Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Movie Reviews: "Learning to Drive," "The Intern," "Black Mass" & "The Martian"

   Learning to Drive
   Rated R

After Wendy’s husband leaves her for another woman, the New Yorker realizes she needs to learn to drive.  Driving instructor Darwan is a Sikh who is about to enter an arranged marriage and is everything Wendy isn’t-calm, wise and thoughtful.  The pair form an unlikely friendship and teach each other about life.

Because Learning to Drive wasn’t widely released, it‘s a bit hard to find in theaters.  However, seeking it out is worth the effort.  Sweet, funny and touching, this film is a gem!

  The Intern
   Rated PG-13

Robert DeNiro is Ben Whittaker, a 70-year-old widower who finds retirement boring.  To fill his days, he applies for and receives an internship at a fashion e-commerce company founded and run by Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway).  Initially doubtful that Ben can make a meaningful contribution to the company, Jules soon realizes the value of Ben and his wealth of experiences.

The Intern has a lot going for it-wonderful actors, stunning sets (the characters in Nancy Meyers’s films always have beautiful homes) and a relevant message-that qualifying for AARP card doesn’t make one incompetent, grumpy or unwilling to learn and grow.  If you’re looking for a feel-good movie, The Intern is the one for you.

   Black Mass
   Rated R

In the 1970s, South Boston criminal James “Whitey” Bulger was persuaded by childhood friend turned federal agent, John Connolly, to work together to eliminate a common enemy.  What the FBI didn’t foresee was that after ridding Boston of the Italian mob, this partnership allowed Bulger to become the most powerful gangster in the city.

Black Mass is the true story of Bulger’s dramatic rise to power in the Boston crime scene.  It’s violent, intense and gripping!  Johnny Depp’s portrayal of sociopath Bulger is Oscar-caliber and worth the price of the movie ticket.  Not a movie for those who are squeamish, Black Mass is nonetheless an excellent film!

   The Martian
   Rated PG-13

After a freak accident during an exploratory mission, Astronaut Mark Watney is thought to be dead and is left on Mars.  The Martian is the story of how he survived the hostile environment, managed to grow food, figured out how to send a signal to NASA to let them know he’s alive, and his and NASA’s efforts to return him home.

The Martian is by far the best movie I’ve seen in quite a while!  It’s the perfect blend of drama and small touches of humor to relieve the tension.  The story is mesmerizing, the cast is stellar and the cinematography is stunning.  The Martian is my must-see film on 2015!

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