November 28, 2013

First was a recommendation from a woman I dated a couple of times, called Cafe de Flore.  Vanessa Paradis is in it, Johnny Depp’s Ex.  It is a Canadian film which spans two times and places.   First Montreal in present day, and then Paris back in the late 60s.   Paradis is a woman in the late 60s who has a boy who has Down Syndrome.   Her man leaves her because of it.   She makes it her mission in life to see that this boy gets a normal upbringing.   She is very dedicated.   Pop back to present day Montreal, and there is a 40yo DJ who has two daughters and a girlfriend.   He split with the Mother of the girls.   There is his story and their story together of this guy and the Mom of the daughters and how they met.  In the end the stories impact one another and I won’t say how.   But in some ways it was disturbing.  This movie stayed with me the next day but not really in a positive way.  There was negative there and a feeling that there was betrayal.   Rotten tomatoes had thoughts on this movie.  This woman I dated raved about it.   I was not so enthusiastic, but I can understand why she liked it.
Next I went to see Dallas Buyers Club Tuesday night for Cheap Tuesday.   Matthew McConaughey has done a Robert De Niro effort in losing weight and getting into character here.  Playing a womanizing, drug snorting, blue collar electrician red neck very well.   He finds out on a routine check that he has HIV.   Immediately he thinks about Rock Hudson and articles about him being gay.   Matthew’s character is homophobic and finds the news unbelievable.   The doctors give him 30 days to live.  Give him time to “get his affairs in order”.   He is a wily guy and looks to obtain the new drug AZT to fight the illness.   Ultimately he lands in Mexico and gets to know and understand more about the disease.   He looks to take vitamins and build up his immunities but also being entreprenuerial and bring this concoction back to the US (so far the FDA had not allowed these items).   They are not all drugs, in fact many are not.   Still the FDA sits by while people panic who are dying justifiably.   The story unfolds and we see the battle here, as this guy tries to beat the system but also (ultimately) to learn to help people.    There is a Best Actor award nomination here.  Could even be a Best Supporting role for Jared Leto who also lost a ton of weight!    There are moments for both of them that they are scary in colour and in body shape.   This is worthwhile seeing.   Good performances and an interesting story.    The red neck aspect of it plays out really interestingly too.

November 3rd, 2013

12 Years A Slave – This is a powerful story, that is slow at times.   Well acted with a particular nod to the main actor (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who will get a Best Actor nomination here.   He is excellent, and more for what he doesn’t say than what he does.   He has such an expressive face and eyes, that he speaks volumes about what he has endured.   This is an important and necessary story to be told.   It won’t win favour in the Deep South and I wondered about any compensation that was ever considered for slaves and their families.    Hell if the Indians can get compensation from us, and the Japanese from WWII internment, surely here too.
Winter’s Bone – watched this on Netflix as I wanted to see the earlier Jennifer Lawrence Academy Award nomination.   Had not seen before.   Another slow, plodding along story that is very simple.   Family in boondocks, nowhere USA (likely West Virginia) has teen girl (Lawrence) taking care of two younger siblings and her Mom who is basically incapable of action.   She is everything on this little house and land.   Then the law shows up looking for estranged Dad and says if he misses his Court date, that the house will be lost as it was put up for bail.   Lawrence goes off to try and find Dad.
It seems to me that roles with a wide range and tremendous range of emotion do get the nods for awards.   Here Lawrence shows this. She did not win.  A resilience but also showing deep and powerful emotion.   Hanks does this as well in Captain Phillips.   Each principal role in the three movies reviewed here have it.   So it has been a good week for films.  More to come.
Captain Phillips – seen earlier in the week.   I am glad to see this.   Hanks will also likely get an awards nod for this role.   There is truly a part of me that thinks if the money spent to deal with these pirates was just given to them (or their country) then many of the problems could be solved.  Think of the money and men spent to mobilize against this situation, and the lives that were put at risk.   In truth I did not see as much of the political message here.   Yes a people who have very little are looking to survive, but being modern day pirates does not seem to be to be a sympathetic path for them in their quest.   The supporting cast was very good, especially the Ethiopian leader (Barkhad Abdi).

October 7th, 2013

Last night I went to Colossus and saw Gravity.   I saw it in 3D, big sound, assigned seating (as big as it can be!!) and this was a fascinating film.   Starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock and virtually no one else (Ed Harris’ voice) it is an Apollo 13 like movie set in space.   What happens is not going to be discussed here.
What is important, to me anyway, was the scenes and shots from space in a present day looking film with today’s technology.   No one is beaming aboard anything.  There are no hi-tech jump suits (Star Trek) but rather bulky and cumbersome space suits which protect one from the harsh elements.   We think of space as this adventurous and fantasy place when in fact it has stark realities of air and warmth and water which are crucial to human survival.   Space is filled with danger and one needs to respect that if they are going to work (and live) there.  A more realistic recognition of this helps, even though there are moments in order to making a movie This is a movie worth seeing.   I wish I saw it at TIFF.   There is a range of emotion here that was unexpected for me and provided more reason to enjoy it.   Sandra Bullock  is very good.
See this one.   I would even see it again.

September 10th, 2013 – TIFF edition

I wish that I had the gift of prose and language like the late, great Roger Ebert, especially when I have seen a remarkably bad film.   He would have a way with words that would put a film in its rightful place.

Last night was such a film with the premiere of Under the Skin with Scarlett Johansson.   It was billed as a “sci fi thriller” with the director and star attending live at the performance last night.   They gave away free McDonalds coffee in the street as we lined up waiting to go in.  It’s a good thing.   The audience would have fallen asleep from boredom during this debacle.
This is a movie where I am glad that the Director before it was viewed stated “this is a film from the perspective of an alien and how they would see us”.    Helpful because I would be unaware (virtually) without that context.    Here we have visual images that mirror 2001, and some in Tree of Life and even Prometheus of Scotland (an opening sequence shows a lake which becomes a kaleidocope).  There is distracting music throughout.   Then the basic storyline has an alien (Scarlett) who is anxious to reveal herself to the camera but then does very little.   She hunts unsuspecting locals who happen to walk around Edinburgh at the wrong time and meet the wrong woman, who is driving a van that we are uncertain how she obtained.   She chats them up and is pleasant.  This carries on for quite some time.   Then something happens and she has a change of heart, and also goes mysteriously silent.   The rest is a strange and convoluted mess of very little action and confusing situations.
I wonder how this was positioned to Scarlett by her agent?   “Do this Star.  It’ll show people you are bold and willing to be naked.   It’ll bump up your status like it helped Jeff Bridges in Starman (he got a nomination for his role)”.  She was sold a bill of goods.   Starman is an infinitely better film about an alien visiting the planet.   Bridges is infinitely better.   Damn, even Keanu Reeves (Woah) is better in The Man Who Fell to Earth.    There are just so many unanswered questions.  Why does she do what she does?   What purpose does she have here?   Where does she get the money for clothes and a van?   Why the change of heart?   What happened to the men early on and what was the purpose?   Why did I sit through until the end of this film?    Why did people clap at the end?   I can only suggest on the last question that those who clapped along to the music for the L’Oreal cosmetic commercial and clapped for that are the same ones who clapped at the end.
Young and Beautiful was a Belgian film, in French with subtitles.   It was well reviewed by Now Magazine.   It is a coming of age story about a good looking 17yo who has her first sexual encounter on vacation in the summer near her birthday.   She then returns to the city (Paris) and begins turning tricks as a prostitute.  Why again is not answered.   For a 17yo, in some ways this makes sense.   I enjoyed this film more.   It will likely not be in your local Cineplex.   The principal actress attended the film.  She was painfully shy at the microphone on the stage but on film takes her clothes off without issue.
My history with TIFF as far as quality movies goes is not very good.   I enjoy the experience and the vibe in the city – you can feel the excitement with the crowds.  It is a good crowd too.   Intelligent, good looking, patient and interesting.   There should be a TIFF Speed dating event where you get free admission if you show a film ticket.   People chat easily in line and are not all Torontonians obviously!!
Third Person.  Yesterday’s film experience was much more satisfying for me.   It was the new film from Paul Haggis (Canadian) who won the Oscar for Best Picture for Crash.   Ironically this is a much maligned choice now, like Ordinary People winning and not Raging Bull or Shakespeare in Love rather than Saving Private Ryan.   But I digress.
This movies has many stars with Liam Neeson, Kim Basinger, Mila Kunis, James Franco, Adrian Brody and Olivia Wilde.  Brody was present at the Festival as was Haggis both before and after.   This story had multiple stories running simultaneously (as with Crash) and then they come together at the end.   It is a long film (over 2 hours) and by the end I was feeling the time.  Basically it is a story about trust.   Haggis himself called it a story about love, in all of its forms, but for me I see more issues about trust in it.   That being said, the storyline has various characters and you must pay attention as to what is happening.   Neeson is a writer who is working on his next novel.  He sits in a hotel room.  Typing away.   There are various people and interactions here with a theme of trust.   There is heartache and joy.  There is pain.   I will not delve further into the plot.
I enjoyed this movie, especially given Under the Skin two nights ago.  Alison found it long and the payoff not as satisfying.   I could relate heavily to the Neeson story and that helped me with the understanding and enjoyment.  In my previous relationship with a woman from Texas, I had been lied to, and manipulated and deceived on numerous occasions and here on screen was a similar personality (played by Wilde).   So that added to the familiarity.
I do not need to rush out and see this again, but I am glad that I saw it.

September 3rd, 2013

Plenty to talk about here.  Lots of movies over the past few days.   Saw a couple with youngest son.

Two Guns – Marky Mark and Denzel.  This was a lot of fun I have to say.  I went in with few expectations and although the story gets really turned upside down, and convoluted, it was enjoyable to watch.   Marky Mark does a decent job as has some good lines.   Denzel avoids biting that bottom lip but then again, he has no really emotional scenes to deal with here.   Storyline is a robbery gone bad and you wonder who may be double crossing whom.  Worthy of a rental at least.
Gatsby – Leo plays the party-throwing young man looking to impress.  The whole deal about “modernizing” this by having Jay Zee do some songs etc is really not important to the story.  The CGI looks really CGI with the cars graphics and the house/mansion scenes.   The story (unknown to me before viewing) is fairly straightforward and I won’t spoil it here.   Suffice it to say that I could relate to what happens to the main characters and can agree with the underlying them.  You’ll know it (the theme) when you see it.   Tobey McGuire is good here and supports Leo well.   The other main male character too is also good.   This was better than I had expected.
Epic – the animated film about the forest and the Queen of the “good” forest dealing with the “rotten” part of the forest.   I avoided thinking about Beyonce as the Good Queen and was more interested in Christoph Walz playing that “rotten” guy leader.   This is not in the league with the story against Pixar and Finding Nemo, but there is some clever animation.  Nice scenes.   It did not really keep youngest son’s attention and that is a big barometer for me.   Neither did Hugo BTW.  Tried but he could not stay with it.   So worthy of a download or a cheap Red Box ($2) for me.

August 20, 2013

So on Sunday after a week with the kiddos, I went out to see Elysium at the theatre.   I have not done a full compare and contrast to Oblivion (since I have not rented that) but that is to come.

As for this movie on its own merit, it was okay.   Same director as District 9 that we both liked.   Have to say that I think the choice to use the protagonist from District 9 here as a baddy was a poor choice.   Despite the foul language and general distemper from a person ACTING as a sociopath, you don’t get that sense about him.   It’s like asking Mister Rogers to come and set your house on fire.   He likely can do it, but it is completely out of character and not what you expect.

Oh and Maaatt Daaaaamon is here.  Did you know that?   Well here he is an adult version of a small kid who is part of the proletariat.  The rich people have left earth for their palace in the sky.   Earth crumbles with crime and over-population.  So there is a class struggle.  The story then unfolds in a relatively predictable manner with an issue which forces Matt’s hand and it coincides with another event which puts it all into a nice tight little package.
There are a number of moments when in the movie I said “Well isn’t THAT fortuitous” – kind of like Superman and how Lois Lane gets invited on an alien space ship.   Answer:  it is a plot requirement to keep it rolling.
Don’t run out to see it.  It is alright.   A cheap Tuesday would make sense.  But otherwise it can be a rental.   Perhaps you can watch and tell me which accent Jodie Foster is trying to portray here.  French?  English?   English by a French person?   I dunno.

July 14, 2013

Well it has been some time that I needed to pass along thoughts:

Man of Steel – we saw this together (seems ages ago) and I have thought about this movie more.  I liked Superman.  I don’t like Lois Lane (Amy Adams).  She redeemed herself recently with me in The Fighter but we will get back to that.   And these fights scenes and action sequences that go on and on and on are tiresome.  Like sword fighting in battles (ie: Braveheart) once it has been done, there is little more that you can add to it.   So why repeat with these tights camera shots (Bourne)?  In the end, Superman to me is just a little too nice and too perfect.   It’s the story that does not capture me.  Not like Batman does or did.   There are so many questions.   So many times the level of disbelief has to rise.  And then there is that ever-present Lois Lane, for whom he has no chemistry.  None.   The woman he would give up his powers for and turn the world spinning the other way (in the Christopher Reeves versions anyway), and they couldn’t even light a flashlight with their collective electricity.
Before Midnight – the reviews of this were excellent.  You asked whether there really was any need to spend more time with these characters.  The answer is a resounding “Yes”.   Yes, you should.  They are more interesting and full of insight into the middle aged couple and their challenges.   They have real life issues like step-children, and jobs and the myriad of life happenings that impact romantic love, and continued romantic love.   Celine has plenty of insight and also some pent up aggression towards Jessie.   Jessie has some guilt issues about being away from his son during his formative years.   Questions that are posed are taken as directions to go.  Consequences ensue.   This is another film that you take away what you bring into it.  20-somethings won’t like it or get it (as much).  They haven’t crossed some of these hurdles.  It can be insightful to them.  But the 40-somethings in the crowd will get it if they have lived and experienced.   See it.  Rental perhaps but do see it.
The Fighter – this was one that I had not seen in 2011.  I managed to see it on Demand the other night.  This was another David O Russell film (Silver Linings Playbook) and this guy knows good movies and get great performances.   Christian Bale won the Best Supporting Actor here, and it is deserved.  It is a physical role (having him lose pounds and hair) but also a challenge to create sympathy for a guy who lives in the past glories.   And abuses himself.   Then there is Mom (Melissa Yeo) who also won a Best Supporting Oscar and it was a very good role.  This shows you real people again that you don’t want over for dinner, but are fun to watch.   The sisters were just priceless.   Amy Adams showed some spunk and acting chops too by butting heads with the Mom and family.   I liked all performances and the movie.   I had not realized that this fighter story was recent.   Wish I had seen the fights now.
Pacific Rim – This was Rock Em Sock Em Robots as feared.  It is deeper than that, somewhat, but the premise remains the same.   Big sound, 3D (ugh!!) plenty of things that blow up.  Add to this healthy borrowings from Independence Day with an alien invasion that seems unstoppable with the geek who is charged with figuring out the weakness.   The geek channels Bobcat Goldthwait so well that I had to think if it was a younger version (or his son!!).  Was it believable?!   Not for a second!!   Your man, Idris Elba is good here (apparently this was to be a Tom Cruise vehicle that he backed away from – too bad Tom chose Oblivion).   This is however, NOT a 4 Star movie.  it is brain candy.  Fun while it lasts but forgotten minutes after it is over.   Not memorable.  A Rah-Rah go get ’em flick with these ugly over sized monsters coming from the deep.   Better on a big screen yes.  Good for a cheap Tuesday visit!!!
Cheers!  Come to the city again sometime….
This past week I watched 42, as you likely know the Jackie Robinson story.   I felt as though the performances here were good.  There was more of a focus on the Harrison Ford character than I had expected.   The guy playing Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) was interesting and there was less baseball really than I would have thought.   This is a baseball story, but obviously much more than that.   I do think that more could have focused on the baseball.   There is AT LEAST another movies worth on that front.  He DID win a World Series.   He was a career over .300 hitter and stole many bases.   Anyway, it was worthy of the rental.
I did catch the first episode and second of Homeland Season 1.  I noted that it was again voted for an Emmy for top series.  That would be for Season 2.   I will continue to seek it out.

June 11th, 2013

I had not seen a film over the weekend that was fresh and new for me.   I did re-watch Before Sunset which got me re-acquainted with Jessie and Celine as I prepare to spend some more time with them in a week or so.  We have a movie here in Before Midnight that has been universally praised and called one of the best films of the year, by The Star, Suntimes, and others yet is playing at only ONE cinema in all of Toronto (Varsity).  It will be playing in Waterloo at the Princess theatre (like the Kingsway) in about 10 days.   That is where I will see it.  But I digress.
Yesterday I saw Oz the Great and Powerful.   This is the prequel to the classic Judy Garland film that everyone (I had wrongfully thought) had seen and knew well.  Girlfriend informs me that she had never seen the original film.  I was aghast.   Roll the film anyway after a short tutorial on what happened to Dorothy Gale.   Here we have the same structure of  the previous film, with the opening sequence in black and white and a feel for the 1905 date indicated.  Our Oz is a shyster and a scoundrel (all self-professed) and works in a travelling circus.   He is introduced as a lady’s man and looking for obedient hired hands and assistants.   Then the inevitable tornado and trip to Oz where we are transformed into the full technicolour world.   We are also given numerous and gratuitous 3-D effects that were unnecessary and distracted from the story.   He meets various characters, and a LOT of CGI.  A distracting amount that was not all that realistic.  The talking monkey being one of them.  The whole look and feel of Oz itself is kind of this way too, in a Willy Wonka kind of way.  Too colourful.  Too pretty.  Too outrageous.   It loses a sense of realism, and looks more like a video game (like when characters jump over crumbling cliffs and mountains, just in time!)  James Franco plays Oz, and I am still not sure whether I like him.  He plays phony really well I suppose and it comes through in spades.  He can be honest with himself on what he truly is, and recognizes that this (at times) can be beneficial.  There is some ingenuity here in working this story to prepare it for the next (Dorothy’s arrival) but it is nowhere near as satisfying nor charming.   It isn’t as scary either – well, except for the poor CGI job done on the Wicked Witch of the West.   That IS scary.  And she loses her humanity.   This was a long two hours and felt it.   Never a good thing for a movie.  There are parallels to the much loved and much better classic.  It does an adequate job to bring us up-to-date but I have to admit that I like the idea of going further back and using the storyline in Wicked (the musical anyway).
There are some interesting interpretations of the story here and how the characters got to where they were, but in the end it was not as satisfying as hoped.   Some trailers I see, and think to myself “Man I hope that they don’t screw this up” because there is always so much potential!!   Our own minds can fill in gaps and think as to how you would fill in the prequel story.  I can say that I wouldn’t do it like this here.  Certainly the sidekicks are not as memorable nor as important.   I have to admit a certain fascination with the china doll and her look and feel of her hair.
There is not one memorable musical number in this prequel.  The first one had many memorable songs like classic “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, “Off to see the Wizard” “Lollipop Guild” and “Follow the Yellowbrick Road”.   As a kid, at Grandpa’s cottage he had a record of Oz songs and we would listen to them alone.   Music did not play a significant role in this prequel.   Sadly enough.
One can only hope that Man of Steel can be as successful and interesting a reboot as Batman Begins.  Sadly I don’t think that the main character is as interesting nor as dark as the caped crusader.   But in the hands of same director, Christopher Nolan it has potential.

June 3, 2013

So when is a movie review not all that helpful?   Plenty of answers to that, but for today and this review it is when the review describes a film that expects a lot of the audience and further expects them to interpret the film in their own way, based upon their own experiences.   To the Wonder is just such a film.  The latest film from Terrence Mallick, who’s previous film Tree of Life was very highly regarded in many circles.   I thoroughly enjoyed it myself.   As an aside, I had read a story about Ben Affleck who had said that after directing and starring in Argo and doing all of the activities around it, that he had fully intended on spending some quality time with Jennifer Garner and his kids.  Then along came this project and he decided that he could not pass up on the chance to work with Mallick.
Here we have a movie that has very little dialogue.  In fact Ben might have had less than 30 words to say in the entire film.   Instead there is a steady stream of voiceover, and much of it is in French.  This is a film about images and pictures.  Strung together with a soundtrack that is instrumental and conveys theme.  Much of it is subtle and melancoly.   It also has very little in the way of plot.  Much like life, things just sort of happen with no particular plan or long term view.   This is the part where the audience participation comes in.   You will fill in the gaps and spaces with your own life experience.   It then will be interpreted.  This is not a film for 18yo young people.   They would find it empty and boring and elusive with no message being spoon fed to them on what to think.   It may grow on them in twenty years.
Ben in this movie plays a guy who is in Paris and in love with this young woman with a daughter from a previous relationship.  He is American and she from France (or at least built a life in France).   Ben invites woman and daughter to come live with him in the US.  Oklahoma to be specific and the environment changes dramatically.  From cosmopolitan to rural.  Urban to suburban.  Then a series of experiences occur which are exactly that;  experiences.   Life happens.  Decisions are made and a couple other characters are introduced.  Rachel McAdams and Javier Bardem.  The latter being a priest who is struggling with his faith.  There it is.  Things happen.   Roll credits.
I like this film, and liked it more when I thought about it.  There are some incredible images here.  Almost worthy of making stills and framing.  Images of water, and streams and ocean and beach.  Sun and sky and fields and streets.   Film truly is a medium of moving pictures and this movie takes it to heart.  Frames here are quite remarkable in their own right.   I did enjoy Tree of Life more, as there were moments in this film where I was shifting in my seat.  Some images were repeated to the point of being superfluous and added very little.  For example the pictures of the young woman dancing and jumping in front of the camera and looking back with a smile.   I saw enough of that and got it the first few times.
There are no action sequences.  Nothing blows up.  No humourous quips and no tight little package at the end.   But it is still powerful and engaging and interesting.  And isn’t that what we go to the movies to have happen?    Suffice it to say that I liked it.  You may not.  Everyone’s filters can interpret this differently.  It may bring back long ago buried feelings that you didn’t want to resurface.  I simply cannot anticipate that.   And what I can do is explain a feeling I came away with and then let you decide the next step.
P.S> As the credits rolled I was thinking that I had taken the same date to see another Place Beyond the Pines story.  We both took time to process this one.  As in “What did we just see?”   But as we spoke, and talked and processed we both liked this film.   Place Beyond the Pines was never that lucky.   Nor did it deserve to be.  This I can say is worth seeing.  The other isn’t.

May 22nd, 2013

So the one thing about a long weekend when there is very little to actually do, means that there are movies to watch and get caught up on.
Midnight in Paris.   Owen Wilson.  Full stop.  I am not a fan.  Here you are engaged to the Rachel McAdams character and her girl next door, pristine, good natured onscreen persona takes a bit of a hit here.  Seems this couple is in Paris where Wilson the Hollywood screen writer is looking to get more serious and write a novel.   He is a bit stalled in the editing and reviewing process.   Not writer’s block, but looking for more inspiration.   The movie then takes a turn towards Purple Rose of Cairo where there is some surreal and unusual happenings and our hero is given ample opportunity for future material in his new career as a “serious writer”.   Suffice it to say that this was alright.  The scenery in Paris in many ways is the true star of the movie.  It makes me ache to go back to Paris once again.  And for that reason it was welcome.   Marion Cotillard is worthy to look at in whatever role she plays.  A rental as a travelog.
The Mentalist.   After watching half of this movie I decided to see what Roger thought of this movie that had multiple Oscar nominations.   Best Actor for Jacquin Phoenix, Supporting Actor for Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Supporting Actress for Amy Adams.   Two of those I understood;  Phoenix and Hoffman.  Adams surprises me.  Ebert gave this 2.5 stars.   I agreed with the review.   And echo the sentiment that there are two compelling performances here.   I will go so far as to say that without a Daniel Day Lewis performance of the ages, Phoenix is deserving of the award.   He plays a character who is a sailor but without a keel for himself.  There is no direction in his life and he seems very lost.   He starts as a seaman in the war and shows himself to be just another of the many faceless people of war.  They served.  They won, and they head back home.   Then he takes on a series of jobs where he shows his ability for concocting booze from scratch and also being unpredictable.   He ultimately meets up with Hoffman who is a charismatic L Ron Hubbard look alike.  It is on purpose.    You get some insight into the man, and those who follow him and a sense of the whatever makes him tick.   He becomes friends with the man, and together they have a strange relationship.  On one hand Phoenix is looked upon as a flawed man in need of ‘healing’.  There is a remarkable scene by Phoenix where his first healing session begins and he can’t get enough of it.   Simply remarkable.  Another in a jail cell.   It would have been a tragedy had Phoenix chosen to take his acting hiatus for good.   Because here is a man that is complex, and flawed and yet the leader seeks him out and needs him around.  Despite his issues they have this connection that is not fully explored.  And that is what the movie is about the subject matter.   Not fully explored.   We are left to form our own opinions.  I suppose I would like to see more thoughts on the whole thing rather than leave it up to interpretation.   But upon further reflection that isn’t entirely a bad thing.    There are some good Hoffman scenes too like when he is questioned by people at length about his books and his philosophy.   On to Adams, who for whatever reason grates on me.   Hollywood seems to love her.  I do not.  She seems perfect for Enchanted, as a singing and dancing princess with the 12yo girl’s voice.   She does not really strike the right tone for Lady MacBeth.   At least to me.   Here she tries.  (As an aside, if you’re going to be in a nude scene Amy, then be in a nude scene – just sayin).    Worthy performances here to catch.   A story that I am still uncertain about.
Jack Reacher.  Yet another Tom Cruise vehicle.  Presumably could be another franchise.   Here we have part Jason Bourne, part James Bond, part vigilante and part drifter.  All this wrapped up in a drama where the seemingly open and shut case for a random terrorist act is questioned and ripped apart and reviewed.   We have an act of unspeakable terror that is then taken apart but a loner who is summoned by the man accused of this act.  In comes Cruise, seemingly right on cue.   Literally and figuratively.   We know very little of him, and he does his best to try and make an entrance and then a quick exit but manages to stay around.   This plot turns around and into itself while Cruise pieces together what the D.A., the police and defense attorney all can’t seem to do.   He uncovers what appears to be some kind of scheme that won’t be revealed here.   Richard Jenkins is here and sadly underutilized.   Robert Duvall is here too.  Unexpectedly and interestingly.  This movie was more fun to watch at home because then I felt free to comment on some of the silliness.   Anyway, it passed the time.   If you want a mind bending action movie, and don’t feel like watching Jason Bourne for the umpteenth time, you can grab this one and set your mind on pause for a couple hours.   I will note further that a co-worker was a huge Jack Reacher book fan, and hated the choice of Cruise in this role.
Happy viewing!!   I WON’T be seeing The Hangover III this weekend.   Sorry Bradley Cooper I want to remember you as an ACTOR…..