Author: Mike Votto

Spotlight

The subject matter of Spotlight may be tough for some to endure (child molestation in the Catholic Church), but Tom McCarthy’s new film is one of the best of the year.  The entire cast does a phenomenal job, but Michael Keaton’s quiet performance is great in a sneaky way and pays off in the latter moments of the film. McCarthy, who made the wonderful indie The Visitor and the horrifically bad Adam Sandler film The Cobbler, helms the film deftly and doesn’t let the actors chew scenery too often, which in this day and age is impressive. A great procedural that never ceases to be...

Read More

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

It seems kind of silly to write a review of a film like Star Wars: The Force Awakens because you are going to see it no matter what some lowly reviewer says, but take solace in this fact: The Force Awakens is a worthy entry in the Star Wars series and just a ton of fun to watch. While it was refreshing to see the old gang again (Harrison Ford was certainly best in show from the original cast, but I also thought Chewbacca was used effectively), I was most impressed by the new characters, especially Daisy Ridley’s Rey and Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren. Philosophically,...

Read More

Deep Web

There have been a few tech documentaries in the last couple of years (We Steal Secrets, The Internet’s Own Boy, Steve Jobs: Man in the Machine [Review forthcoming]) and the common thread in all of them is that they desperately try to make the proceedings suspenseful, but the subject matter just isn’t that compelling. Deep Web gets around that by making it kind of a crime caper – “kingpin builds The Silk Road, a shadowy eBay-like site for buying and selling drugs” – but because the filmmakers are coming from a sympathetic point-of-view regarding the facilitator of the site,...

Read More

Entourage

When Entourage first “happened”, I was actually a fan of the early seasons – I’m a sucker for properties about Hollywood, so it was right up my alley. The second season of the show is one of the best storylines I’ve seen on television, period, but the fall from grace was shocking and immediate. The Entourage movie is nothing like those first two seasons and carries all the problems of the latter six to the silver screen. It’s still got the same ol’ “boys with toys” approach and the inexplicable premise that a multi-millionaire actor and his group of...

Read More

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

As a film fan, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl‘s quirky movie references got real old, real quick (except for that Dawn of the Dead patch on Thomas Mann’s jacket…respect). The world the characters live in is too calculated to exist, a common problem in many of these hipster love stories as of late. But despite my eyes rolling into the back of my head upon the second or third Aguirre, the Wrath of God reference, I was strangely affected by a tight, cleverly-devised story found buried underneath all the cuteness. The one thing Me and Earl and...

Read More