Wednesday, November 26, 2014

3 Days to Kill Posted on WebWombat

3 Days to Kill - 117min - PG13

Here is my review of 3 Days to Kill. I am a sucker for a Luc Besson story.  Take a look at the article on Web Wombat

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Judge

The Judge - 141min - R

The best part of this film is the spectacular cast. Working with excellent material, director David Dobkin, whose films have been hit or miss, has created a wonderful story that plays well and gives the setting an honest feeling. The characters all play well off one another without overdoing it. The story could easily fall into a bog of sentimentality but it provides enough to give the film flavor without overdoing it. I sentence this film to be a green light.

Hank (Robert Downy Jr.) is a high priced defense attorney. His client list consists of the worst of humanity but the best paid. When he gets a call from his brother to say his mother has passed away, he is faced with going back to his home town and dealing with the family issues he has separated himself from. His father (Robert Duvall) is a judge of the local area and is a hard man. Hank reconnects with his family and his old life. His interactions are those of an outsider only there to bury his mother.

As he about to leave, his father gets accused of killing a man he had problems with in the past. Now, Hank has to stay and defend his father. Through the trial, he starts to learn about his past and why his relationship with his father has been so hard. This journey is peppered with self-realization and a new understanding, and Robert Downy Jr. does an excellent job of showing us that journey. His performance is spot-on.

This film's trailer is misleading. It really focuses on the trial but the story has way more depth than expressed. The movies that show growth of a character are more appealing to me than anything else. They give us hope that we can change as well. Hank is going to be Hank but the story shows us his change in direction as a person without losing the edge of flare of who that character is. His journey back home brings to light a lot of feelings and emotions that he has buried but not forgotten.

Robert Duvall's portrayal of Judge Palmer is excellent. He really does an outstanding job of expressing the proud professional that sacrifices his relationship with his son to maintain the image of propriety in the community. He would rather be found guilty than have his judgments called into question because of possible evidence that could save him in the trial.

Some outstanding performances that need recognition are Vincent D'Onofrio and Vera Farmiga. D'Onfrio completely nailed the emotional struggle of the older brother who has moved past the loss of his shot at baseball and the frustrations of the possibility of having to be the cartaker of his youngest brother. Farmiga is a great strong independent woman. Her character's strength is in knowing her feelings for Hank but also knowing who he is and she doesn't let that change or color her world.

I enjoy the realism of the story. Its strength is the honesty of the characters and their realness. Other films of this nature give in to sentimentality but this one keeps it feet on the ground and provides a good story that makes the viewer enjoy the ride. We also see the change in character in the opening scene Hank urinates on the prosecuting attorney after his journey we see him in the same setting offering the character a bit of advice. The second interaction is completely civil and a perfect touch.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Snowpiercer Posted on WebWombat

Snowpiercer - 126min - R

Here is my review of this film on WebWombat. Now showing on Netflix. 

Excellent work performed by all, what should I watch next on Netflix? 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Gone Girl

Gone Girl – 149min – R

This movie is surprising. It’s defiantly not what you expect. The trailer does a perfect job of giving you the feeling of the film and entices you in without giving anything away. This is a well-made film and expands into a whole new level of creepy. Imagine if the 1991 film He Said, She Said were darker and written by sociopaths. Then you have some idea of what this green light film has to offer.

Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) and his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) are having problems. They are the normal problems couples have if they fall out of love and the pressures of life are weighing down on them. Nick goes and sees his sister, Margo (Carrie Coon) at the bar they both own. When he returns home he finds signs of a struggle and his wife gone. Nick is completely clueless to how his wife disappeared you start to wonder if you have the whole story. What happens then must be seen to be believed. It’s hard to replay more about this film when I don’t want to give away too much. This move is best experienced.

The amazing thing about this film is its ability to provide clues, yet keep the whole story a mystery until the end where you can see all three sides of the story: his side, her side and the truth. I’m still wrapping my head around how completely broken a few of the characters are. I feel manipulated and I wasn’t even in the story.

Movies sometimes provide lessons to the viewers. For example Basic Instinct was a cautionary tale about infidelity. In Sleeping With the Enemy you have a woman who feels free but in reality her nightmare of a spouse shows back up again, warning us that things will come back to haunt us. I still don’t know what message this movie is imparting, or at least I can’t and not give away huge parts of the plot. If you want to talk more about this drop me a line at .

David Fincher continues to impress with his storytelling and his wonderful ability to build pressure and deliver the goods. Not surprising there, but what I really enjoyed was the story itself. I have been told that the movie guts the novel but as you know direct translations to film never work out so you have to make sacrifices.

I think the important parts of the book were relayed in the film because I would be interested in reading it based on my experience with the movie. Gillian Flynn was the one who wrote the novel and the screenplay so the story's creator had some control of what the end result was. Gillian Flynn does pen a good story.

This gripping story is definitely going to make this one of my favorites even if Neil Patrick Harris plays a complete creep in it, showing off his range. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a Fincher film.

If you have seen the film, tell me what you thought did it end the way you were expecting it to? I know I was surprised.