Archives for posts with tag: Dustin Hoffman

“Chef” (2014) is a good movie for people like me, who enjoy cooking, awkwardly embrace social media and savor hard-to-categorize, witty little movies. Jon Favreau is the chef, a well-meaning sort-of dickhead going through a midlife crisis (exactly how I imagine Favreau is in real life). It has a lot of people in it: Dustin Hoffman, Oliver Platt, that dude from the Woody Allen movie, John Leguizamo, Robert Downey Jr., etc. I loved the cooking scenes, especially the grilled cheese sandwich. Sofia Vergara haters will totally understand how two of the main characters are her ex-husbands. She’s an acquired taste.

Will Ferrell is a really good actor who has done some really interesting movies with really strong casts. There, I said it. He has also done some total crap in which he barely even tried to write a script, much less memorize it. The adorable “Stranger Than Fiction” (2006), thankfully, falls into the former category. Maggie Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman, Tom Hulce, Linda Hunt, Queen Latifah and Emma Thompson have all been nominated for or have won Oscars. Plus, there’s the two dudes from the Sonic commercials. And Mr. Ferrell, as an IRS agent whose life imitates art. Or vice versa.

Modern cinema suffers from a disease known as blockbusteritis. Symptoms are cookie-cutter plots in which the hero saves the world and hooks back up with ex-wife/girlfriend, in no particular order. Oh, and helicopters. Lots of helicopters. Experts are trying to track down the host virus, but it dates back at least as far as a 1995 outbreak called… well, it’s called “Outbreak.” Dustin Hoffman saves everyone from a killer disease by making impassioned speeches. Ex-wife Rene Russo might have been better off dead. In an unusual twist, neither of the two black co-stars (Morgan Freeman, Cuba Gooding Jr.), get killed.