Chef

Chef

Chef: Independent Film and Great Startup Film Independent films seem to be delivering the best storylines and most complete character development in film these days, and Chef by  Jon Favreau continues the tradition. The brainchild of Jon Favreau, Jon wrote, directed, and starred in the primary role of Chef Carl Casper. In addition to Carl Casper we are treated to great performances by John Leguizamo as his best friend and sou chef, Martin, and Emjay Anthony, who plays Favreau’s son turn in equally impressive performances for a delighted audience. Jon Favreau, John Leguizamo, and Emjay Anthony in Chef The story of a promising young chef, who is no longer young, and who is turning stagnant in Dustin Hoffman’s pleasant but predictable restaurant, Jon Favreau has been pushing away his son as well as his creativity. However, things are about to change. His ex-wife urges him to get a food truck from a friend of hers, a cameo performance by Robert Downey Jr., and after a public meltdown made even more public by social media, Carl finally takes the leap. His best friend Martin leaps right along with him, as they go back to the Cuban roots of the area. Chef: Do What you Love – Startup Film The movie turns into the untimate start up film, as Chef Casper tests his Cuban fare in his food truck, El Hefe, with groups in Florida, and then winds his way across the U.S. his son and Martin by his side. Carl learns how important social media marketing is from his tech savvy son, and his son learns how important doing the right thing for the customer is from his...
Moonrise Kingdom

Moonrise Kingdom

It appears that teaming up Wes Andersen with a member of the Coppola family was a marvelous idea. The screenplay for Moonrise Kingdom was written by Roman Coppola and Wes Andersen, and directed by Wes Andersen. For me, this film has taken Wes’ work to an entirely different level. I’ve really enjoyed his work through the years, although I’ve thought some of his work was more successful than others. I was not a particular fan of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, but I felt it suffered for want of a more aggressive editing than it received in post. In contrast, Moonrise Kingdom is impeccably edited and I wouldn’t change a thing. Wes Andersen’s comedy’s have always had their own quirky voice and pacing and Moonrise Kingdom is no exception, but this film has something different. In Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Andersen connects with his audience in a way that he hasn’t in the past. I think the collaboration with Roman Coppola has added a richness to the film’s vision that it was lacking before, but that can be the incredible strength of collaboration: a synergy that didn’t exist for either person on their own. I adored the quirky characters in Moonrise Kingdom, the sweet awkward love story of the pre-teens was so perfectly handled, I can’t imagine a better scene than the one on the beach. After spending a night on the beach in a little pup tent, the young people awake to a search team descending on them. Jared Gilman zips up the tent and then he and Kara Hayward huddle inside clutching each other in their minds...
Rock of Ages

Rock of Ages

The summary for Rock of Ages is “A small town girl and a city boy meet on the Sunset Strip, while pursuing their Hollywood dreams,” and that pretty much sums up the film.  It’s a simple story line which uses a bunch of classic rock music to try to make itself different.  It almost crosses into the realm of rock opera, but there are a few spoken parts.  I was hoping that Rock of Ages would be a fun romp through the familiar music of my youth, and although many of the music choices were wonderful, the singers they chose for the leads were surprisingly weak, which ended up spoiling the effect. Considering all the amazing voices that routinely walk through the doors of major film studios in California each day, the idea that they cast Julianne Hough as the lead female singer is beyond my understanding. Her babytalk version of singing is grating, and although I thought it was a device they were using at the beginning of the film that she would outgrow by the end, we were never that lucky. I found myself wondering over and over throughout the film, whose special ingénue, she was. It’s just hard to imagine that she was the active choice for the lead from the sea of amazing talent that is Hollywood. Alex Baldwin plays a rocker, who’s growing old, and now runs the local hangout where everyone comes to drink, party, and have a good time. Russell Brand plays his best friend, soon to be discovered gay lover, although the way the relationship is treated bordered on flippant, despite...

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