This week we take a look at Ryan Coogler’s first feature film, Fruitvale Station, about the 2009 murder of Oscar Grant. It is competently directed by Coogler but the impeccable performances by recognizable names such as Octavia Spencer and Michael B. Jordan, as well as its tragically-evergreen relevance, are what really make the film a must-see.
Paul Rudd and Paul Giamatti star in “All is Bright”, a very good Christmas film about ex-cons trying to go legit by hauling Christmas trees from Canada and selling them to the fine folks of New York City. It’s funny, but way darker than you’re probably expecting, and threads a bitter sweet needle of poignancy that really nails the feeling of those Christmas seasons where things might not be as merry and bright as you might wish. All the more reason to hang our lights up high.
I gotta say, Jim and I were slightly unprepared for the Jelly this particular Giamatti Christmas was bringing. We were expecting a madcap romp, and what we got was a darker, bleaker, sort of Hard Candy Christmas. But we’re here, armed with the finest of Scotches, to make sure things stay Jolly. Enjoy!
Special thanks to Hatorian, the commissioner of the various Bald Move FFL divisions, and two time BMFFL champ, once again shows up to claim his prize in the form of a movie commission. His choice is the 2013 crime thriller, Prisoners, directed by Denis Villeneuve, whom we admire a lot in these parts. Starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, it’s as much a meditation on ethics and morality as it is a tightly plotted thriller with several twists and turns. It features confident direction and great performances by all of the leads, and leads to a lot of discussion on vigilantism, the importance of good process, self-reliance, and notions of good and evil.
Sean Ray is back with the second half of his two part Insidious series, this time for Insidious: Chapter 2. Once again James Wan helms another scary story starring Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne, with a bigger budget, a clever plot that builds on everything from the first installment, to deliver arguably a more frightening experience with even more emotional heart.