Robert Downey Jr.

Chef

by Alan Rapp on May 23, 2014

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Chef
  • IMDB: link

ChefAlthough the storyline doesn’t veer far from well-established basic themes we’ve seen in countless films over the years involving reinventing your life, father-son dynamics, road trips, and overcoming adversity, with the right ingredients and cast writer/director/star Jon Favreau delivers a sumptuous treat as delectable as the various food on display. Calling on the help of a handful of his old Iron Man buddies, Favreau offers up his best film yet in front of, or behind, the camera.

When we first meet Carl Casper (Favreau) he’s a successful but unhappy head chef. Estranged from both his ex-wife (Sofía Vergara) and son Percy (Emjay Anthony), in a refreshingly honest take on a divorced family that doesn’t go for cheap hate-filled diatribes, Casper’s only brightspot his his enjoyable but mostly empty relationship with a waitress (Scarlett Johansson) which obviously isn’t going anywhere. With Johansson taking more and more roles as the sexy lead it’s great to see her step back into a more understated role reminding us that the actress can do more than just look good in tight pants and kick ass.

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From A to Z – The Top Ten Movies of 2012

by Alan Rapp on December 28, 2012

in Top Tens & Lists

2012 turned out to be a pretty darn good year at the movies. There were two films which I gave perfect scores to this year, one of which the majority of the country won’t be seeing until early next year. I’m breaking my own rule of including it on the list, but we’ll get to that in a moment. Between these two films, which naturally open and close the list (as it’s presented alphabetically), are eight other films rounding out the class of 2012.

Cutting down my list to ten means I need to speak for a moment on films that barely missed the cut. John Carter was the year’s most under-appreciated film, The Cabin in the Woods turned the horror genre on its ear, Ang Lee delivered an amazing journey with Life of Pi, Wreck-It Ralph was this year’s best animated feature, Safety Not Guaranteed was a terrific little sci-fi flick almost no one saw, and Moonrise Kingdom was director Wes Anderson‘s best film since The Royal Tenenbaums.

Enough with what didn’t make the list, let’s get down to discussing what did:

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The Ten Best Movies of 2012 (So Far)

by Alan Rapp on June 30, 2012

in Top Tens & Lists

Super-heroes, aliens, character studies, parents and their children, time travel, the Scottish Highlands, young love, monsters, and the end of the world. Halfway through the year we take a look back at the ten best movies from the first-half of 2012.

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The Avengers

by Alan Rapp on May 4, 2012

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: The Avengers
  • IMDB: link

the-avengers-posterWell done Joss Whedon. Ensemble casts aren’t always the easiest to deal with, especially when you’ve got stars of several franchises who all need to be showcased. Not only does the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer succeed in giving each hero their own moment to shine, but he crafts what is inarguably one of the best super-hero movies of all-time. I don’t know if The Avengers is going to be the best movie of the summer, but if it’s not I can’t wait to see what could possibly top it.

One thing Whedon and the numerous special effects experts used on the film get just right is scale. From the first time we see the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier to the film’s final battle (which can only be described as epic) the size and breadth of it are awe-inspiring. I viewed the film in IMAX 3D, and while I think a regular screening will still be quite good, the IMAX certainly helped sell the larger-than-life aspects of the script (which Buffy fans should be glad to hear is peppered with classic Whedon one-liners and humorous asides).

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Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang

by Alan Rapp on November 11, 2005

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
  • IMDB: link

kiss-kiss-bang-bang-poster

“This isn’t good cop / bad cop.
This is fag and New Yorker.”

Any movie that contains an argument over the phone about why someone has urinated on a dead body he finds in his hotel room shower deserves some attention.  Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang is one of the most entertaining movies of the year.  Part Hollywood satire and part dime-store novel this is great fun with terrific performances from Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer.  Simply put folks, this is the best comedy of 2005.

Harry Lockhart (Robert Downey Jr.) is a small time thief who stumbles into an audition for a detective show while fleeing from the police.  Whisked away to Hollywood Harry meets Perry (Val Kilmer) a gay detective who is the consultant to the show.  At a party Harry also runs into Harmony Lane (Michelle Monaghan) the girl who got away so many years ago.

So far sounds like a pretty normal film right?  Well here’s where things start to get interesting.  Larry takes Harry on a stakeout to teach him more about detective work, but unfortunately they run into a car with a dead body.  For reasons to difficult to describe here the two abandon the body only for Larry to find it in his hotel room shower early the next morning.

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