Scarlett Johansson

Chef

Anthony Bourdain has turned everyone into foodies, but the heart of American cuisine is not on the tube or high-end restaurants. Chef re-envisions food not as a bourgeoisie delicacy where everything is served to perfection with drizzles of sauces and expensive ingredients, but as an opportunity to relate to the working class with regional and ethnic staples.

Under the Skin

Under the Skin

An effective cinematic examination of woman as pursuer—she with the ‘female gaze’ driving around the streets of industrial Glasgow attempting to lure men that are walking alone into her van and eventually to their deaths—would require a woman beautiful enough for her targeted males to disregard her ‘way’ while in total trance of her ‘means’. An actress that looks like Scarlett Johannson would be perfect.

Her

The tangible science fiction narrative of Her makes the film equally philosophic and romantic, as it channels the ever growing presence of innovative technology in our lives. With Google and Apple’s voice-to-search software, an operating system gaining a sense of self and providing compassion and love to its reciprocating owner is no longer laughably unrealistic. Writer-Director Spike Jonze’s new film features an appealing portrayal of that very premise with all the waves of emotions and questions that great science fiction provides.

Hitchcock

Hitchcock

Very few filmmakers will direct a body of work or create an iconic symbol of himself the way Alfred Hitchcock did. Then again, history tends to focus on the success of men, and rarely reveal the impact of the women behind them. Hitchcock portrays Mr. and Mrs. Hitchcock’s relationship on the edge as the director struggles to re-invent himself while Mrs. Hitchcock wants to pursue a more traditional route. Either way, their long marriage has become a cliffhanger.

The Avengers

The Avengers Movie Review

As one of the most anticipated films of the year, The Avengers does not disappoint. Using the momentum built up from Thor, the two Iron Man films, The Hulk films, and Captain America, the ensemble super-hero film exceeds them all. Directed by Joss Whedon, The Avengers is a relentless epic that has cultural context existing beneath the dominate action structure.

We Bought a Zoo

We Bought a Zoo Movie Review

Using every wholesome symbol and cliché in American film language, We Bought a Zoo is an unapologetic attempt to garner sympathy towards the largest available audience. Dismissing art for kitsch, the film is a mindless stroll through a predictable and convenient plot despite its real-life basis. Director Cameron Crowe, who has accumulated a long list of iconic images and quotable lines with Say Anything, Jerry Maguire, and Almost Famous, seems to have lost the momentum with this recent effort.

Iron Man 2

I chose to skip Iron Man in theaters many years ago to find myself enjoying it thoroughly one weekend with my family. It was an excellent choice as I am sure the film would have not be as much fun in theaters.

This time around I joined a few friends to see it in theaters, when I should have stuck to my guns and waited for a home video release. Or rather, break out the moldy back issues from your cardboard comic book box.