I loved Gran Torino and Million Dollar Baby. However, I'm not really sure Clint Eastwood should be the most celebrated and followed historian of our era. I have a few issues with Letters from Iwo Jima, Invictus, and J. Edgar, if only because for a lot of people, that's how they'll view some pretty key events and figures in our history.
When I was a kid my mother would make these clean-up stews. And my father would say helpful things like, "You like green beans, you like eggs, you like chicken hash, you like shrimp—so how can you say you don't like this stew?" Well I like Tom Cruise movies, and I like most of the Jack Reacher novels—but I didn't particularly like this stew. The dialog is kind of flat, the shooting isn't very good, and Tom ain't Jack.
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
Lee Child is his name—thrillers are his game. Jack Reacher novels are always exciting and intelligent from beginning to end. This movie is fast-paced, but gets Hollywood-stupid in the final third. B
I was expecting to really enjoy this because I absolutely adored Juno—but it felt like an unfocused and incoherent Heathers to me. Or Saw for girls—without the subtlety. I'm amazed that fans seem to have sniffed this one out, and didn't flock to theaters. The trailer seemed somewhat promising to me.
I think that Clint Eastwood had an interesting take on how to make this something more than just a Broadway production. The result was kind of uneven for me. This is one of those movies that caricatures just about everybody who ever lived in Jersey.
Pretty bad casting, directing, acting, and a very bad script. Other than that, I loved it. The critics seemed somewhat mystified about how one of the principle players at Pixar—John Lasseter—could have created this mess. My theory—John Lasseter was missing from the process (according to everyone I've ever spoken to, Lasseter is the genius of geniuses at Pixar. It sure looks that way.)
Julie & Julia
Julie & Julia is a delight that will have you leaving the theater and searching for a good French restaurant. Meryl Streep, as always, is fabulous as Julia Child—especially the touches and nuances she adds to the script. The ending disappoints, but not enough to spoil the meal.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
I liked Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, but the onslaught of dumb movies like this is depressing. C+
Juno has some of the best dialog I've heard in a long time. It looked terrific in the trailer and for once the movie is even better. All the actors do a fantastic job, but especially Ellen Page. This and Once are my favorites of the year.
Corporate America creates a Frankenstein-style dinosaur. No, that's not right. Corporate America creates a Frankenstein-style dinosaur movie. I would rather have watched the Steven Spielberg sequel to Saving Private Ryan or Schindler's List. B
Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom
I don’t know why I keep getting sucked into sequel upon sequel upon sequel of movie franchises. This one maintains interest from beginning to end. B
Just Go With It
Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston are actually pretty terrific together. They appear to get along very well and it shows on the screen. My quibble would be that this is pitched as an all-family film and it's a bit rough for little kids.