Archive for June, 2013

Azur: Scrumptious DC Sea Breeze—Restaurant

June 26, 2013

In the heart of DC…in the Penn Quarter…is an island of mouth-watering seafood dishes with a European twist. Welcome to Azur.

Helmed by Chef Frederik de Pue and assisted by Chef de Cuisine Robert Rubba, Azur is more than a welcome addition to the neighborhood.  Set on the site that once housed Café Atlantico, Azur is a festival of blue, white and airiness. You feel refreshed just by walking inside. Once you’re seated and open the menu, you are in for a treat…especially if you love fish as much as I do. There’s a virtual cornucopia of dishes from which to choose.AZUR1-inside

I asked my waiter for a drink recommendation. I wanted something alcoholic, light, but not terribly sweet. He suggested the Azur. It was just delicious and contained Adami Prosecco, Don Diccio & Figli, hibiscus liqueur and hibiscus flower.  I admit, I have no idea what these ingredients are, but when served together in a glass, they become perfection…so perfect, in fact, that when I returned for a second visit I again ordered the Azur, and it was just as good as the first time.

On my first visit, I ordered the Hand Harvested Sea Scallops, coupled with asparagus, pine nut purée, grapefruit and puffed red quinoa. The Scallops were seasoned perfectly. Everything about this dish was wonderful. If I could have licked the plate I would have.  My dining companion ordered the Steak Frite—a grilled flat-iron steak served with a bernaise sauce and pomme frites. It came just as requested—medium rare—and she was in heaven.  She also loved the fries—nicely salted and crisp. For dessert we split the Grapefruit & Honey—a brown sugar meringue with moscato granite. I’m not much of a meringue person, but this was tasty and my friend gave it a solid thumb’s up.

For my second Azur visit with another friend, we decided to split an appetizer—the Crispy Calamari served in a nuoc cham vinaigrette (Vietnamese), spiced peanuts and mint. It was positively yummy. We then went on to the entrée. My friend chose the Branzino with farro verde, gribiche sauce (mayonnaise-style cold egg sauce) and bacon. It was presented like a work of art and she ate every morsel. I decided to try a fish I’d never before eaten—a lightly poached Pollock paired with young carrots, tokyo turnips, pearl onions, fava beans and dashi bouillon. The Pollack was absolutely delicious—light and tasty. We had no room for dessert, but will definitely be back to try one out.

Azur offers a Pre-Theatre, three-course prix fixe menu ($35), available daily from 5pm – 7pm, which allows you to get to one of the nearby theatres in plenty of time. My goal is to work my way down the wonderful menu and finally branch out in my drink selection. I can’t wait to go back. Care to join me?

Lunch: M-F 11:30a-3p
Bar: M-F 3p-5p
Dinner: M-Th 5p-10:30p
F-Sa 5p-11p
Sun closed

405 8th St. NW, DC 20004
202.347.7491

4 nuggets out of 4

Motorway: Furious and Fast—Movie

June 25, 2013

Shown as part of the 18th Annual Made in Hong Kong Film Festival (DC) at the FreerΙSackler Gallery,  “Motorway” brings to mind “The Fast and the Furious” coupled with the ferociousness of the “ The French Connection” and the sensibility of “Drive.”

Directed by Hong Kong director, Pou-Soi Cheang, with original story by American Joey O’Bryan and screenplay by O’Bryan and Kam-Yuen Szeto (Hong Kong), “Motorway” is the story of a secret police unit charged with monitoring and hunting down illegal auto racers.

Shawn Yue, as Sean, is a brash rookie on the secret unit with a huge chip on his shoulder and the skills of a race car driver. In his mind he’s saddled with a by-the-book veteran, Lo (Anthony Wong Chau-Sang) who’s overly cautious and just gets in his way. It’s when Sean nails an infamous get-away driver only to be outmaneuvered by him mentally and physically twice that he comes to appreciate the unknown…to him…skills of his partner.motorway-2012

The car chase sequences are phenomenal as are the shots of the drivers. The problem is that there are too many chases and many of them are in the dark. They become boring and sometimes hard to follow. Thankfully the drivers have markedly different colored cars so we can tell who is who.

“Motorway”‘isn’t all car chases, however. We do get a bit of romance in the form of Barbie Hsu which brings a much-needed lightness to the story.

Recipient of  both the Best Picture and Best Director awards by the Hong Kong Film Critics Association,”Motorway” is not without its merits. It is fun to see the Hong-Kong take on action films, especially in the hands of its renowned director. I just wish it was a little more interesting.

The Festival runs through August 4.

2 nuggets out of 4

Gideon’s Army: Mounting a Righteous Charge—Movie/Television

June 25, 2013

You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have a right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.” How often have we heard these words on television and never given them a moment’s thought? Perhaps, like me, you believed, “Great…if I get into trouble and don’t have money for a lawyer, I’ll still be able to get one.”  As the sobering, but inspirational  documentary, “Gideon’s Army,” points out, if you are an indigent, you better hope that you run into trouble in DC and not in the South or other parts of the country, because not all public defender offices are created equally.Gideon's Army

“Gideon’s Army,” produced and directed by Dawn Porter, tells us that in 1963 the Supreme Court ruled in Gideon vs. Wainwright, that in felony cases people who could not afford a lawyer must be provided one.  As a result, public defender offices were created to defend poor people charged with serious crimes. Unfortunately, the conditions that many public defenders face on a daily basis have lessened the promise of that ruling. According to the film the DC culture expects the best from public defenders, whereas in other areas, the poor are just processed through the system.

Screened during the AFI Docs Film Festival, “Gideon’s Army” follows three public defenders practicing in three different offices in the South. Travis Williams, Brandy Alexander and June Hardwick represent most public defenders in that part of the country—practicing extremely long hours for very low pay.  The caseload for each is unbelievably high—as many as 180 clients at one time. Against this backdrop Gideon’s Promise, formerly known as the Southern Public Defender Training Center, was founded by Jonathan Rapping, to provide training and support for public defenders. We learn from Rapping and the other lawyers that every year hundreds of poor people are crammed through a justice system stretched to the max. In addition, many innocent people spend years in prison.

While the three featured lawyers and their respective clients each have compelling stories, I found Travis’ personal story to be the most gripping. Although he has a girlfriend, he seemingly has no life. He lives next door to his office. His office wall is filled with his acquittals. And the losses? The names are tattooed on his back, so that, in his words, “they are always with me.” Right now his back has five names. Because he does much of his own investigative work he believes that he “is more like Matlock than F. Lee Bailey.”  Even though Travis seems to take his life as a public defender in stride, an anticipated meeting with his biological father throws him for a loop and gives us better insight into what makes him tick.

We watch as just the emotional support of Gideon’s Promise can mean so much to lawyers dedicating their lives to represent the poor. As someone who has served on several DC juries, I have witnessed firsthand the terrific work of  public defenders. I assumed all jurisdictions provided the same remarkable service. I know now that my assumption was wrong. The hearts and commitments of the lawyers are equal, but the support from the jurisdictions is not. One can only hope that changes. By highlighting the work of Gideon’s Promise, “Gideon’s Army” is doing all it can to make change happen sooner, rather than later.

“Gideon’s Army” can be seen on HBO beginning July 1.

3 ½ nuggets out of 4

World War Z: Zombies Finally Get Their Due—Movie

June 24, 2013

Simply put, “World War Z” is one of the best zombie movies ever. Producer Brad Pitt and director Marc Forster show that it’s possible to create a large-scale movie with heart, use special effects in a meaningful way and most of all, entertain.World-War-Z-Final-Movie-Poster

Based on the novel by Max Brooks, screenplay by  Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard and Damon Lindelof  and screen story by Matthew Michael Carnahan and J. Michael Straczynski, “World War Z” begins family friendly in the Philadelphia home of Gerry (Pitt) and Karin (Mireille Enos) Lane and their two young daughters. In the background we see and hear the television with “noise” about a mysterious virus. From the family conversation we learn that Gerry once traveled a great deal for work, but is now a stay at home dad. On a seemingly ordinary day, the family gets into their car and heads to downtown Philadelphia to drop the girls off at school. In the city they find themselves in a massive traffic jam when, literally, all hell breaks loose—car accidents, fires, smoke and most frighteningly, hordes of people running for their lives chased by equally large numbers of zombies. In the midst of all this chaos, the camera lingers on a man lying on the street, twitching. This unexpected activity is so intense that without realizing it, “World War Z “has grabbed you by the throat and keeps its hold on you for the movie’s entirety.

After several harrowing experiences in trying to avoid the zombie attack, the family is given shelter by the government in exchange for Gerry’s help in tracking down the cause of what is thought to be a zombie virus. It turns out that Gerry was an investigator for the U.N. We’re not told what that investigative work entailed, but we gather it was dangerous. From the safety of the shelter, Gerry makes his way by plane to South Korea, Israel and Wales. Each one of these locations comes with its own set of disturbingly dire circumstances. The scenes in the plane going to Cardiff are especially hard to watch, but are terrifically shot.

As Gerry rushes from country to country, the words of an Israeli officer stick with him, “Mother Nature is a serial killer. She loves disguising her weaknesses as strengths.” Those words lead him to the W.H.O. in Wales and some of the film’s most interesting, pulse-pounding scenes.

Brad Pitt is excellent as the former man of danger trying his best to remain a stable family man. Mireille Enos, known to most of us from “The Killing” does a nice turn as the faithful, protective wife (and it’s nice to see her actually smile). David Morse, James Badge Dale, Fana Mokoena and  Ludi Boeken round out a very good supporting cast ( and a special shout-out must be given to the clicking zombie in the lab…how did he do that?).

Part of what makes “World War Z” different from other zombie movies and thus more absorbing is its treatment of zombies. Although there is less blood and guts than the usual zombie flick, that doesn’t detract from the overall “zombieness”. The zombies confronted in the W.H.O. lab are especially fascinating to watch. And unlike other zombie movies,”Z” provides an intriguing theory as to what makes them tick.

You might have read that this film had some production problems as evidenced by the prominently billed, but almost missed Matthew Fox. However, the final product is terrific. “World War Z” is not your average zombie movie. It’s better.

3 ½ nuggets out of 4

Man of Steel: Overblown, Overwrought and Just Plain Awful—Movie

June 21, 2013

In “Man of Steel” Superman comes face to face with the deadly kryptonite—kryptonite in the form of director Zach Snyder and writers David S. Goyer and Christopher Nolan. This team does everything in their power to kill him.

Their deadly plot might have succeeded save for one thing—actors. In spite of themselves, the creative crew has assembled a cast who can actually act.Man of Steel

Henry Cavill as Superman is absolutely terrific. He is everything Superman is supposed to be—attractive, well-built, have a sense of humor and be able show confidence with an air of humbleness. Cavill nails it. He is abetted with a terrific ensemble of actors.  Kevin Costner, as Pa Kent, is wonderful. There is something about Costner that enables him to have chemistry with everyone with whom he works. His scenes with the young Clark Kent are pitch perfect. Russell Crowe’s Jor-El has just the right touch of authority and mysticism (and his Planet Krypton wardrobe fits him nicely).  Diane Lane as Ma Kent works well with the young boys playing Superman in earlier years in addition to the adult Superman. Laurence Fishburne’s Perry White doesn’t have a lot of screen time, but he does make the most of what he has to do.  Christopher Meloni as Colonel Hardy and Richard Schiff‘s Dr. Emil Hamilton are also good as the team working with Superman to defeat the evil confronting mankind.

Finally, there is Amy Adams as Lois Lane. I was concerned with her casting. As great an actress as she is, she is considerably older than Cavill and I wasn’t sure how that would look on the screen. In reality, the age difference is not a problem. She is especially good as the inquiring reporter, Lane.  I was a bit bothered by the fact that she learns so quickly about who Superman is, but in this day of Google and social media, it would be hard to see how someone with her smarts wouldn’t be able to ferret out the information.  It’s possible that should there ever be a sequel (God, forbid), that knowledge could add an extra layer of complexity to a variety of plots.

Now we come to the real problem—the handling of the story. “Man of Steel” has so much potential. Early on, we see the young Clark Kent struggling with his powers and not knowing how to handle them. It’s a gentle story and perhaps showing more of this struggle as the older Clark could have been very fascinating…Cavill is young enough to carry it off and watching him try to fit into society while fighting crime could provide for some interesting story-lines.

But alas. Instead we get one very long drawn out battle with Zod (Michael Shannon) and his fellow fighters against Superman and the U.S. militia. Zod and Jor-El had differences on Krypton before it was destroyed and it is Zod who killed Jor-El.  Zod has come to Earth to capture or destroy Superman who has what he thinks the ability to regenerate Krypton—be Superman dead or alive. Shannon makes for a convincing villain, but his scenes are more than dumb, painfully loud and ridiculously long.  Zod’s battle and that of his henchmen go on non-stop for over a half an hour. In that amount of time, I’m not sure how many times Metropolis is decimated. And given all of that, the effects aren’t even that creative. Their battle “ship” looked like a huge tooth hanging over Metropolis. Some of the effects look like they are taken from Jurassic Park.

I admit I am a huge fan of the Superman comic books as well as both TV series and the Christopher Reeves’ movies. I even saw the last reboot, “Superman Returns.” I take my Superman personally. With Christopher Nolan’s involvement I feared that “Man of Steel” would be too much like his Batman films—fairly dark with little humor. If only. I can’t remember when I have been more disappointed and downright angry about a movie. This “Man of Steel” is no reboot of Superman. It’s just a story about a man, director Zach Snyder, who decided to play with every trick in the special effects playbook, and as a result, has at least bent the “Man of Steel.”

1 nugget out of 4

Stupid F**king Bird: F**king Smart Play—Theatre

June 17, 2013

What a way for a season to end…literally and figuratively…with a big, loud Woolly bang!SFB

Stupid F**king Bird,” written by Aaron Posner and directed by Howard Shalwitz, is, as the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company puts it, “sort of adapted” from “The Seagull” by Anton Chekhov. Having never read or seen the play (I guess that’s what comes from being a journalism major), I take them at their word. All I know is that “Bird” is one of the most satisfying, electrifying experiences I have had at the theatre in ages.

As written by Posner, “Bird” is about love—mother/son, man/woman, love realized/love unrequited. In some respects it’s also about love of life, love for what one does in that life. Most especially, it’s about how one handles the disappointments of love in all of it facets.  If  this seems impossible to cover in one play, it could be. But in the accomplished hands of “Bird’s” playwright (and Chekhov), director and actors, this play succeeds on every level and then some.

“Stupid F**king Bird” is about a group of actors—close friends and family. The glass-is-half-empty Mash (Kimberly Gilbert) is hopelessly in love with young, overwrought playwright Conrad (Brad Koed), although she knows that Dev (Darius Pierce) worships the ground on which she walks. Unfortunately for Mash, Conrad loves his muse, ingénue Nina (Katie deBuys), who loves him until she meets author Doyle (Cody Nickell). But, as luck would have it, Doyle is attached to actress Emma (Kate Eastwood Norris), mother to Conrad and sister to Sorn (Rick Foucheux), a doctor, who in his 60s, is now questioning whether or not he made the right career choice.

To the assembled group, and to the Woolly audience, Conrad’s play, “Here We Are” makes its debut and it’s this debut that propels “Bird” forward. Where are we? Are we here? What is real? In the piece, Nina asks these questions over and over and over. It all seems ludicrous, but then, like Dev and Sorn, we get “it.” Even the audience gets in on the act as the actors humorously address the theatre-goers and we return the favor. It might sound strange, but somehow it all seems natural, and the dialogue just flows.

And what a cast! If he never does anything else, Brad Koed’s emotional performance as Conrad is something I will remember for the rest of my theatre-loving life. Kimberly Gilbert’s Mash is so real—there is no other word for it. And she not only acts, but sings and plays the ukulele. Her voice is beautiful and when accompanied by the fantastic, understated performance of Darius Pierce on the guitar, piano, or just plain talking, magic happens. Kate Eastwood Norris’ Emma is sheer perfection as the seasoned actress who’s seen and experienced it all and she is matched step for step by Cody Nickell’s conflicted Doyle. Is Rick Foucheux ever less than wonderful? Not to my knowledge. His role is smaller than that of the rest of the cast, but just as important. He shows masterfully how you can do everything right and still be so wrong. Finally is Katie deBuys’ Nina. To some extent it’s Nina actions that affect everyone, and deBuys is terrifically poignant in earning your sympathy, losing it and reclaiming it at play’s end.

“Stupid F**king Bird” is the Woolly Mammoth Theater Company at its devastatingly biting, touching best. It is not to be missed.

4 nuggets out of 4

Through June 23

Woolly Mammoth Theatre, 641 D St. NW, Washington, DC

This Is The End: But it is the start of Laughapalooza—Movie

June 17, 2013

“I don’t want to die in James Franco’s house!” So screams Jay Baruchel to Seth Rogen midway through “This Is The End.” Really? Because if the threat of death is this much fun at casa de Franco, move over, Jay, and make room on the couch for me.This is the End movie

Written and directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, based on their short (also written by Jason Stone), “Jay and Seth Versus the Apocalypse,” “This Is The End” is Rogen and Goldberg’s idea of what the end of the world…or their world…will be like.

The story begins innocently enough. Jay has come to LA and while in town is staying with buddy Seth. With the exception of Seth, Jay seems to hate everything and everyone in Hollywood (especially Jonah Hill), so when Seth tells him they are going to a party at James Franco’s house, he’s not exactly overjoyed. But after a day of smoking weed and drinking ecstasy…yes, drinking ecstasy…he agrees and the two take a cab (see how this is done, Lilo?) to James’ home. His party seems to include every Hollywood A-list person under 40…many of them doing unspeakably disgusting, but hysterically funny acts. Jay finally has had enough and goes out for some air. Seth joins him and the two end up in a convenience store. At the store, all hell literally breaks loose. Monsters appear…people get sucked up, God knows where…and that is just for starters. Let’s not dwell on the woman at the cash register. The two run back to James’ house where all seems well…until it’s not.

Although “This Is The End” is filled with cameos of stars playing themselves, the real action centers on Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson and Danny McBride, with lesser roles for Michael Cera, Emma Watson, Rihanna and David Krumholtz. While I don’t know any of these people personally, I can only hope Cera is playing a “bizarro” version of himself.

Somehow the writers have managed to combine horror films, comedy and filth in one fell swoop and have produced one of the funniest and really creative, smart films in a long time. (I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to look at a Milky Way bar the same again.) Even some of the smallest things, like Seth’s breathing, garner big laughs. Yes, “This Is The End” is probably geared more for men than women and contains more d***k jokes than one can shake a stick at…pun intended…but I laughed myself silly.

4 nuggets out of 4

The Internship: Gets the Job Done—Movie

June 15, 2013

Holy product placement! In its wildest dreams Google couldn’t have imagined that it would look this good or so inviting. But I digress.

Fast-talking Vince Vaughn and laconic Owen Wilson make a formidable comic team in the genial, easy-going comedy that is “The Internship.” Directed by Shawn Levy and written by Vaughn, Jared Stern, “The Internship,” provides the comedic chemistry Vaughn and Wilson shared in “The Wedding Crashers,” but for this outing their chemistry is less frenetic and more low-key.The Internship

As salesmen for expensive watches, Billy McMahon and Nick Campbell (Vaughn and Wilson respectively) are laid off unexpectedly and pretty unsympathetically by their boss (John Goodman), who proclaims them obsolete in the digital world. In searching the Internet for new jobs, Billy comes across the Google internship program. With the bravado of a true salesman, Billy decides that he and Nick should apply. Should they be admitted into the program, they could end up with jobs at Google and be set for life. Taking a huge leap of faith, Google miraculously accepts their applications and the two are soon on their way to San Francisco and the Google campus.

At Google, the competing applicants are asked to self-choose into teams for the competition. Obviously the old, odd ducks out in a sea of young brainiacs, Billy and Nick form an alliance with a group of geeky outcasts. This is when “The Internship” really gets going. While Billy and Nick may not have the computer skill-set of the youngsters, they do have managerial smarts and tons of heart.  Their team could be “The Bad News Bears” or “Damn Yankees” incarnate.

While “The Internship’s” success rests heavily on the shoulders of Vaughn and Wilson, they are abetted by a terrific supporting cast.  Aasif Mandvi (The Daily Show) is just plain fabulous as the severely no-nonsense, Mr. Chetty, head of the program. Josh Brenner, so annoying in the Samsung commercials, is great as Lyle, the nerdy Google employee who’s the mentor of Billy and Nick’s team. Rose Byrne, the potential love interest for Nick, and Tiya Sirca,, team member, are also quite good as are the rest of the team members. A few cameos also make their way into the movie…not distracting, they just add to the fun.

Like Billy and Nick, if you are over 30, some of the jokes may be over your head (or under, depending upon your perspective), but in a weird way, that just adds to the film’s fun.  “The Internship” is not a thigh slapper, but it has tons of laughs and makes for a great day at the movies.

3 ½ nuggets out of 4

Star Trek into Darkness: You Won’t Be—Movie

June 13, 2013

Non-trekkies, jump in…the water is fine.

I review this movie as an “average Joan,” with not too much “Star Trek” knowledge. In fact, I’m almost as non-Trekkie as they come. I’ve seen a few episodes of the original series and saw the movies, including the first re-boot, but that’s it. However, I’m living proof that you don’t need to know a lot in order to appreciate the high energy entertainment that is “Star Trek into Darkness.”Star Trek

The opening scenes with the crew are a tad confusing—volcanoes, other planets and beings—frankly, I didn’t know what was happening. But, luckily, none of that matters. Director J.J. Abrams and writers Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof are very smartly are showing us the dynamics of the Enterprise crew. If you are just nominally familiar with  “Star Trek” (or even lesser so), it’s an opportunity to learn more about each character. For those with an encyclopedic mind for all things “Star Trek,” it’s fun to learn more about each character’s back story.

To talk much about the plot would spoil the story.  “Star Trek” fanatics will puzzle over some choices and might ask themselves if cryogenics causes one’s accent to change. Up until that point, the story makes a lot of sense and raises some interesting questions…as did the original series. What makes one become malevolent? Is there a point where a person can still resist the pull to the dark side? Is someone completely evil? How far will you go to help a friend…a colleague?

“Star Trek’s” cast is more than solid. Chris Pine as Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock have terrific chemistry with one another and they are still believable as the young adult duo. Simon Pegg provides just the right touch of levity to Scotty as does Anton Yelchin as Chekov. Veteran actors Bruce Greenwood (Pike) and Peter Weller (Marcus) lend an extra source of gravitas to the film. Zoe Saldana gives Uhura a shot of sass as Spock’s girlfriend.  Finally, behold Benedict Cumberbatch as the film’s chief villain. He lives up to every bit of hype he has received.

It’s fun to imagine what some of our most favorite characters might have been like in their earlier years. That’s what makes prequels so entertaining. However, prequels come with self-imposed obstacles. We, the audience, know how certain plot points should/will end. That’s not to say the storytelling can’t be done well.  It’s just that from an overall perspective, the story on the screen can’t be perfect. Such is the case with “Star Trek into Darkness.” It’s enjoyable, but not perfect.

3 nuggets out of 4

Now You See Me: Fun for the Eyes and Brains—Movie

June 6, 2013

Now You See Me” ups the ante on crime capers with some terrific special effects—without resorting to 3-D—to go along with a mind-bending, entertaining plot.Now You See Me

Directed by Louis Leterrier  with screenplay by Ed Solomon, Boaz Yakin and Edward Ricourt and story by Yakin and Ricourt, “Now You See Me” is about four street magicians. Each has his/her own specialty and are brought together by an unknown source to perform inspired robberies under the guise of illusion before live audiences, the first of which takes place in Las Vegas.

The first robbery is so spectacular and daring that the FBI is brought in, headed by Agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) and his sidekick, Agent Fuller (Michael J. Kelly), as well as French Interpol Agent Dray (Mélanie Laurent), to investigate.

Billed as The Four Horsemen—Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco, Isla Fisher and Woody Harrelson—are the illusionists. Morgan Freeman portrays Thaddeus Bradley, a magic debunker, who tries to help with the investigation and Michael Caine,  as the owner of the hotels where the illusionists perform, round out the cast.

Of the four illusionists, actors Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson are the standouts. Eisenberg is always interesting to watch. He brings an air of intelligence to every part and this role is no exception. He is utterly believable as the fast-talking magician. Harrelson is terrific as the mind-reading hypnotist. It’s a hoot to see him go from sane to crazy/sinister in a nano second. He steals every scene he’s in.

While Ruffalo is a fine actor, his scenes with Laurent seem like something out of the 60s. He appears to have a bug up his a** because she’s a woman. Really? In this age? What’s even more problematic is Laurent. She’s very hard to understand.

Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman never disappoint. Freeman has the larger role and he lends just the right amount of mystery to his role.

“Now You See Me” is full of twists and turns and requires that you have your wits about you to fully appreciate what’s happening. So be sure to get caffeinated before entering the theatre. You’ll be glad you did.  Although the film dips a bit in the middle, it starts out spectacularly and finishes with a huge bang.

3 nuggets out of 4

 

 

 


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