Steve Carell

Freeheld

FreeheldHeader

Summit | PG-13 | Peter Sollett
Pictured:
A couple who just want to be treated like anyone else.

5(Note: The following review was originally published at Consequence of Sound.)

Freeheld is a film with grand intentions and little to no idea what to do with them beyond the point of having them. It’s based on a true story, following Laurel Hester (Julianne Moore) and her partner Stacie Andree (Ellen Page), as they struggled against the system for the right to have Laurel transfer her pension and benefits to Stacie when her lung cancer eventually got the better of her. Intermittently it is also a treatise on tolerance, a melancholic romance, an aggressively pointed political satire, and a maudlin melodrama, all concluding in an inspirational Miley Cyrus track. It is a film that means to display the ways in which discrimination is still fundamentally built into law and government procedure to this day, and this is admirable, but Freeheld also makes the crucial decision to dole out its various lessons with a bludgeon. (more…)

Foxcatcher

FoxcatcherSony Pictures Classics | R | Bennett Miller
Pictured: “Hello darkness, my old friend…”

10John Eleuthère Du Pont was the model and off-putting product of wealth and isolation. Whether considering the paid friendships as a child, the separated parents, the unbelievable wealth or the total lack of imagination or innovation, Du Pont, for lack of a better phrase, was a total weirdo. He collected military vehicles and weapons. He wrote several books about birds (almost funny given his beak-like nose), and allegedly discovered two dozen species, or so says Wikipedia. Du Pont was married to Gale Wenk for all of 90 days in 1983. Ornithologist. Philatelest. Philanthropist. And, Du Pont was a coach. He coached the private Team Foxcatcher to the 1988 Olympics for wrestling with the brothers Schulz. All of these were vanity projects for an eccentric or just unfocused man.  (more…)

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

AlexanderHeader
Walt Disney | PG | Miguel Arteta

Pictured: Fall TV audiences are less than impressed with ABC’s new shows.

(Note: the following review was originally published at Consequence of Sound.)

7Poor Alexander Cooper. He’s really having that “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day” you heard about. You think this 12-year-old is over-reacting? Consider: Alexander’s woken up obnoxiously by his older brother. Alexander falls out of bed, spilling milk everywhere. Alexander opens his computer to find out a much more popular kid in his class is having a gigantic birthday party, with Korean tacos (on the same night as Alexander’s birthday, no less!). He finds gum in his hair. He trips over the sprinkler in his yard. He underwhelms the girl of his dreams, Becky, during his daily carpool (she’s reading Lord of the Flies; he has no idea what that is). Another kid in the carpool takes Alexander’s picture and Photoshops it on the bodies of bikini babes, then immediately sends those snapshots out to his entire class. Ouch. But wait, there’s more. Alexander’s an Australia enthusiast: he doesn’t get assigned the continent for a class geography project. Then Alexander accidentally torches Becky’s lab book during science class. Oh, then this poor kid is stuck babysitting the class guinea pig. And then, naturally, his dad, Ben (Steve Carell), is late to pick him up after school. (more…)