My Week in Movies – November 5th

American Sniper (2014)

Bradley Cooper takes on the titular role of Chris Kyle, a SEAL sniper deployed during the Iraq War. Kyle is the deadliest U.S. sniper in history. We watch Kyle deploy four times to Iraq with intermittent glimpses into his past and life state-side. It felt like the script had difficulty portraying Kyle. The movie wanted to portray him as a selfless hero, and yet it focused him with a need for revenge.

Watch It: If you need a good shot of nationalism.
Skip It: If you’d prefer to avoid an overly forced narrative.

Cake

Jennifer Aniston is incredibly compelling in this film about pain and the path to recovery. A collection of great performances by Adrian Barraza, Anna Kendrick and Sam Worthington take this movie up a notch. The journey, characters and emotions on display are strong and deep. As a watcher, you are disappointed with some of the decisions that are made, but you understand the reasoning and hope that they find the light at the end of the tunnel.

Watch It: If you want to see an incredibly superb set of performances.
Skip It: If you are sensitive to the topic of suicide.

Chappie

The latest story from Neill Blomkamp is easily his worst feature that I’ve seen. While I love the basic concept and exploration of consciousness, especially the comparison of artificial intelligence to humanity. Unfortunately, I found the antagonist, played by Hugh Jackman, incredibly boring. An ex-military guy who just wants to use his bigger gunned robot and has to sabotage everything to get green light. I think Blomkamp could have created a better antagonist. Otherwise, the consciousness commentary is a good look, if again, a bit unimaginative.

Watch It: If you’re interested in a somewhat thought provoking commentary on consciousness.
Skip It: If you want a strong antagonist or a fresh take on artificial intelligence.

Cinderella

Wow. Disney has been on an absolute roll this year. Tomorrowland. Inside Out. And now Cinderella,1 which slides into the top 20% of the movies I’ve seen this year. I was slightly concerned with the live action takes after Alice in Wonderland. It was solid but not sure it was worth the re-telling. Cinderella and Emma Watson cast as Belle give me hope for the future. Also, could The Good Dinosaur give Disney 20% of the top 20%? Crazy.

Watch It: If you want to see a great fairytale re-telling.
Skip It: If you hate yourself.

Pixels

For a while, I was into Adam Sandler’s movies. Recently, it’s been tough sledding and Pixels continues this downward trend. The roles, jokes and acting are so predictable these days, you could easily re-label any recent Adam Sandler movie as another. The chemistry works a bit better here than in the last few Sandler movies. Kevin James and Peter Dinklage were great. Sandler and Josh Gad were just okay. Even for a video game fan like myself, the premise for this one was stretched a little too far.

Watch It: If you’re okay watching Sandler do the same thing again.
Skip It: If you’ve seen this script one too many times.

Home

Rihanna and Jim Parsons lend their voices to this great movie from Dreamworks. An adventure of pairing a smart, young girl and a walking disaster as they try to find their home’s. A heart-warming animated film that hits all the positive notes. The only thing holding this movie back is that Pixar’s already hit with Inside Out.

Watch It: If you’re in need of a great, happy story.
Skip It: If you find Jim Parsons annoying.


  1. Yes, I know Cinderella came first but I didn’t catch it in theaters. 

Leave a Reply