James Patterson – Movie Reviews – F

MOVIE REVIEWS – F’S


Factory Girl

The problem with biopics is that if the impersonations don’t quite work, the movie suffers. The Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick parts are excellent, but Bob Dylan dragged the movie down for me.

On DVD: Amazon
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon


Fair Game

This movie is going to have some people cheering and some people booing, but I think it gets at the injustice done to Valerie Plame and her husband. As a movie, it’s watchable and thought-provoking, but the ending goes a bit flat.

On DVD: Amazon
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon


Fame

Go watch the original, even if you’ve seen it already. This one is fairly well shot, but the music didn’t do a whole lot for me.

On DVD: Amazon
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon


The Family

The Godfather done sort of funny.

On DVD: Amazon
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon | Movie Poster Shop


Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

There’s an article today about how Fantastic Beasts is damaging the Harry Potter image and I tend to agree. The story is a mish-mash. There’s nobody to get terribly interested in. C

On Blu-ray: Amazon
On DVD: Amazon


Fantastic Four

Marvel is probably doing too many movies these days. Batman was a little under par. Fantastic Four was a mess (except for the opening scenes with the kids). And the trailer for a feature with Ryan Reynolds doesn’t look too promising. C-

On DVD: Amazon
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon


Fantastic Mr. Fox

Pick of the Week

Fantastic Mr. Fox is as clever and witty as any film for kids (and possibly even adults) that I’ve seen all year. The one question is who will enjoy it more, you or your kids?

On DVD: Amazon
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon


Far From The Madding Crowd

Pick of the Week

Tight, terrific storytelling. The 19th century brought into the 21st in high style. All the players are superb. A

On DVD: Amazon
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon


Fast & Furious

Pick of the Week

I liked the first in the series, and I liked this one too. It’s James Bond for the set that couldn’t care less about a martini shaken-not-stirred. The opening stunt is worth the price of admission. But be warned: this is a young person’s (or older psycho’s) diversion.

On DVD: Amazon
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon


Fast & Furious 6

The dialog—not so terrific. But who cares? So-so acting. Who cares? Because the crew is “family” and the action is fast & furious.

On DVD: Amazon
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon


Fast Five

Makes absolutely no sense—and I mean absolutely no sense—but it’s delightful fun. The catch: I am quite sure this movie will be responsible for a couple of teens wrapping their cars around light poles.

On DVD: Amazon
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon


Faster

I liked The Rock, I liked Billy Bob Thornton. I didn’t like this movie much. It felt like a graphic novel plot without any of the cool visuals. Dwayne Johnson deserves better, much better. He’d make a great Michael Bennett, don’t you think?

On DVD: Amazon
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon


The Fault in Our Stars

Shailene Woodley is a very talented actress. In my book she has the early lead as one of the best of her generation. But. The film creates a very strange experience. Little girls—most of whom have little or no experience with death—weep continually and tear out their hair. We’re clearly in an age where everything is public, the more public the better.

On DVD: Amazon
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon | Movie Poster Shop


The Favourite

I thought it would be one of my favorites for the year, but unfortunately it isn’t. The performances are great, but I didn’t find the story all that compelling. Some people will find the shock value unpleasant and some will find it much to their delight, but I found it to be somewhat of a bore. Still, the performances by Stone, Colman, and Weisz are all outstanding. B

On Blu-ray: Amazon
On DVD: Amazon
On Demand: Amazon


Fences

Pick of the Week

One of the many reasons to see Fences is that Denzel Washington—not Robert De Niro, not Morgan Freeman, not Christian Bale—is one of the two best American actors working today. The other—for me—is Meryl Streep. A-

On DVD: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon | Movie Poster Shop


The Fifth Estate

A fascinating, important story—that should’ve been a much more fascinating and important movie. Needed a better script and better direction.

On DVD: Amazon
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon


Fifty Shades Darker

Well, I beat my time for the original Fifty Shades and lasted through 37 minutes. Incomplete

On DVD: AmazonBarnes & Noble
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon | Movie Poster Shop


Fifty Shades of Grey

Brought to mind a very expensively produced movie for Showtime. Would have been fun if Adrian Lyne had directed it. Alex Cross has had hotter sex scenes.

On DVD: Amazon
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon | Movie Poster Shop


The Fighter

Pick of the Week

Terrific ensemble of actors, really terrific directing, and a great story (though Jack Kerouac should have been the favorite son of Lowell, Mass., not a prize fighter who happened to knock down Sugar Ray Leonard.)

On DVD: Amazon
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon


Fighting

This is a by-the-numbers story, but there’s a lot of really terrific dialog and interesting direction. Channing Tatum is a young star on the rise.

On DVD: Amazon
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon


Finding Dory

Pick of the Week

The very best thing was that it had the trailer for Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life. The audience cheered, which made me happy. Dory is as good as people say it is. A-

On DVD: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon


Fired Up!

I can’t believe I see all the movies that I do. I’d take it up with my shrink if I had a shrink. It seems that this movie was probably put together at least partly because of the marketing opportunities. But I think the marketing is totally wrong-headed. A lot of the girls who like cheerleading movies aren’t going to like that the point-of-view is from two horndogs. And guys interested in the horndog point-of-view are not going to want to see a cheerleading movie. Having said all that, the movie has its moments.

On DVD: Amazon
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon


The Five-Year Engagement

Should I become an actor on the series How I Met Your Mother? I don’t think so. Should Jason Segel write screenplays? I don’t think so.

On DVD: Amazon
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon


Flight

Pick of the Week

It seems to me that Denzel Washington is quite possibly our finest actor. He’s terrific in Flight. But I must warn you the film is a downer. The story of a severely alcoholic pilot. It’s well done, but your call.

On DVD: Amazon
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon


Footloose

Sort of fun to watch but(!) man, can you feel the producers carefully, methodically, pushing every possible button—don’t offend the Christians, reach out to the African Americans, let’s get to everybody who remembers the original movie, and everybody who doesn’t.

On DVD: Amazon
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon


Forgetting Sarah Marshall

It’s a tribute to Judd Apatow that he can produce movies with no stars that turn into hits. This one has a lot of funny scenes, but a little too much flabbiness. As well as some flaccidness (You’ll understand if you see this one).

On DVD: Amazon
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon


Four Christmases

Pick of the Week

For me, half of this movie was hilarious; the other half was one of those Hollywood morality tales that are best left untold. At any rate, Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn are terrific and most of you will get several chuckles out of this one.

On DVD: Amazon
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon


The Fourth Kind

This is a pretty cool idea (combining documentary footage of something that really happened and footage of movie stars playing the parts of the real people) and the title kind of hooks you in, but I found the movie to be a big snooze. Everything about it from the dialogue to the cinematography is flat and uninteresting—at least to me.

On DVD: Amazon
Posters: Amazon


Foxcatcher

Difficult to sit through, but very well done. B+

On DVD: Amazon
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon | Movie Poster Shop


Fracture

Pick of the Week

Gregory Hoblit is a terrific director who did Primal Fear some years ago. Ryan Gosling is one of, if not the best, young actors around. Anthony Hopkins you know about. Put them together and you have the most satisfying thriller so far this year.

On DVD: Amazon
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon


Frances Ha

Pick of the Week

I loved this, loved it. Especially the work of Greta Gerwig. It’s a miracle Noah Baumbach could make this concept work so well.

On DVD: Amazon
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon


Frankenweenie

Pick of the Week

Very Tim Burton, very good.

On DVD: Amazon
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon


Fred Claus

Ho-no ho-no ho-no! How did they make such an unfunny Christmas movie with Vince Vaughn? His turn in Psycho was funnier.

On DVD: Amazon
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon


Friends With Benefits

Sharp dialog, nice performances by Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake, but overworked concept: let’s just be friends, not screw like little bunnies.

On DVD: Amazon
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon


The Front Runner

It’s an important story because it really was the first highly visible #MeToo moment. The film is almost documentary in style, which is a valid decision, but stopped me from being as engaged in the story as I might have been. Hugh Jackman does a fine job as Gary Hart. B

On Blu-ray: Amazon
On Demand: Amazon


From Paris with Love

This is a boys’ movie and it’s way over the top and Travolta’s way over the top, but I can be a boy sometimes, and I almost always like Travolta, so I enjoyed the flick. I don’t think Sue would have felt the same way.

On DVD: Amazon
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon


Frost/Nixon

Pick of the Week

2008 was a year of very good movies, and this is probably my favorite. Frank Langella captures the complexity and tragedy of Nixon brilliantly. If he doesn’t win an Oscar, I’ll be disappointed. Ron Howard’s film doesn’t have a wasted scene. In fact, I don’t think there’s a bad cut.

On DVD: Amazon
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon


Fun Size

I like movies in all sizes but I really could not get into this one. It feels like a TV movie. And not a very involving one—at least to me.

On DVD: Amazon
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon


Funny People

When Sue and I were leaving the theater just about everybody was complaining that the movie was too long. Some thought 20 minutes, one person said an hour. I didn’t have any real problem with the length, but some of you might. It’s an interesting notion to try to combine comedy and drama in the same flick and I kind of got caught up in that. I guess I could have used a hair less drama.

On DVD: Amazon
Posters: Amazon


Furious 7

Clever, well-constructed action scenes—until the powers-that-be decided it was time to start blowing everything up. B

On DVD: Amazon
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon | Movie Poster Shop