James Quillinan, known primarily for his expertise in the areas of Estate Planning, Probate, Trusts, Conservatorships and related Litigation is also an avid movie-goer. His reviews started in the Law Office around 1998 when associates and clients began asking him about the movies he had seen. He began sending his reviews by email to a list of friends and movie fans which now has grown to include world-wide distribution.
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Monday Morning Movie Reviews, April 27, 2015
Ex Machina. Isaac Asimov is spinning somewhere because all of his rules of robotics are violated in this modern sci-fi pseudo-philosophical treatment of what is human and what is artificial. Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) is a young coder who wins a design competition and gets to spend a week at a remote mountain retreat with Nathan (Oscar Isaac), the ascetic CEO of Caleb’s company. When Caleb arrives at the retreat he discovers he is more of a lab rat than a colleague. Nathan regularly drinks himself to oblivion, manically lifts weights and spouts radical notions of computers achieving artificial intelligence. Caleb meets Ava (Alicia Vikander) a beautiful robot girl created by Nathan. Ava must pass “The Turing Test” to determine if a machine can genuinely pass itself off as human to a real human. Ava is quite the seductress and her interactions with Caleb drive the film to its unsettling ending. The film’s performances and look make it worth seeing. Rated R for graphic nudity, language, sexual references and some violence. It is a Peggy’s Pick.
The Age of Adaline. A good old-fashioned romantic drama with a plot device that miraculously works. Adaline Bowman (Blake Lively) incredibly remains 29 years old for almost eighty years. The film explains how she arrested aging and lets us know that in 2035 science will discover the secret. To keep her privacy and remain sane Adaline has lived a lonely existence, never allowing herself to get close to anyone except her aged daughter. Adaline is afraid anyone else might reveal her secret. Adaline meets a charming young man, Ellis, who made huge amount of money in high-tech and now wants to give it away. Ellis rekindles her passion for life and love. Ellis and Adaline spend a weekend with Ellis’ parents and her secret is compromised. But, the magic of the movies takes over and Adaline’s life will now change forever. Rated PG-13 for suggestive comments. It is a Peggy’s pick.
The Water Diviner. Russell Crowe as actor and director brings us a touching story of one father’s quest to find his sons after the tragedy at Gallipoli. Four years after the Battle of Gallipoli (1915), an Australian farmer, Joshua Connor (Russell Crowe), travels to Turkey to find his 3 missing sons who are presumed dead. Connor tries to get to Gallipoli but the British Army has sealed it as they search for the dead. He does make it to the battlefield and locates the remains of two of his sons. He is staying at a hotel in Istanbul and meets the beautiful Ayshe (Olga Kurylenko), the hotel manager. He develops a relationship with her. He learns one son may still be alive and travels across the war-torn country with the help of a Turkish Officer, himself a veteran of Gallipoli. The film is homage to the love of family and a scathing indictment of war. Rated R for war violence including some disturbing images.
5 to 7. A quirky little comedy that wonderfully exploits the cultural differences between the French and Americans. Set in New York City, we meet struggling writer Brian Bloom (Anton Yelchin) as her celebrates his failures. On a whim he joins an exquisite woman for a smoke outside of a restaurant. She is the beautiful wife of a French diplomat with two children. She invites him to have a cinq-a-sept affair, since she is only available from 5 to 7 – weekdays. They explore cultural differences, worldviews, ethics, food and wine as their relationship deepens. The dialogue is crisp and funny as these two banter and it gets even better when his parents interact. This is surprisingly funny and fresh as they untangle their impossible situation. Check it out. Rated R for some sexual material.
Adult Beginners. A vain attempt at a cute, family comedy. Failed and self-centered promoter Jake (Nick Kroll) has to return to his childhood home where his sister, Justine (Rose Byrne), and her husband Danny (Bobby Cannavale), live with their three-year-old son. Jake ends up being their Nanny and learns the meaning of family and humility. The film disappoints with lame jokes, engineered conflicts and silly resolutions of the conflicts. Rated R for language and some drug use.