Posts Tagged ‘Laura Dern’
Tuesday, June 14th, 2022
JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION* is not exactly the “dinosaurs running loose in the world” story I expected from the ending of JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM – it ends up centering on yet another dinosaur park – but it does indeed take place at a time when dinosaurs have been running loose in the world long enough to proliferate, and for humans to respond with new governmental agencies, black market industries, etc. Which is an interesting world to spend time in.
Maybe that’s why some of the best stuff is before the plot really gets going – that part of a sequel that’s a loose set of scenes catching us up with the old characters and their new situations. First we get a nice web video about the state of things, featuring fun clips like a wedding where the bride and groom release doves and a pterodactyl swoops down and eats them. It’s in a joyful Dinosaurs Attack! spirit (though admittedly the cards themselves had an even better dinosaur wedding crasher – see right). Then we join JURASSIC WORLD co-lead Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard, HEREAFTER) and her FALLEN KINGDOM dinosaur rights associates Franklin (Justice Smith, The Get Down) and Zia (Daniella Pineda, MERCY BLACK) raiding an illegal breeding facility and rescuing a caged baby triceratops. The chaotic shots of adult triceratopses ramming Jeeps as they escape are a total joy.
*I dig the lack of a colon!
(read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: B.D. Wong, Bryce Dallas Howard, Campbell Scott, Chris Pratt, Colin Trevorrow, Daniella Pineda, DeWanda Wise, Dichen Lachman, dinosaurs, Isabella Sermon, Jeff Goldblum, Justice Smith, Laura Dern, Mamoudou Athie, Sam Neill
Posted in Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit | 48 Comments »
Wednesday, February 5th, 2020
MARRIAGE STORY seems like kind of a cheeky name for a movie about a divorce. I first learned of writer-director Noah Baumbach by seeing his fourth movie as a director, THE SQUID AND THE WHALE. That was a movie clearly based on his childhood during his parents’ divorce, and here’s one clearly based on a divorce he himself had years after making that movie. The circle of life. Hakuna matata. Did you know he was a writer on MADAGASCAR 3?
The best-picture-nominated-straight-to-Netflix-but-it’s-coming-to-Criterion MARRIAGE STORY has all the dry humor, smart dialogue and outstanding, emotional performances his movies are known for (three of them also Oscar nominated), and the heartache and discomfort the topic demands, but somehow it feels kind of… warm for Baumbach? And even kind of romantic?
Part of that comes down to our Noah Baumbach character — I mean our male lead — not coming across as as much of a self-regarding dickbag as some of the others. Charlie (Adam Driver, one episode of Law & Order, WHILE WE’RE YOUNG) runs a small New York theater company, directing plays that often star his wife Nicole (Scarlett Johansson, THE SPIRIT), a former teen movie star. Charlie is entirely at fault for the dissolution of the marriage, he has the least excusable behavior and turns out to have serious emotional issues he’s left unaddressed. But he seems to be going at this divorce thing in good faith, trying to do it as amicably as possible, even trying to stay friends. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Adam Driver, divorce, Julie Hagerty, Laura Dern, Merritt Wever, Netflix, Noah Baumbach, Randy Newman, Ray Liotta, Robert Smigel, Scarlett Johansson, Wallace Shawn
Posted in Drama, Reviews | 19 Comments »
Friday, January 17th, 2020
Little women, walking down the street. Little women, bonding with their sisters but also struggling to establish their individual identities in order to find a path in life that brings them happiness
In her joyous new version of LITTLE WOMEN, writer/director Greta Gerwig (LADYBUGS) cleverly acknowledges that the book by Louisa May Alcott may be more appealing to (or more understood by) women than men. When freelance writer Jo (Saoirse Ronan, HANNA) sends stories about her and her sisters to her publisher (Tracy Letts, U.S. MARSHALS) he snidely dismisses them… until his daughters find the manuscript and freak out like it’s a new Twilight. The scene is inspired by reality: Alcott and her publisher didn’t really believe in her work-in-progress until the publisher’s niece read it and loved it.
What I’m saying is not that I, as a male individual, don’t get the appeal of this movie. I loved it. But Little Women is a “girl story” I never knew to open myself up to. I had never read or seen it, not even when it had Winona Ryder in it. I only did it this time because I loved Gerwig’s first film as a director, LADY BIRD (she didn’t direct LADYBUGS, I don’t know why I said that a paragraph ago, but it seemed amusing at the time). (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Bob Odenkirk, Chris Cooper, Eliza Scanlen, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Greta Gerwig, Laura Dern, Louisa May Alcott, Meryl Streep, Saoirse Ronan, Timothee Chalamet, Tracy Letts
Posted in Drama, Reviews | 19 Comments »
Monday, February 11th, 2019
COLD PURSUIT – which could be called HELLY HANSEN PRESENTS ‘COLD PURSUIT’ in my opinion – is an odd duck of a Liam Neeson vehicle. His character Nelson “Nels” Coxman is a man with a very particular set of skills, but they mostly involve driving a snow plow. He lives a simple life in a big house in a tiny ski resort town 3 and a quarter miles from Denver, Colorado. It’s one of those places where people have to be kinda rugged but they’re also laid back and individualistic. It’s always cold outside so they mostly just find ways to relax in their big houses. Nels’s wife Grace (Laura Dern, WILD AT HEART) smokes a joint while cooking up some meat from the reindeer that Nels and their son Kyle (Micheal Richardson, VOX LUX) hunted a while back.
Nels is a little nervous about having to make a speech after winning Citizen of the Year. Otherwise they seem to have a nice comfortable lifestyle going when all the sudden Kyle turns up dead – we know he was murdered by drug dealers, but the coroner (Jim Shield, SHANGHAI NOON, who looks like a more hard living Chris Pine) says it was a heroin overdose. Nels is so broken up he puts a shotgun in his mouth but when he’s interrupted by Kyle’s bloodied and apologetic friend Dante (Wesley MacInnes, POWER RANGERS) and learns what really happened, it’s not long before he’s sawing off said shotgun to fit in his jacket and go trying to find the people responsible. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Domenick Lombardozzi, Emmy Rossum, Frank Baldwin, Hans Petter Moland, Julia Jones, Laura Dern, Liam Neeson, Michael Eklund, Micheal Richardson, revenge, Tom Jackson, William Forsythe
Posted in Action, Crime, Reviews | 36 Comments »
Thursday, February 12th, 2015
Sailor Ripley is the character who was born for Nicolas Cage to play. He’s the ultimate bad boy who you wouldn’t bring home to your parents, an old timey hoodlum ex-con, self-conscious about his rebellious image, and obsessed with Elvis, who he calls “E” for short. He talks like him, combs his hair kind of like him, sings his love songs only at important romantic milestones. He and his young girlfriend Lula (Laura Dern) love to dance together, and at one point they pull their Thunderbird convertible to the side of the highway, play heavy metal and dance, which to him mostly means jumping around doing karate kicks and punches. They don’t have to discuss that they’re going to do this, so you gotta assume it’s one of their regular activities.
Sailor wears a snakeskin jacket, which he proudly says on more than one occasion “represents a symbol of my individuality and my belief in personal freedom.” He’s a self-professed “robber and a manslaughterer” and hasn’t “had any parental guidance.” He started smoking when he was “about four,” and cigarette brand loyalty seem to be one tradition he and Lula inherit from their parents. He knows many unsavory characters from his time as an underworld driver, including Lula’s mother Marietta Fortune (Dern’s real life mother Diane Ladd), who is so serious about keeping Sailor away from her daughter that she takes a hit out on him. She’s also so wicked that she frequently goes on cackling jags and is several times depicted as the WIZARD OF OZ witch, flying on a broom or watching them in a crystal ball. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Barry Gifford, Crispin Glover, David Lynch, Diane Ladd, Elvis, Harry Dean Stanton, Isabella Rosellini, Laura Dern, Nicolas Cage, Willem Dafoe
Posted in Crime, Reviews | 345 Comments »
Friday, January 3rd, 2014
I started 2013 with a review of the broad but likable baseball movie TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE, where I wrote, “I don’t know if this is true but I heard it’s good luck for movie critics to start a year with a Clint Eastwood review.” I made the whole thing up, and the results were inconclusive anyway. I wouldn’t say last year was exactly a day at the races for me, but at least I wasn’t one of the horses. There were a few scares but they coulda been worse. I’m still going.
It doesn’t really matter if the superstition holds water, though, ’cause a Clint movie is a good way to start a year anyway. I might make it a tradition. I decided to go with A PERFECT WORLD this time because I’d been meaning to see it for a long time and I was reminded of that recently when the screenwriter, John Lee Hancock, directed SAVING MR. BANKS. Between that and THE BLIND SIDE (and maybe THE ROOKIE, I haven’t seen that one) Hancock’s John Hancock has become sort of better-than-expected middlebrow feel good type movies. In comparison his script for A PERFECT WORLD, directed by Clint and starring Kevin Costner, is pretty bleak. I mean it’s about a sweet relationship between a fugitive and a little boy. And it means it. But it doesn’t try to make you forget that this is a murderer taking a little boy hostage, putting him in danger and exposing him to terrible, traumatic events, even making him point a gun at people. He tries to be nice to the kid and encourages him to do harmless fun things his mom doesn’t let him do, but that doesn’t make him Mary Poppins or Sandra Bullock. More like a deadbeat uncle who tries to be your bro. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Bradley Whitford, Clint Eastwood, Jennifer Griffin, John Lee Hancock, Kevin Costner, Laura Dern
Posted in Crime, Reviews | 14 Comments »
Monday, April 8th, 2013
Somehow I’ve gone all these years and never reviewed a JURASSIC PARK movie. Somewhere in a notebook I think I have a partly written review of THE LOST WORLD from the last time I watched it, and I could’ve sworn I reviewed part 3 back when it came out, but no. Nothing. Until now. So hold onto your butts… IN 3-D!
JURASSIC PARK would be a hard one to find a new angle on. It’s been around for 20 years, widely seen since day 1, broadly enjoyable and rightfully appreciated. In the rankings of Spielberg’s summer blockbuster movies I’d have to put it way below big daddy JAWS, because the characters are less nuanced, their actions are less believable, the quiet moments aren’t as deep, the emphasis is more on spectacle (if only because the special effects worked this time), the whole feel is more artificial. But just holding it up against these type of movies in general it places pretty fuckin high on the totem pole.
(read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: converted to 3D, dinosaurs, Jeff Goldblum, Laura Dern, Michael Crichton, Sam Neill, Samuel L. Jackson, Steven Spielberg, summer movies
Posted in Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit | 145 Comments »
Sunday, September 30th, 2012
As I start writing this I haven’t read any reviews or comments on THE MASTER yet, but I’m betting there’s alot of this:
1. It’s a masterpiece, if you don’t get it you’re dumb, why don’t you go see some mainstream movie like whatever that one movie is called, the one that you like, I don’t know the name because I don’t watch that kind of crap or know what it is
2. It’s pretentious nonsense that is pretentious, if you like it it’s Emperor’s New Clothes. It’s totally meaningless. Boring. The critics! Fuck!!!!!
Probly heavier on #2.
I would like to propose a third view, which is B. Kind of in the middle of the two. But in a separate column I think.
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Tags: Amy Adams, Joaquin Phoenix, Kevin J. O'Connor, Laura Dern, Paul Thomas Anderson, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Posted in Drama, Reviews | 80 Comments »
Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009
TEACHERS is kind of like the more realistic, less actiony version of THE PRINCIPAL. Kind of. If you buy that description then Nick Nolte would be Belushi, but before he’s transferred and promoted. He’s a beer drinking, too-hung-over-to-come-in-on-Mondays teacher at a high school where only a small amount of learning occurs. But instead of putting the blame on drug gangs and juvenile delinquents this one points its finger at a system that only focuses on the kids that are easy to teach and neglects the hard ones. The story takes place in the midst of a lawsuit against the school district for graduating a kid who didn’t know how to read. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: back to school, Crispin Glover, Laura Dern, Nick Nolte, Ralph Macchio
Posted in Drama, Reviews | 4 Comments »