Bill Murray

Film Review: Isle of Dogs

by Chris Piper on March 23, 2018

Anderson’s new film stumbles

From l-r: Bryan Cranston as Chief, Bob Balaban as King, Koyu Rankin as Atari Kobayashi, Bill Murray as Boss, Edward Norton as Rex, and Jeff Goldblum as Duke.

Early in Isle of Dogs, Wes Anderson’s ninth feature film, the troubled but resolute stray dog Chief (Bryan Cranston) exhorts his pack to persevere despite extreme difficulties. “You’re Rex,” he says to Rex (Edward Norton). “You’re King,” he reminds King (Bob Balaban). “You’re Duke,” he cajoles Duke (Jeff Goldblum): “We’re a pack of scary, indestructible alpha dogs.” We the audience are now helplessly under their sway, and will follow them through this film anywhere.

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Ghostbusters panders then panders some more, and only delivers when embracing its own originality.

Mighty ghostbustin' foursome.

Mighty ghostbustin’ foursome.

It’s obvious, or maybe just to me, that director/writer Paul Feig was under serious pressure to cater his entire effort in relauching Ghostbusters to the fans of the original films. Possibly due to the stupid backlash against the production for casting four women in the lead roles, and for the sake of protecting a cherished 80s title, Feig decided to include an unfathomable amount of shout-outs, throwbacks, and cameos alluding to the original Ghostbusters films. The cast, and Feig, are incredibly talented. The best moments of the new Ghostbusters film happen when the original 80’s films are out of its sights, and instead, it embraces the comedic timing and inventive action that the actors and director are each capable of, respectively.

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Film Review: St. Vincent

by Gordon Elgart on October 17, 2014

Evidently, a movie can be both completely predictable and completely enjoyable at the same time.

Melissa McCarthy sets up Bill Murray for the best line of the entire movie.

Melissa McCarthy sets up Bill Murray for the best line of the entire movie.

Before seeing St. Vincent, the debut feature from Theodore Melfi, I knew very little about it. I knew that Bill Murray plays a cranky old man who lives next door to a single mother, and he develops a relationship with this woman’s young son. That’s it. I knew it was an indie movie, so I predicted to anyone who’d listen that the movie would definitely have a scene featuring an indie rock song punctuating an important uplifting moment. About this, I was wrong. The song by The National, “Start a War,” is used to punctuate an emotionally sad moment. How predictable was the rest of the film, you ask?

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We’ve got three final spotlights from the 37th Mill Valley Film Festival, which closed Sunday night after ten days of showcasing dozens of fresh and exciting titles. Festival highlights, photos, and videos are available at: http://mvff.com. We’ll see you at the Fest next year!

Wild
(USA 2014, 120 min)

Cheryl (Reese Witherspoon) at the start of her long and often arduous journey.

Director Jean-Mark Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club) and writer Nick Hornby have turned Cheryl Strayed’s exceedingly popular memoir Wild into one of the best pictures of the year. Reese Witherspoon gives perhaps the fiercest performance of her career as Strayed, who, in the mid-1990s, hiked the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) solo as a way to cope with several losses in her life. A powerful meditation on grief, healing, strength, and redemption, Vallée’s picture benefits enormously from the emotionally raw performances of is two lead actresses. Laura Dern, as Strayed’s mother Bobbi, seen in flashbacks, is devastating as a young mother whose capacity for hope and love is beyond measure. Shot on location at various points along the PCT, Yves Bélanger’s cinematography is breathtaking, and fittingly accentuates the emotional complexity of Strayed’s story.

Release Date:
– Opens nationwide on December 5th

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Anderson’s old fashioned adventure tale captivates, delights

Ralph Fiennes as Gustave H. and Tony Revolori as the Lobby Boy Zero contemplate their options in The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Ralph Fiennes as Gustave H. and Tony Revolori as the Lobby Boy Zero contemplate their options in The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Wes Anderson is one of those polarizing filmmakers whose films are either loved or hated. His legions of fans delight in his highly stylized artistry, whimsical storytelling, and quirky characters, while his detractors deride his pictures as pretentious at worst and lightweight at best. Anderson’s newest offering, The Grand Budapest Hotel, however, should satisfy his fans and critics alike, as it melds his trademark fairy tale sensibility with an undercurrent of melancholy and solemnity that keep the picture from being too cloying or precious. [read the whole post]

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Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman in MOONRISE KINGDOM

starring: Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Harvey Keitel, Bob Balaban

written by: Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola

directed by: Wes Anderson

MPAA: Rated PG-13 for sexual content and smoking

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