Chris Moore

Chris Moore

Chris Moore Quick Links

News Film RSS

Manchester By The Sea Review

Excellent

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written, directed and acted that it's impossible not to be pulled into its powerfully wrenching drama. Writer-director Kenneth Lonergan (see also 2011's sleeper masterpiece Margaret) creates characters so vivid that they get deep under the skin, and he allows his actors to so fully inhabit them that they become unforgettable.

This is the story of Lee (Casey Affleck), a janitor who is hiding in Boston from his past. When his brother Joe (Kyle Chandler) has a heart attack, he returns to his hometown Manchester to take care of Joe's 16-year-old son Patrick (Lucas Hedges), who isn't remotely happy about this set-up. But Joe's estranged wife Elisa (Gretchen Mol) has vanished, and Lee's ex-wife Randi (Michelle Williams) has started a new life. So while Patrick struggles to maintain his independence, Lee tries to build some sort of relationship with him. But both are still reeling with pain over things that happened to them over the years.

Yes, the central theme here is grief, and Lonergan piles mountains of it onto these characters. As details about their back-stories are revealed, the intensity of the emotions becomes nearly unbearable, and yet neither Lonergan nor the actors ever give into sentimentality or trite sermons. This is achingly realistic, an exploration of how people survive even the worst things life can throw at them. And Affleck delivers his best performance yet in the role, a devastatingly transparent turn that holds the audience in rapt attention. Newcomer Hedges matches him beat for beat as a deeply likeable teen whose prickly reactions make him even more sympathetic. And both Williams and Mol add some blistering electricity as women struggling to reinvent themselves. In just a few scenes, Williams very nearly steals the film.

Continue reading: Manchester By The Sea Review

Promised Land Review


Excellent

Hydraulic fracturing might not be the most compelling subject for a movie, but it provides a topical backdrop for this engaging drama about ethics. It also lets actor-screenwriter Damon reunite with his Good Will Hunting director Van Sant for another strikingly well-made movie centring around a handful of strong characters. And while we know what the filmmakers feel about this contentious issue, at least the script isn't heavy handed about it.

The story takes place in a rural New England town, where oil company workers Steve and Sue (Damon and McDormand) are trying to secure the leases needed to drill for natural gas. The farmers badly need the cash to keep in business, but a retired science teacher (Holbrook) voices concern about the potential dangers of "fracking". He's joined by environmental activist Dustin (Krasinski) to turn the town against Steve and Sue's multinational corporation. And Dustin even starts to meddle in a budding romance between Steve and local teacher Alice (DeWitt). 

The script is cleverly constructed to make us wonder who is telling the full truth. There are obviously risks associated with fracking, but have they been exaggerated by politically motivated campaigns? Damon plays Steve as a straight-arrow, a nice guy who genuinely believes that the process is safe. Meanwhile, Krasinski is a but more slippery as the grassroots voice of caution, and the terrific McDormand gets all the best lines.

Continue reading: Promised Land Review

Feast Review


Very Good
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's Project Greenlight, a reality program designed to give first-time film makers an unprecedented shot at their dream, won a few battles but ultimately lost its war.

Over the course of three seasons, Greenlight made mountains out of molehill-sized production problems for the benefit of its drama-craving audience. The program also took joy in vilifying bullish producer Chris Moore, a headstrong professional whose chief crime was trying to keep unfocused amateur film makers on track. Not surprisingly, the weekly episodes ended up being more entertaining than the theatrically released films.

Continue reading: Feast Review

Joy Ride Review


Excellent
Ever make someone else the brunt of a practical joke -- only to learn the joke is really on you? The characters in Joy Ride have, and after the lessons they learn, you can bet they'll never, ever tease anyone else again.

Joy Ride has clearly learned from similar, high-octane road thrillers like Breakdown. It calculates every move, but seldom do we see the surprises coming. The film explores the misadventures of a college student named Lewis (Paul Walker). Lewis is a nice guy, having just bought a used car to travel all the way across the country to help a friend in need (Leelee Sobieski). Along the way, he also stops to post bail for his troublemaking brother, Fuller (Steve Zahn), and give him a ride as well.

Continue reading: Joy Ride Review

American Pie 2 Review


Excellent
The gang from American Pie is back in American Pie 2, or, I Still Know What You Screwed Last Summer. The immortal pie, of course, is gone, but there are plenty of foreign objects and luscious ladies to occupy the genitalia of the entire cast for a full hour and a half.

After reinventing the sex comedy in 1999's American Pie, AP2 had a high bar to live up to, and miraculously, it has done so. It actually outdoes the original (by a mile) when it comes to juvenile and crude humor. And the sex gags... jeez, the dick jokes come rapid fire, one every minute. It ain't Woody Allen, but damn if it isn't utterly hysterical.

Continue reading: American Pie 2 Review

Stolen Summer Review


OK
Writer-director Pete Jones serves up a nostalgic slice-of-life in his examination of friendship and faith in the winsome but saccharine Project Greenlight winner Stolen Summer. Jones, the budding filmmaker whose chosen screenplay would emerge victorious among hundreds of competitors, delivers a film that has atmosphere and heart but ultimately ends up as just another anemic, personal story with well-meaning sentiment. There is much being made about the behind-the-scene politics of nurturing Jones's winning pet project through the Project Greenlight campaign, as well as his movie being the subject of a hit HBO documentary series. Sadly, this all feels like some publicity stunt more than it does a legitimate process in discovering talented artists.

Stolen Summer tells the poignant tale of two energetic 8-year old youngsters living in the hazy days of Chicago circa 1976 where disco music and polyester profoundly dominated the scene. Pint-sized rabble-rouser Catholic schoolboy Pete O'Malley (Adi Stein) is sternly lectured by his teacher and told that he must change his mischievous ways over the summertime. And so Pete is released from school with some serious thinking to do while he basks in the glory days of the upcoming summer. But Pete's overworked firefighter father (Aidan Quinn) and stay-at-home mother (Bonnie Hunt) are harried by all their responsibilities and just don't have the time to cater to all the personal and emotional needs of their brood. Thus, Pete has to find his own way to spiritual salvation.

Continue reading: Stolen Summer Review

Speakeasy Review


OK
Here's something I didn't know: Those Project Greenlight people not only made the awful Stolen Summer during that first season. They also made the runner up, a movie called Speakeasy. This one Miramax couldn't be coaxed into releasing in theaters: It arrives on DVD three years later.

Now that the Greenlight formula is well established, it comes as no surprise to find Speakeasy falling right in line with the films we've seen before. It's basically a family drama, it has elements of a period piece scattered throughout, it's got a disabled person or two, and its screenplay eventually wraps around to where things began. Simple, small, and manipulative, this is what Project Greenlight has become all about: It's the Lifetime Network of the indie cinema movement.

Continue reading: Speakeasy Review

Chris Moore

Chris Moore Quick Links

News Film RSS

Occupation

Filmmaker


Suggested

Jamie Lenman - King of Clubs EP Review

Jamie Lenman - King of Clubs EP Review

Since returning to his musical ventures in 2013, the former Reuben vocalist has become a valuable member of the British alt-rock scene.

Listen to Little Suspicions' debut single 'Wasting All My Time'.

Listen to Little Suspicions' debut single 'Wasting All My Time'.

Listen to Little Suspicions' debut single 'Wasting All My Time'.

Machine Gun Kelly - Forget Me Too ft. Halsey Video

Machine Gun Kelly - Forget Me Too ft. Halsey Video

Machine Gun Kelly strays into the pop-punk culture of the mid-2000s with the video for his track 'Forget Me Too' featuring Halsey and Blink-182's...

Beabadoobee - Fake It Flowers Album Review

Beabadoobee - Fake It Flowers Album Review

We're not really sure what we were expecting from Filipino-British singer-songwriter Beabadoobee's debut studio album Fake It Flowers, but it...

Advertisement
Larray - Canceled Video

Larray - Canceled Video

In what is probably one of the greatest internet diss tracks of all time, Larray Merritt takes aim at all the YouTube and TikTok stars who have been...

Justin Bieber & Benny Blanco - Lonely Video

Justin Bieber & Benny Blanco - Lonely Video

It's impossible not to feel for Justin Bieber after watching the video for his latest single 'Lonely' performed with producer Benny Blanco.

King Princess - Only Time Makes It Human Video

King Princess - Only Time Makes It Human Video

For what is possibly the best queer anthem of the year, King Princess unveils a brand new video starring an AI version of herself.

Album of the Week: Remembering Jimi Hendrix and his seminal album 'Electric Ladyland'

Album of the Week: Remembering Jimi Hendrix and his seminal album 'Electric Ladyland'

'Electric Ladyland' was released on this day (October 16th) in 1968.

Advertisement

Chris Moore Movies

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Promised Land Movie Review

Promised Land Movie Review

Hydraulic fracturing might not be the most compelling subject for a movie, but it provides...

Feast Movie Review

Feast Movie Review

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's Project Greenlight, a reality program designed to give first-time film...

Advertisement
Joy Ride Movie Review

Joy Ride Movie Review

Ever make someone else the brunt of a practical joke -- only to learn the...

American Pie 2 Movie Review

American Pie 2 Movie Review

The gang from American Pie is back in American Pie 2, or, I Still Know...

Stolen Summer Movie Review

Stolen Summer Movie Review

Writer-director Pete Jones serves up a nostalgic slice-of-life in his examination of friendship and faith...

Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews