Josh Gad

Film Review: Marshall

by Carrie Kahn on October 13, 2017

A portrait of the justice as a young attorney      

NAACP lawyer Thurgood Marshall (Chadwick Boseman, l.) makes a point to the jury while defending his client.

You would be forgiven for assuming that a film that takes as its title the last name of its protagonist would be an all inclusive, sweeping biopic about that individual. But director Reginald Hudlin and the father/son writing team of Michael and Jacob Koskoff have something else in mind with their new picture Marshall. Though named for its central character, the film doesn’t chronicle the entire life of Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court justice; instead, it focuses on a single case that Marshall tried early in his career. As such, the film plays more like an episode of the Law & Order: True Crime series, and less like a dramatic biography. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it is something to be aware of should you choose to see this well-crafted picture.
[read the whole post]

{ 0 comments }

Film Review: Frozen

by Chad Liffmann on November 27, 2013

It’s worth visiting Frozen’s musical winter wonderland.

Characters chill in Disney's "Frozen"

Characters chill in Disney’s “Frozen”

Disney made a lot of smart moves with Frozen, the new animated family film being released just in time for the holiday season.  With snow/wintery elements at the core of its story, Frozen’s release is not only timed well at the beginning of the holidays, but is thematically (and seasonally) relevant.  Also, Disney had been toying with an adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen for over a decade, and rather than rush it out the gate, it appears that the studio took careful consideration for a worthwhile script and stellar musical accompaniment.  Finally, speaking of the music, Disney made a brilliant move by bringing in Robert Lopez, the Tony award winning composer behind the music for Avenue Q and The Book of Mormon.  With a Broadway style of musical energy driving the story along (at least for the first three quarters), Frozen is heartwarming fun with a very powerful feminine voice…one that would pass the Bechdel test with flying colors.

[read the whole post]

{ 0 comments }

Film Review: Jobs

by Chad Liffmann on August 17, 2013

“Jobs” is uninspired and constantly misses the mark…unlike Steve Jobs.

Ashton Kutcher does a serviceable impersonation, including a Jobs pose.

Ashton Kutcher does a serviceable impersonation, including a Jobs pose.

Most of us know about Apple, Inc.  If you were born in the early 80s, you may even remember many of the corporate controversies, lawsuits, etc. that Apple had to trudge through before profitability in the late 90s.  If you were born later, it’s likely you’ve heard of these events, anyway.  We also have an appreciation for the design, innovation, and use of their products and show it by making purchases.  When we purchase an Apple product, we are acknowledging the brilliant mind for business and technological innovation that Steve Jobs had.  But acknowledgement is one thing, and understanding is another, and what most of us don’t know and can’t find through a simple Google search, is extensive information about the man himself and why he did what he did.  Jobs, the new biopic starring Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs, does not shed any light on the subject, instead giving us a standard (and repetitious) timeline of the company…which isn’t that interesting on screen.

[read the whole post]

{ 0 comments }

Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn in The Internship

Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn in The Internship

(NOTE:  I worked at Google for a number of years.  Let us just say that I may be slightly biased…but I can also shed some light on accuracies and inaccuracies depicted in The Internship about life at Google.)

In a performance review, The Internship would meet expectations.  It is a silly film with a few laugh-out-loud moments and many more moments that miss the mark.  We have seen this story before —  a group of underdogs learn to work together and discover real value in themselves that helps them fight against the odds.  It crosses every stereotype and dots every cliché.  The Internship borrows elements from fish out of water stories, bromance plots, and sappy inspirational tales.  Such a concoction of non-surprises fit into a one-note joke of a movie would be forgivable if it were actually hilarious.  Unfortunately, it is not.  However, if you are a fan of Vince Vaughn’s motor mouth, you will have a good time.  If you work in the tech industry, you will find the film highly amusing.  But most importantly, if you don’t expect much, you will be decently rewarded.

[read the whole post]

{ 2 comments }