Upcoming Theatrical Releases
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
R; 2 hr. 28 min.
When private eye Doc Sportello’s ex-old lady suddenly out of nowhere shows up with a story about her current billionaire land developer boyfriend whom she just happens to be in love with, and a plot by his wife and her boyfriend to kidnap that billionaire and throw him in a looney bin…well, easy for her to say. It’s the tail end of the psychedelic `60s and paranoia is running the day and Doc knows that “love” is another of those words going around at the moment, like “trip” or “groovy,” that’s being way too overused – except this one usually leads to trouble. With a cast of characters that includes surfers, hustlers, dopers and rockers, a murderous loan shark, LAPD Detectives, a tenor sax player working undercover, and a mysterious entity known as the Golden Fang, which may only be a tax dodge set up by some dentists… Part surf noir, part psychedelic romp – all Thomas Pynchon. (Synopsis by Warner Bros.)
Anderson struggles with the story, but compensates with the stylization. The biggest distractions are the intermittent comedic moments that pull you out of the main narrative. It is a good movie, even if it could have been great with a little more focus. See it.
Director: Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig
R; 1 hr. 37 min.
PREDESTINATION chronicles the life of a Temporal Agent (Ethan Hawke) sent on an intricate series of time-travel journeys designed to prevent future killers from committing their crimes. Now, on his final assignment, the Agent must stop the one criminal that has eluded him throughout time and prevent a devastating attack in which thousands of lives will be lost. (Synopsis by Vertical)
Not your typical sci-fi flick—this one is a thinker. The script is a puzzle unto itself that leads the audience to the ending: it’s a lot of fun if that is your sort of film. Snook and Hawke are killer in their roles. See it.
Director: Olivier Megaton
PG-13; 1 hr. 33 min.
Liam Neeson returns as ex-covert operative Bryan Mills, whose reconciliation with his ex-wife is tragically cut short when she is brutally murdered. Consumed with rage, and framed for the crime, he goes on the run to evade the relentless pursuit of the CIA, FBI and the police. For one last time, Mills must use his “particular set of skills,” to track down the real killers, exact his unique brand of justice, and protect the only thing that matters to him now – his daughter. (Synopsis by Fox)
We’ve reached the point where the last chapter of this trilogy is a parody of itself. Adding to that is an obvious tone-down on the violence to bring in younger viewers. File this one next to “Rocky 5” in films that never, ever happened. Skip it.
Upcoming DVD Releases
Director: Richard Linklater
R; 2 hr. 45 min.
Filmed over 12 years with the same cast, Richard Linklater’s BOYHOOD is a groundbreaking story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a child named Mason (a breakthrough performance by Ellar Coltrane), who literally grows up on screen before our eyes. Starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as Mason’s parents and newcomer Lorelei Linklater as his sister Samantha, BOYHOOD charts the rocky terrain of childhood like no other film has before. Snapshots of adolescence from road trips and family dinners to birthdays and graduations and all the moments in between become transcendent, set to a soundtrack spanning the years from Coldplay’s Yellow to Arcade Fire’s Deep Blue. BOYHOOD is both a nostalgic time capsule of the recent past and an ode to growing up and parenting. It’s impossible to watch Mason and his family without thinking about our own journey. (Synopsis by Sundance)
The best film of 2014 (so sayeth The Dagger). This is a once in a lifetime—if not a once-ever—film just for the scope of its production. It is amazing that this could be made in a time of corporate profits so often trumping artistic idealism. And it’s a damn good film, too. See it.