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Review – The November Man

With Pierce Brosnan, Luke Bracey, Olga Kurylenko, Bill Smitrovich, Will Patton. Written by Michael Finch & Karl Gajdusek. Directed by Roger Donaldson. Rated R for strong violence including a sexual assault, language, sexuality/nudity and brief drug use. 108 minutes.

We don’t really expect much of releases during the last week of the summer movie season, which ends this Labor Day weekend. So THE NOVEMBER MAN– not to be confused with the abysmal 1989 victim-of-the-Writers’-strike turkey “The January Man”–is an unexpected surprise. It’s got suspense, a complex spy thriller plot, and some top-notch action, and it is surprisingly entertaining.

It opens with Devereaux (Pierce Brosnan), a veteran spy, giving pointers to Mason (Luke Bracey), his protégé. Things don’t work out exactly as planned. Jump to the present where Mason is now a trusted CIA agent and Devereaux is retired and living in Switzerland. Devereaux is visited by Hanley (Bill Smitrovich), an old colleague, and asked to come out of retirement to help a Russian double agent defect. She is close to the next president of Russia and has a key name that will compromise him. Things soon go awry.

To reveal much more of the plot would be to give too much away. Suffice to say that Devereaux and Mason find themselves on opposite sides, with Devereaux still playing the teacher. When a young woman (Olga Kurylenko) who may have known a key figure emerges, the action is fully in play. Working at cross purposes are Devereaux, a Russian assassin, a CIA team led by Mason and being ordered by the shifty Weinstein (Will Patton), and Hanley, whose own motives become clear only late in the film.

Based on a novel by Bill Granger (and given a lame title change that gets explained very late in the film) you might think to give this a miss. However, if you enjoy spy stories filled with plots and counterplots and betrayals, this is exactly your speed. It’s not quite John le Carré territory, but it recognizes espionage as a profession built upon lies and duplicity. If you’re lying to everyone you meet, how can you assume anyone is telling you the truth?

Director Roger Donaldson keeps the action moving at a steady clip. If you’re not paying attention, you may find the story hard to follow, but as long as you stick with Brosnan’s Devereaux you should be in good shape. Brosnan also served as the film’s executive producer and clearly was looking for a vehicle that would showcase his talents. The former James Bond doesn’t engage in cheeky quips, rather, he’s full of irony and ready to inflict extreme violence if that’s what it takes to get the job done.

The movie was shot on location in Serbia and Montenegro. This undoubtedly saved the production money, but it also means that the film doesn’t look like every other film and makes good use of locations that haven’t been done to death in other movies. While they may have saved money shooting abroad, they did not scrimp on the script or the cast or the director, and the result is a very slick film. Brosnan has his best role since 2005’s “Matador” (another film from his production company), and the supporting players are exceptional, particularly Kurylenko and Smitrovich.

“The November Man” is not a deep-dish spy movie, nor is it something that will be remembered at Oscar time. It’s significant because one’s expectations for the releases just before Labor Day is that they are trash being swept out the door by the studios. Instead, what we get here is a very entertaining film and one that will be enjoyed long after it has left the theaters.•••

North Shore Movies has given this film a score of 3.5 out of 5.Daniel M. Kimmel is a veteran movie critic and author of a host of film-related books. His most recent book is Shh! It’s a Secret: a novel about Aliens, Hollywood and the Bartender’s Guide. He lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.

Review – Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

With Mickey Rourke, Josh Brolin, Eva Green, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Powers Boothe. Written by Frank Miller. Directed by Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez. Rated R for strong brutal stylized violence throughout, sexual content, nudity, and brief drug use. 102 minutes.

You wouldn’t want every movie to look like “Sin City” (2005), but there’s no question that Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller, the latter of whom originated the graphic novels on which the films are based, have created a unique look. The black-and-white images broken with occasional splashes of color make it appear as if they flew off the page onto the screen. They succeed again with SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR.

That said, it’s important to note up front we’re not talking great literature here. Like Mickey Spillane’s “Mike Hammer” novels, these are down-and-dirty pulp fictions. The characters are lowlifes, the action consists mostly of steamy sex and raw violence, and any resemblance to the real world is purely coincidental. The body count is high and several of the deaths–and injuries–are especially brutal.

As with the first film, the movie consists of several intertwined and overlapping stories. Marv (Mickey Rourke under considerable makeup) is essentially a fighting machine but has a code of honor of sorts. He appears in the prologue primarily to open the film with a bang, but is a supporting player in two of the other stories as well. If you can accept him, the rest of the film will be easy.

The main story (which takes up most of the screen time) involves Dwight (Josh Brolin), a private detective who we first see taking photos of a cheating husband (Ray Liotta). Ava (Eva Green), a woman from his past, has reappeared and even though she’s married she still has her hooks in him. She is accompanied by a mysterious chauffeur/bodyguard (Dennis Haysbert). This is a story of lies and betrayal in the best noir tradition, with Green both sexy and sinister as the femme fatale. As with the recent “300: Rise of an Empire” (also based on a Miller graphic novel), she’s the best thing in the film.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt has a nice turn as Johnny in a story about an incredibly lucky guy who sits down for poker with the ruthless Senator Roark (Powers Boothe). As Johnny notes, he can’t lose, and when he presses his luck with Roark he learns the penalty for messing with a powerful figure used to having his own way. Christopher Lloyd pops up as a sleazy ex-doctor who will repair the damage to Johnny… for a price.

Roark is also the villain of the last story, this one a sequel to the first film, where his son brutalized a stripper named Nancy (Jessica Alba). She got rescued by Hartigan (Bruce Willis), whose spirit now haunts her. She’s trying to get up the nerve to go after Roark herself. It is the weakest of the film’s stories, highlighted mostly by the R-rated cartoonish violence when Nancy and Marv go after Roark.

“Sin City: A Dame To Kill For” is visually stunning enough that it holds your interest through its 102-minute running time. The stories are lurid but the characters are larger-than-life with the actors playing them to the hilt. Actors like Boothe, Brolin, and Haysbert have all done better and more subtle work elsewhere, but given the chance to chew the scenery they do it with flair. It’s not exactly a “check your brain at the door” sort of movie, but it is one that appeals to our more animal instincts.•••

North Shore Movies has given this film a score of 4 out of 5.Daniel M. Kimmel is a veteran movie critic and author of a host of film-related books. His most recent book is Shh! It’s a Secret: a novel about Aliens, Hollywood and the Bartender’s Guide. He lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.

Review – If I Stay

With Chloë Grace Moretz, Mireille Enos, Jamie Blackley, Liana Liberato, Stacy Keach. Written by Shauna Cross. Directed by R.J. Cutler. Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and some sexual material. 106 minutes.

This year’s summer movie season is bracketed by two tearjerkers about teenagers in love facing death. It opened with “The Fault in Our Stars,” in which the protagonists were dealing with cancer, and heads into the final weeks with IF I STAY, where the heroine is in a coma. A third film will mark this as an official trend.

Based on the novel by Gayle Forman, it tells the story of Mia Hall (Chloë Grace Moretz). She’s a high school cellist who attracts the attention of the coolest boy in the school, Adam (Jamie Blackley). He’s cool because he’s the lead in a rock band that is starting to go places. In spite of their musical differences, they respect each other’s passion for their music, and fall in love.

We already know this is an unconventional story because Mia’s family is very offbeat, including her father (Joshua Leonard), himself a former rocker, and mother (Mireille Enos), an unreconstructed hippie. It’s a family where everyone loves and supports each other. Naturally they are doomed.

A car accident has dire consequences for Mia, her parents and her younger brother, and her spirit/soul sees everything from the outside. While doctors fight to save her a nurse whispers in her ear that it’s up to her to fight for her life. The bulk of the film is Mia’s story told in flashbacks intercut with the hospital drama as we wait to see Mia’s fate. It’s all very melodramatic, including a scene with her grandfather (Stacy Keach) talking to his comatose granddaughter, but it’s slickly done. Indeed, it is to the filmmakers’ credit that you can’t be 100% certain how it’s going to turn out. As the story progresses, there are indications that we may get the happy ending we’re yearning for or that it will end on the tragic note that tearjerkers like this often do. Indeed, it’s not until the film’s final moments that we get the answer.

The film is helped by a strong cast but it rises or falls on Moretz’s performance. Not yet eighteen, she’s already marked as a child actress likely to make a successful transition to adult roles. Whether playing in an action comedy like “Kick Ass,” a stylized horror film like “Let Me In,” a fantasy like “Hugo” or a teen romance as she does here, she immerses herself in her characters. What might have been simply a cheap bid for tears turns into a complex portrait of a girl navigating an extremely difficult path to adulthood.

Leonard and Enos are fun as her bit-too-liberated parents, as is Liana Liberato as her best friend. Blackley gets to be hunky sensitive guy for much of the film, but when the story requires him to be a bit more complicated he rises to the occasion. Students of American cultural changes might also want to take note of the off-handed way the film disposes of a potential romantic rival in Adam’s band.

“If I Stay” is first and foremost a teen romance, and cynical adults may have forgotten that adolescence is a time of intense and raw emotions. The film captures that spirit without condescension or knowing winks, nor with gratuitous elements–drug humor, sex jokes–that all too often crops up in such material. It plays its story straight, and for those willing and able to go along with the plot contrivance, it the sort of teary romance that will make either a great date movie or a girl’s night out.•••

North Shore Movies has given this film a score of 3.5 out of 5.Daniel M. Kimmel is a veteran movie critic and author of a host of film-related books. His most recent book is Shh! It’s a Secret: a novel about Aliens, Hollywood and the Bartender’s Guide. He lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.

Review – The Giver

With Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Brenton Thwaites, Alexander Skarsgård, and Katie Holmes; Written by Michael Mitnick and Robert B. Weide; Directed by
Phillip Noyce; Rated PG-13 for a mature thematic image and some sci-fi action/violence. 94 minutes.

“The book was better than the movie,” is usually a statement made not as a matter of fact, but as shorthand to say, “I have the mental focus, the copious leisure time, and the kind of cultured upbringing required to actually read a book, you illiterate, populist plebian.” Making the comparison is not only passive-aggressively dickish–and often spoken with the same teeth-gnashed, barely-contained, Thurston Howell III disdain as the dig “I don’t even own a television”–but also misses the point. Yes, Plato, men and women sure are different, a dog is not a cat, and a book is not a movie. And congratulations–you’re an insufferable baggadouchio and a master of the obvious. Now, in the spirit of the book, take off your shirt, lie face-down on the bed, and prepare to be on the receiving end of an unpleasant rub.

Predictably, many will make the same ol’ snooty-snotty Buch-über-Film claim of THE GIVER, the long-brewing adaptation of Lois Lowry’s 1993 dystopian YA novel. “The Giver” tells the story of young Jonas (Brenton Thwaites of “Maleficent”), the oldest child in a future-y planned community (that looks very much like Walt Disney’s original vision for EPCOT). Here, life is perfect, because it is engineered that way, from the precision of the language, to the job you will train for starting at age 12, to the person you will marry. But Jonas is very different and special, and his very different specialness catches the attention of the Elders (the Chief of which is played by a surprisingly one-note Meryl Streep). The Elders inform Jonas that his path is that of “The Receiver,” the esteemed keeper of all the knowledge of the very, very bad world that came before. This reality is kept from the citizenry, which is kept in docile darkness with a daily morning dose of what’s probably a cocktail of Zoloft, lithium, and Flintstones chewable salt peter (kind of like a hypodermic Philip Glass record). His secretive, not-at-all-creepy man-boy training with “The Giver” (producer Jeff Bridges) begins, and he takes it upon himself that the world should know all the joys and horrors that existed in it before it turned so very, very bad.

However, ‘baggery-be-damned, “the book was better than the movie” is a hard claim to support here, as neither the book nor the movie is particularly well-written. Rather, they are both spartan to the point of being vague, and in both cases we never recover from the awkwardness of the very structured and precise language (also: why Bridges talks like Carl from “Sling Blade” is never explained). Neither the book nor the movie is refreshing, either, instead smacking of a forgettable, late-series “Twilight Zone” episode, in much the same way that M. Night Shyamalamadingdong’s derivative “The Village” did. The book is significant, though, as it was the modern dystopian novel that primed the pump for the likes of “The Hunger Games,” “Divergent,” and [whatever the kids are totes-magotes into this school year]. This may or may not be a crime against humanity, depending on how difficult it is to get your child to read a book without the aid of a quarantine, histrionic ransoming of handheld devices, or an EMP that mercifully takes out the power grid.

The gimmick in which a character sees only in black-and-white until he or she finds enlightenment was done defter in 1998’s “Pleasantville.” That movie’s director, Gary Ross, directed the first “Hunger Games” movie and created with it an immersive post-apocalyptic world. Here, the usually stalwart mercenary Phillip Noyce (TV’s “Revenge” and a laundry list of fair-to-middling movies you’ve probably half-enjoyed on cable TV over the years) makes the right stops through Lowry’s book, but in a very mechanical, book report-y kind of way. And for every dystopian cliché that adapters Robert B. Weide (“Woody Allen: A Documentary”) and first-timer Michael Mitnick avoid, like milking a romantic off-roading between Jonas and Fiona (Odeya Rush of “The Odd Life Of Timothy Green”), they are saddled with servicing two of Lowry’s clunkers. There’s the one in which Jonas must single-handedly free the world from its ignorance, and the one that has the entire society hidden away and not allowed to have knowledge of its very, very bad past. If romantic trope fetishist Nicholas Sparks wrote sci-fi, this would be his “Logan’s Run.”

It is the illustration of this very, very bad past during which the movie’s jagged seams become evident. When the Giver is imparting visions of the world before to Jonas via a handshake/psychic link (which was wisely changed from the slightly-nambla-riffic, half-naked back-rubbing in the book), they actually use GODDAMN YOUTUBE CLIPS. Nice production value, guys! Did you shoot the rest of the film on iPhones? Text-message script revisions back-and-forth? It is this kind of laziness that sums up the long journey of a movie that actually had the chance to rise above its unspectacular upbringing, but instead plays it safe and lives out its destiny as a cable TV staple that you kinda watch because you kinda remember it from middle school. It makes you wish that with all the apologizing that goes on between the characters in the movie that Bridges would show up in a post-credits stinger scene and say sorry for not giving us enough movie for our $11.00.•••

North Shore Movies has given this film a score of 2 out of 5.Robert Newton is Editor of North Shore Movies Weekly, and also the founder of the wicked quaint, living-room-style Cape Ann Community Cinema in Gloucester.

Review – The Expendables 3

With Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, Wesley Snipes. Written by Sylvester Stallone and Creighton Rothenberger & Katrin Benedikt. Directed by Patrick Hughes. Rated PG-13 for violence including intense sustained gun battles and fight scenes, and for language. 126 minutes.

Perhaps the most ironic thing about Sylvester Stallone’s series of movies featuring aging action stars is that most of them–including Stallone–can’t attract audiences for their own movies. However, throw them all together in an over-the-top picture featuring more bullets fired and bombs exploding than in a small war and it’s a huge hit. THE EXPENDABLES 3 shows no sign of the franchise slowing down.

As before, the plot is disposable. Barney (Stallone), Christmas (Jason Statham), Gunner (Dolph Lundgren), Toll Road (Randy Couture), and Caesar (Terry Crews) open the film with a big action set piece where they bust their compatriot Doc (Wesley Snipes) out of prison. It opens the film with a bang–including a train crashing into the prison–and marks the first major film appearance of Snipes in five years. Where has he been? Well, Doc tells us in the first of several in-jokes that makes the audience feel they’re part of the game.

While many critics have, correctly, noted how much the “Expendables” series owes to ‘80s action films, Stallone has a deeper debt to an entirely different group of movies:  the 1956 “Around The World in 80 Days,” “It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World,” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” Those films each had a list of guest stars (or guest toons) and part of the attraction was recognizing each one as they appeared.

Here it’s Arnold Schwarzenegger, returning as Trench, a competing mercenary who sometimes works with Barney. Oh look, it’s Harrison Ford, replacing Bruce Willis (with a quip acknowledging that), as Barney’s CIA contact. Hey, there’s Mel Gibson as Stonebanks, the arms dealer who is the film’s villain. Isn’t that Antonio Banderas as the motormouth who wants to join Barney’s team? Wow, there’s Robert Davi as someone wanting to buy a nuclear device from Stonebanks. What’s Kelsey Grammer doing here? Probably the oddest casting of the film, Grammer proves perfect bringing his droll delivery to the role of Bonaparte, who helps Barney put his new team together.

New team? Yes, the plot contrivance here is that after a botched job where they are outwitted by Stonebanks–whom everyone thought was dead–Barney lets his old team go and brings in a new crew (Kellan Lutz, Ronda Rousey, Victor Ortiz, Glen Powell) who are younger and more adept at modern warfare. You can guess where the plot is going, leading up to a big showdown with virtually the entire cast–plus Jet Li.

Stallone, who shares credit for the script, remains the leader of the group and the star of the film, but he’s generous with all his co-stars, making sure each of them get moments to shine. If you get into the rhythm of it, there’s definitely fun to be had, from Ford’s character not understanding Statham’s British accent to Banderas’s manic warrior who stops in the middle of a battle scene to pay court to Rousey. Rousey is the one woman in the crew and a real life MMA fighter. It’s to the film’s credit that she’s taken seriously and not just used as eye candy.

“The Expendables 3” is late summer fun for action fans. You don’t take it seriously for a moment, nor are you expected to. For fans of the genre, though, this series is their “Roger Rabbit.” The only regret is that some older action stars, like Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson, didn’t live to appear in them.•••

North Shore Movies has given this film a score of 3.5 out of 5.Daniel M. Kimmel is a veteran movie critic and author of a host of film-related books. His most recent book is Shh! It’s a Secret: a novel about Aliens, Hollywood and the Bartender’s Guide. He lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.

Review – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

With Megan Fox, Will Arnett, William Fichtner, Whoopi Goldberg, voice of Tony Shalhoub . Written by Josh Appelbaum & André Nemec and Evan Daugherty. Directed by Jonathan Liebesman. Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence. 101 minutes.

There are many reasons to reboot an old film series but the worst one is, “We already own it and can make some more money.” Not that the profit motive is inherently bad, but it helps if you have a story to tell or there’s a huge public demand for the characters to come back. The audience for TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES seems to consist of children watching the current cartoon on Nickelodeon and adults who recall the original comic books/cartoons/movies with nostalgia. The kids may enjoy this movie because kids enjoy most anything that’s not broccoli. Adults may be another story.

For those of you coming in late, the title characters are about as contrived as you can get. You either accept them or you don’t. They were pet turtles mutated into human size talking creatures who are both teenagers and ninjas. We know they’re teenagers because they like pizza–a particular brand that is one of many shameless plugs in the movie–and they’re ninjas because they wear masks and call their leader sensei. Oh, and they’re all named for Italian Renaissance artists: Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, Raphael.

Now there’s nothing inherently wrong with a science fiction action movie that features unbelievable and cartoonish characters and relies a lot on CGI. This summer’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” is a perfect example of that sort of film being done exceptionally well. However, it helps to have actors interested enough in their roles to make them interesting, as well as a script that consists of more than fight scenes and lame one-liners. Unfortunately, the movie fails on both counts.

When the film opens with Megan Fox as reporter April O’Neil, you already know you’re in trouble. April is doing fluff pieces but wants to break open the story of the mysterious Foot Clan, which has been engaging in a series of criminal acts. Her cameraman (Will Arnett) and producer (Whoopi Goldberg) are skeptical, especially when she claims to have seen heroic turtle figures fighting them. The Turtles (led by a giant rat named Splinter and voiced by Tony Shahloub) are fighting an evil plot by the seemingly indestructible Shredder, a big guy in a heavily-metal version of a samurai outfit. The real villain, though, is Eric Sacks, friend and colleague of April’s late father. That’s not a spoiler. We know he’s a villain from his first onscreen appearance because he’s played by William Fichtner, who’s at his best when he’s cast against type which, alas, is not the case here.

At this point if you still care enough about the movie, then only two things need to be said about it. For anyone who is beyond their pre-teen years, the movie isn’t very much fun. The action makes one appreciate the subtlety of the “Transformers” movies and the humor consists of things like one of the Turtles facing death admitting he didn’t get the ending of “Lost,” a TV show that ended four years ago.

As for youngsters, the movie is properly rated PG-13. There is a lot of violence, and threats of violence, that may frighten very young or sensitive children. Parents know what’s appropriate for their own families, but it’s worth mentioning that this series was not originally intended to be kiddie fare. Showing the Turtles (well, three of them) chained up as the evil Sacks drains their blood for his nefarious scheme isn’t the sort of material most people would use to entertain six-year-olds.

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” may succeed at the box office but, if so, it will only show that if a fan base is strong enough, one can make money with anything.•••

North Shore Movies has given this film a score of 1 out of 5.Daniel M. Kimmel is a veteran movie critic and author of a host of film-related books. His most recent book is Shh! It’s a Secret: a novel about Aliens, Hollywood and the Bartender’s Guide. He lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.


Review – The Hundred-Foot Journey

With Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal, Charlotte Le Bon, Michel Blanc. Written by Steven Knight. Directed by Lasse Hallström. Rated PG for thematic elements, some violence, language and brief sensuality. 118 minutes.

In the 1980s, Swedish director Lasse Hallström, previously known for doing a documentary about ABBA, gained fame with American arthouse viewers with a lovely film called “My Life As A Dog.” He arrived in Hollywood in the 1990s, and since then has become the go-to director for what might be called the “well-made film.” For every “The Cider House Rules” or “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?” there’s been a lot of commercial pap. Some, like “Chocolat,” were box office hits, but most were more like “Dear John,” “Salmon Fishing In The Yemen,” and “Safe Haven.” These are safe movies that are slickly made and intended to give viewers the effect of a warm bath: comfortable for a bit and then something you never think about again.

THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY is likely to fall into the same category as “Chocolat,” and not simply because it’s a French-based story involving romance and food. It’s pleasant, it’s professionally produced, and leaves you with that warm bath feeling. It’s not a great film but it is one that will please many.

Based on the novel of the same name by Richard C. Morais, the story has the substance of a fairy tale. The Kadam family, having fled violence in their native India, seek a place to live somewhere in Europe. Their car breaks down outside a village in France and the family patriarch (Om Puri) decided that this is where they should open up a new restaurant, featuring an Indian menu. Across the street–one hundred feet away–is a restaurant spotlighting classical French cuisine run by Madam Mallory (Helen Mirren). She is not happy about the competition.

Some tit-for-tat fighting occurs, leaving the poor mayor (Michel Blanc) in the middle when he’d rather be enjoying the food. Without giving away too much more of the plot, two things signal where things are headed. First, Hassan (Manish Dayal) is a gifted cook who is eager to learn French cuisine and experiment with combining French and Indian flavors. Second, Madame Mallory’s sous-chef Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon), is the one who first encounters and rescues the stranded Kadams. Oh where could this story possibly be going?

Hallström makes everything so comfortable and charming that you tend to go with the flow. If Mirren is prickly and brittle at the start, we know she will soften as the story goes on. Dayal and LeBon provide the romance with just a touch of tension: are they destined to be rivals or partners? No fair guessing. Puri provides much of the fun, although his cantankerous Papa is also a character we’ve seen many times before, shifting from comical optimism to grim determination without breaking into a sweat.

If there’s any irony here it is that “The Hundred-Foot Journey” is ultimately a celebration of daring and originality. Both Papa and Hassan take the view that if what they’re preparing is good the public will come to them, a view that Madam Mallory eventually comes to share as well. However the people who have made the film apparently believe just the opposite: if you give the public the cinematic equivalent of comfort food they will wolf it down and be grateful. They may well be right here, and viewers who demand nothing more from their movies need not feel guilty. However, this is the movie version of a tuna fish sandwich, not haute cuisine.•••

North Shore Movies has given this film a score of 3.5 out of 5.Daniel M. Kimmel is a veteran movie critic and author of a host of film-related books. His most recent book is Shh! It’s a Secret: a novel about Aliens, Hollywood and the Bartender’s Guide. He lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.



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