Archive for July, 2012

Starring: François Cluzet, Omar Sy & Audrey Fleurot
Written and directed by Olivier Nakache & Eric Toledano

A wealthy quadriplegic develops a strong friendship with the young man from the projects that he hires to be his caretaker.

A well-worn premise,
but constant laughs will have you
crippled with delight.

Grade: B+

By Daniel J. Hoag
The Intouchables is now playing in select cities.
TCFF 12-02

Directed by Tom Putnam & Brenna Sanchez

This documentary follows a year in the life of several Detroit firefighters, who risk their lives daily in city with more fires than any other city in the United States, despite working for a department that is desperately underfunded and understaffed.

A real-life burning
dystopia – can’t we get
these guys some money?

Grade: A

By Daniel J. Hoag
Burn: One Year on the Front Lines of the Battle to Save Detroit has not yet been released. To learn more about the film or to provide a charitable donation in support of its release, please visit the offical homepage:
TCFF 12-01

Haiku Review: Elena (2011)

Starring: Nadezhda Markina, Aleksey Rozin & Elena Lyadova
Screenplay by Andrey Zvyagintsev & Oleg Negin
Directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev

An ailing older man tells his second wife that the bulk of his substantial estate will go to his estranged daughter – a decision that causes the wife to take extreme measures in order to protect herself and her impoverished son’s family.

Pathos like only
the Russians can muster up
Chekov would be proud

Grade: B+

By Daniel J. Hoag
Elena is now playing in select cities.

Starring: Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, Luke Kirby & Sarah Silverman
Written and directed by Sarah Polley

A married woman struggles to remain faithful after meeting her charming and handsome neighbor.

Life often has the
grace of one with two left feet
(and so does this Waltz).

Grade: B-

By Daniel J. Hoag
Take This Waltz is now playing in select cities.

Starring: Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Frances McDormand, Harvey Keitel, Bob Balaban, Kara Hayward & Jared Gilman
Written by Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola
Directed by Wes Anderson

On an island off the coast of New England, two lovestruck adolescent outsiders runaway together while a search team of eccentrics pursues them.

Wes Anderson makes
a Wes Anderson movie,
if you’re into that.

Grade: B+

By Daniel J. Hoag
Moonrise Kingdom is playing now in theaters nationwide.

Haiku Review: Ted (2012)

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Seth MacFarlane, Joel McHale & Giovanni Ribisi
Screenplay by Seth MacFarlane & Alec Sulkin & Wellesley Wild
Directed by Seth MacFarlane

A 35-year-old slacker struggles to grow up due, in part, to his friendship with a childhood teddy bear that he wished to life when he was a boy.

Marky Mark should have
wished for a funnier bear
than Seth MacFarlane.

Grade: C

By Daniel J. Hoag
Ted is playing now in theaters nationwide.

Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, Jake M. Johnson, Karan Soni, Kristen Bell, Jeff Garlin & Mary Lynn Rajskub
Written by Derek Connolly
Directed by Colin Trevorrow

Three journalists investigate a classified ad in which a man seeks a companion for time travel.

A likeable cast
pads the warranty on your
enjoyment factor.

Grade: B

By Daniel J. Hoag
Safety Not Guaranteed is now playing in select cities.

Starring: Blake Lively, Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Johnson, Benicio Del Toro, John Travolta & Demián Bichir
Screenplay by Shane Salerno & Don Winslow & Oliver Stone
Directed by Oliver Stone

Three young Californians with a successful marijuana business find themselves in danger from a Mexican cartel.

Taylor Kitsch decides
to make a film that doesn’t
suck balls for a change.

Grade: B

By Daniel J. Hoag
Savages is playing now in theaters nationwide.

Starring: Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman & Michael Caine
Written by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan
Directed by Christopher Nolan

After eight years in hiding, Bruce Wayne once again becomes Batman to stop the vicious terrorist Bane from wiping Gotham City off the map.

Only someone as
insane as the Joker could
nitpick Batman’s flaws.

Grade: A-

By Daniel J. Hoag
The Dark Knight Rises is now playing in theaters nationwide.

Starring: Thomas Mann, Oliver Cooper, Jonathan Daniel Brown & Dax Flame
Screenplay by Matt Drake and Michael Bacall
Directed by Nima Nourizadeh

Three high school seniors try to make a name for themselves by throwing a wild party that quickly escalates out of control.

Like a real party,
if you hang out long enough,
you might have some fun.

Grade: B-

By Daniel J. Hoag
Project X is available now on Blu-ray and DVD.