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Posts Tagged ‘Chloe Grace Moretz’

Chloe Grace Moretz

“THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST” My rating: B-

91 minutes | No MPAA rating

Fairness and honesty are virtues in everyday life.  Not necessarily in filmmaking.

With “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” director Desiree Akhavan adapts Emily Danforth’s novel about a teenage lesbian sent to a  religious-themed boarding school where she’s expected to redefine her sexual orientation.

With a cast headlined by the reliable Chloe Grace Moretz and Jennifer Ehle, the film promises a finely calibrated acting showcase. But something’s missing.

Given the subject matter, a director could take a couple of approaches. One could play it for satire, ridiculing religious bigots who believe you can pray the gay away. If humor seems too frivolous a way to approach such a serious subject, then there’s always the moral outrage route. Get angry.

“Miseducation…” finds a more balanced third way. The film attempts to honestly present the no-win situation in which these kids find themselves (they can only please God by hating themselves) without painting the staff and teachers as hateful bigots. It assumes that as wrong as their ideas may be, these educators/indoctrinators are coming from a place of genuine Christian concern.

Trouble is, such evenhandedness makes for anemic drama. With the exception of one hair-raising scene in which a male student (a terrific Owen Campbell) undergoes a total meltdown, the film is frustratingly low keyed.

Cameron (Moretz) is an orphan being raised by her aunt. She’s a typical adolescent rebel — marijuana and boredom and passive aggressiveness.

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Keira Knightley, Chloe Grace Moretz

Keira Knightley, Chloe Grace Moretz

“LAGGIES”  My rating: D+

99 minutes | MPAA rating: R

Every filmmaker is allowed a few career missteps.

Lynn Shelton seems to have spent all hers on just one movie.

“Laggies” is…what? An unfunny comedy?  An uninvolving drama?

Whatever it is, it wastes what looks like a dream cast on a script so wretched you’ve got to wonder what all these talented people possibly saw in it.

Shelton is the indie phenom who seemed on the verge of greatness with her 2011 release “Your Sister’s Sister,” a comedy about two sisters’ relationships with the same man marked by long, real-time conversations.

Perhaps we should have taken heed when her last effort, 2013’s “Touchy Feely,” vanished without so much as a whimper.

The screenplay from first-timer Andrea Seigel centers on Megan (Keira Knightley), who a decade after high school is still adrift.

Her friends have spouses, kids and careers. Megan’s job is waving a sign to attract drivers to her dad’s tax preparation business.

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kick-ass Chloe“KICK-ASS 2”  My rating: C (Opening wide on Aug. 16)

103 minutes | MPAA rating: R

“Kick-Ass 2” is a letdown, a mean-spirited and puerile sequel that leaves you stranded between giggling and gagging.

But I’m not sorry to have seen it for one reason: Chloe Grace Moretz.

Moretz was only 12 in 2009 when she appeared in the first “Kick-Ass” as Mindy Macready, a little girl trained by her vigilante father to suit up in purple Spandex and fight crime under the name of Hit-Girl. The novelty of seeing this petite child stomping the hell out of viscious adults (and lobbing ear-stinging profanities) was memorable, to say the least.

In the intervening four years — during which she turned in a brilliant performance as a child vampire in “Let Me In” and had a big role in Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo” — Moretz has grown up considerably.  She’s becoming a beautiful young woman (small wonder that this film often features looming closeups emphasizing her hazel eyes and full lips) and this lends a whole new aspect to her Hit-Girl persona.

To put it bluntly, she’s now a dirty old man’s dream teen.

Not that she’ll be making a career of that. She’s too talented. But her presence in “K-A 2” announces that as she matures she’s going to be a major star. Bet on it.

Despite Moretz, this new film has two strikes against it. First, even fans of the “Kick-Ass” comic books acknowledge that while the initial series was terrific, the followup was awful.

And, second, the first movie benefitted from the direction of Matthew Vaughn, the guy behind the nifty Brit crime film “Layer Cake” and, later, “X-Men: First Class.”  For “K-A 2” he’s been replaced by Jeff Wadlow, who with his third feature doesn’t yet demonstrate the tonal control needed to keep the yarn’s amusing and appalling elements in balance.

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