself as his girlfriend Emma (Cobie Smulders) is pregnant with his child, and he is curious about his other “children”.

Unable to stay away from the now adult children of his donation days, David keeps his identity a secret by trying to help some of the kids out. Will David be able to keep his secret or will his actions of his past ruin his future with Emma?

It helps, during a remake of an original film, to have the same writer/ director in the same roles as the first film. Although some of the situations have been slightly tweaked, some of the risque scenes cut to make it a more friendly rating of PG-13, the essence and tone of the story does not get lost in translation. "Starbuck" was French film subtitled for English, but "Delivery Man" holds up through translation into English splendidly. Vince Vaughn shows a softer side to his normal, fast-talking, rambling antics to reveal compassionate depths previously unseen. It's not to say that Vaughn didn't spin the Starbuck character into his own image, but it holds the integrity that actor Patrick Huard originally created. It's easy to see why a story such as this would be made and then re-made into a bigger budget Hollywood film. Two words: Unique Story; such a rarity in Hollywood. Be sure to catch "Delivery Man" When it opens in theaters nationwide starting Friday November 22, 2013.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire - Movie Review

catching fireThe Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci, and Donald Sutherland

Directed by: Francis Lawrence

Rated: PG-13

Run Time: 146 minutes

Genre: Action-Adventure/Sci-Fi

Opens November 22nd
by Eric Forthun of Cinematic Shadows

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire thrills and captivates due to the improvements over its predecessor, providing stronger character development, a thematically rich storyline, and a set-up for a two-part finale that should prove this series as more than just traditional blockbuster fodder. Jennifer Lawrence reprises her role as Katniss Everdeen, the girl on fire, who won the 74th Hunger Games with Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson). In the eyes of the public they are a loving couple who will spend the rest of their lives together; in their private lives, they are cold and distanced from one another, with Katniss’s affection directed at Gale (Liam Hemsworth), the miner she loves in her home, District 12. As the newly established couple prepare for their Victory Tour that ultimately leads to the Capitol, there’s a storm brewing in every visit. Katniss has instilled hope in many of the lesser districts, providing them with the belief that they can rise above the ranks of the wealthy and establish their own lives. There’s a revolution coming.

That’s the undercurrent of the second film, which helps it resonate effectively. President Snow (Donald Sutherland) is even more powerful and cold this time around, dictating the lives of the previous survivors of the games and ensuring that the oppressed remain in that state. After all, as we are reminded, the games were created to ensure that another rebellion did not occur, and to serve as a reminder of those who died during the rebellions. He hopes to continue the power divide that has existed for so long, and he cracks an ingenious concept for the 75th Hunger Games (or, The Quarter Quell) with Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman): have the new tributes be picked from previous winners. Not only does this ensure that Katniss will be picked, but it will allow for her to die not as a martyr, but as a lost sign of hope for the slow uprising that is happening in all of the districts.

Panem is a dark world, which Francis Lawrence has appropriately established as director. He’s a notable improvement over Gary Ross’s direction in the first film, which opted for shaky-cam, personal looks at the world that became slightly disorienting by the film’s conclusion; while Lawrence does not have a visual staple here, his sensitive, distanced direction works around the film’s hidden brutality. There are far more traps that emerge from the games this time around: a poison fog, jabberjays (which record the sounds of loved ones), a killer tidal wave, and a bunch of other surprises that kill the participants in unexpected ways. This is a decidedly darker film in terms of the amount of deaths; a man shot in the head in one of the film’s opening moments sets the tone for what is fittingly becoming a disjointed, embattled futuristic landscape. It’s as if the second time around has allowed for the filmmakers to embrace the inherent thrill that can be gained from a dystopic universe.

The film isn’t without flaw, though. The central love triangle does not feel authentic so much as manipulated to form conflict for the film. It feels cold on Katniss’s behalf, considering she moves from one guy to another without a true grasp of the emotions that link her to these men; the problem remains that Peeta and Gale both remain viable options for her, which makes the situation all the more uncomfortable as a viewer. The supporting cast outside of that is fantastic: Stanley Tucci is once again delightfully absurd and manic as Caesar Flickerman; Elizabeth Banks turns remarkably sweet and touching as Effie Trinket; Philip Seymour Hoffman is a joy in his very limited screen time; and Woody Harrelson has a blast being the alcoholic Haymitch Abernathy. Lawrence is terrific in the lead, as expected, and she gives Katniss a more layered approach, outside of the aforementioned love storyline. Even if the ending is decidedly open-ended, it builds excitement for the next film more than most sequels do nowadays. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire remains exciting, thought-provoking popcorn entertainment.

The Armstrong Lie movie review

  The Armstrong Liearmstrong lie


Starring: Lance Armstrong

Directed by Alex Gibney

Rated: R

Run Time: 122 minutes

Genre: Documentary


Opens November 22nd

Review by Eric Forthun


Lance Armstrong is a cheater. Alex Gibney’s piercing, maddening documentary about the seven-time Tour de France winner was never intended to be an indictment of the legend that has grown in the past few years. Starting in 2009, Gibney set out to make a documentary about Armstrong’s comeback amidst the talks of whether he had doped during his previous victories. Gibney was skeptical about his subject at first, but did not want to get caught up in the fact/fiction narratives surrounding Armstrong. In 2009 interviews with Gibney, Armstrong never openly admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs; as the documentarian followed the cyclist through his everyday routines, interviews, and practices, there was no semblance of this being a man who would cheat his way through the system. At one point late in the film, as Gibney shows some of the footage from Armstrong’s final race at the 2009 Tour de France, he mentions that he was no longer a filmmaker in this moments, but a fan. He was swept up in the hoopla.

Gibney interviewed many people involved with Armstrong over his most successful years. He talked with trainers, previous team members, competitors, bloggers, and essentially anyone that was involved with Lance over his years working in the sport. Much like his other excellent documentary this year, We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks, Gibney persists in order to find the truth; that’s his strength as one of the finest documentarians working today. Michele Ferrari, a trainer who helped many cyclists dope professionally and maximize their potential, granted access for a short interview that Gibney used for insight; Ferrari is a shady man that ultimately hid more in the interviews than he exposed. Fitting, considering the interview was done at the time when Armstrong was not guilty, and still trying to rejuvenate his career. Betsy and Frankie Andreu also provide exceptional testimonials on how Lance’s failure to admit his known guilt cost them their careers and a normal life. When he delivers an apology after all is said and done, she talks about the cathartic effect it had on them. The lie was finally done.

Oprah’s interview changed everything for Gibney, who saw the fraud that had stood before him countless times falsely defending his honor; in there lies the essence of The Armstrong Lie. His film is relentless in nature and dense, running around 122 minutes and exposing every aspect of Armstrong’s career during his 2009 comeback. More so than anything, Gibney (along with plenty of media) was hung up on why Armstrong would decide to come back after all his time off, and the major successes he had accomplished in the sport. Looking back now, it becomes obvious that he wanted to prove that he could win the Tour de France without doping, yet even that remains blurry due to one race where Armstrong definitely used performance-enhancing drugs. It was the only way to survive in a sport dominated by drugs and scandal. Armstrong is a good man, one who fought for charity and cancer research, wanting to help others; it’s a shame that through his deceit in the sport, one that required people to falsify their athleticism behind a wall of narcotics, he became a merciless liar.



Movie Review for The Book Thief

The Book Thief The Book Theif

Starring: Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, Sophie Nélisse, Ben Schnetzer, Nico Liersch, Joachim Paul Assböck, Kirsten Block

Directed by: Brian Percival

Rated: PG-13

Run Time: 131 mins

Genre: Drama/ War


Opens November 15th

By Lisa Minzey of The Reel


Hey Phoenix Film Fans!  Opening this week is a film based on a book that spent over 230 weeks on the New York Best Sellers List.  Set in World War II Germany, “The Book Thief” stars Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson and Sophie Nélisse. At this year’s Hollywood film Festival, Sophie Nélisse won the Spotlight Award; will she have more in her future this awards season? Read on to find out.


Narrated by Death and his observations on humanity, he comes across young Liesel (Sophie Nélisse), her mother (Heike Makatsch) and her gravely ill younger brother (Julian Lehmann) as they are traveling by train to the children’s new foster home. The boy dies along the way and is buried along the tracks. As they were leaving the grave site, Liesel picks up a book that was dropped and fails to return it to the man who just buried her brother.


Liesel travels onward to the small German village where she is to live with her new foster parents,  Hans (Geoffrey Rush) and Rosa Hubermann (Emily Watson). Desperately homesick for her mother and brother, Liesel retreats within and is slowly brought out of her shell by Hans. When she arrived at the Hubermann’s home, she was illiterate, but with Hans’ patient and playful way of teaching she quickly learns and flourishes. In the village,  she is befriended by a young boy Rudy (Nico Liersch) who is always in competition with her and trying to win her kisses.


Although Liesel may be slowly settling into her new life, the quaint village she now lives in is being transformed by the Nazi party, recruiting the men and children for service or attending their training schools. When the Nazis ordered the burning of books, Liesel couldn’t bear to see the destruction of all the possibilities in reading, so she steals a book from the embers. This does not go unnoticed by the Mayor’s wife who eventually recognizes her as Liesel delivers laundry to their home.


At the same time, Hans and Rosa take in a young Jewish man, Max (Ben Schnetzer), hiding him in their basement from the Nazis. Liesel is ordered never say a word to anyone about the man in their basement as it will put all of their lives in danger. Liesel tries her best to keep it secret, but with the stealing of books from the MAyor’s wife’s collection and her strange behavior about her home life, Rudy starts to ask too many questions. Will Liesel be able to keep her secret or will Rudy figure it out and expose them all?

Unique in its delivery and narration, “The Book Thief” treats the subject matter with dignity and respect for all sides involved. It provides insight into different standpoints; from a child’s understanding of events to the poor and rich German family, to the Jewish and other persecuted groups of that time as well as the duty of a soldier and the hype of propaganda. This story is beautifully told, acted and visually enticing. This film closely follows the book with the exception of a few story lines omitted probably due to runtime or some other reason. Hopefully the reason for leaving certain storylines will be on the DVD extra features. Overall, the film still tells the story of Liesel from Death’s perspective with class. Be sure to catch “The Book Thief” when it opens in theaters starting Friday November 15,2013.

Thor: The Dark World Movie Review

Thor: The Dark World thor-2-the-dark-world-poster

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Jaimie Alexander, Idris Elba, Zachary Levi, Stellan Skarsgard, Christopher Eccleston, Kat Dennings, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Anthony Hopkins, Rene Russo

Directed by: Alan Taylor

Rated: PG-13

Run Time: 120 mins

Genre: Action/ Adventure/ Fantasy

Opens November 8th 

By Lisa Minzey of The Reel


Hey Phoenix Film Fans!  What normally would be considered a summer blockbuster film, the next installment in the ‘Thor” franchise opens in theaters nationwide this week. Is the sequel as good as the original or “The Avengers”?  Read on to find out.


Like “Iron Man 3”, “Thor: The Dark World” takes place post- Avenger incident in New York. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is back on Asgard, keeping the peace in the nine realms. Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is also back on Asgard but as a prisoner under Odin’s (Anthony Hopkins) rule for his crimes against humanity.  Thor and the gang have managed to keep things under control, but the young warrior can’t seem to forget about his lady love on Earth, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman).


Funny thing, Jan can’t seem to forget about Thor either, searching for any anomaly that will be able to open a portal or way to see him again. It appears that Jane may have her chance as there has been some funky occurrences with magnetic forces happening on Earth with the impending Convergence. What sounds like a horror film is actually the alignment of the 9 realms where the fabric of space and time is the most vulnerable.


Cue in evil elves. Way back before Odin’s time, Odin’s father fought a group of Elves led by Malekith (Christopher Eccleston). The elves were convinced that humanity was worthless and to restore order they needed to release the Aether to bring the Dark World. The Asgard warriors defeated Malekith before he could unleash the Aether, hiding it where it couldn’t be found and destroying the race of elves in the process.


A few of Malekith ships managed to escape before their home was destroyed and have been in a suspended state until the Aether was found. Jane Foster managed to stumble upon finding the Aether, having it merge with her body and waking up Malekith in the process.


Somehow this alerted Thor that Jane was in danger, so he brings her back to Asgard where Malekith finds them, attacking the city, palace and everything around them. Can Thor and Jane restore order before the Convergence starts of will all nine realms be lost forever?

If you’re not a comic book fan or follower of the series, the great quality about Marvel films is that you don't have to necessarily know the backstory of the character to understand the film. This film stand alone is entertaining; silly comedic moments, phenomenal special/ visual effects and fantastic creativity in set design, makeup and costumes. The story does take time to build momentum but builds to a point where the payoff is worth the wait. Some of the scenes seem a little “Star Wars”- ish in nature but works well within the context of the story. Be sure to catch “Thor: The Dark World” when it opens in theaters starting Friday November 8, 2013.

Kill Your Darlings Movie Review

Kill Your Darlings  kill_your_darlings_xlg

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, Ben Foster, Michael C. Hall, Jack Huston, Elizabeth Olsen, Jennifer Jason Leigh, David Cross

Directed by: John Krokidas

Rated: R

Run Time: 104 mins

Genre: Drama/ Biography/ Romance

Opens November 8th


By Lisa Minzey of The Reel


Another film opening this week is also based on a true story but featuring some more notable figures from a different generation. “ Kill Your Darlings” recounts the event surrounding the murder of a University professor and the “Beat Generation” students entangled with its circumstances. The names may sound familiar, but not sure where you may have heard them? Allen Ginsberg (poet & one of the leaders of the Beat Generation of the 1950's). Lucien Carr (another founder of the Beat Generation during the 1940’s and editor of the United Press International). Jack Kerouac (poet & author of “On the Road”, another member of the Beat Generation). William S. Burroughs (poet & author, also member of the Beat Generation). With playing such notable figures in American literature, can this group of young actors deliver a performance deemed worthy of these men?


Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliff) was a young man that shouldered the burdens of his world. His mother Naomi (Jennifer Jason Leigh) was suffering from some mental illness, convinced that her husband Louis (David Cross) was out to get her. To escape the madness that infected his homelife, Allen applied and was accepted into Columbia University.


Once he arrived at Columbia, Allen met a young man full of interesting ideas and mischievous spark, Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan). Forcing the freshman to open his mind and creative genius- loose, Lucien introduced Allen to his inner circle of friends Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston), William Burroughs (Ben Foster) and pseudo his paramour English professor David Kammerer (Michael C. Hall). Allen and Lucien when teamed together were a force to be reckoned with between university pranks, literary and philosophical rants and the drug hazed, alcohol induced benders. It wasn’t until Lucien was arrested for David’s murder that the “Beat Generation” group unraveled, leaving Allen to piece the truth about the night’s event and uncover the truth about the nature of David and Lucien’s relationship. Will Allen be able to survive college, his family and his new inner circle of friends?

Anytime a film deals with notable or historical figures there is bound to be some stretching of the truth in terms to tell an interesting story. “Kill Your Darlings” is a quote by William Faulkner used in writing to expand on your creativity and not get too caught up in in using personal favorite elements.  This film delves into that creative genius using amazing cinematography, musical score and selections to help tell a complex story with convoluted emotions. The performances are fantastic as each actor delivers a powerful character to support the story. Parents be forewarned that this film is not for small or young kids as it does have strong sexual themes and scenes and heavy drug use. If you’re a fan of any of these literary figures, be sure to check out “Kill Your Darlings” when it opens at Harkins Camelview 5 starting Friday November 8, 2013.

Dallas Buyers Club Movie Review

Dallas Buyers Club  DallasBuyersClub-OneSht Web

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner, Denis O’Hare, Steve Zahn, Dallas Roberts

Directed by: Jean-Marc Vallée

Rated: R

Run Time: 117 mins

Genre: Drama

Opens November 8th



By Lisa Minzey of The Reel


Hey Phoenix Film Fans! Opening this week is a film that should be up for a few awards this season as it has already racked up a few at this year’s Hollywood Film Festival, the San Sebastian International Film Festival and was nominated at the Gotham Awards.. Based on a true story, “Dallas Buyers Club” stars Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto and Jennifer Garner. Will this role be McConaughey’s year for an Oscar? Read on to find out.

Back in the 1980’s when the AIDS scare was just picking up steam, there were so many misconceptions about how it was contracted in the public’s mindset that the mere mention of it sent people into a panic. A Texas man, Ron Woodruff Matthew McConaughey), at first glance would be an unlikely candidate for contracting HIV as he was heterosexual. If one would take a closer look at his hard partying, drug use and sexual reckless lifestyle, it comes as no surprise.

When Ron was issued his diagnosis, he was given only 30 days to live. Being the stubborn man he was, Ron refused to listen to his doctor, searching out his own methods and cures for AIDS. Another HIV positive patient Ron met while in the hospital, a transgender woman “Rayon” (Jared Leto), had access to the only drug that was in trials to treat HIV. Their relation started off rocky as Ron was severely homophobic, but was willing to team up with her to get access to the drugs he needed.

When Rayon’s drugs were no longer an option, Ron sought out other methods of obtaining these drugs. This led him down a different path, finding a better, more effective treatment and the establishment of the Dallas Buyers Club. This “Club” was to pay a monthly membership fee, and they get all the free HIV drug “treatments” covered under this membership.

When the Feds caught wind of Ron’s business, they did everything they could to shut him down. The trial drug was making people worse, but Ron’ “club” treatments, people that had HIV was thriving under. Will the shutdown effect Ron’s health or will he be able to overrule the unfair shutdown?

“Dallas Buyers Club” is not an easy film to watch between the dramatic physical transformations of McConaughey and the content of the story. Jared Leto is almost unrecognizable as the transgender Rayon and makes a really pretty woman. Matthew McConaughey's performance is so powerful, so well-done that this is probably his best role to date. This film packs a powerful punch between the story, performances and the visual direction that this will be one to watch for the upcoming awards season. It’s not a matter if this film gets nominated, it will be how many award it will rack up. Be sure to catch “Dallas Buyers Club” when it opens in theaters starting Friday November 8, 2013.

Movie Review for About Time

About Time  about_time_xlg

Starring: Domhall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, Lydia Wilson, Lindsay Duncan, Richard Cordery

Directed by: Richard Curtis

Rated: R

Run Time: 123 mins

Genre: Comedy/ Drama/ Sci-Fi

Opens November 1st

By Lisa Minzey of The Reel


Hey Phoenix Film Fans!  From the people that brought the world such films as “Notting Hill“, Love Actually” and “Four Weddings and a Funeral” comes a different type of British Romantic Comedy starring current Romantic Film Queen Bee Rachel McAdams. The film also stars Bill Nighy and Domhall Gleeson. Gleeson may look familiar, but you can’t quite place him?  He was one of the Weesley kids in the last two Harry Potter films, "True Grit" and "Anna Karenina". Can Gleeson holds his own sharing the screen with McAdams or Nighy? Read on to find out.


The men in the Lake family share a wonderful yet burden secret. They can time travel.  Tim Lake found out at the ripe age of 21 from his father (Bill Nighy) after a disastrous New Years Eve party. To test his father’s ludicrous theory, Tim travels back to the start of the party to re-do the evening to work out in his favor. Deciding to use his newfound talent in his favor, one thing Tim wants is a girlfriend.


As Tim grows older, he moves to London to start his life and career as a lawyer. Being a time traveller has its perks in his career as he can manipulate the outcome to work in his favor. One night his wish of a potential girlfriend is granted as he meets the perfect girl at a blackout restaurant blind date, Mary (Rachel McAdams). Tim and Mary hit it off immediately, and as they part for the evening, Tim pulls  faux pas and does his time travel thing to get her back.


Tim knows Mary is the girl for him, so to win her in a non-stalkerish sort of way, he time travels to make the relationship work. As he sets the course for his future, each change that he makes has a ripple effect into other relationships in his life. Can Tim balance his life to make everyone happy or will the time traveling take it’s course where his actions are irreversible?

In one of the more clever romantic dramedies, this story is all about love and how each form of love takes shape in one’s life. The different types of relationships are explored between siblings, friends, a man and woman and lastly,  father and son. Beautifully written, performed and directed; the story is a unique take on time travel, doing without the fancy effects and relying on the viewer’s acceptance. It’s a simple story about love and all of it’s various forms. Just a quick tip: bring extra napkins or kleenex with you into the theater. I dare you not cry in this film as I tried to choke back the tears. Check out “About Time” when it opens in theaters starting Friday November 1, 2013.