Tag: jeff daniels

MOVIE REVIEW | ***CLOSING DOWN WEEK*** The Lookout (2007)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “Every now and again it succumbs a little to its thriller genre tropes and clichés, but for the most part, it’s just solid enough to power through those moments.”

Lookout 1
Recently, in my neighbourhood, I saw something that’s all too common these days. A video shop that was closing down. They had a big sign out the front, “4 movies for $10”. I looked in my wallet, saw $30 and decided I wasn’t leaving that shop until I found 12 movies I thought were worth having on my DVD shelf. Some were movies I’d seen before. Some were movies I had a vague idea about and thought would be worth the $2.50 gamble. Some were oddities I’d never even heard of, but they looked interesting enough. So, thank you, Network Video Brunswick West. I never rented anything from you or even had a membership, but I did find some cool, interesting and mysterious things on your almost empty shelves.

“I wake up.”

A few years ago, seemingly like everyone in the world, I got a little obsessed with Joseph Gordon-Levitt. As far as unlikely movie stars go, the kid from Third Rock From the Sun was right at the top of the list. But there he was, stealing movies like Inception from Leonardo DiCaprio and killing it Rian Johnson’s awesome Looper. I think the reason the kid from Third Rock From the Sun was able to become a movie star was because he did it the right way. He worked his way up through small, indie movies. He proved his bonafides the hard way, instead of making crappy teen movies and cookie cutter rom coms. He did it with cool, personal, original, little movies like Brick, like Hesher, and like The Lookout.


A few years ago, a bad car accident left Chris (Gordon-Levitt) in a coma and his friends dead. While he can now technically function in society, his brain trauma means he forgets most things and needs to rely on a notebook full of reminders to get through the day. Something as minor as not being able to find a can opener in his own kitchen can spring a breakdown, while the guilt over the deaths of his friends weighs him down even more than the brain injuries. (more…)

***2015 RECAP*** MOVIE REVIEW | The Martian (2015)

Martian 1

“If the oxygenator breaks down, I’ll suffocate. If the water reclaimer breaks down, I’ll die of thirst. If the Hab beaches, I’ll just kind of implode. If none of those things happen. I’ll eventually run out of food and starve to death. So yeah. I’m fucked.”

Looking at Ridley Scott’s filmography, he’s made over 20 features films since the late 70s. Of those, I have seen 11. Of those 11, I love Matchstick Men and Black Hawk Down, I kind of like American Gangster and Alien, and I really dislike Blade Runner, The Counselor and Gladiator. The rest are just kind of blurs. Not good enough to remember, not bad enough to hate. All of that is to say, I had zero interest in seeing his latest, The Martian.


Big budget, spectacle movies need a pedigree of actors, writers or director behind them before I get excited. I like Matt Damon, but I already saw him do stranded in space with last year’s Interstellar, so his involvement didn’t really get make jazzed. But, the good reviews for The Martian just on kept coming. And in a year that has so far been pretty thin with really good movies, I was starved enough for good, new release movies, that I took a chance on a director I don’t really like, working in a genre I don’t really like, and I saw The Martian. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | The Martian (2015)

Martian 1

“If the oxygenator breaks down, I’ll suffocate. If the water reclaimer breaks down, I’ll die of thirst. If the Hab beaches, I’ll just kind of implode. If none of those things happen. I’ll eventually run out of food and starve to death. So yeah. I’m fucked.”

Looking at Ridley Scott’s filmography, he’s made over 20 features films since the late 70s. Of those, I have seen 11. Of those 11, I love Matchstick Men and Black Hawk Down, I kind of like American Gangster and Alien, and I really dislike Blade Runner, The Counselor and Gladiator. The rest are just kind of blurs. Not good enough to remember, not bad enough to hate. All of that is to say, I had zero interest in seeing his latest, The Martian.


Big budget, spectacle movies need a pedigree of actors, writers or director behind them before I get excited. I like Matt Damon, but I already saw him do stranded in space with last year’s Interstellar, so his involvement didn’t really get make jazzed. But, the good reviews for The Martian just on kept coming. And in a year that has so far been pretty thin with really good movies, I was starved enough for good, new release movies, that I took a chance on a director I don’t really like, working in a genre I don’t really like, and I saw The Martian. (more…)