Spike Jonze’s ‘Her’ is as excellent as its five Oscar nominations would indicate

Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams in 'Her'
Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams in ‘Her’

[rating=4]Starring:  Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde, Portia Doubleday, Matt Letscher, Chris Pratt and Kristen Wiig
Writer(s):  Spike Jonze
Director(s):  Spike Jonze

If someone could figure out a way to bottle and sell the whimsy of Spike Jonze, they would make an insane amount of money.  His fourth film, Her, is as imaginative as any of the prior three and a very thought-provoking movie.

Read moreSpike Jonze’s ‘Her’ is as excellent as its five Oscar nominations would indicate

Dance on down to ‘American Hustle’, it is amazingly awesome

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The five main characters in the outstanding ‘American Hustle’ from writer/director David O. Russell

If you ask any fan of film to name a few of the best movies involving con artists, the first few that will be mentioned are almost certain to include The Sting, House of Games, Catch Me If You Can, and a few others.  The first two are the best of the genre.  Until now.  American Hustle, a film from David O. Russell is definitely a contender to be among the best movies involving a con or cons, ever.

Read moreDance on down to ‘American Hustle’, it is amazingly awesome

‘Man of Steel’ flies higher than this franchise has ever soared

Superman (Henry Cavill) stands tall in 'Man of Steel'
Superman (Henry Cavill) stands tall in ‘Man of Steel’

The reboot of the Superman film franchise, Man of Steel hits the big screen with frenetic energy, astonishing visuals and some outstanding acting and writing.  After the disappointing Superman Returns in 2006, it was a real treat to see this film.  Written by David S. Goyer from a story he and the director of the Batman trilogy, Christopher Nolan; came up with, we see the origins of the Man from Krypton and how he came to be on Earth.

Read more‘Man of Steel’ flies higher than this franchise has ever soared

Amy Adams delights in ‘Trouble With the Curve’

Amy Adams and Clint Eastwood are daughter and father in 'Trouble with the Curve'
Amy Adams and Clint Eastwood are daughter and father in ‘Trouble with the Curve’

[rating=3]Starring:  Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman, Matthew Lillard and Joe Massingill
Director(s):  George Lorenz
Writer(s):  Randy Brown

Any serious baseball fan knows the names Ferguson Jenkins and Mike Schmidt, both members of the Hall of Fame.  Few if any know the name of Tony Lucadello, but without him, they’d have never heard of Jenkins or Schmidt.  He was the baseball scout who signed both players to their first contract.

Read moreAmy Adams delights in ‘Trouble With the Curve’

‘The Master’ might just be a… ‘master’-piece

Joaquin Phoenix returns to the big screen with 'The Master'
Joaquin Phoenix returns to the big screen with ‘The Master’

[rating=4]Starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Writer: Paul Thomas Anderson

When I ranked Magnolia as my top film of 1999, I often found myself in the position of have to defend it often to non-believers. Yes, it was tough, I acknowledged. Yes, it was difficult. But unlike many other works, which receive acclaim for breaking the rules, writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson’s uncompromising visionary vista was to be applauded for creating a set of rules all his own. Anderson’s latest, The Master, is a visually arresting and highly stylized look at a similar group of those who may doubt and disbelieve.

Read more‘The Master’ might just be a… ‘master’-piece