Marie Asner has been reviewing films for over 30 years. Her outlets include radio, print and Internet. For more in-depth movie reviews of the following films, visit www.Tollbooth.org. Ratings from 1 (Low) to 5 (High).
OCTOBER 17, 2014…
Fury—During WWII, ”Fury” is the name of the Sherman tank Brad Pitt commands, and it looks like a beat-up vehicle, but actually, as in “Road Warrior” has special fighting skills. The guys roam the countryside looking for German patrols, but run into problems. The cast includes Logan Lerman, Shia LaBeouf, Jon Bernthal, Jason Isaacs and Michael Pena. “Fury” is rated R. Rating of 3 for fans of the cast.
Men. Women & Children—Adam Sandler has a problem. In this film, he is a father who can’t break away from online porn. In a separate story, Ansel Elgort is a teenager, who is obsessed with a video game called “World of War craft.” Also in this cast are Jennifer Garner and Judy Greer. “Men, Women & Children” is rated PG 13. No rating.
The Book of Life—This animated film concerns falling in love and the voices of Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana, and Channing Tatum are part of it. Diego loves Zoe, but is in conflict with his family, plus the smooth-talked Channing is always hovering about Zoe. It is a Guillermo del Toro film. “The Book of Life” is rated PG. No rating.
The Best of Me—Twenty years after a high school romance, James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan meet again and find they are still in love. Does the pathway of love run smoothly? Of course not, and this is from a Nicholas Sparks book. “The Best Of Me” is rated PG 13. No rating.
Birdman—Michael Keaton plays Riggan Thomson, a has-been actor who used to be the superhero, Birdman. Times have changed, and now Riggan wants to be on top again, so he writes a play, heads for Broadway and then has a breakdown. Now, what? Also in the cast are Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Emma Stone and Zach Galiflanaskis. “Birdman” is rated R. Rating of 2 for fans of the cast.
Dracula Untold—Rather than a lady-a-night type of vampire, this one is shown somewhat sympathetically as trying to defend and protect his family and young son. Luke Evans (another in a line of actors to portray Dracula) stars in this special effects film of love, revenge and going the limit—and beyond—to protect your family. The evil Sultan (Dominic Cooper) comes to build an army and wants Vlad Tepes (Evans) son. What to do? Ask for help from the supernatural. “Dracula Untold” is rated R. Rating of 2 for fans of this genre.
Listen Up Phillip—Jason Schwartzman is a writer about to be published, but he needs a rest. Enter a friend who lets him use a secluded cabin. Peace and quiet? Ha. Also in the cast are Elisabeth Moss and Jonathan Pryce. “listen Up Phillip” is rated PG 13. No rating.
Nightcrawler—Jake Gyllenhaal decides to become a freelance photographer on the seedy side of L.A. This means, living at night and going after the dangerous photo’s for money. Living for the moment. Also in the cast are Rene Russo and Bill Paxton. “Nightcrawler” is rated R. No rating.
Rudderless— Actor William H. Macy now takes a turn behind the camera as director of this film concerning a man (Billy Crudup) who loses his son and goes through a period of depression. Finding a box of his son’s music tapes, he hears talent and decides to form a band. when he hears a musician, Anton Yelchin. Also in the cast are Selena Gomez and Felicity Huffman. “Rudderless” is rated R. No rating.
OCTOBER 24, 2014…
Laggies is the story of a girl who runs away from commitment and meets someone she can help. Stars Keira Knightley and Chloe Grace Moretz.
Low Down is the story of the jazz musician Joe Albany played by John Hawkes.
Ouija, and you can figure this one out from the title, involves the game and haunting.
St. Vincent is really Bill Murray, a confused War vet who crosses path with a new neighbor. It’s a comedy.