Sunday, June 29, 2014

Jersey Boys / ***½ (R)

Frankie Valli: John Lloyd Young
Tommy DeVito: Vincent Piazza
Bobby Guadio: Erich Bergen
Nick Massi: Michael Lomenda
Bob Crewe: Mike Doyle
Joey: Joseph Russo
Gyp DeCario: Christopher Walken

Warner Bros. Pictures presents a film directed by Clint Eastwood. Written by Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice, based on their musical. Running time: 134 min. Rated R (for language throughout).

My father liked his pleasures simple. He was a man who enjoyed life to its fullest, and in that enjoyment he could appreciate movies and music at the most basic level. I did not get my level of standards for either art form from him. I developed that over years of appreciation and exploration. But, I did get my foundational enjoyment of them from him.

My father had a very select number of musical artists he would follow through anything. One of those groups was Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons. He loved that unique voice of Valli’s, and he loved the writing style of the songs that were penned mostly by Four Seasons member Bobby Gaudio and their producer Bob Crewe. There were also a select number of movie stars that he trusted implicitly to provide the type of movies he wanted to see. One of those people was Clint Eastwood. Eastwood never relied on the flash and flair of Hollywood, but on straightforward storytelling about men—who might be flawed—but could certainly be relied upon for doing what they do best. It is those qualities that bring together Clint Eastwood and the Four Seasons for the new movie musical “Jersey Boys”. I’ve no doubt he would’ve loved it as much as I.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Penny Thoughts ‘14—Oz the Great and Powerful (2013) ***½

PG, 130 min.
Director: Sam Raimi
Writers: Mitchell Kapner, David Lindsay Abaire, L. Frank Baum (“Oz” works)
Starring: James Franco, Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Zach Braff, Bill Cobbs, Joey King, Tony Cox

It’s funny how movies will succeed and fail in the same moment. “Oz the Great and Powerful” shared amazing success at the box office and surprising backlash and disappointment critically when it was released in March of 2013. It was accused of being a visual extravaganza, which it was, but why didn’t critics see that’s not all it was?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Penny Thoughts ‘14—Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., season 1 (2013-2014) ***

TV-14, 22 45-min. episodes
Creators: Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen, Stan Lee (Marvel Comics), Jack Kirby (Marvel Comics)

Directors: Joss Whedon, David Straiton, Milan Cheylov, Roxann Dawson, Jesse Bochco, Vincent Misiano, Bobby Roth, Jonathan Frakes, Billy Gierhart, Holly Dale, Kevin Hooks, Kenneth Fink, Paul Edwards, John Terlesky

Writers: Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Jeffery Bell, Brent Fletcher, Paul Zbyszcewski, Rafe Judkins, Lauren LeFranc, Monica Owusu Breen, Shalisha Francis, DJ Doyle

Starring: Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton, Chloe Bennet, Iain DeCaestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge

Guest starring: J. August Richards, Shannon Lucio, Ron Glass, Cobie Smulders, Leonor Varela, Carlos Leal, Samuel L. Jackson, David Conrad, Ian Hart, Pascale Armand, Michael Klesic, Ruth Negga, Louis Ozawa Changchien, Cullen Douglas, Vincent Laresca, Titus Welliver, Saffron Burrows, Maximiliano Hernandez, Ilia Volok, Peter MacNicol, Michael Graziadei, Erin Way, Molly McCook, Ajani Wrighster, Paul Lacovara, Rob Huebel, Daniel Zovatto, Christine Adams, Carlo Rota, Bill Paxton, Elena Satine, Robert Belushi, B.J. Britt, Jaimie Alexander, Brad Dourif, Charles Halford, Adrian Pasdar, Patton Oswalt, Patrick Brennan, Amy Acker, Tsai Chin, Austin Lyon, Glenn Morshower, Josh Daugherty

So, my family finally got through season one of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Our delay wasn’t because we didn’t enjoy it. A little addition to the family made it difficult to find quite family TV time together. But, I’m glad I’m finally getting my chance at this one.

During the run of the season, it seemed that MAOS was the punching bag for anybody who wanted to see the Marvel/Disney deal falter. Throughout good (but not mind-blowing) ratings, it seemed that every business website that could tried to jump in the ring with Marvel on this one, posting new stories every week about “Why MAOS will fail.” The biggest culprit was a site called the Motley Fool, who based most of their facts on conjecture and seemed to conjure their conjecture from bitter resentment. Their consensus was that MAOS is only still around so they can cross promote all of the Marvel big screen ventures, not with traditional advertising but an expensive 22 episode television show that requires countless more employees and money than producing commercials from footage that has already been produced as part of each movie. Sure, that seems plausible. That’s also probably why ABC also ordered a new Marvel tie-in show, “Agent Carter”, which takes place 50 years ago, since a period piece will offer countless opportunities for tie-ins to movie that are taking place in the present. Or maybe, people liked it.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Penny Thoughts ‘14—Rosemary’s Baby (2014) **

TV-14, 170 min.
Director: Agnieszka Holland
Writers: Scott Abbott, James Wong, Ira Levin (novels “Rosemary’s Baby” and “Son of Rosemary”)
Starring: Zoe Saldana, Patrick J. Adams, Carole Bouquet, Jason Isaacs, Christina Cole, Olivier Rabourdin, François Civil, Rosemarie La Vaullée, Frédéric Pierrot, Féodor Atkine, Oisin Stack

Before I watched NBC’s two-night mini-series event “Rosemary’s Baby”, I wondered what the point of remaking this horror classic could be. After watching it, the question remains. There is no way the filmmakers went into this project without asking themselves the same question, so they must’ve had their reasons. I noticed in the credits sequence that the new version’s star, Zoe Saldana, was listed as one of the movie’s producers along with several other family members. I wonder if they were fans of Ira Levin’s books. I notice the credits cite both the original “Rosemary’s Baby” novel and its sequel.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

How To Train Your Dragon 2 / *** (PG)

Featuring the voice talents of:
Hiccup: Jay Baruchel
Valka: Cate Blanchett
Stoick: Gerard Butler
Gobber: Craig Ferguson
Astrid: America Ferrera
Snotlout: Jonah Hill
Fishlegs: Christopher Mintz-Plaase
Tuffnut: T.J. Miller
Ruffnut: Kristen Wiig
Drago: Djimon Hounsou
Eret: Kit Harrington

DreamWorks Animation presents a film written and directed by Dean DeBlois. Based on the book series “How To Train Your Dragon” by Cressida Cowell. Running time: 102 min. Rated PG (for adventure action and some mild rude humor).

I have a cineaste friend who hated, hated, hated “How To Train Your Dragon”. Just the thought of hating that rather harmless movie seems odd to me. I mean it wouldn’t surprise me for someone to dislike it.  But, to “hate” it. Well, that’s a level of displeasure reserved for Ed Wood movies, or Transformers. I think it more likely that he hated the fact that it had such universal success.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Penny Thoughts ‘14—Django Unchained (2012) ****

R, 165 min.
Director/Writer: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Walton Goggins, Dennis Christopher, James Remar, David Steen, Dana Gourrier, Nichole Galicia, Laura Cayouette, Ato Essendoh, Sammi Rotibi, Clay Donohue Fontenot, Escalante Lundy, Miriam F. Glover, Don Johnson, James Russo, Tom Wopat, Don Stroud, Russ Tamblyn, Amber Tamblyn, Bruce Dern, M.C. Gainey, Franco Nero, Cooper Huckabee, Doc Duhame, Jonah Hill, Lee Horsley, Zoë Bell, Michael Bowen, Robert Carradine, Jake Garber, Ted Neeley, James Parks, Tom Savini, Michael Parks, John Jarratt, Quentin Tarantino


Django, have you always been alone?


Django, have you never loved again?
Love will live on, oh oh oh...
Life must go on, oh oh oh...
For you cannot spend your life regretting

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Penny Thoughts ‘14—About Time (2013) ***

R, 123 min.
Director/Writer: Richard Curtis
Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, Lydia Wilson, Lindsay Duncan, Richard Cordery, Joshua McGuire, Tom Hollander, Margot Robbie, Will Merrick, Vanessa Kirby, Tom Hughes

“About Time” has a right dodgy premise for a British romantic comedy, but its small cast pulls it off with style and grace. It involves an eccentric and reclusive family in which, it is explained by the patriarch to his son on his 21st birthday, all the men have the ability to travel through time. Well, back and forth from present to past, no future travel.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Penny Thoughts ‘14—The Tree of Life (2011) ****

PG-13, 139 min.
Director/Writer: Terrence Malick
Starring: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Hunter McCracken, Laramie Eppler, Tye Sheridan, Fiona Shaw

With the Summer Solstice upon us, my thoughts have drifted back to Terrence Malick’s 2011 film “The Tree of Life”. While certainly encompassing a larger scope than just the season in which many of its events are set, the film is a remarkably summer movie. When it was set for a summer release date, I questioned it. Malick hardly makes summer blockbusters. Even though it most certainly wasn’t a blockbuster, summer was most definitely the right time to release the movie.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Penny Thoughts ‘14—24, season 1 (2001-2002) ****

TV-14, 24 42-min. episodes
Creator: Joel Surnow, Robert Cochran

Directors: Stephen Hopkins, Winrich Kolbe, Bryan Spicer, Davis Guggenheim, Jon Cassar, Frederick K. Keller, Paul Shapiro

Writers: Joel Surnow, Robert Cochran, Michael Loceff, Chip Johannessen, Howard Gordon, Andrea Newman, Virgil Williams, Lawrence Herzog, Michael Chernuchin, Maurice Hurley

Starring: Kiefer Sutherland, Leslie Hope, Sarah Clarke, Elisha Cuthbert, Dennis Haysbert, Carlos Bernard, Daniel Bess, Penny Johnson Jerald, Zeljko Ivanek, Michael Massee, Vicellous Shannon

Guest starring: Xander Berkley Mia Kirshner, Michael O’Neill, Rudolf Martin, Matthew Carey, Jacqui Maxwell, Karina Arroyave, , Megalyn Echikunwoke, Zach Grenier, Kim Murphy, John Hawkes, Tanya Wright, Jude Ciccolella, Eric Balfour, Silas Weir Mitchell, Glenn Morshower, Jesse D. Goins, Kathleen Wilhoite, Tamara Tunie, Currie Graham, Richard Burgi, Al Leong, Misha Collins, Paul Schulze, Kara Zediker, Wade Williams, Henri Lubatti, Vincent Angell, Navi Rawat, Edoardo Ballerini, Kirk Baltz, Darin Heames, Christian Hastings, Dennis Hopper

“24” may have been the true birthplace of binge television watching. It’s high-end concept all but demands that every episode be watched in order. I attempted to watch it as it originally aired. I made it to the halfway point, before other appointments started getting in the way. This was back in the day when Tivo was the only digital recorder and only the elite had yet to subscribe.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Penny Thoughts ‘14—Philomena (2013) ***½

PG-13, 98 min.
Director: Stephen Frears
Writers: Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope, Martin Sixsmith (book “The Lost Child of Philomena Lee”)
Starring: Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Mare Winningham, Barbara Jefford, Ruth McCabe, Peter Hermann, Sean Mahon, Anna Maxwell Martin, Michelle Fairley

The U.S. trailers might leave a viewer to believe that “Philomena” is a comedy about a hardened journalist forced to do a human interest story about a woman searching for a child she once gave up for adoption. The woman is a quirky old person who isn’t very well traveled, and the movie will be a comedic exploration of how these two opposites will learn to live with and love each other. This is not the case.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Penny Thoughts ‘14—Free Birds (2013) ***

PG, 91 min.
Director: Jimmy Hayward
Writers: Scott Mosier, Jimmy Hayward, David I. Stern, John J. Strauss
Voices: Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson, Amy Poehler, George Takei, Colm Meaney, Keith David, Dan Fogler, Jimmy Hayward

“Free Birds” is a perfectly enjoyable family movie. In fact, I’ll give it extra points for its irreverent humor, which rears up even before the movie starts with a pre-movie disclaimer that states there my be some historical inaccuracies found within its tale, but the talking turkeys are totally historically accurate. Also one of the lead turkeys is clearly insane, which is always a nice quality in a turkey for the adults in the crowd. We like those less predictable elements in our family films.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Fault In Our Stars / *** (PG-13)

Hazel: Shailene Woodley
Gus: Ansel Elgort
Frannie: Laura Dern
Michael: Sam Tremmell
Isaac: Nat Wolff
Van Houten: Willem Dafoe

20th Century Fox presents a film directed by Josh Boone. Written by Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber. Based on the novel by John Green. Running time: 125 min. Rated PG-13 (thematic elements, some sexuality and brief strong language).

You’ve seen this story before. A young person is diagnosed with a terminal illness. She hasn’t had a chance to live life or even grow up, and she’s already facing death. She meets someone who not only changes her life, but her perspective on life, and she can face her fate with more dignity than before. Yes, it’s been done before; but here, it is not only done well, but it contains a surprising twist and touches upon something that these stories often don’t. The afflicted person is not the only person in her scenario. There are others in her life that care for her and adjust their own lives for her affliction, and the most important thing for the person who is dying is that her death affect those around her as little as possible, which is just simply not possible.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Penny Thoughts ‘14—Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction (2013) ***

NR, 77 min.
Director: Sophie Huber
Featuring: Harry Dean Stanton, David Lynch, Sam Shepard, Kris Kristofferson, Wim Wenders, Deborah Harry

Yesterday I reviewed “Repo Man”, the movie probably most responsible for my awareness of character actor Harry Dean Stanton. I had most likely seen him in many movies before I saw “Repo Man”, certainly in Ridley Scott’s “Alien”; but it was “Repo Man” that let me know that this was an actor to whom I must pay attention.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Penny Thoughts ‘14—Repo Man (1984) ****

R, 92 min.
Director/Writer: Alex Cox
Starring: Emilio Estevez, Harry Dean Stanton, Tracey Walter, Olivia Barash, Sy Richardson, Susan Barnes, Fox Harris, Tom Finnegan, Del Zamora, Eddie Velez, Zander Schloss, Jennifer Balgobin, Dick Rude, Miguel Sandoval, Vonetta McGee

In high school, my friends and I would imagine that the Sheen family (Martin Sheen and Charlie Sheen) name was actually Sheen rather than Estevez and act out a scene about Emilio changing his name from Sheen to Estevez. At that point in time, it would’ve made no sense. No actor who wanted to make a name for himself would change his name from a respectable and established Hollywood white name like Sheen to something of obvious ethnicity like Estevez. We would even play it as if his first name was actually Steve—or something closer to the white norm of Martin and Charlie—and he purposely changed it to Emilio Estevez as some strange act of rebellion.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Edge of Tomorrow / *** (PG-13)

Major William Cage: Tom Cruise
Rita Vrataski: Emily Blunt
General Brigham: Brendan Gleeson
Master Sergeant Farell: Bill Paxton
Dr. Carter: Noah Taylor

Warner Bros. Pictures presents a film directed by Doug Liman. Written by Christopher McQuarrie and Jez Butterworth & John-Henry Butterworth. Running time: 113 min. Rated PG-13 (for intense sequences of sci-fi action violence, language and brief suggestive material).

“Well, what if there is no tomorrow? There wasn't one today.”
                                                                        —Phil Connors, “Groundhog Day”.

After seeing the trailers for the new sci-fi action flick “Edge of Tomorrow”, it seemed everyone on the internet was comparing the movie to other movies, saying it was a cross between “Groundhog Day” and “The Matrix”, or “Groundhog Day” and “Battle: Los Angeles”, or “Groundhog Day” and “insert alien invasion movie or your choice here.” The constant was “Groundhog Day” due to the notion made clear in the movie’s trailer that the hero of the flick would relive the same day over and over until he was able to stop the alien invasion. It’s a shame, however that the trailers were so intent on letting the audience in on this premise before actually seeing the movie. It would’ve been interesting to go into the movie without any knowledge of where the movie was going.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Penny Thoughts ‘14—The Haunted Mansion (2013) **

PG, 88 min.
Director: Rob Minkoff
Writer: David Berenbaum
Starring: Eddie Murphy, Marsha Thomason, Terence Stamp, Nathaniel Parker, Marc John Jefferies, Aree Davis, Jennifer Tilly, Wallace Shawn, Dina Walters

I’ve never really explained on the site exactly what I mean by “Penny Thoughts”. Generally, I do about one theatrical review a week. That’s a full-length review of a movie currently in theaters. The rest of the week I review films in my Penny Thoughts feature. These reviews are shorter. I usually forego the synopsis or at least cut the synopsis down to just a paragraph. But really, a Penny Thought doesn’t necessarily have to be a review at all. It’s really just the thoughts that a certain movie inspires once I see it. The thoughts that Disney’s “The Haunted Mansion” inspired were to finally explain what the Penny Thoughts feature was about. It’s a little more interesting than the movie itself. I watched it for the kids. I guess they like it alright.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Penny Thoughts ‘14—Delivery Man (2013) ***½

PG-13, 105 min.
Director: Ken Scott
Writers: Ken Scott (also screenplay “Starbuck”), Martin Petit (screenplay “Starbuck”)
Starring: Vince Vaughn, Chris Pratt, Cobie Smulders, Andrzej Blumenfeld, Simon Delaney, Bobby Moynihan, Dave Patten, Adam Chanler-Berat, Britt Robertson, Jack Reynor, Amos VanderPoel, Matthew Daddario

“Delivery Man” is a pleasant film that proves that sometimes the execs at Hollywood can make good decisions. The film is a remake of the Canadian movie “Starbuck”, which caused a bit of a stir with its good-hearted charm in a story about a man who through sperm bank deposits fathers over 500 children. Only a man without much sense of responsibility could possibly even donate enough sperm to father over 500 children; however, when he’s sued to reveal his identity to a large group of these children, he learns the responsibility of fatherhood.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Penny Thoughts ‘14—Saving Mr. Banks (2013) ***½

PG-13, 125 min.
Director: John Lee Hancock
Writers: Kelly Marcel, Sue Smith
Starring: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell, Annie Rose Buckley, Ruth Wilson, Paul Giamatti, Bradley Whitford, B.J. Novak, Jason Schwartzman, Lily Bingham, Kathy Baker, Melanie Paxon, Andy McPhee, Rachel Griffiths, Ronan Vibert

Going in to “Saving Mr. Banks” I expected to see a nice insider drama. Nothing groundbreaking. Nothing offensive. Nothing risky. I suppose it isn’t any of those things, but it was more than I expected.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Penny Thoughts ‘14—Ghostbusters (1984) ***½

PG, 105 min.
Director: Ivan Reitman
Writers: Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis
Starring: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Sigourney Weaver, Rick Moranis, Annie Potts, William Atherton, Ernie Hudson

30 years ago today “Ghost Busters”—it’s two words on the title card—opened in theaters and became not just a movie, but a cultural reference, as many 80s films seemed to do. You don’t see individual movies become such a phenomenon anymore. Even the Marvel Universe movies became what they are as a group of films rather than individuals. “Ghostbusters” had a life of its own.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Penny Thoughts ‘14—Silent Running (1972) *

G, 89 min.
Director: Douglas Trumbull
Writers: Deric Washburn, Mike Cimino, Steve Bochco
Starring: Bruce Dern, Cliff Potts, Ron Rifkin, Jesse Vint, Mark Persons, Cheryl Sparks

I was taken aback to learn just how bad this movie is. It’s one of those movies that, if you’re into science fiction at all, is just kind of there as what I assumed was a classic of the genre. I had even assumed that I had seen at least parts of it before, but I hadn’t. So I finally have seen it, and it is terrible.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Penny Thoughts ‘14—Joe Kidd (1972) ***

PG, 88 min.
Director: John Sturges
Writer: Elmore Leonard
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Robert Duvall, John Saxon, Don Stroud, Stella Garcia, James Wainwright, Paul Koslo, Gregory Walcott, Dick Van Patten, Lynne Marta, John Carter, Pepe Hern

I did my part this past weekend to pass on the great tradition of the western. I feel I haven’t instilled it enough in my first three children, so I decided to start early with our latest edition. This weekend I sat down with my youngest (2½ mos) and watched a Clint Eastwood western.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Penny Thoughts ‘14—Escape from Tomorrow (2013) ***

NR, 90 min.
Director/Writer: Randy Moore
Starring: Roy Abramsohn, Elena Schuber, Katelynn Rodriguez, Jack Dalton, Danielle Safady, Annet Mahendru, Lee Armstrong, Alison Lees-Taylor

I’m not sure you can fully appreciate “Escape From Tomorrow” if you aren’t a parent and haven’t been to either Disney World or Disneyland. I fulfill all these criteria. I’ve taken my family to both Disney World and Disneyland, and I can easily understand how Disney World and Epcot could send a father over the edge.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Penny Thoughts ‘14—Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 (2013) ***

PG, 95 min.
Directors: Cody Cameron, Kris Pearn
Writers: Erica Rivinoja, John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, Judi Barrett (characters), Ron Berrett (characters)
Voices: Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Will Forte, Andy Samberg, Benjamin Bratt, Neil Patrick Harris, Terry Crews, Kristen Schaal

There are some movies that are good, but just don’t cry out to be analyzed. Sometimes I enjoy a movie, but have very little to say about it. I enjoyed “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2”. It wasn’t as good as the original, which I love and can’t say enough about. This one tries to recapture some of the magic from the original. It does to some degree. Every once and a while I dips a little too often into the same well of jokes. It works better when it’s creating new jokes, instead of just repeating what worked in the original. And… um, well. That’s about it.

Monday, June 02, 2014

Penny Thoughts ’14—The Americans, season 2 (2014) ****

TV-MA, 13 50 min. episodes
Creator: Joseph Weisberg

Directors: Thomas Schlamme, Daniel Sackheim, Constantine Makris, Lodge Kerrigan, Dan Attias, Charlotte Sieling, Kevin Dowling, John Dahl, Alik Sakharov, Stefan Schwartz, Gregory Hoblit, Andrew Bernstein

Writers: Joseph Weisberg, Joel Fields, Stu Zicherman, Stephen Schiff, Angelina Burnett, Melissa James Gibson, Joshua Brand, Peter Ackerman, Tracey Scott Wilson, Oliver North

Starring: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Noah Emmerich, Annet Mahendru, Susan Misner, Alison Wright, Holly Taylor, Keidrich Sellati, Richard Thomas, Lev Gorn, Costa Ronin

Guest starring: Jeremy Davidson, Natalie Gold, Tim Hopper, John Carroll Lynch, Aimee Carrero, Erik Jensen, Anthony Arkin, Kathleen Chalfant, Owen Campbell, Michael Aronov, Jefferson White, Cliff Marc Simon, Cotter Smith, John Bedford Lloyd, Wrenn Schmidt, Lee Tergesen, Nick Bailey, Jeffrey Cantor, Reg Rogers, Kelly AuCoin, Gillian Alexy, Rahul Khanna, Zeljko Ivanek, Margo Martindale

FX’s “The Americans” continues to impress in its second season. Gone are the rough patches of trying to hold together a fake marriage while working deep undercover as Russian sleeper agents in the early 80s. The parents of the Jennings household are now a unified front. The trick is becoming keeping that front for their children.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Penny Thoughts ‘14—Person of Interest, season 3 (2013-2014) **½

TV-14, 23 45-min. episodes
Creator: Jonathan Nolan

Directors: Chris Fisher, Fredrick E.O. Toye, Omar Madha, Stephen Williams, Kenneth Fink, Helen Shaver, Stephen Surjik, Sylvain White, Richard J. Lewis, Jeffrey Hunt, Jeff T. Thomas, Jeffrey Lee Gibson, Kevin Hooks,

Writers: Jonathan Nolan, Greg Plageman, Denise Thé, Sean Hennen, Nic Van Zeebroeck, Mike Sopczynski, Erik Mountain, Amanda Segel, Melissa Scrivner Love, David Slack, Dan Dietz, Lucas O’Connor, Tony Camerino,

Starring: Jim Caviezel, Michael Emerson, Sarah Shahi, Amy Acker, Kevin Chapman, Taraji P. Henson

Guest starring: Ray Valentin, Max Martini, Bruce Altman, Alano Miller, David Valcin, Enrico Colantoni, David Alan Basch, Clarke Peters, Leslie Odom Jr., Gary Basaraba, Paige Turco, Warren Kole, Boris McGiver, Kathleen Rose Perkins, Paul Ben-Victor, Annika Boras, Al Sapienza, Brian Wiles, Daniel Cosgrove, Treach, Danielle Kotch, Morgan Spector, Robert John Burke, Kirk Acevedo, Michael Esper, Donnie Keshawarz, Aaron Staton, Jennifer Ferrin, Laz Alonso, Ben Livingston, Lee Tergesen, Khalil Kain, Richard Brooks, Brian Tarantina, Saul Rubinek, Tuck Milligan, Camryn Manheim, Jennifer Lim, Chris Bert, Jennifer Serralles, Sally Pressman, Samm Levine, Elaine Tan, Henri Lubatti, Gene Farber, Melissa Sagemiller, Gavin Stenhouse, Kathleen McNanny, David Andrew Macdonald, Anthony Mangano, Tyler Evans, Neil Jackson, Jay O. Sanders, John Nolan, Joseph Mazzello, Julian Ovenden, Casey Siemaszko, Annie Parrise, Dillon Arrick, Yul Vazquez, Colin Donnell, Nazneen Contractor, Haaz Sleiman, Michel Gil, Nestor Carbonell, John Doman, John Heard, Carrie Preston, Joseph Melendez, Peter Scanavino, Diane Davis

I’ve never been totally on board with CBS’s Jonathan Nolan created cyber-thriller series “Person of Interest”, although it’s third season has certainly proved its most interesting to date. I watch it because my wife does, and I’ve seen enough to be invested, but if we stopped watching tomorrow, it wouldn’t break my heart. Still, the show is finally beginning to go in direction I would’ve expected from Jonathan Nolan, brother of Christopher Nolan and writer of the original story upon which Christopher Nolan’s breakout film “Memento” was based.