Saturday movie review: The Leisure Seeker

Saturday movie review: The Leisure Seeker

As of today, my husband and I have officially been together thirty-seven years. Which means we have much in common with longtime married couple John and Ella Spencer whose late-life road adventure is told in the comedic drama THE LEISURE SEEKER.

Unlike John and Ella Spencer, though, my husband and I don't own an RV in which we could make an impromptu โ€” and mildly madcap โ€” getaway from our grown kids. Also unlike the Spencers, we Carpenters are thankfully not facing the effects of Alzheimer's and its devastating effects on even the most dedicated marriage partners and their future.

Despite those differences between us and them, my husband and I were thoroughly captivated by THE LEISURE SEEKER. As we watched, we alternated between chuckling at...

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Saturday movie review: The Hollars

I have a soft spot for movies about messed up families. If dysfunctional families were a film sub-category, you know, like coming-of-age is, I'd have to say it's one of my favorites.

I don't simply have a thing for dysfunctional families. I come from a dysfunctional family. And, trust me, if a film were made called The Aukemas (my maiden name) and based on the Aukemas (my family of origin), it would not make for enjoyable viewing.

THE HOLLARS, though, is enjoyable to watch. Trust me on that, too. The dramedy puts fun in dysfunction and proved a pleasurable hour and a half with the Mom, Dad, and two adult brothers who make up the fictional Hollar clan.

the hollars on DVD

I give (most of) the credit for that fun and pleasure to John Krasinski. Sure, he played the youngest Hollar brother to perfection, but his acting takes a backseat here to his directing (he also produced it).

His first time in the director chair, Krasinski — working with a stellar screenplay...

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Saturday movie review: Captain Fantastic

For the record, I'm a big fan of Viggo Mortensen. I think he's one of the more subtly amazing yet underrated and too often overlooked actors out there. So when I read that he received a Best Actor nomination for his role in CAPTAIN FANTASTIC, I thought, Well good for him! It's about time.

I then immediately thought, But that's certainly not a film I'll be watching. Because I don't care much for super hero movies and having seen no trailers or such, that's what I figured it was.

Captain Fantastic movie

I'm here to confess I'm an idiot. Not because I don't like super hero movies, but because CAPTAIN FANTASTIC is so very not a super hero story despite the super hero sound of the title. CAPTAIN FANTASTIC is a super dad story. A story about a good dad with good intentions. A brilliant dad with grandiose ideas when it comes to life in general and raising his kids in particular. Lofty ideas. So lofty, in fact, they border on lunacy.

And Viggo Mortensen does an insanely fantastic job portraying that extraordinary...

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Saturday movie review: Ashby

Mickey Rourke is not a great actor. Though he's been in a few fine films, did fantastic jobs in them (THE WRESTLER, for instance), he's also had his share of stinkers (THEY CRAWL). Ever since seeing him for the very first time, though, in POPE OF GREENWICH VILLAGE, I've enjoyed watching him on big screens and small.

I used to chalk it up to his good looks and bad-boy swagger. His looks are long gone, it's clear. Too many punches in the face? Too much alcohol? Drugs? Plastic surgery? I know nothing of what happened there — I'm not a rabid fan or stalker, just an admirer — hence ignorant about his personal life.

And Rourke's acting? Well, it's still not great.

Yet, regardless of his looks, acting chops, or the quality of the film he's in, Mickey Rourke continues to mesmerize me — and my husband, too. Which is nice because the fact Jim enjoys seeing him as much as I do saved me explaining my excitement upon discovering a newish (2015) film featuring Rourke streaming on Netflix. My husband was just as game as I to settle in and stream ASHBY, a quirky dramedy starring Mickey Rourke, Nat Wolff, Emma Roberts, and Sarah Silverman.

Ashby movie on DVD

ASHBY is the story of 17-year-old Ed (Wolff), who's new at school, a little odd but outspoken, basically friendless. He's also smarter than the average football player...

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Movie review: JOY

I never expected to tear up over a story about a mop. Tear up a time or two I did, though, while watching the film JOY, which tells the tale of a mop and the woman who became a multimillionaire following the success of her Miracle Mop creation.

JOY movie 

Going into the screening of JOY, I didn't know it was about a mop. Nor did I know it was based on the real-life success story of Miracle Mop creator Joy Mangano of QVC fame. The trailer didn't reveal...

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Saturday movie review: Goats

Coming-of-age films tend to be character-driven stories with minimal action. GOATS is no exception. The comedic tale of one young man's coming into his own and realizing that loved ones are still worth loving despite their flaws and failings has nearly no drama. It has lots of characters, though. As in, What a character! kinds of characters.

Goats movie

The main—and least wacky—character is Ellis (Graham Phillips), a 15-year-old kid soon departing for prep school, leaving his Tucson home where his...

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Saturday movie review: Black or White

Considering the racially charged tensions and horrific acts of violence that have recently occurred in our country between whites and blacks, I expected the movie BLACK OR WHITE to be far more powerful than it turned out to be. Instead, the film landed itself a firm spot on my list of Mostly Meh Movies.

black or white film 

BLACK OR WHITE starring Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer is billed as...

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