Interstellar (2014)

The years-long save-the-world plot, poignant near-future setting, and infinite themes both heady and heartfelt are all undeniably epic and compelling, and while the exposition weighs quite heavy at times (see the repeat of the ghost revelation), it doesn’t stop the film from reaching many incredible cinematic heights both emotional (see the devastating return from Miller’s planet) and action-oriented (see the spinning dock sequence), helped as it is by stunning visuals, music, and performances.

Gold (2016)


Kenny Wells, a prospector desperate for a lucky break, teams up with a similarly eager geologist and sets off on a journey to find gold in the uncharted jungle of Indonesia. (IMDb)
A false alarm first fall from fame and a slow FBI epilogue overshadows the unexpected and satisfying final twist, making for a bit of a messy and bloated third act–a shame because the rags-to-riches tale of the first two was a uniquely, increasingly compelling one thanks to its slightly unconventional editing, active pop soundtrack, and most of all McConaughey’s strong central turn as the passionate and erratic prospector Wells (complimented perfectly by the Ramirez’s reserved Acosta).
7.5/10 (Really Good)


The Wedding Planner (2001)

Happy Valentines Day, folks. Here’s a really bad rom-com to enjoy on this day of love <3333


Mary Fiore is San Francisco’s most successful supplier of romance and glamor. She knows all the tricks. She knows all the rules. But then she breaks the most important rule of all: she falls in love with the groom. (IMDb)
All the typical rom-com ingredients (wittily flirtatious dialogue, quirky supporting characters, grand romantic climaxes) are thrown in but they are severely under-cooked. There’s a hint of flavour during an unexpected turn to a refreshingly less-than-perfect conclusion, but then with the most horrendously convenient of plot points (two weddings are called off with literally no harm done) the expected ending arrives, and to zero fanfare because the couple never had any chemistry to begin with.
4/10 (Bad)

Dazed and Confused (1993)


The adventures of high school and junior high students on the last day of school in May 1976. (IMDb)
The 70s teenage party life theme is certainly captured well and is charming enough, with its pot, booze, cruising, and rockin’ soundtrack, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with its plot-less direction, but when there are no other elements to grab your interest-the characters are surface-y and mostly unlikable (minus the charmingly troubled Mike) and the situations and dialogue are never that funny (frantic pot smell masking scene aside) or dramatic-then it gets stale really quickly.
5.5/10 (Poor)

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)


Benjamin Barry is an advertising executive and ladies’ man who, to win a big campaign, bets that he can make a woman fall in love with him in 10 days. Andie Anderson covers the “How To” beat for “Composure” magazine and is assigned to write an article on “How to Lose a Guy in 10 days.” They meet in a bar shortly after the bet is made. (IMDb)
The delicious dramatic irony at the core of the plot here gives this rom-com a fresh and fun feel, even if it’s still fairly insubstantial and ends with the predictable “fall out then make up” formula. Hudson’s Andie and her mischievous antics are hysterical (4th quarter at the Knicks’ game and guys’ poker night are particular highlights), and McConaughey does well at playing the straight guy losing his patience. A solidly funny supporting cast of their respective best friends joins them.
6.5/10 (Alright)

Sahara (2005)

Master explorer Dirk Pitt goes on the adventure of a lifetime of seeking out a lost Civil War battleship known as the “Ship of Death” in the deserts of West Africa while helping a WHO doctor being hounded by a ruthless dictator. (IMDb)
A rollicking adventure film, Sahara is a lesser-quality Indiana Jones–nothing more and nothing less than just a great popcorn flick, with exciting action that’s occasionally a bit ridiculous, fun music, an easy-to-follow plot, and an easy-to-root for buddy duo in McConaughey’s Dirk and Zahn’s Al, the latter of whom provides a good amount of comic relief throughout. Sahara isn’t deep or complicated or thought-provoking, and the acting isn’t mesmerizing, but it’s an enjoyable watch nonetheless.
7/10 (Good)