Archives for posts with tag: Rachel McAdams

I see too many movies with time-sequence problems, but I’m going to pick on “The Family Stone” (2005) because it’s not good enough to deserve grace. In most Christmas flicks, 79 hours of activity is packed into one day. Here, we go from “not breakfast yet” to “it’s dark out” in the span of one argument. I know sunset comes early during a New England winter, but come on. Anyway, ensemble film with too many unlikeable characters. I think it was trying to show how love keeps a big, sloppy family together, but it didn’t get me to care enough.

There’s not much to boxing. It’s a sport where two people agree to punch each other until time runs out or one of them is rendered unconscious. Such a blank canvas allows writers and those in the performing arts to add their own flourishes. That’s why there are so many boxing movies, but also why they all end up seeming the same. “Southpaw” (2015) is the latest to glorify the down-on-his-luck pugilist fighting for honor and family. Director Antoine Fuqua and star Jake Gyllenhaal provide modern edginess, but it’s still the same old story, told well, but the same nonetheless.


Cameron Crowe movies are a little complex, but if you are willing to put in the work, they are usually worth the effort. “Aloha” (2015) is the latest example. You’ve basically got a love triangle romantic comedy with Bradley Cooper, Rachel McAdams and Emma Stone. Everybody could have phoned it in and filmgoers wouldn’t have minded. Instead, Crowe weaves a rich story full of interesting supporting characters, and the music is (as usual) spot on. Stone is delightfully committed to the role of a frighteningly committed fighter pilot. Bonus: The climax includes a Gamecock football highlight with Mike Hold (not pictured).