Tilikum is a killer whale who’s been associated, both directly and indirectly, with multiple human deaths while in captivity. This documentary examines exactly how and why Sea World is a cruel, shitty place undeserving of you dollars. Granted, this should have already been evident to you in the fact that mammals used to roaming the open oceans shouldn’t be kept in mere swimming pools for your entertainment, but hey, at least you know now.
An unlikely romance develops between a smart, curious, and otherwise atypical Southern boy and a beautiful witch, but local yokels, malevolent relatives, and fate itself threatens their love and lives. Sure, there are some issues in the third act, but until that point this fun and exciting flick is easily one of the best YA adaptations to hit screens in years. It delivers the unexpected in so many ways, from its male “normal” to its humor and intelligence, and it’s disappointing that you people chose to give your cash to Percy Jackson and The Mortal Instruments instead. Plus, Emmy Rossum!
A family gathering takes a dark turn when dinner is interrupted by a group of masked home invaders up to no good. More specifically, they’re up to murder! What they couldn’t have known though is that on of the grown sons has brought a date with a secret, and not they’re unexpectedly in for the fight of their lives, too. Director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett don’t pretend to reinvent the genre here, but they have taken a well-worn slasher premise and turned it into a very cool, very funny thriller. We waited two years for this one to finally hit theaters, and you folks dismissed it in two weeks.
Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is a divorced masseuse who finds a new best friend (Catherine Keener) and a new boyfriend (James Gandolfini) at the same party, but while both fill a need she didn’t even know she had, they bring some new complications to her life. Writer/director Nicole Holofcener‘s latest is a sweet film that delivers laughs and heart. It gets a bit too sitcom-happy at times, but it’s a small price to pay to see Gandolfini smiling one last time.
It’s New Years Eve 2008, and Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan) is looking to make amends for his past sins and get a fresh start on life. What he doesn’t know, and what we can’t forget, is that this is the last day of his life. There’s a fantastic lead performance at the heart of this film, and its core message is one that sees the value in intention and hope. It tries a bit too hard to shape the “true story” into an agenda, but that misstep doesn’t erase what it gets right.
The Spectacular Now
Sutter (Miles Teller) is a bit of a douche, but he’s the fun kind who can always make you laugh. He has yet to meet a bottle of alcohol he couldn’t empty, but his party persona takes a hit when he meets Aimee (Shailene Woodley). She’s smart, sweet, and foolishly falling in love with him, and that’s bad news for everyone involved. I’m not entirely sold on the film’s final few minutes, but until that point the movie is a rare example of a the realities inherent in young love. It’s not quite at their level, but this is probably the closest we’ve gotten to films like The Last American Virgin and Fast Times at Ridgemont High in years.
Multiple characters and story threads cross paths in this ensemble drama about how our increasing dependence on digital media and social networks has actually served to disconnect us from each other. I’m apparently the only person in America who really dug this movie, but so be it. The webcam guy/reporter segment is weak, but the film as a whole surpasses it with other strengths, an important (albeit heavy handed) message, and one hell of a shot late in the film.