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Sing Street

John Carney, creator of Once and Begin Again, delivers another music driven indie film. This time, the movie is provided by a group of Irish school boys that are inspired by 80's pop. 6667

Text Me Merry Christmas – Today on the Internet

So, as I was perusing Youtube (as I do) I came across this bit of Christmas Music from the a cappella band Straight No Chaser. The first thing that caught my eye was that the track features Kristen Bell. That's right, that Kristen Bell, the one that most of us didn't realize could sing until she was in Disney's Frozen. Well, she joins the group as the female voice for this "modern" Christmas song. 1748

Sex Tape

Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz team up to show an example of how having kids will ruin your sex life and your ability to make good decisions. Sex Tape feels like it's trying to appeal to a similar (if maybe slightly older) demographic as Neighbors did earlier in the summer. It's an entertaining movie but it doesn't achieve the same level of hilarity that the earlier summer flick did. 1076

Begin Again

Originally released on the festival circuit in 2013, Begin Again has made its way to theaters in the summer of 2014. During what has been a bit of a lull in the Summer movie season, this movie was a refreshing feel-good movie with a lot of fun moments and a really good soundtrack. The story of Begin Again is fairly simple. Dan (Mark Rufallo) is a record exec with a broken family/personal life who's just been fired by the company that he helped found. As he's drinking his sorrows away, he overhears a song being played in a bar. The song is being performed by Gretta (Keira Knightley), who was pushed to perform the song by her friend Steve (James Corden). Gretta is fresh off of a break up with her boyfriend Dave (Adam Levine). Gretta followed Dave to America after his music career took off. As Dave adjusted to the trappings of fame he grew more distant and eventually cheated on Gretta, leaving her living with Steve and preparing to go back home. When Dan hears her play, he's able to imagine what her music could sound like and tries to sign her. After he tells her the truth and the two get to know each other, Gretta goes with Dan to his record label to pitch the idea of her doing a record. Dan's old partner isn't thrilled about the idea, but agrees to let her put together a demo. Instead of doing the Demo, Dan and Gretta decide

A Million Ways to Die in the West

This movie came in at #5 on my 2014 Summer movie "to see" list. In that article, I mentioned that I was concerned about being disappointed by this movie. Sadly, my fears were realized when I actually saw the film. Overall, the humor is exactly what you'd expect from Seth MacFarlane. The problem is that that's the kind of thing that you see on a TV show that's passably amusing but only "laugh-out-loud funny" on occasion. This movie pretty much follows that description with very few actual LOL moments. The best things about this movie are the fact that it manages to get a lot of these actors together in a project and that it has a great soundtrack that invokes the feeling of a combination of Aaron Copland and Fievel Goes West. The biggest problem with the movie for me lies in its set-up. The first 20-30 minutes are basically an excuse for the main character, Albert (MacFarlane) to riff about how comically terrible the frontier of the old-west is. The problem with this is that Albert is a character from that time period but, for some reason, he has the hindsight clarity that makes it obvious how bad things are. To put it differently: he's out of place. Now, the movie tries to establish this by giving a line about how some people are born in a time they don't belong in, but that doesn't really cover how the vernacular and behavior of many of the characters (including Albert)

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