Marriage Story

by Alan Rapp on December 6, 2019

in Home Video

  • Title: Marriage Story
  • IMDb: link

Marriage Story movie reviewOffering as much commentary on divorce at large as its effect on his two main characters in Marriage Story, writer/director Noah Baumbach explores the dissolving marriage of theater director Charlie Barber (Adam Driver) and actress Nicole Barber (Scarlett Johansson) who struggle through change in humorous and heartbreaking ways. While their separation is mutually understood from the opening scene, a particularly good use of narration that allows us to get a sense of both characters, Charlie seems less able to deal with the changing realities of the family dynamic while Nicole relocates from New York to Los Angeles with their son Henry (Azhy Robertson) for work on a television pilot and begins to take the lead in the divorce by hiring a ball-busting attorney (Laura Dern).

There is still affection between the pair, but there is also hurt, resentment, and anger which only increases as the divorce becomes more litigious. Providing some of the film’s more humorous scenes, Alan Alda and Ray Liotta both appear at times as Charlie’s lawyers taking on Dern’s character in court (proving the old adage that the only ones who win in divorce proceedings are the lawyers).

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The Aeronauts

by Alan Rapp on December 6, 2019

in Home Video

  • Title: The Aeronauts
  • IMDb: link

The Aeronauts movie reviewThe Aeronauts is equal parts celebration of dreamers, disaster movie, grand adventure, romantic comedy, overcoming fears and past mistakes, and scientific exploration. Not surprisingly, this proves to be a few too many balls for writer/director Tom Harper to keep aloft while attempting to juggle the various aspects of the script (which could have been streamlined quite a bit) and still provide a singular, if historically inaccurate, vision of James Glaisher story.

Based loosely on real events, Eddie Redmayne stars as scientist James Glaisher who was obsessed with proving his meteorological theories. Taking the place of the actual balloon pilots who took the scientist high enough to shatter the world record, Felicity Jones stars as the fictional Amelia Wren on-hand to both fly the hot air balloon and offer some spectacle to the crowd to increase interest. An amalgamation of multiple balloonists, the fictitious Wren allows for the re-teaming of of Redmayne and Jones (who previously starred together in The Theory of Everything) providing some nice moments between the pair high above the clouds (and also some questionable drama stumbling around on Earth).

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Dark Waters

by Alan Rapp on December 5, 2019

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Dark Waters
  • IMDb: link

Dark Waters movie reviewDark Waters is an interesting story that isn’t always told in an interesting way. Based on real events, Mark Ruffalo stars as corporate lawyer Robert Bilott who gets roped into taking on the kind of client his firm usually argues against when a farmer shows up in his offices with a story to tell how his land is being poisoned by the small town’s main employer, DuPont. Much like the court case itself, the film drags on as any movement in events happens at a glacial pace over decades (eventually the movie begins to increase the rapidness of its fast-forwards to alleviate some of the on-screen stagnation).

The script by Matthew Michael Carnahan and Mario Correa showcases how a big corporation flaunts its wealth and privilege, while ignoring any responsibility, even when solid proof of their wrongdoing is exposed. The other aspect to the film, not as well explored, is how the case changes Bilott’s life, both professionally and at home, when he decides to take on a case that eventually becomes more of a crusade he feels obligated to see through. The film’s set-up reminded me of 1998’s A Civil Action (among other films) which explores many of the same themes.

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Arrow – Purgatory

by Alan Rapp on December 5, 2019

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Arrow – Purgatory
  • wiki: link

Arrow - Purgatory television review

The final pre-Crisis episode of Arrow takes Oliver Queen‘s (Stephen Amell) back to Lian Yu in and episode that attempts (somewhat clumsily) making sense of the various missions and locales Oliver and his friends have returned to over the course of the season. On the island the group will race to complete a weapon for the the Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) while literal ghosts from Oliver’s past arise to cause complications. The farewell tour brings back a couple of familiar faces in Yao Fei (Byron Mann) and Fyers (Sebastian Dunn), but in an episode (and season) devoted largely to fan service (when not advertising a big crossover), I was disappointed not to see Shado (Celina Jade) earn a final cameo.

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First Look – No Time to Die

by Alan Rapp on December 5, 2019

in Film News & Trailers

We now have our first trailer for the upcoming 25th Bond film, and reportedly the final to star Daniel Craig. No Time to Die opens in theaters on April 8th.

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