Film Review: Boyhood — 4.5 stars

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0oX0xiwOv8

ONE WORD REVIEW: Brilliant!

SUMMARY: Boyhood captures the growing up years of Mason Evans, Jr. and shows us how messy life can be… in a whole new way.

DETAILS: Boyhood is a coming of age story that is told in a whole new manner. One of the beautiful elements of this film is that it was shot over a twelve year period using the same actors throughout, so literally we watch our protagonist age before our very eyes. The film begins when Mason Evans, Jr. (Ellar Coltrane) is six and ends on his first day of college life. In those growing up years we see divorces, remarriages, family moves, the loss of friends and the making of new ones, teenage struggles, and the guts of what blended families can look like. It’s a sad story on many levels as father figures come and go from Mason’s life and yet his real father (Ethan Hawke) is always there for weekend visits, regardless of what disaster is going on in Mason’s homelife. Mason’s mother (Patricia Arquette – Academy Award Winner for Best Actress in a Supporting Role) does her best to better herself along the way through education and trying to marry good men, but the baggage they bring is always a new form of disfunction; drinking, rage, intolerance, control, etc. The film shows the ugly side of divorce, failed marriages, blended families, and broken homes in a powerful way and yet it also shows us that the bloodline that runs from mother and father to son is often the only thing that can hold us together. Nominated for 6 Academy Awards including Best Picture, the film is 2 hours and 45 minutes, but it didn’t feel long. We get to know our characters in ways that traditional motion pictures can only attempt to do through makeup and the artificial aging of characters. Boyhood shows hairstyles, weight gains, weight losses, growth spurts, pimples, and facial hair like no other film has ever done… because it’s what the actors brought with them to the set year after year of production on this epic film. Written and Directed by Richard Linklater, Boyhood is a well done, unique film that is truly one of a kind and worthy of viewing.

WATCH THE TRAILER
SCORE: 4.5 out of 5 stars
RELEASE: 2014
RATING: R
ACADEMY AWARD – Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Patricia Arquette)

Film Review: How To Make A Book With Steidl — 4.5 stars

ONE WORD REVIEW: Inspiring!

SUMMARY: Famed German bookmaker Gerhard Steidl brings passion with him as he works around the globe to print and bind the works of renowned photographers.

DETAILS: What does it take to make a book of photography? Paper, Images, Ideas, and of course, the most important resource, famed German bookmaker Gerhard Steidl. In this inspiring documentary we travel with Steidl around the globe, from Germany to New York, LA, Vancouver, Qatar, and other stirring locations as he shapes the printed work of renowned photographers. This film starts off a little slow, but then sucks you into the printing press and the creative process that goes into making a book one that will bear the name Steidl. If you do any creative work whatsoever, watch this film and be inspired to perform your work with beauty, grace, elegance, and passion.

WATCH THE TRAILER
SCORE: 4.5 of 5 stars
RELEASE: 2010
RATING: NR
DOCUMENTARY

Film Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel — 4.5 stars

ONE WORD REVIEW: Stylized

SUMMARY: A hotel concierge is accused of murdering one of his wealthiest guests in this highly-stylized, fun-filled comedy.

DETAILS: Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes) is the loved and respected concierge of the Grand Budapest Hotel at the height of the hotel’s fame in the 1930’s. His guests all love him, especially the wealthy, old, blond woman whom he cares for, flatters, and often sleeps with. But when one of the wealthiest ends up murdered, the fingers are pointed at Gustav. He and his Lobby Boy, Zero (Anthony Quinonez) soon are on the run from the family and their hired hit man in a chase that takes them from a prison break to the highest slopes of Europe in this highly-stylized, artfully-directed, comedy that hopefully will find room on it’s shelf for an Oscar or two.

 

SCORE: 4.5 out of 5

RELEASE: 2014
RATING: R

Karakter (Character) — 4.5 out of 5 stars

ONE WORD REVIEW: Compelling

SUMMARY: A bastard child is strengthened by every opposing move his father makes

DETAILS: 1920’s Netherlands is the beautiful backdrop for this film about a boy who’s mother was impregnated by the town’s oppressive bailiff. The story begins with the death of the father on the day the son becomes a lawyer and the son his the last to see his father alive… a bloody visit where we don’t know all the details. The story then takes us back in time as we learn of the boy’s origins, his struggles to make a life for himself, his mother’s continual rejection of his father, and his father’s continual attempts to make life difficult for his own son… a conflict designed to build Character.

This film won the Academy Award for best foreign film of 1997.

SCORE: 4.5 out of 5
RELEASE: 1997

RATING: R
FOREIGN

Craigslist Joe — 4.5 out of 5 stars

Joe decides to spend a month using Craigslist for all of his needs. From food to crashpads to transportation. His journey takes him from LA to Portland to Seattle to Chicago to NY to Florida to New Orleans to Texas to San Fran and back to LA. The generosity of Craigslist strangers will help restore your faith in humanity.

SCORE: 4.5 out of 5
RELEASE: 2112
RATING: NR
DOCUMENTARY