Currently browsing the "Vera Farmiga" tag.

Arty Chick’s Middleburg Film Festival Download 2018

Another year at a fabulous festival! I wonder how long this little Virginia horse country festival can keep it up. It’s sure to burst its seams soon. This year’s slate was amazing, as usual. I was only able to fit in 10 of the 29 films offered in my three days of the festival and missed quite a few I really wanted to see. But what I saw was impressive. The big winner for me (it won the audience award, too) was Peter Farrelly’s Green Book, which will certainly be vying for the Oscar. But there really were quite a few standout films. Here’s my list with trailers and my preliminary impressions. Full reviews of select films will come later, so check back.

The Judge

It’s got Robert Downey Jr.

Oh, you want to know more?

Okay, here goes. The Judge is riddled with clichés, runs about a half-hour too long, and doesn’t really offer up anything groundbreaking. But I still liked it, mostly because Robert Downey Jr. is so darn watchable – even more so when he’s not obscured by an Iron Man suit. The guy is aging – and acting – really well.

The Conjuring

Okay, kids. Gather around the campfire and settle in for a treat. No campfire? Then the movie theater should do. Oh, The Conjuring is rated ‘R’?! That’s kind of ridiculous. I’d rather let the (older) kids pick this movie over a PG-13 offering like Grown Ups 2. Let’s call it PG-15. There’s no sex, gratuitous or graphic violence, or foul language. Just good ol’ fashioned suspense, creepiness, and scare tactics – elevated by some fine acting. It’s definitely too scary for the wee ones and the faint of heart (of any age), but fans of the traditional, touchstone horror movies (Amityville Horror, Psycho, The Exorcist, Poltergeist, etc.) will likely find The Conjuring to be among the best the genre has had to offer in recent years. And that’s coming from someone who doesn’t particularly like horror movies.

Source Code

Don’t be scared away by talk of quantum mechanics, complex mathematical equations, and computer source codes. You don’t have to understand any of that to enjoy this movie (trust me, I know). Source Code is a bit like Groundhog Day meets Speed meets Inception meets 24. It’s a sci-fi thriller that takes place primarily on a commuter train that is – literally- about to explode.

Up In The Air

The more I think about it, the more I like this movie. And it’s not JUST because of George Clooney, though he does carry most of the movie on his broad shoulders. His female co-stars, Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick do an admirable job playing off Clooney in very different and interesting ways. Whenever the movie starts to border on cliché, it tends to take a surprising turn. Here’s the basic plot: Clooney plays Ryan Bingham, a guy who lives out of a suitcase and likes it that way. His job is to jet into a city, tell people they’ve been laid off, hand them a severance packet, and get out of town. He racks up the frequent flier, luxury hotel, and rental car points… enjoys the privileges of elite status… and shares a ‘no-strings’ bond with a road-warrior soulmate (Farmiga).