It’s best to sail away from ‘Come Away’

“Come Away” –  “They said, ‘Come sail away.  Come sail away.  Come sail away with me.’” – Styx, “Come Sail Away” (1977) Director Brenda Chapman (“Brave” (2012), “The Prince of Egypt” (1998)) helms “Come Away”, a Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland origin story, so magic and wonder should sit at the very top of this live-action, PG-rated tale.  Peter and Alice Littleton (Jordan A. Nash and Keira Chansa) are the featured children, and a grown-up Alice (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) narrates their story to her kids and looks back to a…

Movie of the Week: ‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’

AHFW looks back to high school, and not our teenage days, but Greg, Earl, and Rachel’s experiences in 2015.  It’s worth the trip, because “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” – and off-beat wonder – is one of the most affecting high school movies in years. “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” (2015) – A self-doubting teen (Thomas Mann) befriends a fellow student stricken with leukemia (Olivia Cooke), and the particularly well-written script provides an equally hilarious and affecting journey about teenagers coping with untimely circumstances.  Director Alfonso…

‘Freaky’: This switcharoo horror movie lives up to its name…for a while

“Freaky” – “Ah, freak out!  Le freak, c’est Chic.  Freak out!” – Chic, “Le Freak” (1978) Vince Vaughn stars in director Christopher Landon’s “Freaky”, and a first glance, perhaps the “Swingers” (1996), “Old School” (2003),  “Wedding Crashers” (2005) actor is caught up in a comic, twisted role play with Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, and Heather Graham. Well, he is involved with a role play, but in an unexpectedly way.  Vaughn channels his inner Barbara Harris and his surprising turn as Norman Bates in Gus Van Sant’s “Psycho” (1998) to portray…

‘The Climb’ ascends to hilarious heights

“The Climb” – “In order to get people to love you, you’ve got to get some people to hate you.”  – Robert Braathe Kyle (Kyle Marvin) and Mike (Michael Angelo Covino) are pals. More than pals, these two 30-somethings are BFFs, and in fact, Mike is Kyle’s best man.  Kyle is marrying Ava (Judith Godreche), who is French, and all three – and presumably, family and other friends – are in France for the wedding. Happy days are here! As the movie opens, Mike, an avid cyclist, invites Kyle on…

Movie of the Week: ‘Searching for Sugar Man’

AHFW’s Movie of the Week isn’t a feature but a documentary, a remarkable one.  We urge you to see “Searching for Sugar Man”! “Searching for Sugar Man” (2012) – Director Malik Bendjelloul’s film about folk singer Sixto Rodriguez won the Best Documentary Oscar in February 2013, and this critic thought “Searching for Sugar Man” was the best film – feature or doc – of 2012.   Who is Sixto Rodriguez?  He made two albums in 1970 and 1971, respectively, but this talented singer-songwriter’s career didn’t take off in the U.S.  It…

‘Let Him Go’: Lane and Costner embrace this effective 20th century western

“Let Him Go” – “You let it be known, you’re looking for a Weboy, they’ll find you.” The last time that we saw Diane Lane and Kevin Costner on the big screen together, they played Superman’s parents, Martha and Jonathan Kent, in “Man of Steel” (2013), and in director/writer Thomas Bezucha’s “Let Him Go”, they portray a caring mom and dad as well.  Margaret and George Blackledge (Lane, Costner) don’t live in Smallville.  They reside in Montana. For many years, Margaret broke horses, and George – a long-time lawman –…

Review: ‘The Thing’ (1982)

“The Thing” (1982) – “I don’t know who to trust.” – Dr. Blair (Wilford Brimley) We’ve all heard that phrase before.  Perhaps you attended MBA school, competed in a beauty pageant, or watched “Survivor”, the reality television show in which contestants compete for a million dollars in the remote locales of Borneo, the Pearl Islands, or Cambodia.  Although Richard Hatch, Sandra Diaz-Twine, and Jeremy Collins voted their “Survivor” castmates off the island, no one felt like their lives were in jeopardy. (Now, wear a Michigan Wolverines jersey to an Ohio…

Movie of the Week: ‘Audition’

AHFW’s Movie of the Week is “Audition”, director Takashi Miike’s ghoulish modern classic. “Audition” (1999) – The dating world isn’t easy.  Just ask anyone trying meet their soulmate on Match.com.  Hey, it may work out for a few lucky singles, but more often than not, it’s a minefield. Well, back in 1999, dating apps didn’t exist, and Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi) – a widower for seven years – cannot seem to meet anyone.  His friend Yoshikawa (Jun Kunimura) suggests that he advertise and hold a fake audition for a movie.  Then, he…

‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’ is a good success

“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” – “This film is unsuitable for children under the age of 3.” – Four by Two Films And how! The aforementioned, extremely valid warning appears just before the opening credits to “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” – which, naturally, is a follow-up to director Larry Charles’ megahit “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” (2006). After watching this wild, distasteful, uncomfortable, no-holds-barred comedy, this critic can think of many…

This gorgeous ‘Rebecca’ reincarnation would work better as a series

“Rebecca” – Ever been to Monte Carlo? Yea, me neither, and the beyond-picturesque, seaside playground for the megarich – that sits in the French Riviera – is a bucket list trip, for sure.  To boot, the Cannes Film Festival is just 55 kilometers southwest along the A-8, so let’s make a second stop during a future holiday in May. For the moment, this critic will have to look back at memories of an NCAA Basketball Tournament weekend at Las Vegas’ Monte Carlo Hotel about 20 years ago, but I bet…