Archives for posts with tag: Mark Ruffalo

I thought “Begin Again” (2014) was going to be a romantic comedy that takes place in the music industry. I also thought it might be a dud. Wrong and wrong. There’s romance and comedy, and much more music than I thought, but this film defies convention. It’s almost like a boxing movie, but with the music industry substituting for boxing. Mark Ruffalo is a washed-up former champ who gets his groove back thanks to the inspiration of an up-and-coming bantamweight played by Keira Knightley. There’s lots of familiar faces (Catherine Keener, Mos Def, Adam Levine, Hailee Steinfeld, etc.). Nicely done.

“Now You See Me” (2013) is a wet dream for 17-year-old boys with ADD. I think Joe Cliche Movie Reviewer would refer to it as a “nonstop thrill ride.” There are certainly lots of seizure-invoking strobe lights, swelling music and bombastic statements, all designed to obscure (like a good magic trick) the boilerplate plot twists in this traditional caper flick. Even if it’s empty calories, it’s definitely worth wasting a couple of hours on a Friday night for. Me? In the first two minutes, they did the “pick a card” trick. I picked a card. They got it right. Props.

I probably shouldn’t watch “13 Going on 30” if my age is 13 plus 30 (OK, maybe a little more). Jennifer Garner’s whole bright-faced innocent youthfulness is usually very refreshing, but when she is playing someone who is, in fact, 13 years old, it is refreshing overkill. This 2004 movie is part of the whole “be careful what you wish for” genre that “Big” and “Freaky Friday” inhabit, where the kid wants to grow up too soon, magical hijinks ensue and a Valuable Lesson is learned. It would have helped to not be cynical, but I’m out of magic dust.