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Monday, June 16, 2014


Jon Favreau fat swingers
I guess the title My Big Fat Chef Movie was taken

Indie film favorite Jon Favreau, who wrote, directed and acted in Swingers (1996), has spent the past decade directing movies like Iron Man, Iron Man 2 and Cowboys and Aliens. So it’s a treat to see him write and direct and star in a small palate cleansing film again, even if it is the tired “food movie” genre where the cooking scenes help tell stories and showcase a character’s passion.

Ultimately, this is the story of a 40something chef dealing with complicated work and family relationships. When those relationships unfold realistically, this film sails.

But many of the plot turns are too manipulative and unbelievable for what I thought this film could be. This finding-your-passion food film starts out as an indie film (i.e. last summer’s Way Way Back), but ends like a contrived rom com (i.e. My Big Fat Greek Wedding). That’s a confusing shift, but it definitely works as a crowd pleaser.

Simply put: Movie comfort food that the whole family will enjoy.

Award potential: It’s a stellar cast with everyone performing just right for a light film, but nothing more.

The ten buck review: Not a stellar film, but it’s a fun time at the movies. Worth ten bucks.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Fault In Our Stars

This sweet adaption is more than OK. OK?

Anyone who didn’t think that The Fault in Our Stars would be a big hit is simply not keeping up. The book, which has sold 10.7 million copies was already a phenomenon long before the movie. And the Stars author is as famous (or more) than the stars in the film.

Hazel Grace (Shailene Woodley) has cancer. But, that’s her cancer story and this story is definitely more than that. It’s a film that manages to be funny, poignant and heartbreaking. For those who read the book, there was no other choice.

I know the question you have and the answer for me is, "no." I did not tear up because this is a story about youth, love and life. But I forgive anyone who does because the sad parts unfolded without being movie - manipulative. It’s one of the best films of 2014 so far.

Simply put: Good news for those who read the book, it’s a faithful, sweet adaptation. Good news for those who haven’t: it’s pretty awesome.

Award potential: Ansel Elgort’s character is a little too perfect, the film’s only fault, but Shailene Woodley has a shot at a Golden Glove nod. As does Laura Dern, in a supporting role as her mom. It’s a long shot for any Oscar nominations.

The ten buck review: Worth ten bucks.