Movie Of The Week

Focus is the latest movie to star Will Smith as a master con man who gets a little too close to his new apprentice.  Years later she suddenly appears at the scene of Smith's biggest con to date.  Is it just coincidence or something more sinister?

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  • The D.U.F.F. is Hollywood’s latest film adaptation from a novel of the same name that also seems to follow along the lines of a typical teen comedy.  The D.U.F.F. was written by Kody Keplinger and was released in hardback in September of 2010, and has since made its way to paperback and eBook status.  The D.U.F.F. is actually an acronym that stands for a teenage social group’s “designated ugly fat friend”.  According to the film version of the novel, the friend does not need to be ugly or fat, but he or she does need to be the least attractive member of a group of friends.  This person in the group then has the job of “gatekeeper”.  Since they are the least attractive, and therefore on a superficial level, are the least desirable to the opposite sex; they become the most approachable person in the group.  The D.U.F.F. can answer questions for newly single or inquiring minds of the opposite sex without having an awkward conversation with a hotter member of the group in the hallway, in class, or at a party.  Interested people can find out about love interests, relationship statuses, or upcoming plans so as not to conflict or seem desperate to an uninterested hottie.  This all seems well and good if you are friending up the social high school ladder and take on your role as the D.U.F.F. with enthusiasm and gusto, but what would you do if you found out that you were the D.U.F.F. and never knew it?

  • Kingsman: The Secret Service is a new Hollywood blockbuster based on a 2012 spy comic series called The Secret Service; it was printed in 6 issues and written by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons.  The Hollywood film is written, produced, and directed by Englishman Matthew Vaughn; who is known for his other great films: Stardust, Kick-Ass, and X-Men: First Class.  Vaughn is known for pairing new comer rising stars with some of Hollywood’s best.  In Kingsman, Vaughn starts off with British veterans: Academy Award winner Colin Firth (The King’s Speech, Dorian Gray, and Bridget Jones’s Diary); Mark Strong (the TV series Low Winter Sun, Green Lantern, and Sherlock Holmes); and multiple Oscar winner Michael Caine (Interstellar, Now You See Me, and The Dark Knight Rises).  But the star of the film is spy in training Eggsy, brought to life by new comer Taron Egerton (Testament of Youth, the TV series The Smoke, and the TV series Inspector Lewis), as well as Roxy, portrayed by Sophie Cookson (the TV movie Unknown Heart, the TV series Rosamunde Pilcher, and the TV mini-series Moonfleet).  Vaughn puts together a spy thriller in the spirit of all of the movies that have come before it, but still seems to poke a little fun at them even when naming the pug puppy J.B. that could have stood for James Bond or Jason Bourne, but actually stands for Jack Bauer.

  • Jupiter Ascending is the latest film to come from Andy and Lana Wachowski, the writing directing sibling team that created The Matrix TrilogyThe Matrix Trilogy was a box office juggernaut that brought in over $592 million for Warner Brothers, while their second attempt at success, Cloud Atlas, only brought in $27 million.  In an attempt to rebound back from a disappointing outing with Atlas, the Wachowskis have brought in some Hollywood icons that appeal to a wide range of public personas.  First is celebrity heart throb Channing Tatum, who has had success in recent years with very popular movies like the slap stick comedies in the 21 Jump Street series, taking off his clothes in Magic Mike, and playing an action hero in the G.I. Joe movie franchise.  Alongside Tatum is Hollywood starlet Mila Kunis, who has been very successful in her TV work on That 70’s Show and Family Guy, but whose movie roles always seem to get lukewarm ratings like Oz the Great and Powerful, Friends with Benefits, and Max Payne.  In addition to the power couple of the film, we also have Oscar nominated Eddie Redmayne from The Theory of Everything and Les Miserables; as well as character actor Sean Bean, who has taken part in some very successful enterprises such as the TV series Game of Thrones, The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, and National Treasure.  But unfortunately, the Wachowskis are better at providing breakout roles for actors than in allowing actors to project their own star power off of the screen.